Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy books list

by John MacBeath Watkins

National Public Radio has published its list of the top 100 fantasy/sci fi books. Here you go:

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085843/your-picks-top-100-science-fiction-fantasy-books

I was happy to see my favorite Terry Pratchett novel, Small Gods, on the list as #57, but find it odd that the only other Pratchett on the list is Going Postal. Pratchett fans generally agree that Mort is the best of his books.

And The Silmarillion made the list and The Hobbit didn't? Is this a universe we really want to live in? What about The Demolished Man, doesn't Alfred Bester get a look in?

The Xanth novels? Really? I read one and was not tempted to read the rest. Did Xanth really beat out Narnia? Why, because there are more of them? And Terry Brooks' Sword of Shinola Shannara series is certainly popular, but is it for the ages?. Well, maybe, if Xanth makes the list.

I'm always happy to see some genre-hopping. A number of books, such as the Outlander series by Gabaldon and 1984 and Animal Farm don't get shelved in with the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, but made the list. Still, is Animal Farm really science fiction?

But mostly, the list is pretty good, and I'm sure it will guide people to more great books. I think Lord of the Rings deserves the top spot. It's the only fantasy book from the 20th century that I'm pretty sure will be read a century from now. It also spawned so many imitators that fantasy now sells more books than science fiction. Like The Time Machine, it opened up a new literary form. That to you, Kevin Drum. Patrick Callahan's post about this list on The League of Ordinary Gentlemen is excellent, by the way.




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