A Sure Cure for that Listless Feeling

A Sure Cure for that Listless Feeling

Pick a book, any book

As we segue (stagger, stumble, reel, crawl, stop-drop-and roll) from winter into spring, we are faced as always with the never-ending question: “What in the world am I going to read next?”

Everyone will solve this dilemma in their own way. Dart and ouija boards, animal entrails, tarot cards, various dice systems, and the blind recommendations of pimply, pasty complexioned clerks in chain bookstores have all been resorted to by readers desperate for guidance. For many people (Black Gate followers no less than anyone else, judging from many recent posts), year-end “best of” and “top ten” lists are indispensable tools for keeping up with the best current writing… but what about the vast reservoir of older books?

If the very thought of all the classics and near-classics that you’ve never gotten around to doesn’t make all your courage drain away in an instant and set you fleeing for the hills, never to return, I have a… well, I won’t say a “modest” or “reasonable” proposal, because, as you will see, there’s nothing modest or reasonable about it — it is, rather, unashamedly megalomanic. In fact, it could be considered quite literally insane — but it works for me, and so to help keep the voices in my head under control, I would like to share my madness with you.

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About ten years ago, while puttering around in my science fiction, fantasy, and horror library, I became aware that I had quite a few books that contained lists of “best” or “essential” books (like David Hartwell’s Age of Wonders, which has an appendix listing “The best 101 SF books since the invention of the field in the twenties”), or that consisted of nothing but lists (with appreciative essays attached), like David Pringle’s Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels.

It was but a small and fatal step from this realization to deciding that it might be fun and useful to assemble all of those lists from their many sources and then collate them into one Master List, which would entail consolidating duplications and alphabetizing the entries by author; I could then go through my library and see which books I owned and which ones I had read (not necessarily the same thing, as any passionate book collector will tell you), and thus have ready-made suggestions for the void following the finishing of one book and the choosing of another, to say nothing of providing one more use for all of that spare money that I have lying around.

Fun and useful? It turned out to be one of those, anyway — I’ll let you guess which. The initial labor of collecting the sources, going through them, and assembling the rough list took all of a long, headache-inducing day, from early in the morning until late at night. Going through my own books was done gradually over the next week or two. (On my personal copy of the list, I use a color system to keep track — books I’ve read are printed in red; books I own but haven’t yet read are in green; books I’ve neither read nor own are in black.)


When I was finished I had a list of around 350 books. I abhor unevenness and asymmetry, so I added my own selections to round the total up to a nice, even 400. (It would be pointless for a person who willingly embarks on such a task to deny being anal, so I won’t even try.) When my labors were done I had a handy tool that in no time at all would make me a genre expert, just like drawing Skippy that time made me into a world-renowned artist. The matter should have ended there. Of course it didn’t.

“The List” as I and a good friend who is also enslaved to its dictates affectionately call it, has turned out to be an ongoing project. From its original iteration of 400 books, it has gone through three subsequent versions, each larger than the last. The most recent one, which I have optimistically called the “absolute last,” stands at 700 entries. Many books have been added since the first version (obviously!), and more than a few have been dropped.

A couple of things led to this continual expansion and revision. The first is new sources. In 2012 Locus magazine conducted its “All-Centuries Reader’s Poll” and I incorporated the results into the list. Also, somewhere along the way I decided to fold in selected winners of the Hugo and World Fantasy awards for best novel. The term “selected” leads to the second factor in revision — I actually use this list to read from (not exclusively, thank goodness, but I do use it), and if I read a list book and upon finishing it decide that it does not truly fit into the broad categories of science fiction, fantasy, or horror (as I conceive them), I drop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t like the book; it just means that by my own standards, it doesn’t fit into the category of “fantastic literature.”

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Thus at one time, Psycho, Red Dragon, and Orsinian Tales were on the list; now they’re not. These calls are of course personal and subjective, and perfect consistency in such matters is practically impossible. The list if full of inconsistencies and contradictions (and downright errors, I have no doubt) and I don’t lose any sleep over them. Or… not anymore, anyway.

Often one of the trickiest things to decide was whether a given work was science fiction or fantasy. I marked all entries with a SF or F and some books could well have been called either one. There are a few books that I actually did call both (The Birthgrave, for instance). For my own sanity, I didn’t designate any book H for horror; horror I just considered a branch of fantasy, at least for typographical purposes.

Some of the sources I used proved to be more fruitful than others (David Pringle’s “100 Best” science fiction and fantasy books), and one category — horror — more troublesome. The two main sources that I used for horror (Horror: The 100 Best Books by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman and Danse Macabre by Stephen King) each have some serious shortcomings. I think the Jones and Newman book is something of a mess — Jones and Newman didn’t actually make the selections; they chose one hundred different writers and had them make their choices, so there’s no unified critical voice or discernible standard. Consequently, many books were chosen that I just don’t consider viable for my list. Several are plays (Macbeth, Doctor Faustus), one is a television script, and some I simply don’t consider horror (Northanger Abbey, Johnny Got His Gun). The book also lists several anthologies which date back to the 1930’s and 40’s and which are very difficult to obtain (I used Abebooks to check on availability, and used that as a factor in making the cut) and which had a fair amount of content duplication between themselves and other books already on the list. I wound up dropping most of these horror collections and substituted David Hartwell’s massive and comprehensive anthology, The Dark Descent.

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King’s Danse Macabre has a list of “roughly one hundred” books, and no one can say that Stephen King doesn’t know his horror. But the focus of his list is chronologically quite narrow — most of the books were published from the late 40’s through the mid 70’s (when Danse Macabre was published). His list tends to be heavily dominated by his personal heroes like Richard Matheson or his contemporaries, like Peter Straub, with a smattering of books which King dragooned into the genre to prove to the snobs that horror isn’t just cheap pulp shudders, it’s real literature. (Jerzy Kosinki’s holocaust novel The Painted Bird and Iris Murdoch’s high-toned pseudo-gothic farrago The Unicorn briefly found their way onto the list via King. Once I actually read them they found their way off.)

Also, because of the very elastic nature of the horror genre, many books from both Jones/Newman and King are what I would term psychological thrillers or even outright crime novels rather than genuine horror. For my own part, I tend to be prejudiced in favor of the overtly “fantastic.” At the very least, I like some discernible element of ambiguity regarding the natural versus the supernatural to be present. On this principle, I weeded out many book that some people might reasonably consider to be within the bounds of the horror genre.

My own rounding-up additions consist of inarguable classics that damn well should be on such a comprehensive list but bafflingly weren’t (would you believe that I had to put in The War of the Worlds, The Well at the World’s End, Peter Pan, and I, Robot?), fun books that I just liked (Martians Go Home, The High Crusade, Worlds of the Imperium), and books that seemed to me to be historically important (Crashing Suns, Jurgen, Lilith, Sinister Barrier). Also, some indispensable writers were not represented at all in the original sources (Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr.) and others I felt were underrepresented (Samuel R. Delaney), and I made some of my own additions to rectify those situations.

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I have often used the term “entries” rather than “books” because, as you will see, I cheat anywhere and everywhere I can, always with the object of cramming in as much as I can possibly get away with, making the list rather like the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera.

