What do you think Are the Best Classic Fantasy And Science Fiction Books and Stories of All Time?

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
And The Devil Will Drag You Under by Jack Chalker . This one like most of his other books is long out of print. My advice, if your ever see a copy of it in a used bookstore Pick it up . I guarantee that once you start reading it , you won't be able to put it down. It's fun read. (y)
 

althea

If I won't be myself,who will be?
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
334
Location
North Wales
I couldn't get on with The Silmarillion.
I have it somewhere.I might search it out and give it another go, when I have decreased my LIST.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
I couldn't get on with The Silmarillion.
I have it somewhere.I might search it out and give it another go, when I have decreased my LIST.
I do wish Tolkien had made it into an epic like LOTR.:)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
Day of the Giants by Lester Del Rey This book is a more sic fantasy then science fiction . But it is a very entertaining read. :)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A Heinlein A survival calls of students get marooned on a distant planet. Im reacher surprised this one has never been adapted for a film.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov . The first book in the Lige Bailey and R Danell Olivaw series . The Naked Sun it''s sequel is even better.:)
 

Lew Rockwell Fan

Have tasp, will travel.
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
427
Location
Sol 3, most of the time
OP did say "books", not "book". I'm surprised how many posts point to a single book. The plural makes it easier. 'e also didn't specify criteria for "best", which makes it kind of open. So:

1984 - Not the most enjoyable book I've read by a long shot. It's grim. But I don't see SF as purely entertainment. And I can't think of any other book that so exemplifies this higher purpose. This is essential reading for every human being. Soon, it may be too late. It addresses the question "How bad will this get if we don't stop it?" and the answer is "pretty damned horrible".

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - Doctorow has the right idea in carrying forward Orwell's theme in "YA" books like "Little Brother", which, unlike Orwell's, is a very enjoyable book. It is the kind of thing Heinlein wrote so much of, what Niven called "a dystopia with hope", carrying the message that the future doesn't just happen - it is MADE by our actions or lack thereof. It is definitely enjoyable by adults. He gives it away like shareware (in other words, pay what and if you want to) on his website in electronic formats. Paper copies are in print also, of course. This, and it's 2 sequels, are certainly the best current YA SF I'm aware of and I think the category is of profound social importance. I suggest giving copies to any kid bright enough to read.

Ringworld - Still probably the most enjoyable single SF book I've read. Overall, NIven is my favorite writer. I don't agree with those who call him "the Dean of Hard SF" - he makes too much use of psi powers, genetic luck and such to classify him thus. That title I might give to Hal Clement. Niven seems to harden up when he has coauthors though. Maybe they tend to keep him honest. Which brings me to:

Lucifer's Hammer - Best apocalyptic disaster novel ever. And written BEFORE Alverez told the paleontologists and geologist they had it all wrong about K/T.

Trader to the Stars by Poul Anderson - I think this may have been republished later with some more stories of van Rijn in a bigger book with a different title. Anyway, all the van Rijn stories, especially The Man Who Counts, whatever title they are grouped under.

Fallen Angels - Best politically incorrect novel ever. Also a global disaster novel. Niven and Pournelle, with various friends, have done a great job of nearly ending the world half a dozen times. These guys are DANGEROUS.

The Whenabouts of Burr by Michael Kurland - Maybe the best pseudo-time travel novel I know. Some people say this is the anscestor of most parallel time track stories. Well, maybe. It certainly was NOT the first. I'm pretty sure H. Beam Piper did some similar things in the 50s. But this, which was mid-70s, is much more vivid than Piper's tales, and it may be true that he got a lot of writers thinking about it.

I'm not a big fantasy fan. Tolkein bored the heck out of me. But I did like these:

The Unbeheaded King trilogy - Let this stand for any or all of de Camp's fantasy. They are wonderfully funny.

Silverlock by John Meyers Meyers - It is an old cliche to say something can be read and appreciated on several different levels. I don't know of any other book that this is AS true of. I've read it at least 5 times and gotten a few things I had missed on earlier readings every time. And I don't just mean literary references. I'm tempted to give examples, but no, no hints, no spoilers. Definitely, best fantasy, open category.
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
6,922
Day of the Giants by Lester Del Rey This book is a more sic fantasy then science fiction . But it is a very entertaining read. :)
One of these days I may read this one again and write something about it on the Way, Way Back in Your Reading Life thread, because this book by del Rey does go back with me a long ways. I have a paperback edition that I bought on 25 Aug. 1973 -- and I'd already read the book when I bought a copy, I'm quite sure -- must have been a library copy. Curiously, I don't seem ever to have read my own copy.
 
