100 Top Science-Fiction Novels

According to people visiting the NPR website, that is.  View the list here.

I have a couple of observations.  First, I was surprised that H.P. Lovecraft was not included.  To be fair, NPR eliminated horror from the list and Lovecraft straddled the line of science fiction and horror.  Despite this, many of his ideas delved deeply into science fiction and he was most-certainly influential.  But, this list is for readers’/listeners’ top picks, not necessarily influential titles.

The second observation, or more criticism, why are entire series included on a list for top BOOKS?  I’m certainly willing to make an exception for The Lord of the Rings since Tolkien viewed the work as a single volume divided, at the behest of the publisher, in three installments.  I’m even willing to give George R. R. Martin a pass as A Game of Thrones just ends.  But novels such as Dune or Eye of the World are most-certainly single stories that are part of a larger story.  These novels have a distinct beginning, middle, and end despite being part of a larger narrative.  Thus, I find it puzzling that entire series would take up a spot on the list.  Although, I suppose that is better than populating the list with all ten books in a ten book series.

Do you agree with the list?  What should be added and what should be omitted?


3 thoughts on “100 Top Science-Fiction Novels

  1. How could they possibly have forgotten everything written by John Wyndham. Day of the Triffieds? Krake Wakes?

    I find the exclusion of Lovecraft puzzling too. Fantasy and Science fiction are totally different genres. Horror often has more in common with science fiction than fantasy, so I have no idea why they excluded At the Mountains of Madness.

    Its rather nice to see RA Salvatore’s Drzzt books, but I can’t help feeling that though they are enjoyable they don’t really belong there.

    Given they included a Star Wars tie-in, I really think they could have included a number of Doctor Who novels. Some of them have real literary merit.

    I didn’t see anything there by Harry Turtledove, which seems a shame.

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