Thus many entries contain multiple books. Some, like the recent Penguin edition of Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe actually contain two or more books in one volume, so that’s not really cheating. But in others, I combine multiple volumes into one entry in a way that is clearly felonious. (The three Haffner Press Leigh Brackett volumes have no business taking up just one entry; I did it because I love Leigh Brackett and it’s my list. Sue me.)

I feel somewhat better about multiple volumes in one entry when they clearly tell one long story — the three books of The Lord of the Rings and the books of A Song of Ice and Fire are obvious examples. Several of the original sources listed only one book from a series (First Lensman, Stormbringer, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Nine Prince in Amber). This didn’t make much sense to me; in most cases I included the complete series in one entry. One exception is Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World; reading it when it came out was punishment enough and I’d be dammed if I was going to include all seventy eight (or whatever) subsequent volumes. You are at liberty to pencil them all in for yourself. Just make sure you have a sharpener handy.

So the madness does have at least a theoretical method, but again, I cannot claim to have applied it with complete consistency. Also, it should not be necessary to say — but I will anyway — that even a list like this, as large as it is, and assembled from many diverse sources reflecting both individual and collective judgments, is still unavoidably partial, limited, and biased. It was my desire to (at least somewhat) alleviate that situation that led me to add the Hugo and World Fantasy winners and the Locus poll results.

Even so, limitations abound; for many readers, some writers will be too heavily represented (Heinlein, Dick, Ballard) as will be some nationalities (American and British), one gender (male), and some eras (the 1940’s and 50’s). “Genre” works take precedence over “literary” ones (though Moby Dick and One Hundred Years of Solitude are in there, for cryin’ out loud) and novels far outnumber short story collections — which I have always considered the list’s greatest failing. The whole enterprise is to be taken with as much salt as you find necessary.

Viewed another way, though, failings can be virtues. I suspect that to many younger readers of fantastic fiction, the names and works that are overly familiar to us older readers are scarcely familiar at all. Many great and influential authors and countless seminal works seem to have vanished from the shelves. (When I stroll down the SF/Fantasy aisles of the local Big Chain Bookstore, I don’t see a section dominated by Heinlein, Dick, or Asimov; often they and other writers of more than twenty or twenty five years past are barely to be seen, if they’re present at all.) As the old “please watch the reruns” television slogan said, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!”

Which is indeed the great thing about reading — there’s always a great book you haven’t read. The list that I’ve assembled has proven to be a useful tool for finding those great books. It’s led me to wonderful works I never would have read (Fear, The Arabian Nightmare, The Centauri Device, Falling Angel), superb writers I never would have tried (Angela Carter, William Sloane, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Frayn) and, honestly, to some authors I figuratively shook my fist at and books that I literally flung across the room. (Thomas Burnett Swann — need I say more?) No one will like everything on this list — I certainly haven’t — but I have found that pulling a title from it will far more often than not lead to something worthwhile.

And so, submitted for your approval, The Master List of Fantastic Literature (I had to call it something, and “A Honkin’ Big List” didn’t seem to have the requisite dignity that the enterprise demanded). It is yours to use, abuse, deride, ignore, or modify as you see fit. If you get even one unexpected pleasure off of it (and I have gotten many more than that), I will feel, like Lena Lamont in Singing in the Rain, that my work “ain’t been in vain for nothin.”

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Master List of Fantastic Literature, compiled from Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels by David Pringle, Fantasy: The 100 Best Books by James Cawthorne and Michael Moorcock, Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels by David Pringle, Age of Wonders by David Hartwell, A Reader’s Guide to Fantasy by Baird Searles, Beth Meacham, and Michael Franklin, A Reader’s Guide to Science Fiction by Baird Searles, Martin Last, Beth Meacham, and Michael Franklin, Horror: The 100 Best Books edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, Danse Macabre by Stephen King, and the 2012 Locus Magazine All-Centuries Reader’s Poll, including selected winners of the Hugo Award for best novel 1951 – 2010 (a) and the World Fantasy Award for best novel 1975 – 2010 (b), with an additional eighty five entries selected by Yours Truly.

