Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Suggested Reading

The following is my list of favorite science fiction and fantasy works, starting with novels (I will add a short story list later), arranged alphabetically by author, along with my ratings. Series works are normally given a single listing, occasional I will list an individual book within a series if it is significantly better than the average for the entire series. Although this list represents my opinions only, many of the listed titles have received Hugo or Nebula Awards or have been otherwise recognized as some of the best the field has to offer.

The title links here will take you the appropriate product page on Amazon.com, where you can purchase the book and look at various editorial and reader reviews of the item.

Author Title Rating
Richard Adams Watership Down 7.5
Poul Anderson Tau Zero 8.0
The High Crusade 7.5
Piers Anthony Macroscope 8.5
Chthon 8.0
Phthor 7.5
Sos The Rope 7.5
Orn 7.5
Isaac Asimov Foundation 8.0
Foundation and Empire 8.5
Second Foundation 8.5
The Naked Sun 8.0
The Caves of Steel 7.5
The Gods Themselves 7.5
Peter S. Beagle The Last Unicorn 8.0
Ray Bradbury Farenheit 451 8.0
The Martian Chronicles 8.0
Alfred Bester The Demolished Man 8.0
The Stars My Destination (aka Tiger! Tiger!) 7.5
James Blish Cities in Flight Series 7.5
Marion Zimmer Bradley The Darkover Series 7.5
The Heritage of Hastur 8.0
The Mists of Avalon 8.5
The Lady of Avalon 7.5
David Brin The Postman 7.5
Earth 7.5
The Uplift War (Series) 7.5
John Brunner The Whole Man 8.0
Stand on Zanzibar 8.0
The Jagged Orbit 8.0
The Squares of the City 7.5
Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game 8.5
Ender’s Shadow 8.0
Speaker for the Dead 7.5
Xenocide 7.5
Children of the Mind 7.5
The Alvin Maker Series 7.5
C. J. Cherryh Cyteen 9.0
Forty Thousand in Gehenna 8.0
The Faded Sun: Kutath, Keserith, & Chon Jir 7.5
Arthur C. Clarke The City and the Stars 8.5
Childhood’s End 8.5
Earthlight 7.5
The Deep Range 7.5
A Fall of Moondust 7.5
The Fountains of Paradise 7.5
Samuel R. Delany Nova 8.5
Empire Star 8.5
Babel-17 8.0
The Einstein Intersection 7.5
The Ballad of Beta-2 7.5
Lester del Rey Nerves 7.5
Philip K. Dick The Man in the High Castle 9.0
Gordon R. Dickson Dorsai! (aka The Genetic General) 8.0
The Tactics of Mistake 7.5
Soldier, Ask Not 8.5
The Final Encylopedia 7.5
(The Childe Cycle – Dorsai series overall) 7.5
Cory Doctorow Little Brother 8.0
Stephen R. Donaldson Lord Foul’s Bane (Thomas Covenant Chronicles #1) 8.0
The Illearth War (Thomas Covenant Chronicles #2) 8.0
The Power that Preserves(Thomas Covenant Chronicles #3) 8.5
The Wounded Land (2nd Thomas Covenant Chronicles #1) 7.0
The One Tree (2nd Thomas Covenant Chronicles #2) 7.5
White Gold Wielder (2nd Thomas Covenant Chronicles #3) 7.5
Philip Jose Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld #1) 8.0
The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld #2) 8.0
The Dark Design (Riverworld #3) 7.0
The Magic Labyrinth (Riverworld #4) 7.0
Mark J. Ferrari The Book of Joby 8.0
Daniel F. Galouye Dark Universe 7.5
Nick Harkaway The Gone-Away World 8.0
Robert A. Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 9.3
Stranger in a Strange Land 9.2
Starship Troopers 9.0
Double Star 9.0
Time Enough for Love 8.5
The Door into Summer 8.0
The Number of the Beast 8.0
Friday 8.0
Have Spacesuit-Will Travel 8.0
Tunnel in the Sky 7.5
Citizen of the Galaxy 7.5
Job: A Comedy of Justice 7.5
The Glory Road 7.5
Farnham’s Freehold 7.5
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls 7.5
Time for the Stars 7.5
Podkayne of Mars 7.5
Frank Herbert Dune 9.2
John Hersey White Lotus 8.0
Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon 9.0
C. M. Kornbluth Not This August 7.5
Fritz Leiber Gather, Darkness! 7.5
The Big Time 8.0
The Wanderer 7.5
Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 8.5
The Dispossessed 8.5
A Wizard of Earthsea 8.0
The Tombs of Atuan (Book 2 Earthsea) 8.0
The Farthest Shore (Book 3 Earthsea) 8.0
Tehanu (Book 4 Earthsea) 7.5
The Lathe of Heaven 7.5
Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern 8.5
Vonda McIntyre Dreamsnake 7.5
Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz 9.1
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Lucifer’s Hammer 8.5
The Mote in Gods Eye 8.0
Andre Norton Witch World 8.0
The Beast Master 8.0
Lord of Thunder 8.0
Storm over Warlock 7.5
Star Rangers (aka The Last Planet) 8.0
The Time Traders 7.5
Galactic Derelict 7.5
George Orwell 1984 8.5
Animal Farm 7.5
Edgar Pangborn Davy 8.5
A Mirror for Observers 8.0
The Company of Glory 7.5
H. Beam Piper Little Fuzzy 7.5
Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars 8.5
Green Mars 8.5
Blue Mars 8.5
The Wild Shore 8.0
Spider & Jeanne Robinson Stardance 8.5
Mary Doria Russell The Sparrow 9.0
Children of God 8.0
John Scalzi Old Man’s War 8.5
Zoe’s Tale 8.0
Robert Silverberg The Book of Skulls 8.0
Nightwings 7.5
Tower of Glass 7.5
Clifford Simak City 8.0
Dan Simmons Hyperion 8.0
The Fall of Hyperion 8.0
Cordwainer Smith Norstralia 8.0
Neal Stephenson Cryptonomicon 8.5
Snow Crash 7.5
George R. Stewart Earth Abides 8.5
Theodore Sturgeon More Than Human 9.1
The Dreaming Jewels (The Synthetic Man) 7.5
J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings 9.0
The Hobbit 7.5
Harry Turtledove The Guns of the South 7.5
Jack Vance The Dragon Masters 7.5
A. E. van Vogt The Weapon Shops of Isher 8.0
John Varley The Golden Globe 8.0
Steel Beach 8.0
Titan 7.5
James White Hospital Station 7.5
Connie Willis Doomsday Book 9.0
Passage 8.5
Lincoln’s Dreams 8.0
Bernard Wolfe Limbo 7.5
John Wyndham Chocky 7.5
Roger Zelazny This Immortal (And Call Me Conrad) 9.2
Lord of Light 8.5
The Dream Master (aka He Who Shapes) 8.0
Damnation Alley 8.0
Nine Princes in Amber 7.5

