This is an interesting list. It’s missing some of the true great classics, like Frankenstein, and it has a number of unusual, less well known titles, but there’s a lot to like on it. There’s certainly a lot for people to disagree about, but it may well have your less often cited favorites, too. What do you think?

  • slazer2au
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    442 months ago
    • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
    • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
    • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    • Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
    • The City & the City by China Miéville
    • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
    • The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
    • The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
    • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
    • Chelsea Whyte God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
    • 17776 by Jon Bois
    • War With the Newts by Karel Čapek
    • Flatland: A romance of many dimensions by A Square (Edwin Abbott Abbott)
    • Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
    • Neuromancer by William Gibson
    • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
    • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
    • The Culture series by Iain M. Banks
    • @[email protected]
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      82 months ago

      Really pleased to see 17776 getting some recognition. I don’t even like American football and I love that story.

      • @RizzRustbolt
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        1 month ago

        If American Football was like that I would probably watch it.

        • @[email protected]
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          21 month ago

          Yeah, the 17776 version sounds way more entertaining. Especially if it is commentated by three sapient space probes.

      • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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        32 months ago

        I couldn’t decide if I wanted to add that one to my reading list or not. I hadn’t heard of it before, and I’m not at all a sports guy, but it sounds interesting.

          • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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            230 days ago

            I got around to reading 17776 today. That was fun, thanks for the recommendation!

          • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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            21 month ago

            Well that’s… really interesting. I love it when people experiment with new ways of telling a story. That might move this up much higher on my list. Thanks for the link.

            • @Dozzi92
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              31 month ago

              It’s chaos, but Jon Bois is amazing at putting order to even the most chaotic things. If you don’t know him, he’s purely a sports guy, but he has a number of video series on YouTube that are absolutely great watches, regardless of whether you like sports. I hate (American) football, but he has a number of videos I watched intently, because he does a great job of analyzing random number sets and plotting them out in a way that is visually appealing. Guy is a nut, and it makes for great television (obviously not TV but yeah).

    • JackGreenEarth
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      62 months ago

      The Mars trilogy is good, although Blue Mars is my favourite, Hitchhiker’s is good but is more of a comedy, Flatland is ok but is more of a satire of Victorian society. The Planiverse by AK Dewdney is a better 2d world book.

      • @Rolando
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        32 months ago

        Hitchhiker’s is good but is more of a comedy

        You say that like that’s a bad thing…

        • JackGreenEarth
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          22 months ago

          Oh no, it’s not a bad thing at all. It just means it doesn’t really belong in a list of sci fi books.

      • Clay_pidgin
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        22 months ago

        I got it because I love Sir Perry’s Discworld books, and was blown away by how much I liked it!

      • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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        22 months ago

        I’ve read quite a number of the books on the list, but hadn’t read that one, so I put it on my list.

  • @[email protected]
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    82 months ago

    Good to see a list not containing just the obvious stuff.

    I’ve read about a third of this list, and the others sound good.

    The only one I’m not sure about is flatland.

    • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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      22 months ago

      Flatland is worth reading, though admittedly it was decades ago that I read it (it may even have been high school). It’s clever; written in the late 1800s as a commentary on Victorian society and social classes. It’s from the POV of characters in a 2D universe, with forays about 1D and 3D universes. As a side note, it has a bit about a potential 4D universe, and it was written before Einstein’s relativity theory got people talking about higher dimensions. As I recall, it’s fairly short.

    • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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      22 months ago

      I’ve read ten of the twenty one. The fact that it was so different than these types of lists tend to be, without being a bunch of fan fiction or whatever, is why I posted it. Just seemed like an interesting list. Of the ones I’ve read, I didn’t dislike any of them, though there are some I certainly wouldn’t have put on an all-time greats list myself.

  • @Nebulizer
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    22 months ago

    Wow I haven’t read a good chunk of this list, and I thought I was a sci-fi book afficionado. Thanks for adding to my summer reading list! Might start with either Parable of the Sower or Never Let Me Go.

    • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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      12 months ago

      I haven’t yet read Parable of the Sower, but I read Never Let Me Go recently. This is what I wrote about it in my notes to myself (no spoilers - certainly less than this article):

      This is an odd book. It’s very slow paced, and not much actually happens. I think it’s best to read it without knowing anything at all, so I’m going to avoid spoilers. It’s a story told first person by a woman who attended a special boarding school. For a quarter of the book, there are barely even hints that there’s anything unusual going on. We don’t get an understanding of it until halfway, and even then not fully. I feel like this might have been better as a novella. That said, it was highly regarded and even made into a movie (that I never saw). The premise is really interesting, and the story moving, but for half the book we’re just reading a woman reminiscing on her school days.

      I did enjoy it, but it’s not one of those books that I’d comfortably recommend to anyone and everyone. It depends on the kinds of things you like and don’t like.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        I saw an exhibit on Octavia E. Butler at the African American museum in DC. Had heard her name, but never read any of her work. “Kindred” sounds really interesting.

        Once I’m through my current reading backlog, I might just start going down this list over the Summer. Appreciate the posting.

        • AFK BRB ChocolateOP
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          2 months ago

          I’ve added the Butler books to my list.

          Some of these are on the list of books I’ve read in the last year that I posted recently, in case those notes are helpful at all (some I’ve read earlier, and don’t have notes like this). Here’s what I’ve read since that post, which includes some overlap with this list, along with my notes, just for what it’s worth:

          Rule 34, Stross Somewhat of a sequel to Halting State, taking place a few years later. Spammers are being killed around the world, many at the same time. Story mostly follows a detective on the case, a psychopath involved, and a flunky who is unwittingly part of things. Interesting, though as with Halting State, the use of second person seems weird.

          Consider Phlebas, Banks Both sides in a war raging across the galaxy are trying to get to an advanced artificial intelligence. Mostly told from the POV of a human variant who can change appearance. Banks’s first SF novel - pretty good though I didn’t find the main character especially likable.

          The Fifth Season, Jemison Fantasy - first book in the Broken Earth trilogy. Set in an earth where all the land is one big continent that goes through periods of big seismic/volcanic activity such that there’s well-followed lore about how to get through them. There are “orogenes" who have a power to control the seismic activity to varying extents. The story alternates from the perspective of three female orogenes struggling with their respective situations. Very well crafted and structured. Good.

          Never Let Me Go, Ishiguro This is an odd book. It’s very slow paced, and not much actually happens. I think it’s best to read it without knowing anything at all, so I’m going to avoid spoilers. It’s a story told first person by a woman who attended a special boarding school. For a quarter of the book, there are barely even hints that there’s anything unusual going on. We don’t get an understanding of it until halfway, and even then not fully. I feel like this might have been better as a novella. That said, it was highly regarded and even made into a movie (that I never saw). The premise is really interesting, and the story moving, but for half the book we’re just reading a woman reminiscing on her school days.

          Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory, Wells A short story in the Murderbot series, taking place between Exit Strategy and Fugitive Telemetry (but published well after). This one from the point of view of Dr. Mensah and the after effects of the ordeal in Exit Strategy. Would be good to read in between those books.

          The Saint of Bright Doors, CHANDRASEKERA A boy is raised by his mother to kill his father (and others). He has no shadow, and has to work to keep from floating off the ground. He grows up and moves to a big, strange city to escape his mother’s vision for him, but he has a strange destiny. An odd fantasy story, with odd bits of magic, odd characters, and an odd arc. Enjoyable.

          The Player of Games, Banks Second in the Culture Wars series, set in the same universe as Consider Phlebas, but otherwise unrelated. A better book than the first. A man who is somewhat famous for his prowess at playing all sorts of games is recruited to go to a recently discovered empire that has a complicated game that’s central to its culture and structure. Banks does well at creating multidimensional characters, and the story is compelling. The main characters in this book and in Phlebas seem to lack truly close relationships, which is odd.

  • @_sideffect
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    21 month ago

    Mistborn is a really good series as well