Abbott, Edwin A. – Flatland (F)
Abercrombie, Joe – The Blade Itself (F)
Ackroyd, Peter – Hawksmoor (F)
Adams, Douglas – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (SF)
Adams, Richard – The Plague Dogs (F)
Adams, Richard – Watership Down (F)
Aickman, Robert – Cold Hand in Mine (F)
Aickman, Robert – Painted Devils (F)
Aldiss, Brian – Greybeard (SF)
Aldiss, Brian – Hothouse (SF)
Aldiss, Brian – The Malacia Tapestry (F)
Aldiss, Brian – Non-Stop (SF)
Aldiss, Brian – Starswarm (SF)
Alexander, Lloyd – The Chronicles of Prydain (The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King) (F)
Amis, Kingsley – The Alteration (SF/F)
Amis, Kingsley – The Green Man (F)
Anderson, Poul – The Broken Sword (F)
Anderson, Poul – The High Crusade (SF)
Anderson, Poul – Tau Zero (SF)
Anderson, Poul – Three Hearts and Three Lions (F)
Anthony, Piers – A Spell for Chameleon (F)
Asimov, Isaac – The Caves of Steel (SF)
Asimov, Isaac – The End of Eternity (SF)
Asimov, Isaac – The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) and Foundation’s Edge (SF)
Asimov, Isaac – The Gods Themselves (SF)
Asimov, Isaac – I, Robot (SF)
Atwood, Margaret – The Handmaid’s Tale (SF)
Ayme, Marcel – The Walker Through Walls (F)
Bacigalupi, Paolo – The Windup Girl (SF)
Bailey, Paul – Deliver Me From Eva (F)
Ballard, J. G. – The Atrocity Exhibition (SF)
Ballard, J. G. – The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard (SF)<
Ballard, J. G. – Concrete Island (F)
Ballard, J. G. – Crash (SF)
Ballard, J. G. – The Crystal World (SF)
Ballard, J. G. – The Day of Creation (F)
Ballard, J. G. – The Drowned World (SF)
Ballard, J. G. – High Rise (SF)
Ballard, J. G. – The Unlimited Dream Company (F)
Ballingrud, Nathan – North American Lake Monsters (F)
Banks, Iain – The Bridge (F)
Banks, Iain – The Player of Games (SF)
Banks, Iain – Use of Weapons (SF)
Barker, Clive – The Damnation Game (F)
Barker, Clive – Imagica (F)
Barrie, James – Peter Pan (F)
Batchelor, John Calvin – The Birth of the People’s Republic of Antarctica (SF)
Baum, L. Frank – The Wizard of Oz (F)
Bayley, Barrington – The Fall of Chronopolis (SF)
Beagle, Peter S. – A Fine and Private Place (F)
Beagle, Peter S. – The Last Unicorn (F)
Bear, Greg – Blood Music (SF)
Beaumont, Charles – The Howling Man (F)
Beckford, William – Vathek (F)
Beerbohm, Max – Zuleika Dobson (F)
Bellairs, John – The Face in the Frost (F)
Benford, Gregory – Timescape (SF)
Benson, E. F. – The Collected Ghost Stories of E. F. Benson (F)
Bester, Alfred – The Demolished Man (SF)
Bester, Alfred – The Stars My Destination (SF)
Bester, Alfred – Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester (SF)
Bierce, Ambrose – Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce (SF/F)
Bishop, Michael – No Enemy but Time (SF)
Bishop, Michael – Who Made Stevie Crye? (F)
Blackwood, Algernon – The Complete John Silence Stories (F)
Blatty, William Peter – The Exorcist (F)
Blaylock, James P. – The Digging Leviathan (F)
Blish, James – The Devil’s Day (F)
Blish, James – A Case of Conscience (SF)
Blish, James – Cities in Flight (SF)
Bloch, Robert – Pleasant Dreams (F)
Borges, Jorge Luis – Ficciones (F)
Boucher, Anthony – The Complete Werewolf (F)
Bowen, John – After the Rain (SF)
Bowen, Marjorie – Black Magic (F)
Bowen, Marjorie – Collected Twilight Stories (F)
Brackett, Leigh – The Long Tomorrow (SF)
Brackett, Leigh – The Short Fiction (Loreli of the Red Mist: Planetary Romances, Martian Quest: The Early Brackett, Shannach the Last: Farewell to Mars (SF/F)
Brackett, Leigh – The Sword of Rhiannon (SF/F)
Bradbury, Ray – Dandelion Wine (F)
Bradbury, Ray – Fahrenheit 451 (SF)
Bradbury, Ray – The Martian Chronicles (SF)
Bradbury, Ray – The October Country (F)
Bradbury, Ray – Something Wicked This Way Comes (F)
Bradbury, Ray – Twice Twenty Two (SF/F)
Bradley, Marion Zimmer – The Mists of Avalon (F)
Bramah, Ernest – Kai Lung’s Golden Hours (F)
Brennan, Joseph Payne – Nine Horrors and a Dream (F)
Brin, David – The Uplift Trilogy (Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War) (SF)
Broderick, Damien – The Dreaming Dragons (SF)
Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights (F)
Brooks, Terry – The Sword of Shanarra (F)
Brown, Frederic – The Best of Frederic Brown (SF)
Brown, Frederic – Martians Go Home (SF)
Brunner, John – The Sheep Look Up (SF)
Brunner, John – Stand on Zanzibar (SF)
Bryant, Ed – Among the Dead (SF)
Bryant, Ed – Particle Theory (SF)
Buchan, John – Witch Wood (F)
Budrys, Algis – Michaelmas (SF)
Budrys, Algis – Rogue Moon (SF)
Budrys, Algis – Who? (SF)
Bujold, Lois McMaster – Barrayar (SF)
Bujold, Lois McMaster – The Chalion Trilogy (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls a, The Hallowed Hunt) (F)
Bujold, Lois McMaster – Memory (SF)
Bujold, Lois McMaster – Mirror Dance (SF)
Bujold, Lois McMaster – The Vor Game (SF)
Bulkagov, Mikhail – The Master and Margarita (F)
Burgess, Anthony – A Clockwork Orange (SF)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice – At the Earth’s Core and Pellucidar (SF)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice – The John Carter Trilogy (A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, Warlord of Mars) (SF)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice – The Land That Time Forgot Trilogy (The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, Out of Time’s Abyss (SF)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice – Tarzan of the Apes (F)
Burroughs, William S. – Cities of the Red Night (F)
Burroughs, William S. – Nova Express (SF)
Butler, Octavia A. – Wild Seed (SF)
Butler, Samuel – Erewhon (SF)
Cabell, James Branch – Jurgen (F)
Cabell, James Branch – Something About Eve (F)
Caird, Janet – The Loch (F)
Calvino, Italo – Cosmicomics (F)
Calvino, Italo – Our Ancestors (F)
Campbell, John W. – Who Goes There? (SF)
Campbell, Ramsey – Dark Feasts (F)
Campbell, Ramsey – The Doll Who Ate His Mother (F)
Campbell, Ramsey – The Hungry Moon (F)
Campbell, Ramsey – The Parasite (F)
Capek, Karel – War With the Newts (SF)
Card, Orson Scott – Ender’s Game and Speaker For the Dead (SF)
Carr, John Dickson – The Devil in Velvet (F)
Carroll, Jonathan – The Land of Laughs (F)
Carroll, Lewis – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (F)
Carter, Angela – Heroes and Villains (SF)
Carter, Angela – The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman (F)
Carter, Angela – Nights at the Circus (F)
Carter, Angela – The Passion of the New Eve (F)
Cave, Hugh B. – Murgunstrumm and Others (F)
Chabon, Michael – The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (SF)