8 Responses to “Suggested Reading”

  1. Salt said

    A very good list. Having read and enjoyed about a third of the list, it gives credibility to the rest so I will check out as many as I can soon. Not sure what kind of criteria you use in making your list but I’ll add some of my own suggestions:
    Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap series. (his sci-fi work)
    Alistair Reynolds’ Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap
    Peter F. Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star and it’s sequel Judas Unchained. Also his Night’s Dawn Trilogy is good if you don’t mind reading six books each being around 800 pages (I like long books!)
    CJ Cherryh’s Foriegner series
    Larry Niven (with Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barns) Beowulf’s Children and the sequel to The Mote in God’s Eye, The Gripping Hand
    I could go on forever but that’ll do for now. Given the list above, I think you’ll like these I’ve listed so far.
    Great site btw, and I intend to come back frequently.

  2. hyperpat said

    I have read some of the Gap series. While I found them decent, they simply don’t match the power of the Covenant series. Ditto for Cherryh’s Foreigner series – while her books are almost always competent and very readable, I’ve only found a few of hers that really jump into the excellent class.

    The Gripping Hand I found merely average. Haven’t read Beowulf’s Children yet. Haven’t read Hamilton or Reynolds, but Reynolds is on my radar to read soon.

  3. Salt said

    I “misspoke” earlier. The Legacy of Heorot, by Niven, Barnes and Pournell is the prequel to Beowulf’s Children and is better than the sequel.
    A couple othe recomends, The Seafort Saga by David Feintuch (beginning with Midshipman’s Hope). It’s pretty much a Horatio Hornblower in outer space but I found his books most readable. The kind where you sit down to read and next thing you know hours have passed. Card is the only other author I can say that about.
    Lastly (for now) Daniel Quin’s Ishmael. Not sci-fi but perhaps my personal favorite.

  4. hyperpat said

    Had to dig through my records, but I found I had already read The Legacy of Heorot. I gave it a 6.5, which is better than average, but not great. I’ll keep Feintuch and Quin in mind when I next order some more reading material, but right now by TBR pile is twenty books deep.

  5. Salt said

    Mine is pretty deep too but a lot of them are flea market/garage sale/thrift store finds that can always wait. I usually have at least two books going at a time and the sci-fi one I’m reading is one of those 50 cent finds and it is turning out to be a waste of money (Alpha Centauri by William Barton and Michael Capobianco). Usually I doggedly finish a book I start but I’m not sure if I can make it through this one. I need a book of quality so I am giving your list a good going through because even though you are a tougher critic than I, it seems we share tastes somewhat.

  6. Peter said

    I certainly agree with Salt on the Reynolds selection – I recently discovered him, and have been devouring all of his Redemtion Space series.

  7. hyperpat said

    More stuff for my TBR pile!

  8. fantast said

    nice list, dident know everyone but a lot.
    i would add Raymont Feist and R.A. Salvatore 🙂

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