My reading diet for the last 33 years has consisted almost solely of science fiction and fantasy. It's not that I dislike other genres. I don't. I can sit down and read mysteries, adventure etc. quite happily. The problem is that for every book from outside sf that I read, that's time that I could have spent reading one sf book. And since I didn't start reading in the '50s, when it was just about possible to read every sf book written, I am over 30 years behind already. A sad thought, isn't it.
That said, the last few years I've slowed down. I can no longer read a book a day. And Rachel has banned me from buying more books unless some from the shelves get disposed of. Good think libraries exist!
So what are my favourite sf books?
This list is a bit old, but I'll leave it here for posterity. Number one on my list has to go to Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. It is the only book I have given a 10 to in the Top 100 SF list. I enjoy Card's writing immensely, with the exception of the Tales of Alvin Maker series. Some of my other favourites include :
- Lord Valentine's Castle, Robert Silverberg
- The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey
- The Bloody Sun (Darkover Series), Marion Zimmer Bradley
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Witches of Karres, James H. Schmitz
- The Demon Princes series, Jack Vance
- Magician, Raymond E. Feist
- Born to Exile, Phyllis Eisenstein
- Ivory, Mike Resnick
- The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov
- Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
- The Instrumentality of Mankind, Cordwainer Smith
- With a Single Spell, Lawrence Watt-Evans
This list is by no means exhaustive. It leaves out a lot of authors that I enjoy reading, including L. Sprague de Camp, Anne McCaffrey, Gordon R. Dickson, David Eddings (well, The Belgariad anyway), a few I have probably just forgotten, and plenty of recent ones that I just haven't bothered adding. It also leaves out a number of authors who are regarded as greats, but of whom I have not read enough to find a top class book, such as Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl.
At one stage I was trying to work my way through the SF Top 100 List, an expensive and time-consuming process. Because I've slowed down my reading, the Top 100 list has changed a bit since I started. At last count (8 Jan 2020) I had read about 40 of the then current Top 100 books. Much the same as when I checked 10 years ago, even though I've definitely read a few in the past 10 year! Some of the ones I read must have dropped off the bottom. must haveI'm counting on the fact that the collective taste of the SF Net community is fairly good.