Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

NPR’s top 100 science fiction and fantasy books

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NPR has published its listener-voted list of the 100 favorite science fiction and fantasy books.  You could do worse than spend the next year reading all of them.

Me, I’ve only read 59 of them.  Some of them, the listeners clearly voted from their fuzzy memories of high school reading, and haven’t read the books since they grew up.  At least, that’s the only explanation I can think of for the presence of David Eddings and Piers Anthony on the list.

I loved the Xanth books when I was thirteen, too.  But I got better.

There’s a surprising number of those sprawling fantasy epics, too.  I tend to think that once you’ve read one sprawling fantasy epic, you don’t need to read the rest of them.  (And of course, if you’re just reading one sprawling fantasy epic, you should choose Tolkien.  If you read two, pick Martin for the second one.  I see that both of those are quite high on the NPR list.  Good job, listeners.)

I know that Ender’s Game was a good book.  I loved it in high school, and I’m sure I would still love it if I reread it.  If I could manage to separate the book from the awful anti-gay things its writer has had to say.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  So I will leave that one on the shelf.  There’s a question for another day… the degree to which we think about the kind of person a writer was while reading his or her books.

Isn’t that half the reason we all love Neil Gaiman’s books so much?  Because their author is so damned cool?


Written by Contented Reader

August 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

Posted in Opinions


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