The NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi / Fantasy Books

Earlier this month I took the NPR’s top fantasy / sci-fi novels survey which asked people to choose their top 10 favorites novels/series from over 230 titles.

Not being a wide sci-fi / fantasy reader,  I thought it would be a piece of cake to choose my top 10 favorites.  The endeavor proved harder than I thought!   With so many great fantasy / sci-fi titles included in the survey, I found it very difficult to choose only 10.  My favorites included in the survey were:

  • 1984, by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • Cat’s Cradle , by Kurt Vonnegut
  • A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
  • Contact, by Carl Sagan
  • Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  • Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  • Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
  • The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
  • The Prestige, by Christopher Priest
  • The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
  • The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  • A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
  • Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
I had to go back and re-do the survey a few times to remove some titles and replace with other novels I liked better.

Last week, npr.org revealed the results of the survey in their Top 100 Science-Fiction / Fantasy Books list.  The top 10 choices were:

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

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

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

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

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

(click for the complete list)

I was happy with the titles that made the list, the top 10 being predictable choices among readers  (though I don’t agree with #10, as I did not like American Gods at all).  Not surprisingly, A Song of Ice and Fire ranked #5, what with the recent release of the 5th book, A Dance of Dragons and the huge success of the HBO mini-series, A Game of Thrones.

I was just a bit disappointed with how low some of my favorites ranked, especially Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which was only #64 on the list.

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4 thoughts on “The NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi / Fantasy Books

  1. Slightly predictable, indeed, but awesome nonetheless. I’ve often wished that these lists would separate science fiction and fantasy, if only for the sake of making more room for some epic works that deserve to be on top of these lists. But the line between those two genres does get crossed too frequently. Great post! I’d like to say that you have excellent taste in books, but that would sound too much like me praising MY taste in books. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the comment and for the kind words 🙂 Yes, I know what you mean about putting sci-fi and fantasy books together. One good thing about putting them in separate categories is it would make it easier for me to choose my top 10 favorites 😀

      If you agree with my taste in books, then you definitely have great taste! 😀

  2. Sunshine by Robin McKinley was number 92 😦
    (granted I know it can’t rival a lot of these books, but I wish it was a bit higher…)
    I wondered why some of McKinley’s and Ursula K. LeGuin’s other books weren’t listed but I guess it’s because they are considered young adult.
    I can’t wait till they hold that survey.
    It’s kind of sad, I’ve only read five books in the top ten. Lol, but I’ve always wanted to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

    • Well I think they did a preliminary survey where you get to nominate titles you want included in the survey…then npr tallied the nominated titles and the most popular ones were included in the 237 titles that were voted on eventually… I think I read all of the ones in the Top 10…. You should definitely read Hitchiker’s Guide!

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