Chambers, Robert W. – The King in Yellow (F)
Chant, Joy – Red Moon and Black Mountain (F)
Charnas, Suzy McKee – The Vampire Tapestry (F)
Charnas, Suzy McKee – Walk to the End of the World (SF)
Cherryh, C. J. – Cyteen (SF)
Cherryh C. J. – Downbelow Station (SF)
Chesterton, G. K. – The Man Who Was Thursday (F)
Christopher, John – The Death of Grass (SF)
Clarke, Arthur C. – 2001 A Space Odyssey (SF)
Clarke, Arthur C. – Childhood’s End (SF)
Clarke, Arthur C. – The City and the Stars (SF)
Clarke, Arthur C. – The Fountains of Paradise (SF)
Clarke, Arthur C. – Rendezvous with Rama (SF)
Clarke, Susanna – Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (F), b
Clement, Hal – Mission of Gravity (SF)
Clement, Hal – Needle (SF)
Clifton, Mark and Frank Riley – They’d Rather be Right (The Forever Machine) (SF)
Collier, John – Fancies and Goodnights (F)
Collins, Suzanne – The Hunger Games (SF)
Compton, D. G. – The Unsleeping Eye (SF)
Cook, Glen – Annals of the Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) (F)
Cortazar, Julio – The End of the Game and Other Stories (F)
Crane, Robert – Hero’s Walk (SF)
Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (SF)
Crowley, John – The Aegypt Cycle (Aegypt, Love and Sleep, Daemonomania, Endless Things) (F)
Crowley, John – Engine Summer (SF)
Crowley, John – Little, Big (F)
Dahl, Roald – The Complete Tales of the Unexpected (F)
Daniels, Les – The Black Castle (F)
Davidson, Avram – The Adventures of Doctor Esztherhazy (SF/F)
Davidson, Avram – Or All the Seas With Oysters (SF)
Davidson, Avram – The Phoenix and the Mirror (F)
DeCamp, L. Sprague – Lest Darkness Fall (SF)
DeCamp, L. Sprague – The Tritonian Ring (F)
Delaney, Samuel R. – Dhalgren (SF)
Delaney, Samuel R. – Driftglass (SF)
Delaney, Samuel R. – The Einstein Intersection (SF)
Delaney, Samuel R. – Nova (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – Dr Bloodmoney (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – The Man in the High Castle (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – Martian Time-Slip (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – A Scanner Darkly (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – Time Out of Joint (SF)
Dick, Philip K. – Ubik (SF)
Dickens, Charles – A Christmas Carol (F)
Dickson, Gordon R. – Dorsai! (SF)
Dickson, Gordon R. – The Dragon and the George (F)
Disch, Thomas M. – 334 (SF)
Disch, Thomas M. – The Businessman: A Tale of Terror (F)
Disch, Thomas M. – Camp Concentration (SF)
Disch, Thomas M. – On Wings of Song (SF)
Doctorow, Cory – Little Brother (SF)
Doctorow, E. L. – The Waterworks (F)
Donaldson, Stephen R. – The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (Lord Foul’s Bane, The Illearth War, The Power That Preserves) (F)
Doyle, Arthur Conan – The Lost World (F)
Drake, David – The Complete Hammer’s Slammers (Vols. I, II, & III) (SF)
Du Maurier, Daphne – Don’t Look Now (F)
Eddings, David – The Belgariad (Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician’s Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter’s End Game) (F)
Eddison, E. R. – The Worm Ouroboros (F)
Eisenstein, Phyllis – Sorcerer’s Son (F)
Ellison, Harlan, Ed. – Dangerous Visions (SF)
Ellison, Harlan – Deathbird Stories (SF)
Ellison, Harlan – Strange Wine (F)
Ende, Michael – The Neverending Story (F)
Endore, Guy – The Werewolf of Paris (F)
Erdrich, Louise – The Antelope Wife (F)
Etchison, Dennis – The Dark Country (F)
Farmer, Philip Jose – A Feast Unknown (F)
Farmer, Philip Jose – The Riverworld Series (To Your Scattered Bodies Go, The Fabulous Riverboat, The Dark Design, The Magic Labrynth, The Gods of Riverworld) (SF)
Farmer, Philip Jose – The Unreasoning Mask (SF)
Farris, John – All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By (F)
Feist, Raymond E. – Magician (F)
Fford, Jasper – The Eyre Affair (F)
Finney, Charles G. – The Circus of Dr Lao (F)
Finney, Charles G. – The Ghosts of Manacle (F)
Finney, Jack – I Love Galesburg in the Springtime (F)
Finney, Jack – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (SF)
Finney, Jack – The Third Level (F)
Finney, Jack – Time and Again (F)
Ford, Jeffrey – The Physiognomy (SF/F)
Ford, Jeffrey – The Shadow Year (F)
Ford, John M. – The Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History (F)
Fowles, John – The Magus (F)
Frank, Pat – Alas, Babylon (SF)
Frayn, Michael – Sweet Dreams (F)
Gaiman, Neil – American Gods (F)
Gaiman, Neil – Anansi Boys (F)
Gaiman, Neil – Coraline (F)
Gaiman, Neil – The Graveyard Book (F)
Gaiman, Neil – Neverwhere (F)
Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett – Good Omens (F)
Gardner, John – Grendel (F)
Garner, Alan – The Owl Service (F)
Garner, Alan – The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath (F)
Garner, Alan – Red Shift (F)
Garnett, David – Lady into Fox and A Man in the Zoo (F)
Garnett, Richard – The Twilight of the Gods (F)
Garrett, Randall – Lord Darcy (F)
Gaskell, Jane – The Atlan Saga (The Serpent, The Dragon, Atlan, The City, Some Summer Lands) (F)
Gibson, William – Neuromancer (SF)
Gibson, William – Pattern Recognition (SF)
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins – Herland (F)
Golding, William – The Inheritors (SF)
Golding, William – The Lord of the Flies (SF)
Golding, William – Pincher Martin (F)
Goldman, William – The Princess Bride (F)
Goldstein, Lisa – The Dream Years (F)
Gotthelf, Jeremias – The Black Spider (F)
Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows (F)
Grant, Charles L. – The Hour of the Oxrun Dead (F)
Grant, Charles L. – The Pet (F)
Grant, Charles L. – The Sound of Midnight (F)
Graves, Robert – Seven Days in New Crete (F)
Gray, Alasdair – Lamark (F)
Grimwood, Ken – Replay (F)
Grubb, Davis – Twelve Tales of Suspense and the Supernatural (F)
Haggard, Henry Rider – She (F)
Haldeman, Joe W. – Forever Peace (SF)
Haldeman, Joe W. – The Forever War (SF)
Hallahan, William – The Keeper of the Children (F)
Hallahan, William – The Search for Joseph Tully (F)
Hamilton, Edmond – Crashing Suns (SF)
Harness, Charles L. – The Paradox Men (SF)
Harrison, Harry – Make Room! Make Room! (SF)
Harrison, M. John – The Centauri Device (SF)
Harrison, M. John – Light (SF)
Harrison, M. John – Viriconium (F)
Hartwell, David, Ed. – The Dark Descent (SF/F)
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – Twice-Told Tales (F)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Citizen of the Galaxy (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – The Door into Summer (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Double Star (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Farmer in the Sky (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Glory Road (F)
