Classics of Science Fiction

Our goal is to identify science fiction books that are remembered over time. We call them the Classics of Science Fiction, even though the term classics is a loaded word for many, and defined in widely different ways. The term science fiction is also controversial, and has never been adequately defined in a precise manner. Working on this project is leading us towards a deeper understanding of both terms. We limit the scope of this project to science fiction because we believe science fiction is a singular concept, even though it can’t be easily defined. Throughout the centuries writers have speculated about the future, distant worlds, alternate histories, time travel, unexplored territories, artificial life, robots, intelligent machines, nonhuman intelligent beings, and other concepts beyond the mundane that could be a part of our reality if we knew more.

Source: Classics of Science Fiction

Lists Year Title Author
1 95% (39/41) 1965 Dune Frank Herbert
2 95% (37/39) 1959 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller Jr.
3 90% (43/48) 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
4 85% (33/39) 1953 Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke
5 83% (34/41) 1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
6 83% (33/40) 1950 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
7 80% (32/40) 1951-53 The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov
8 79% (27/34) 1984 Neuromancer William Gibson
9 79% (30/38) 1957 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
10 79% (37/47) 1974 The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin
11 78% (31/40) 1953 The Demolished Man Alfred Bester
12 78% (31/40) 1970 Ringworld Larry Niven
13 77% (23/30) 1989 Hyperion Dan Simmons
14 74% (29/39) 1962 The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
15 73% (24/33) 1985 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
16 73% (29/40) 1961 Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
17 72% (28/39) 1966 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes
18 72% (28/39) 1975 The Forever War Joe Haldeman
19 71% (30/42) 1973 Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke
20 70% (28/40) 1953 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
21 70% (21/30) 1992 Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson
22 70% (28/40) 1895 The Time Machine H.G. Wells
23 69% (27/39) 1992 Doomsday Book Connie Willis
24 69% (22/32) 1979 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
25 68% (26/38) 1977 Gateway Frederik Pohl
26 68% (13/19) 2006 The Road Cormac McCarthy
27 68% (28/41) 1932 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
28 68% (27/40) 1968 Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner
29 68% (27/40) 1898 The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells
30 67% (26/39) 1953 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
31 67% (18/27) 1992 Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
32 66% (25/38) 1967 Lord of Light Roger Zelazny
33 66% (19/29) 1992 A Fire Upon the Deep Vernor Vinge
34 65% (26/40) 1985 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
35 65% (26/40) 1966 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein
36 64% (25/39) 1959 Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein
37 64% (14/22) 2009 The Windup Girl Paolo Bacigalupi
38 62% (28/45) 1818 Frankenstein Mary Shelley
39 62% (23/37) 1970 Solaris Stanislaw Lem
40 59% (22/37) 1968 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
41 59% (17/29) 1995 The Diamond Age Neal Stephenson
42 58% (22/38) 1962 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
43 56% (22/39) 1963 Way Station Clifford D. Simak
44 56% (23/41) 1949 Earth Abides George R. Stewart
45 54% (19/35) 1980 Timescape Gregory Benford
46 54% (13/24) 2008 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
47 54% (21/39) 1954 Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
48 53% (23/43) 1975 The Female Man Joanna Russ
49 53% (10/19) 2005 Old Man’s War John Scalzi
50 53% (21/40) 1952 City Clifford D. Simak
51 51% (18/35) 1983 Startide Rising David Brin
52 51% (19/37) 1969 Ubik Philip K. Dick
53 51% (20/39) 1956 The City and the Stars Arthur C. Clarke
54 51% (21/41) 1930 Last and First Men Olaf Stapledon
55 50% (11/22) 2013 Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie
56 50% (19/38) 1996 The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell
57 50% (19/38) 1971 To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip José Farmer
58 49% (19/39) 1958 A Case of Conscience James Blish
59 49% (19/39) 1953 The Space Merchants Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth
60 48% (19/40) 1951 The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham
