101 SF&F Works You Might Love: A Recommended Reading List

(P.S. yes, I know there are 102, there was a tie…)


This is a list I drew up in 2010, reformatted and re-presented in 2014. It’s not my own preferences – it’s the result of a poll of nearly 100 genre fans, and is intended to give a broad and diverse view of the genre. For more discussion, see the index page for this project. For now, note that this main list only covers works mostly or completely published by the end of 2000. I hope there’s something here for everybody…


Douglas Adams
The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Richard Adams
Watership Down

Isaac Asimov
The Foundation Trilogy

Margaret Atwood
A Handmaid’s Tale

Iain M. Banks
Use of Weapons

Peter S. Beagle
The Last Unicorn

Alfred Bester
The Stars My Destination

Jorge Luis Borges

Mikhail Bulgakov
The Master and Margarita

Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange

Italo Calvino
Invisible Cities

Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Quartet

Michael Chabon
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

C.J. Cherryh
Downbelow Station

Arthur C. Clarke
Childhood’s End

Glen Cook
The Chronicles of the Black Company

Bernard Cornwall
The Warlord Trilogy

John Crowley
Little, Big

Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Man in the High Castle

Stephen (R.) Donaldson
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
The Gap

Greg Egan
Permutation City

Warren Ellis

Garth Ennis

Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
The Empire Trilogy

Neil Gaiman
With Terry Pratchett:
Good Omens

Gabriel García Márquez
The Autumn of the Patriarch
One Hundred Years of Solitude

William Gibson

Ken Grimwood

Joe Haldeman
The Forever War

Peter F. Hamilton
The Night’s Dawn Trilogy

Robert Heinlein
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Starship Troopers

Hermann Hesse
The Glass Bead Game

Frank Herbert

Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy
The Liveship Traders

Robert Holdstock
Mythago Wood

The Illiad
The Odyssey

Aldous Huxley
Brave New World

Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time

Graham Joyce
The Tooth Fairy

Guy Gavriel Kay
The Lions of al-Rassan
The Sarantine Mosaic

Stephen King
The Dark Tower
The Stand

Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dispossessed
The Earthsea Trilogy
The Left Hand of Darkness

Stanisław Lem

C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia

H.P. Lovecraft
The H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus

Thomas Mallory
Le Morte D’Arthur

Michael Marshall Smith
Only Forward

George R.R. Martin
The Dying of the Light
Fevre Dream
A Song of Ice and Fire

Richard Matheson
I Am Legend

Maureen McHugh
China Mountain Zhang

Patricia A. McKillip
The Riddle-Master Trilogy

Walter M. Miller, Jr.
A Canticle for Leibowitz

Alan Moore

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Lucifer’s Hammer

George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four

K.J. Parker
The Fencer Trilogy

Mervyn Peake
The Gormenghast Trilogy

Tim Powers
The Anubis Gates

Terry Pratchett
The Discworld Cycle
With Neil Gaiman: Good Omens

Christopher Priest
The Affirmation
The Prestige

Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials

J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter

Salman Rushdie
Midnight’s Children

José Saramago
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

Dan Simmons
The Hyperion Cantos

Neil Stephenson
Snow Crash

Bram Stoker

Michael Swanwick
The Iron Dragon’s Daughter

J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion

Jack Vance
The Dying Earth
The Lyonesse Trilogy
Planet of Adventure

Kurt Vonnegut
Cat’s Cradle

Tad Williams
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

Connie Willis
Doomsday Book

Gene Wolfe
The Book of the New Sun
The Book of the Long Sun
The Soldier Trilogy

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Roger Zelazny
The Chronicles of Amber
Lord of Light


Honourable Mentions: Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy; Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451; Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vorkosigan Saga; Stephen King, Salem’s Lot; C.S. Lewis, ‘Till We Have Faces; Michael Moorcock, The Elric Cycle; Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince; Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep; T.H. White, The Once and Future King.


2 thoughts on “101 SF&F Works You Might Love: A Recommended Reading List

  1. Rabindranauth says:

    This is a pretty neat list. Including the honourable mentions, I’ve read 18 of these so far.

  2. Thanks! It was derived purely mechanically from the votes of others, so I can’t take too much credit (well, I’m pretty proud of my methodology, actually, but that’s all a bit geeky), but I think it’s a good list too.

    18’s not bad. I’ve read 30-32 so far of the list, but only 1 of the honourable mentions. (As well as the reviewed items (though I’ve got a couple of Discworlds I’ve not read yet), I’ve read: Watership Down; Foundation; all but the last 20 pages of Little, Big; Covenant; One Hundred Years of Solitude; Brave New World; Wheel of Time; Narnia; Blindness; all three Tolkiens; Cat’s Cradle; and the Book of the New Sun. Also most of Sandman. And from the honourable mentions, The One and Future King)

    I’m MUCH more behind on the modern stuff. From the 21st century list, I’ve read…. zero. And of the honourable mentions there? I’ve read… one.

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