Heinlein, Robert A. – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – The Past through Tomorrow (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Have Space Suit – Will Travel (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – The Puppet Masters (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Starship Troopers (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – Stranger in a Strange Land (SF)
Heinlein, Robert A. – The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag (F)
Helperin, Mark – Winter’s Tale (F)
Herbert, Frank – The Dragon in the Sea (SF)
Herbert, Frank – Dune (SF)
Herbert, James – The Fog (SF)
Herbert, James – The Spear (F)
Herbert, James – The Survivor (F)
Hilton, James – Lost Horizon (F)
Hjortsberg, William – Falling Angel (F)
Hoban, Russell – Riddley Walker (SF)
Hobb, Robin – Assassin’s Apprentice (F)
Hodgson, William Hope – The House on the Borderland (F)
Hodgson, William Hope – The Night Land (SF/F)
Hoffman, E. T. A. – Best Tales of Hoffman (F)
Hogg, James – The Confessions of a Justified Sinner (F)
Holdstock, Robert – Mythago Wood (F)
Holt, Tom – Expecting Someone Taller (F)
Honeycombe, Gordon – Neither the Sea nor the Sand (F)
Hope, Anthony – The Prisoner of Zenda (F)
Household, Geoffrey – The Sending (F)
Howard, Robert E. – The Conan Saga (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, The Bloody Crown of Conan, The Conquering Sword of Conan) (F)
Hubbard, L. Ron – Fear (F)
Hubbard, L. Ron – Slaves of Sleep (F)
Hubbard, L. Ron – Typewriter in the Sky (F)
Hughart, Barry – Bridge of Birds (F)
Huston, Charlie – Sleepless (SF)
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World (SF)
Hyne, C.J. Cutliffe – The Lost Continent (F)
Irwin, Robert – The Arabian Nightmare (F)
Ishiguro, Kazuo – Never Let Me Go (SF)
Jackson, Shirley – The Haunting of Hill House (F)
Jackson, Shirley – The Lottery and Others (F)
Jackson, Shirley – The Sundial (F)
James, Henry – Ghost Stories of Henry James (F)
James, M. R. – Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (F)
Jefferies, Richard. – After London (SF)
Jemisin, N.K. – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (F)
Jeter, K.W. – Soul Eater (F)
Jones, Diana Wynn – Howl’s Moving Castle (F)
Jordan, Robert – The Eye of the World (F)
Joyce, Graham – The Facts of Life (F)
Kafka, Franz – The Castle (F)
Kafka, Franz – The Trial (F)
Kavan, Anna – Ice (SF)
Kay, Guy Gavriel – The Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road) (F)
Kay, Guy Gavriel – The Lions of Al-Rassan (F)
Kay, Guy Gavriel – Tigana (F)
Kay, Guy Gavriel – Under Heaven (F)
Kay, Guy Gavriel – Ysabel (F)
Keyes, Daniel – Flowers for Algernon (SF)
King, Stephen – It (F)
King, Stephen – Night Shift (SF/F)
King, Stephen – Salem’s Lot (F)
King, Stephen – The Shining (F)
King, Stephen – The Stand (F)
Kipling, Rudyard – The Jungle Books (F)
Kirk, Russell – The Princess of All Lands (F)
Klein, T. E. D. – The Ceremonies (F)
Knight, Damon – The Best of Damon Knight (SF)
Kornbluth, C. M. – The Best of C. M. Kornbluth (SF)
Kotzwinkle, William – Dr. Rat (F)
Kotzwinkle, William – Fata Morgana (F)
Kushner, Ellen – Thomas the Rhymer (F)
Kuttner, Henry – The Best of Henry Kuttner (SF)
Kuttner, Henry – The Dark World (SF/F)
Kuttner, Henry – The Valley of the Flame (F)
Kuttner, Henry and C.L. Moore – Earth’s Last Citadel (SF)
Lafferty, R. A. – Fourth Mansions (F)
Lafferty, R. A. – Past Master (SF)
Lafferty, R. A. – 900 Grandmothers (SF)
Laing, Alexander – The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck (F)
Lanagan, Margaret – Tender Morsels (F)
Laumer, Keith – Worlds of the Imperium (SF)
Laymon, Richard – The Cellar (F)
Lee, Tanith – The Birthgrave (SF/F)
Lee, Tanith – Night’s Master (F)
LeFanu, J. Sheridan – Best Ghost Stories of J. S. LeFanu (F)
LeFanu, J. Sheridan – Uncle Silas (F)
Le Guin, Ursula K. – The Dispossessed (SF)
Le Guin, Ursula K. – The Earthsea Cycle (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, The Other Wind) (F)
Le Guin, Ursula K. – The Lathe of Heaven (SF/F)
Le Guin, Ursula K. – Lavinia (F)
Le Guin, Ursula K. – The Left Hand of Darkness (SF)
Leiber, Fritz – Adept’s Gambit (F)
Leiber, Fritz – The Best of Fritz Leiber (SF)
Leiber, Fritz – The Big Time (SF)
Leiber, Fritz – Conjure Wife (F)
Leiber, Fritz – Our Lady of Darkness (F)
Leiber, Fritz – The Sinful Ones and You’re All Alone (F)
Leiber, Fritz – The Swords of Lankhmar (F)
Leiber, Fritz – The Wanderer (SF)
Leinster, Murray – First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster (SF)
Lem, Stanislaw – Solaris (SF)
L’Engle, Madeleine – A Wrinkle in Time (SF)
Lessing, Doris – Briefing for a Descent into Hell (F)
Levin, Ira – Rosemary’s Baby (F)
Levin, Ira – The Stepford Wives (SF)
Lewis, C. S. – The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, The Last Battle) (F)
Lewis, C. S. – The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength) (SF)
Lewis, C. S. – Till We Have Faces (F)
Lewis, Matthew Gregory – The Monk (F)
Ligotti, Thomas – Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe (F)
Lindsay, David – The Haunted Woman (F)
Lindsay, David – A Voyage to Arcturus (F)
Lord Dunsany – The Complete Pegana (F)
Lord Dunsany – The King of Elfland’s Daughter (F)
Lovecraft, H. P. – At the Mountains of Madness (SF/F)
Lovecraft, H. P. – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (F)
Lovecraft, H. P. – The Dunwich Horror and Others (F)
Lovecraft, H. P. and August Derleth – The Lurker at the Threshold (F)
Lynch, Scott – The Lies of Locke Lamora (F)
Lynn, Elizabeth – Watchtower (F)
MacAvoy, R. A. – Tea With the Black Dragon (F)
MacDonald, George – The Gifts of the Christ Child (F)
MacDonald, George – Lilith (F)
MacDonald, John D. – The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything (F)
Machen, Arthur – The Best Weird Tales of Arthur Machen, Vols. I & II (F)
Malzberg, Barry – Beyond Apollo (SF)
Malzberg, Barry – Galaxies (SF)
Marasco, Robert – Burnt Offerings (F)
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – One Hundred Years of Solitude (F)
Martin, George R.R – A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance With Dragons) (F)
Matheson, Richard – A Stir of Echoes (F)
Matheson, Richard – Bid Time Return (F)
Matheson, Richard – Hell House (F)
Matheson, Richard – I Am Legend (SF)
Matheson, Richard – The Shrinking Man (F)
Maturin, Charles Robert – Melmoth the Wanderer (F)
McCaffrey, Anne – Dragonflight (SF)
McCammon, Robert M. – Boy’s Life (F)
McCammon, Robert M. – Swan Song (SF/F)
McCarthy, Cormac – The Road (SF)
