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Comments for 124 Scifi Novels Meme
Carl V. at Stainless Steel Droppings (love his blog's title!) has a post about the 124 must read science fiction and fantasy novels that the Guardian has compiled among their 1000 must read books. I have to say I don't agree with all the books they've selected. Poppy Z. Brite and Toni Morrison's books I would count as horror and I don't think of horror as an obvious subset of science fiction and fantasy. Of course the genres do sometimes bleed into each other (H. P. Lovecract comes to mind). Also I don't think JK Rowling's novels are of the same calibre as the others on the list (of those I've read). I would have liked to see one of L Frank Baum's novels on the list but I conceed that the list is British and the Oz books might not be on their radar.
I've read 39 from the list with another six to read. The bolded ones are the ones I've read and the italics are ones I have in my home but haven't read yet. There are probably a dozen more books on the list that I would like to read but I don't have copies right now and therefore don't have any immediate plans to read. With that in mind, I didn't include them in my italicized list.
Comment #1: Thursday, January, 22, 2009 at 17:53:36
Oh, you've read We! What did you think of it. I'll go out on a limb here, in case you hated it, and say that I was pretty amazed by it. Read it last year..wow!!!
How was Man in the High Castle?
I haven't read any of Rowling's books, so I'm no judge, but I didn't necessarily agree with her inclusion either. Of course the first one did win some of the same awards that American Gods and Jonathan Strange did so it doesn't surprise me that they included it.
Comment #2: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 15:43:03
I read We back in college for a Science Fiction in Literature and Film class. It was one of about 50 novels I had to read and 50 films I had to watch in a ten week period. I remember enjoying it and thinking it very different from so many of the other things we were reading but the details of the book have gotten mushed together. I would like to re-read it sometime.
The Man in the High Castle is a bit like Ada or Ardor by Vladamir Nabokov. Both are alternate earth stories that are political commentaries on current events. Although I enjoyed both novels they aren't my favorites by either author.
I'm not surprised either that Harry Potter and the Philosophers' Stone is on the list, more that other classic fantasy tales aren't on the list (Peter Pan, for instance). I've only managed to get through midway through book five where I've lost interest in the series.
Comment #3: Saturday, January, 24, 2009 at 15:25:32
I agree - it is a strange list. There are many that I wouldn't count as science fiction or fantasy (Sarah Water's Affinity, Toni Morrison's Beloved for example), and several others that are stretching the definition a bit. Most of those I've read are great books though!
PS. The link to view the other comments on this post seems to be broken.
Comment #4: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 13:34:23
I don't know what criteria they used for deciding which books went on the different genre lists but their definitions of science fiction and fantasy are looser than mine.
I've fixed the link. My blog isn't software / database driven so sometimes I forget to change the link when I start a new post.