61 48% (19/40) 1972 The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov
62 48% (19/40) 1950 I, Robot Isaac Asimov
63 47% (18/38) 1963 Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
64 47% (18/38) 1959 The Sirens of Titan Kurt Vonnegut
65 46% (12/26) 1999 A Deepness in the Sky Vernor Vinge
66 46% (17/37) 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke
67 46% (17/37) 1969 Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
68 45% (15/33) 1986 Speaker for the Dead Orson Scott Card
69 44% (18/41) 1917 A Princess of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs
70 44% (18/41) 1937 Star Maker Olaf Stapledon
71 44% (17/39) 1954 The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov
72 43% (16/37) 1972 Dying Inside Robert Silverberg
73 42% (16/38) 1988 Cyteen C.J. Cherryh
74 42% (10/24) 2002 Altered Carbon Richard K. Morgan
75 42% (15/36) 1975 Dhalgren Samuel R. Delany
76 41% (11/27) 1988 The Player of Games Iain M. Banks
77 41% (15/37) 1974 The Mote in God’s Eye Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
78 40% (12/30) 1985 Blood Music Greg Bear
79 40% (12/30) 1990 The Fall of Hyperion Dan Simmons
80 40% (16/40) 1870 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne
81 39% (17/44) 1962 A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
82 38% (15/39) 1966 Babel-17 Samuel R. Delany
83 38% (11/29) 1987 Consider Phlebas Iain M. Banks
84 37% (14/38) 1962 The Drowned World J.G. Ballard
85 37% (15/41) 1924 We Yevgeny Zamyatin
86 36% (14/39) 1981 Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh
87 36% (15/42) 1946 Slan A.E. van Vogt
88 36% (10/28) 2003 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
89 35% (11/31) 1980-83 The Book of the New Sun Gene Wolfe
90 35% (12/34) 1989 Grass Sheri S. Tepper
91 35% (13/37) 1992 China Mountain Zhang Maureen F. McHugh
92 35% (13/37) 1972 Roadside Picnic Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
93 35% (13/37) 1970 Tau Zero Poul Anderson
94 34% (13/38) 1991 Barrayar Lois McMaster Bujold
95 34% (14/41) 1980 The Snow Queen Joan D. Vinge
96 33% (11/33) 1982 No Enemy But Time Michael Bishop
97 33% (13/40) 1956 Double Star Robert A. Heinlein
98 33% (13/40) 1896 The Island of Doctor Moreau H.G. Wells
99 33% (13/40) 1864 Journey to the Center of the Earth Jules Verne
100 32% (12/37) 1993 Ammonite Nicola Griffith
101 32% (11/34) 1982 Helliconia Spring Brian W. Aldiss
102 32% (11/34) 1977 A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick
103 32% (11/34) 1998 To Say Nothing of the Dog Connie Willis
104 32% (13/41) 1938 Out of the Silent Planet C.S. Lewis
105 32% (12/38) 1986 A Door into Ocean Joan Slonczewski
106 31% (11/35) 1979 The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke
107 31% (12/39) 1954 I Am Legend Richard Matheson
108 30% (10/33) 1985 The Postman David Brin
109 30% (10/33) 1980 The Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe
110 30% (13/43) 1968 Dragonflight Anne McCaffrey
111 30% (11/37) 1967 Dangerous Visions Harlan Ellison
112 30% (11/37) 1968 Pavane Keith Roberts
113 29% (10/34) 1990 Her Smoke Rose Up Forever James Tiptree Jr.
114 29% (10/34) 1993 Parable of the Sower Octavia E. Butler
115 29% (12/41) 1941 Lest Darkness Fall L. Sprague de Camp
116 29% (12/41) 1935 Odd John Olaf Stapledon
117 29% (11/38) 1966 The Crystal World J.G. Ballard
118 29% (11/38) 1957 The Door into Summer Robert A. Heinlein
119 29% (11/38) 1967 The Einstein Intersection Samuel R. Delany
120 29% (11/38) 1960 Rogue Moon Algis Budrys
121 29% (12/42) 1978 Dreamsnake Vonda N. McIntyre
122 28% (10/36) 1991 Synners Pat Cadigan
123 28% (11/40) 1865 From the Earth to the Moon Jules Verne
124 28% (11/40) 1951 The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury
125 27% (12/44) 1976 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang Kate Wilhelm
126 27% (10/37) 1968 Camp Concentration Thomas M. Disch
127 27% (10/37) 1970 Cities in Flight James Blish
128 27% (10/37) 1972 The Fifth Head of Cerberus Gene Wolfe
129 27% (11/41) 1946 Adventures in Time and Space Raymond J. Healy, J. Francis McComas
130 27% (11/41) 1949 The Humanoids Jack Williamson
131 27% (11/41) 1948 The World of Null-A A.E. van Vogt
132 26% (10/38) 1962 Hothouse Brian W. Aldiss
133 26% (10/38) 1979 Kindred Octavia E. Butler
134 26% (10/38) 1968 Rite of Passage Alexei Panshin
135 26% (10/39) 1955 The End of Eternity Isaac Asimov
136 26% (10/39) 1966 This Immortal Roger Zelazny
137 25% (10/40) 1889 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Mark Twain
138 25% (10/40) 1897 The Invisible Man H.G. Wells
139 25% (11/44) 1971 The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin
140 24% (10/41) 1923 R.U.R. Karel Čapek
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