NPR Announces Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels: Time to Get Reading!

/ Books /

Today, NPR released their list of the top 100 SFF novels, constructed by the selections of more than 60,000 voters. It’s not a perfect list, but it’s still pretty damn good. Here’s the top ten:

  1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
  5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
  6. 1984, by George Orwell
  7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
  9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

I really thought the top four selections were perfect. For me, there’s no denying that The Lord of the Rings is the greatest Fantasy story ever written, but all of the top four picks are amazing–I voted for all of them.

It’s a bit interesting to see how some popular series were boosted in the poll. Right now, A Song of Ice and Fire is about as hot as Fantasy series can get (with the fifth novel being released last month and a very successful HBO series wrapping up the first season recently as well) so I’m not at all surprised to see it so high on the list. However, it would be interesting to see how it would do in a vote in another ten years after the series has actually finished. I could say the same for The Kingkiller Chronicles which came in at 18.

So, I have read and voted for the top four and I’ve read the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire, but I didn’t vote for the series. I have not, unfortunately, read the next four and I’m feeling a bit shameful. I guess I really need to get caught up on my classic Science Fiction! I’m currently listening to American Gods and I’m really enjoying it. If it continues to be as good as it has been so far, I have to imagine that I would have voted for it.

As it stands, all of the novels that I voted for actually made the cut! Here’s what I voted for:

  1. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
  2. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  3. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  5. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
  6. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson*
  8. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
  9. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
  10. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

I’m sure that plenty of voters saw at least one of their picks fail to make the cut though. For me, it came in the second round as The Dresden Files wasn’t even listed!

No matter what you feel about the list, you can’t deny that this gives the average SFF reader plenty of excellent recommendations. I have actually only read one or more of 26 titles in the top 100 so I’ve got a ton of awesome suggestions for years to come. I guess I better get reading!