The Science-Fiction, Fantasy Reading Challenge

Me:    Hey man, my nook finally made it to Ecuador. I can read again! Can you give me some recommendations?

Anthony:   Cool, sure. Do you like Science Fiction?

Me:    Of course!

A:       Have you read the Dune series?

Me:     No, what’s that?

A:        Have you read Ender’s Game?

Me:     No, is that good?

A:        Umm… have you read Hitchhiker’s?

Me:     Well, I saw the movie.

A:        So… exactly what Science Fiction books are you talking about when you say you like them?

Me:     Umm…… well I like Star Wars.

A:       OK, so which ones? Like the Thrawn Trilogy?

Me:     No… like the Harrison Ford movies.

A:       …

And this is how I came to the realization that for someone how reads as much as I do, I have a ridiculously huge knowledge gap. Time of rectify the situation. So where to start? Luckily for me NPR has compiled a list of the Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books, based on tens of thousands of votes. The only books on this list that I have already read are some of the fantasies, classics, and dystopias, so I have a long way to go.

My Challenge Guidelines:

  • I will jump around the list however I want.
  • Some of these chronicle series have a lot books. So if I read the whole series, I’ll put READ next to the title, and if I’ve only read 2 out of 5 of example, I’ll put READ 2/5.
  • Starting from now, I’ll link any reviews I write to the title here, and tag them with SFFRC (Sci-Fi, Fantasy Reading Challenge).
  • No deadline.

Join in:

I encourage anyone to join me, or let me know if you’re already doing the same challenge yourself. Here is an excellent and hilarious flow chart created by SF Signal that helps you navigate the list and decide what to read next:

And they also made an awesome interactive version that you can fine here.

And finally, if you decide you want to do this challenge (or are already doing this challenge) let me know, and I put a link to your blog, or Goodreads page at the bottom of this page.


NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien   READ

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card   READ 3/4

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert   READ 1/6

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin   READ 1/5

6. 1984, by George Orwell   READ

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury   READ

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell   READ

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov   READ

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley   READ

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King   READ (1/7)

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King   READ

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne   READ

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy   READ

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist   READ 1/4

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire   READ

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis


Some other awesome readers and bloggers who doing a NPR Sci-Fi/Fantasy reading challenge:

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Reviews

Kinda Silly Books


3 thoughts on “The Science-Fiction, Fantasy Reading Challenge

  1. Pingback: A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin | Haiku Book Review

  2. Yay! Go for it!
    If I may, I’d recommend “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. That was I book I didn’t expect much of and it totally blew me away. Also, you can read it as a standalone (even though it does have sequels).

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