McDonald, Ian – The Dervish House (SF)
McDonald, Ian – River of Gods (SF)
McDowell, Michael – The Amulet (F)
McDowell, Michael – Cold Moon Over Babylon (F)
McHugh, Maureen F. – China Mountain Zhang (SF)
McIntyre, Vonda N. – Dreamsnake (SF)
McKillip, Patricia A. – The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (F)
McKillip, Patricia A. – Ombrian Shadow (F)
McKillip, Patricia A. – The Riddle-Master Trilogy (The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, Harpist in the Wind) (F)
Melville, Herman – The Confidence Man (F)
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick (F)
Meredith, George – The Shaving of Shagpat (F)
Merritt, Abraham – Dwellers in the Mirage (F)
Merritt, Abraham – The Moon Pool (SF)
Merritt, Abraham – The Ship of Ishtar (F)
Metcalf, John – The Feasting Dead (F)
Mieville, China – The City and the City (F), b
Mieville, China – Perdido Street Station (F)
Mieville, China – The Scar (F)
Miller, Walter M. – A Canticle for Leibowitz (SF)
Mirrlees, Hope – Lud-in-the-Mist (F)
Mitchell, David – Cloud Atlas (F)
Mitchison, Naomi – To the Chapel Perilous (SF)
Moorcock, Michael – Behold the Man (SF)
Moorcock, Michael – The Cornelius Chronicles (SF)
Moorcock, Michael – The Dancers at the End of Time (SF)
Moorcock, Michael – Gloriana (F)
Moorcock, Michael – The Elric Saga (Elric: Song of the Black Sword and Elric: The Stealer of Souls) (F)
Moorcock, Michael – The War Hound and the World’s Pain (F)
Moore, Brian – Cold Heaven (F)
Moore, Brian – The Great Victorian Collection (F)
Moore, C. L. – Jirel of Joiry (F)
Moore, C. L. – Judgement Night (SF)
Moore, C. L. – Northwest Smith (F)
Moore, Ward – Bring the Jubilee (SF)
Morgan, Richard – Altered Carbon (SF)
Morrell, David – The Totem (F)
Morris, William – The Story of the Glittering Plain (F)
Morris, William – The Well at the World’s End (F)
Morrow, James – Only Begotten Daughter (F)
Morrow, James – Towing Jehovah (F)
Murakami, Haruki – Kafka on the Shore (F)
Myers, John Myers – Silverlock (F)
Nesbit, Edith – Five Children and It (F)
Niffenegger, Audrey – The Time Traveler’s Wife (SF)
Niven, Larry – All the Myriad Ways (SF)
Niven, Larry – Neutron Star (SF)
Niven, Larry – Ringworld (SF)
Niven, Larry and Jerry Pournelle – The Mote in God’s Eye (SF)
Niven, Larry and Jerry Pournelle – Oath of Fealty (SF)
Norton, Andre – Witch World (F)
Novik, Naomi – His Majesty’s Dragon (F)
Oates, Joyce Carol – Bellefleur (F)
Oates, Joyce Carol – Nightside (F)
O’Brien, Flann – The Third Policeman (F)
O’Neill, Joseph – Land Under England (F)
Onions, Oliver – Widdershins (F)
Orwell, George – Animal Farm (F)
Orwell, George – Nineteen Eighty-Four (SF)
Pangborn, Edgar – A Mirror for Observers (SF)
Panshin, Alexi – Rite of Passage (SF)
Partridge, Norman – Dark Harvest (F)
Peake, Mervyn – The Gormenghast Trilogy (Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Titus Alone) (F)
Piercy, Marge – Woman on the Edge of Time (SF)
Piper, H. Beam – Little Fuzzy (SF)
Poe, Edgar Allan – The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (F)
Poe, Edgar Allan – Tales of Mystery and Imagination (F)
Pohl, Frederik – Gateway (SF)
Pohl, Frederik – Man Plus (SF)
Pohl, Frederik and C. M. Kornbluth – The Space Merchants (SF)
Pollack, Rachel – Godmother Night (F)
Powers, Tim – The Anubis Gates (F)
Powers, Tim – Declare (F)
Powers, Tim – The Drawing of the Dark (F)
Powers, Tim – Last Call (F)
Pratchett, Terry – The Colour of Magic (F)
Pratchett, Terry – The Light Fantastic (F)
Pratchett, Terry – Going Postal (F)
Pratchett, Terry – Nightwatch (F)
Pratchett, Terry – Small Gods (F)
Pratt, Fletcher – The Blue Star (F)
Pratt, Fletcher – The Well of the Unicorn (F)
Pratt, Fletcher and L. Sprague DeCamp – The Compleat Enchanter (F)
Pratt, Fletcher and L. Sprague DeCamp – The Land of Unreason (F)
Priest, Christopher – The Glamour (F)
Priest, Christopher – The Prestige (F)
Priest, Christopher – Inverted World (SF)
Pullman, Phillip – His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) (F)
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49 (F)
Pynchon, Thomas – V. (F)
Quinn, Seabury – Roads (F)
Ray, Jean – Ghouls in My Grave (F)
Reynolds, Mack – Looking Backward, From the Year 2000 (SF)
Rice, Anne – Interview With the Vampire (F)
Richarsdon, Maurice – The Exploits of Engelbrecht (F)
Roberts, Keith – The Passing of the Dragons (SF)
Roberts, Keith – Pavane (SF)
Robinson, Kim Stanley – The Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) (SF)
Robinson, Kim Stanley – The Years of Rice and Salt (SF)
Roth, Philip – The Plot Against America (SF)
Rothfuss, Patrick – The Name of the Wind (F)
Rowling, J.K. – The Harry Potter Series (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) (F)
Rucker, Rudy – White Light (F)
Rushdie, Salman – Grimus (F)
Russ, Joanna – Alyx (SF)
Russ, Joanna – And Chaos Died (SF)
Russ, Joanna – The Female Man (SF)
Russell, Eric Frank – Sinister Barrier (SF)
Russell, Ray – Haunted Castles (SF/F)
Russell, Mary Dora – The Sparrow (SF)
Ryman, Geoff – The Unconquered Country (F)
Saint-Exupery, Antoine de – The Little Prince (F)
Samson, Joan – The Auctioneer (F)
Sanderson, Brandon – Mistborn (F)
Saramago, Jose – Blindness and Seeing (F)
Sarban – Ringstones and Other Curious Tales (F)
Sarban – The Sound of His Horn (F)
Sawyer, Robert J. – Hominids (SF)
Scalzi, John – Old Man’s War (SF)
Schenck, Hilbert – At the Eye of the Ocean (SF)
Schmitz, James H. – The Witches of Karres (SF)
Scott, Martin – Thraxas (F)
Shaw, Bob – Orbitsville (SF)
Shaw, Bob – The Palace of Eternity (SF)
Shea, Michael – Nifft the Lean (F)
Sheckley, Robert – Citizen in Space (SF)
Sheckley, Robert – Dimension of Miracles (SF)
Sheckley, Robert – Journey Beyond Tomorrow (SF)
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein (F)
Shephard, Lucius – The Jaguar Hunter (SF/F)
Shiner, Lewis – Glimpses (F)
Siddons, Anne Rivers – The House Next Door (F)
Silverberg, Robert – The Best of Robert Silverberg: Stories of Six Decades (SF)
Silverberg, Robert – Downward to the Earth (SF)
Silverberg, Robert – Lord Valentine’s Castle (SF)
Silverberg, Robert – Hawksbill Station (SF)
Simak, Clifford – City (SF)
Simak, Clifford – Ring Around the Sun (SF)
Simak, Clifford – Way Station (SF)
Simmons, Dan – Hyperion (SF)
Simmons, Dan – Illium (SF)
Simmons, Dan – Song of Kali (F)
Sinclair, Andrew – Gog (F)
Singer, Isaac Bashevis – The Séance and Other Stories (F)
Sladek, John – The Best of John Sladek (SF)
Sladek, John – The Complete Roderick (SF)
Sloane, William – The Rim of Morning (SF)
Smith, Clark Ashton – A Rendezvous in Averoigne (SF/F)
Smith, Cordwainer – The Best of Cordwainer Smith (SF)
