Classics of Science Fiction

James W. Harris and Michael Jorgensen have put a tremendous amount of work into identifying which SF novels might be considered as classics. I like the pure textual list at their website, but if you prefer a site which presents covers for it, you can consult the Worlds Without End’s list.

I cover the list here to link my own reviews (r is for read without review, GR for GoodReads review, blank is for unread)

  Year Title Author Link to Review 
1 1965 Dune Frank Herbert review
2 1959 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller Jr. review
3 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin r
4 1953 Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke r
5 1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell r
6 1950 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury r
7 1951-53 The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov  
8 1984 Neuromancer William Gibson review
9 1957 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester r
10 1974 The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin review
11 1953 The Demolished Man Alfred Bester review
12 1970 Ringworld Larry Niven r
13 1989 Hyperion Dan Simmons review
14 1962 The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick review
15 1985 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card r
16 1961 Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein GR
17 1966 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes r
18 1975 The Forever War Joe Haldeman review
19 1973 Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke review
20 1953 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury  
21 1992 Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson review
22 1895 The Time Machine H.G. Wells  
23 1992 Doomsday Book Connie Willis review
24 1979 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams r
25 1977 Gateway Frederik Pohl review
26 2006 The Road Cormac McCarthy  
27 1932 Brave New World Aldous Huxley GR
28 1968 Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner r
29 1898 The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells  
30 1953 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon  
31 1992 Snow Crash Neal Stephenson GR
32 1967 Lord of Light Roger Zelazny r
33 1980-87 The Book of the New Sun Gene Wolfe r
34 1992 A Fire Upon the Deep Vernor Vinge GR
35 1985 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood  
36 1966 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein review
37 1959 Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein review
38 2009 The Windup Girl Paolo Bacigalupi r
39 1818 Frankenstein Mary Shelley  
40 1970 Solaris Stanislaw Lem  
41 1968 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick r
42 1995 The Diamond Age Neal Stephenson r
43 1962 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess  
44 1963 Way Station Clifford D. Simak GR
45 1949 Earth Abides George R. Stewart  
46 1980 Timescape Gregory Benford  
47 2008 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins r
48 1954 Mission of Gravity Hal Clement  
49 1975 The Female Man Joanna Russ  
50 2005 Old Man’s War John Scalzi review (German)
51 1952 City Clifford D. Simak  
52 1983 Startide Rising David Brin GR
53 1969 Ubik Philip K. Dick review
54 1956 The City and the Stars Arthur C. Clarke review
55 1930 Last and First Men Olaf Stapledon  
56 2013 Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie review
57 1996 The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell r
58 1971 To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip José Farmer  
59 1958 A Case of Conscience James Blish  
60 1953 The Space Merchants Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth  GR
61 1951 The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham GR
62 1972 The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov  
63 1950 I, Robot Isaac Asimov r
64 1963 Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut  
65 1959 The Sirens of Titan Kurt Vonnegut  
66 1999 A Deepness in the Sky Vernor Vinge r
67 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke r
68 1969 Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut  
69 1986 Speaker for the Dead Orson Scott Card  
70 1917 A Princess of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs  
71 1937 Star Maker Olaf Stapledon  
72 1954 The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov GR
73 1972 Dying Inside Robert Silverberg  
74 1988 Cyteen C.J. Cherryh review
75 2002 Altered Carbon Richard K. Morgan r
76 1975 Dhalgren Samuel R. Delany  
77 1988 The Player of Games Iain M. Banks r
78 1974 The Mote in God’s Eye Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle r
79 1985 Blood Music Greg Bear review
80 1990 The Fall of Hyperion Dan Simmons r
81 1870 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne  
82 1962 A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle  
83 1966 Babel-17 Samuel R. Delany review
84 1987 Consider Phlebas Iain M. Banks review
85 1962 The Drowned World J.G. Ballard r
86 1924 We Yevgeny Zamyatin  
87 1981 Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh review
88 1946 Slan A.E. van Vogt  
89 2003 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger  
90 1989 Grass Sheri S. Tepper review
91 1992 China Mountain Zhang Maureen F. McHugh GR
92 1972 Roadside Picnic Arkady and Boris Strugatsky  
93 1970 Tau Zero Poul Anderson  
94 1991 Barrayar Lois McMaster Bujold GR
95 1980 The Snow Queen Joan D. Vinge review
96 1982 No Enemy But Time Michael Bishop  
97 1956 Double Star Robert A. Heinlein  
98 1896 The Island of Doctor Moreau H.G. Wells  
99 1864 Journey to the Center of the Earth Jules Verne  
100 1993 Ammonite Nicola Griffith review
101 1982 Helliconia Spring Brian W. Aldiss r
102 1977 A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick  
103 1998 To Say Nothing of the Dog Connie Willis  
104 1938 Out of the Silent Planet C.S. Lewis  
105 1986 A Door into Ocean Joan Slonczewski  
106 1979 The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke r
107 1954 I Am Legend Richard Matheson GR
108 1985 The Postman David Brin  
109 1968 Dragonflight Anne McCaffrey GR
110 1967 Dangerous Visions Harlan Ellison  
111 1968 Pavane Keith Roberts  
112 1990 Her Smoke Rose Up Forever James Tiptree Jr. review
113 1993 Parable of the Sower Octavia E. Butler  
114 1941 Lest Darkness Fall L. Sprague de Camp  
115 1935 Odd John Olaf Stapledon  
116 1966 The Crystal World J.G. Ballard  
117 1957 The Door into Summer Robert A. Heinlein GR
118 1967 The Einstein Intersection Samuel R. Delany review
119 1960 Rogue Moon Algis Budrys  
120 1978 Dreamsnake Vonda N. McIntyre review
121 1991 Synners Pat Cadigan  
122 1865 From the Earth to the Moon Jules Verne  
123 1951 The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury  
124 1976 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang Kate Wilhelm review
125 1968 Camp Concentration Thomas M. Disch  
126 1970 Cities in Flight James Blish  
127 1972 The Fifth Head of Cerberus Gene Wolfe r
128 1946 Adventures in Time and Space Raymond J. Healy, J. Francis McComas
129 1949 The Humanoids Jack Williamson  
130 1948 The World of Null-A A.E. van Vogt  
131 1962 Hothouse Brian W. Aldiss  
132 1979 Kindred Octavia E. Butler  
133 1968 Rite of Passage Alexei Panshin  
134 1955 The End of Eternity Isaac Asimov  
135 1966 This Immortal Roger Zelazny  
136 1889 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Mark Twain  
137 1897 The Invisible Man H.G. Wells  
138 1971 The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin r
139 1923 R.U.R. Karel Čapek  

6 Responses to Classics of Science Fiction

  1. jameswharris says:

    Andreas, you’ve read a lot of science fiction, but I’m kind of surprised by what you’ve missed. Like The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, Frankenstein, Earth Abides, and The Foundation Trilogy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      Don’t be surprised! It’s similar to short fiction: my hometurf starts at New Wave. Anything older is an exception, up to unreadable for me. I don’t enjoy Jules Verne or Wells, and can’t bear Asimov. His Caves of Steel was a good example which I simply hated.
      I‘d rather read the highbrow classics than SF works of that time.

      Like

  2. jameswharris says:

    v. 5 of the Classics of Science Fiction list is back up. Since you like lists, it has a list builder feature that lets you create customized lists.

    https://csfquery.com/

    Liked by 1 person

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