The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels (Voted By Me)

/ Books /

As usual, I’m a little behind the times with this post, but, nonetheless, I couldn’t help but contribute to what has turned out to the hottest debate of the summer. To be fair, “hot” is relative to your own personal geekiness. So yeah, to me, it’s hot.

Joking aside, NPR recently asked it’s listeners to tell them their top 5 Science Fiction or Fantasy novels or series (excluding young adult, horror, or paranormal romance fiction). The nominations poll is now closed while some poor NPR interns compile the results that will ultimately decide the top 100 SFF novels ever written. Sounds cool, right? I thought so too.

On top of that, one of my favorite up-and-coming fantasy novelists, blogger, and all around geek, Patrick Rothfuss recently posted on his blog an extensive list of his top SFF recommendations after getting a couple of fan queries and being inspired by the NPR poll himself.

So, in that spirit, I’ve decided to compile my own list. No, it won’t be a top-100 list or even a top-40 like Pat’s…more like a top-10…but considering that Pat has read way more SFF novels than the average human and NPR has suggestions from thousands to readers, I think 10 is fairly appropriate.

My list only has 1 rule: I have to have actually read the book or series. So, going in, we know that this list is not all encompassing…it’s really just the best of what I’ve read so far OR what I would recommend to other SFF readers. Well, enough justification, here’s the damn list already:

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert
  5. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  6. The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
  7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  8. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  9. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
  10. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

There are probably some obvious works that come to mind immediately that that I haven’t included. Most likely that’s because I haven’t read that book or series or, like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, I’m part way through and decided to reserve judgment. That is not the case, however, with 7, 8, and 9. I haven’t read the whole series for those, but I liked the first novel so much, I put on the list anyways.

Anyways, if you are interested in seeing the pool that I pulled my selections from, you can check out my “read” books list at

Oh yeah, and what’s a list without some honorable mentions? Here are some other books that I liked a lot:

  1. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  2. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  3. Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  4. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
  5. The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
  6. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  7. Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Wow, that was pretty fun. I can’t wait to see NPR’s list. Happy reading!