Smith, Cordwainer – Norstrilia (SF)
Smith, E. E. – The Lensman Saga (Triplanetary, First Lensman, Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensman, Children of the Lens) (SF)
Smith, Scott – The Ruins (F)
Smith, Thorne – The Night Life of the Gods (F)
Smith, Thorne – Turnabout (F)
Spinrad, Norman – Bug Jack Barron (SF)
Spinrad, Norman – The Void Captain’s Tale (SF)
St. Clair, Margaret – Agent of the Unknown (SF)
Stableford, Brian – The Walking Shadow (SF)
Stapledon, Olaf – Last and First Men (SF)
Stapledon, Olaf – Star Maker (SF)
Stapledon, Olaf – Odd John (SF)
Stephenson, Neal – Anathem (SF)
Stephenson, Neal – The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World) (SF)
Stephenson, Neal – Cryptonomicon (SF)
Stephenson, Neal – The Diamond Age (SF)
Stephenson, Neal – Snow Crash (SF)
Stevens, Francis – The Citadel of Fear (F)
Stevenson, Robert Lewis – Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde (F)
Stewart, George R. – Earth Abides (SF)
Stewart, Mary – The Crystal Cave (F)
Stewart, Sean – Galveston (F)
Stoker, Bram – Dracula (F)
Stoker, Bram – The Jewel of Seven Stars (F)
Straub, Peter – Ghost Story (F)
Straub, Peter – If You Could See Me Now (F)
Straub, Peter – Julia (F)
Straub, Peter – Shadowland (F)
Strieber, Whitley – The Wolfen (SF/F)
Stross, Charles – Accelerando (SF)
Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris – Hard to Be a God (SF)
Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris – Roadside Picnic (SF)
Stuart, Frank R. – Caravan for China (F)
Sturgeon, Theodore – Caviar (SF/F)
Sturgeon, Theodore – The Dreaming Jewels (SF)
Sturgeon, Theodore – E Pluribus Unicorn (SF)
Sturgeon, Theodore – More Than Human (SF)
Sturgeon, Theodore – A Touch of Strange (SF)
Sturgeon, Theodore – Venus Plus X (SF)
Sue, Eugene – The Wandering Jew (F)
Suskind, Patrick – Perfume (F)
Swann, Thomas Burnett – Day of the Minotaur (F)
Swanwick, Michael – The Iron Dragon’s Daughter (F)
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels (F)
Taylor, Bernard – Sweetheart, Sweetheart (F)
Tenn, William – The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn (Here Comes Civilization and Immodest Proposals (SF)
Tennant, Emma – Hotel de Dream (F)
Tessier, Thomas – The Nightwalker (F)
Tevis, Walter – The Man Who Fell to Earth (SF)
Theroux, Paul – The Black House (F)
Thurber, James – The Thirteen Clocks (F)
Tiptree Jr, James – Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (SF)
Tolkien, J. R. R. – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (F)
Tolkien, J. R. R. – The Silmarillion (F)
Treece, Henry – The Golden Strangers (F)
Treece, Henry – The Great Captains (F)
Tryon, Thomas – The Other (F)
Tucker, Wilson – The Long Loud Silence (SF)
Tucker, Wilson – The Year of the Quiet Sun (SF)
Tuttle, Lisa – A Nest of Nightmares (F)
Updike, John – The Witches of Eastwick (F)
Van Tilburg Clark, Walter – The Track of the Cat (F)
Van Vogt, A. E. – The Book of Ptath (F)
Van Vogt, A. E. – The Empire of Isher (SF)
Van Vogt, A. E. – Slan (SF)
Van Vogt, A. E. – The Voyage of the Space Beagle (SF)
Van Vogt, A. E. – The World of Null-A (SF)
Vance, Jack – The Best of Jack Vance (SF)
Vance, Jack – Big Planet (SF)
Vance, Jack – Tales of the Dying Earth (The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel’s Saga, Rhialto the Marvelous) (SF/F)
Vance, Jack – The Lyonesse Trilogy (Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc) (F)
Varley, John – The Ophiuchi Hotline (SF)
Varley, John – The Persistence of Vision (SF)
Verne, Jules – From the Earth to the Moon and Circling the Moon (SF)
Vinge, Joan – The Snow Queen (SF)
Vinge, Vernor – A Deepness in the Sky (SF)
Vinge, Vernor – A Fire Upon the Deep (SF)
Vinge, Vernor – Rainbow’s End (SF)
Visiak, E. H. – Medusa (F)
Vonnegut, Kurt – Cat’s Cradle (SF)
Vonnegut, Kurt – Player Piano (SF)
Vonnegut, Kurt – The Sirens of Titan (SF)
Vonnegut, Kurt – Slaughterhouse Five (SF)
Wagner, Karl Edward – The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Vols. I & II (F)
Wakefield, H. R. – They Return at Evening (F)
Waldrop, Howard – Them Bones (SF)
Wallace, David Foster – Infinite Jest (SF)
Walpole, Horace – The Castle of Otranto (F)
Walton, Evangeline – The Mabinogion Tetralogy (Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon, The Island of the Mighty) (F)
Walton, Jo – Tooth and Claw (F)
Warner, Rex – The Aerodrome (SF)
Watson, Ian – The Embedding (SF)
Watson, Ian – Miracle Visitors (SF)
Watts, Peter – Blindsight (SF)
Weinbaum, Stanley G. – The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum (SF)
Wellman, Manley Wade – John the Balladeer (F)
Wellman, Manley Wade – Worse Things Waiting (F)
Wells, H. G. – The First Men in the Moon (SF)
Wells, H. G. – The Island of Doctor Moreau (SF)
Wells, H. G. – The Time Machine (SF)
Wells, H. G. – The War of the Worlds (SF)
White, James – The Watch Below (SF)
White, T. H. – Mistress Masham’s Repose (F)
White, T. H. – The Once and Future King (F)
Whitehead, Colson – Zone One (SF)
Whitten, Les – Progeny of the Adder (F)
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray (F)
Wilhelm, Kate – Juniper Time (SF)
Wilhelm, Kate – Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (SF)
Williams, Charles – War in Heaven (F)
Williams, Thomas – Tsuga’s Children (F)
Williamson, Jack – Darker Than You Think (F)
Williamson, Jack – The Humanoids (SF)
Williamson, Jack – The Legion of Space (SF)
Willis, Connie – Blackout and All Clear (SF)
Willis, Connie – Doomsday Book (SF)
Willis, Connie – To Say Nothing of the Dog (SF)
Wilson, Colin – The Philosopher’s Stone (F)
Wilson, F. Paul – The Keep (F)
Wilson, Robert Charles – Spin (SF)
Wolfe, Bernard – Limbo (SF)
Wolfe, Gene – The Book of the New Sun (The Shadow of the Torturer, The Claw of the Conciliator, The Sword of the Lictor, The Citadel of the Autarch) (SF)
Wolfe, Gene – The Fifth Head of Cerberus (SF)
Wolfe, Gene – The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories (SF)
Wolfe, Gene – The Knight and The Wizard (F)
Wolfe, Gene – Peace (F)
Wolfe, Gene – Soldier of Sidon (F)
Wright, Austin Tappan – Islandia (F)
Wright, S. Fowler – The World Below (SF)
Wright, T. M. – Strange Seed (F)
Wyndham, John – The Day of the Triffids (SF)
Wyndham, John – The Midwich Cuckoos (SF)
Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn – Ariosto (F)
Zelazny, Roger – The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth (SF)
Zelazny, Roger – The Dream Master (SF)
Zelazny, Roger – Jack of Shadows (F)
Zelazny, Roger – Lord of Light (SF)
Zelazny, Roger – The Great Book of Amber (F)
Zelazny, Roger – This Immortal (SF)