Last edited:

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
One of these days I may read this one again and write something about it on the Way, Way Back in Your Reading Life thread, because this book by del Rey does go back with me a long ways. I have a paperback edition that I bought on 25 Aug. 1973 -- and I'd already read the book when I bought a copy, I'm quite sure -- must have been a library copy. Curiously, I don't seem ever to have read my own copy.
At the time I read it, I enjoyed it. It's the only book I've ever read by him.:) The edition I had, was put out by Airmont books . It had an absolutely terrible cover which absolutely nothing to do with what the book was about. :D
 

Caliban

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
130
Location
UK
I've chosen my fave books from each decade. Obviously this is limited to what I've read. I've also made no distinction between SF, Fantasy and Horror.

50s - More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
60s - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
70s - Stolen Faces - Michael Bishop
80s - Adulthood Rites - Octavia Butler
90s - Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
00s - The Scar - China Mieville
10s - The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker
 

Lew Rockwell Fan

Have tasp, will travel.
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
427
Location
Sol 3, most of the time
I can't edit my post a few upwards of here, so I'll add this adendum I should have thought of, but didn't:

Code of the Lifemaker by James Hogan - best AI novel, by lightyears. One character is a thinly disguised James Randi. Another is a kind of Uri-Gellerish con man with a conscience, one of the best SF characters ever created.

I have a lot of respect for the late author. Only writer I know of to attempt to explain business cycle theory to an SF audience, who clearly wasn't just blowing smoke, and actually understood it himself. Although I don't recall what that was in. Pretty sure it wasn't in Code.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
I can't edit my post a few upwards of here, so I'll add this adendum I should have thought of, but didn't:

Code of the Lifemaker by James Hogan - best AI novel, by lightyears. One character is a thinly disguised James Randi. Another is a kind of Uri-Gellerish con man with a conscience, one of the best SF characters ever created.

I have a lot of respect for the late author. Only writer I know of to attempt to explain business cycle theory to an SF audience, who clearly wasn't just blowing smoke, and actually understood it himself. Although I don't recall what that was in. Pretty sure it wasn't in Code.
I had no idea he'd passed away. :unsure:
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
When Worlds Collide by Phillip Wylie and Edwin Balmer It was adapted into a film in 1951 by George Pal The book had a sequel After Worlds Collide .
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
6,922
At the time I read it, I enjoyed it. It's the only book I've ever read by him.:) The edition I had, was put out by Airmont books . It had an absolutely terrible cover which absolutely nothing to do with what the book was about. :D
That's the one I have, too. But honestly I'd rather have that old cover than a more recent edition (if there were one) with a flat-footed "fantasy" picture by one of the dull artists of the 1980s or so.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
That's the one I have, too. But honestly I'd rather have that old cover than a more recent edition (if there were one) with a flat-footed "fantasy" picture by one of the dull artists of the 1980s or so.
Given the compete lack of artistry in todays covers , I agree.:)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
15,690
I've chosen my fave books from each decade. Obviously this is limited to what I've read. I've also made no distinction between SF, Fantasy and Horror.

50s - More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
60s - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
70s - Stolen Faces - Michael Bishop
80s - Adulthood Rites - Octavia Butler
90s - Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
00s - The Scar - China Mieville
10s - The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker
Excellent list.(y)
 

althea

If I won't be myself,who will be?
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
334
Location
North Wales
Oh,I remember Harry Harrison books.
It's a very long time since I read them,but I did enjoy them.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
1,274
Oh,I remember Harry Harrison books.
Deathworld I (1960) by Harry Harrison
Deathworld by Harry Harrison
LibriVox

Deathworld II (The Ethical Engineer) (1964) by Harry Harrison
The Ethical Engineer by Harry Harrison
LibriVox

I think Deathworld II is the important story because it raises an etical question. Who owns knowledge? People hide information from each other all of the time. That is one of the curious things about the Internet. How many of us are blinded by the light? So much info so fast, how to tell what matters.

psik
 
Top