This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.
I've also added parenthetical comments on some of the books, to make it more interesting.
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien * (I should put this in larger typefont, too. I must've read this series at least a dozen times, starting when I was nine or ten).
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert (Read the first two, but that was as far as I got.)
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin * (I loved these as a kid. Read the trilogy a half-dozen times).
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson (I read this some time in my college years, when all my friends were into Cyberpunk RPGs. I remember almost nothing of it, though).
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (This is hardly the best book MZB ever wrote-- I should know, I must've read at least thirty books by her. I don't know why it gets so much attention as "literature". The world does not need any more Arthurian legends fanfic, and I don't care whose perspective it's told from).
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (I remember this movie.)
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov (I liked this better than the Foundation trilogy. The second book was also good. The third annoyed me. Asimov wrote pretty good mysteries, though).
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett (I did not love The Colour of Magic. I read it and The Light Fantastic when they first came out in America, back in the mid-eighties. My comment to my brother at the time was "It's like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for fantasy, only not as funny." I almost gave up on Pratchett after those two. In my humble opinion, his books got much better as he went on. The "Guards" books are generally my favorites, although of them all Small Gods is probably the one that impressed me the most at the time.)
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison (Oddly, I did read "Again, Dangerous Visions", which was basically the same concept by the same editor.)
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany (I've read a book or two by Delany, but I've never heard of this one.)
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey * (I adored these books as a kid. I read the Pern books when there were just two trilogies of them. Never got into the later ones that she wrote.)
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (This was a great book apart from one glaring flaw that I had a tough time suspending my disbelief on. Ignoring that, I liked it. The second one was good too. I heard the third was atrocious and never read it.)
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson (I read this as a teen and remember nothing about it except that the main character was a leper and he had a white gold ring. I read all of the first and second trilogy and I don't remember anything about them beyond what you could get from the back cover. Lut says we had a conversation about this series once. I don't remember that, either. I think my brain is trying to scrub this book from my head.)
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman (I do want to read this some day.)
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling *
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams *
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice (I thought it was all right, but not good enough to motivate me to read any other of her books.)
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin (Another book I read for class. My favorite Le Guin novel is actually The Lathe of Heaven, which never seems to fit anyone else's idea of a great book.)
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny (I'm surprised the Amber books didn't make it instead of this one. I've read a bunch of Zelazny books but am not really much of a fan of his writing. But I did love A Night in the Lonesome October.)
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke (I am not sure how it is that I've never read anything by Arthur C. Clarke, but I haven't.)
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien (My mother read the whole thing. I read some bits and pieces -- it was all bits and pieces -- but I am just not that interested in the background of Middle Earth.)
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut (This was assigned reading for a class I took on Existential Philosophy. The main character is kind of a case study on how not to be an existentialist.)
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson (One of my friends had this book. He said to read the first chapter, it's good, but the rest was pointless. So I read the first chapter while visiting him. In all fairness, had I owned a copy I would've read more and seen if I liked the rest.)
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein (I read this pretty recently. Some things annoyed me about this book, but all in all I quite enjoyed it. A good read that manages to entertain without resorting to cheap Hollywood plot devices to punch up the action. It has a much more 'real' feel to it than most novels involving war and soldiers. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a better book overall, though.)
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock (I read all the Elric books in my teens but have only vague memories of them.)
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks (It's pretty rare for me to start a book and not finish it. I made an exception for this one. This is a great book how? I wouldn't go so far as to say I hated it, but I thought it was boring.)
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
Only 19 of them. Lut laments my lack of a solid grounding in the classics.