Thomas Parker is a native Southern Californian and a lifelong science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fan. When not corrupting the next generation as a fourth grade teacher, he collects Roger Corman movies, Silver Age comic books, Ace doubles, and despairing looks from his wife. His last article for us was Haunted: Always, Sometimes, Never.

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Sarah Avery

A most excellent list! It makes me want to stay up all night reading everything.

Since you’re looking for short fiction to add, consider Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Leaf Storm and Other Stories. In addition to his best known short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” it includes “The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship.” I love that story immoderately. In addition to being a ripping read, it’s also a five-page-long single sentence. It took me six readings and three times teaching it even to notice that it was all one single sentence. I don’t know how his translator survived bringing that story into English.

How did you narrow down the Italo Calvino selections? Invisible Cities is my favorite of his books, and from talking to other fantasy writers, I get the impression that it’s one of those unsung books with widespread worldbuilding influence.

John Hocking

This is a grand list and presenting it to the world is a brave and noble act.

I want to talk to you about it, but the problem is that a list of this length offers an infinite number of potential tangents, so I’ll narrow it down.

First off, and for a wide variety of reasons I would love to go into but don’t have the space, I’d like to salute you for including the following authors…

Joseph Payne Brennan, John Dickson Carr, John Collier, T.E.D. Klein, Keith Laumer, Richard Laymon, Norman Partridge, H. Beam Piper, Eric Frank Russell, Thorne Smith, Frances Stevens, H.R. Wakefield and Manly Wade Wellman.

Then I want to offer a combination of “asking why a book isn’t on the list/suggesting you read it in the unlikely event that you have not” list of titles.

Algernon Blackwood- Best Ghost Stories (John Silence, but no Wendigo or Willows?!)
David Drake- From the Heart of Darkness & Balefires
Charles L. Grant- A Glow of Candles (can’t ignore this author’s short fiction)
Robert E. Howard- Skull-Face and Others (just to represent his non-Cimmerian work)
Russell Kirk- Watchers at the Strait Gate
T.E.D. Klein- Dark Gods (It is impossible that this book isn’t on your list. Impossible)
John Langan- The Fisherman
Fritz Leiber- Night’s Black Agents
Michael Shea- The Mines of Behemoth & Polyphemus
Dan Simmons- Carrion Comfort
William Sloane- To Walk the Night
Karl Edward Wagner- Night Winds

Many thanks. Hell of a list.

Joe H.

I keep thinking, “Well, the list should include [xxx], obviously,” then scrolling through it and finding [xxx] is already there. Wow — great stuff.

Nick Ozment

This commendable list may prove useful to many readers, but I think some of us will need to add a randomization generator.

Perhaps we could dig out the polyhedral dice and figure out a combination to generate a number between 1 and 700 (If you roll a book you’ve already read, RE-ROLL!).

Only an issue, perhaps, for those of us well into middle age who, based on our books-read-per-month/months in a year ratio, recognize that even if we live to a ripe old age we could never get through all of them. (There’s also all those Must-See television series waiting in the Netflix queue.) If we approach the list alphabetically from the beginning, we might get to the end of our life well-read in fantasy authors whose last names begin with A-F. You see the issue.

On a more serious note: On my first quick perusal, I noted with interest the two George McDonald books you included. Lilith I agree should absolutely be on any such list. But I thought I’d read all of McDonald’s fantasy, and I don’t think I’ve read Gifts of the Christ Child — probably because I always assumed that one fell into his overtly religious work (based only on the title). Is it a work of fantasy? The other McDonald book I’d expect on a list that showed savvy enough to include Lilith is his other fantasy masterpiece Phantastes.

But now we see another off-shoot of such lists: their tendency to provoke such discussions and debates and disputes, like a carefully cultivated house-plant that suddenly starts sending out creepers everywhere. At some point you have to prune it back or else you’ll go insane! (Or not be able to reach your kitchen sink to do the dishes without parting a curtain of hanging tendrils.) That analogy to books is closer than I at first intended: I have a hard time reaching some practical things in my house through the accumulation of stacks and piles of books in the way. Bookshelves outnumber all other furniture. (Some people tell me that there is new technology to take all of this amassed literature and store it onto a single device that fits in the palm of one’s hand, but that sounds like science fiction to me.)

Nick Ozment

* Correction to my last comment: *MacDonald*

I always have to watch myself about leaving out the “a” when I refer to John D too.


Great list!

I’m not incredibly well read, but reasonably. Much as I liked Stephenson’s Snow Crash “back in the day,” I recently tried to re-read it, and could not. But, I am currently reading Stephenson’s SevenEves, and it is AMAZING! 🙂

One of the very few author/series that I have been able to enjoy again and AGAIN is Julian May’s Saga of Pliocene Exile: Many-Colored Land, Golden Torc, Nonborn King, The Adversary. Great (epic!) story line, believable characters with believable motives, and nuanced plots that are sooo far beyond the all-too common “good vs evil” trope.

May’s Many-Colored Land was released the same year as Cherryh’s Downbelow Station, which was a great work, but I wish Mrs. May hadn’t gotten quite so lost in the shuffle 🙁

Thanks Again!

Ken Lizzi

An admirable list. To the best of my reckoning I’ve read 178 of these, with a couple more on the to-read pile by the bed. I suppose Michael Chabon’s “Gentlemen of the Road” doesn’t make the cut as it is more historical fiction than fantasy. Understood, but a pity. Might I suggest John Brunner’s “Complete Traveler in Black?” What made Rushdie’s “Grimus” make the cut rather than “Satanic Verses” or “The Enchantress of Florence?”

Major Wootton

The Gifts of the Child Christ was a two-volume collection of George MacDonald stories, at least two of them masterpieces (The Golden Key, Photogen and Nycteris/The Day Boy and the Night Girl). If you have the Ballantine Adult Fantasy books New Worlds for Old (for Photogen and Nycteris) and Evenor (for The Golden Key, etc.) you should be in good shape. Of course The Princess and the Goblin is a wonder tale for all ages, a full-length book.

Sarah Avery

A fifty-page sentence? I find that both daunting and irresistible.

My favorite George MacDonald for teaching syllabi is “The Light Princess.” It allows MacDonald to show his other habits along with his didactic side, and the didactic part is so leavened by humor that students who don’t share his views are not put off.

I grew up with The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. I don’t know that I’d put either of them on a list like this one, but I do remember them fondly.

I propose adding Tales from Earthsea to Le Guin’s Earthsea series, between Tehanu and The Other Wind. That’s where Le Guin seems to put it in the order. There’s stuff in the short fiction that illuminates other stuff all over the novels.


A great list. Like you, I have been known to put together similar lists – books to read, books to find etc. I am pleased to see Kavan’s “Ice” and Gotthelf’s “The Black Spider”, which are often absent from such lists. To my mind, there are some I would have included. Why only “The Five Children and It” and not all three psammead books by E Nesbit. I think the sequels – “The Phoenix and the Carpet” and “The Story of the Amulet” are better. However, better than all these are “The Enchanted Castle” and “The Magic City” both of which are really quite unsettling. E Nesbit’s fame, to my mind, rests on all the wrong titles. I also think that the omission of Hans Christian Andersen is a shame. He wrote original stories, not retellings of fairy tales. Disney has done its best to make him saccharine and anodyne but he can be frightening, bizarre and grim. Surely a further trawl which includes short stories should include H G Wells? Why not Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”? What about “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin? I could go on, of course I could but I will sign off with one more recommendation which you may not know about, “Peter Schlemihl” by Adalbert von Chamisso. About 100 pages long, it is the tale of a man who sells his shadow for a bottomless wallet of gold. It is short and delightful.

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