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Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985 – 2010

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Inspired by David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literatur Inspired by David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literature. Moreover, each entry features a cover image of the novel, a plot synopsis, and a mini review, making it an ideal go-to guide for anyone wanting to become reacquainted with an old favorite or to discover a previously unknown treasure. With a foreword by David Pringle, this invaluable reference is sure to provoke conversation and debates among sci-fi fans and devotees.


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Inspired by David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literatur Inspired by David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literature. Moreover, each entry features a cover image of the novel, a plot synopsis, and a mini review, making it an ideal go-to guide for anyone wanting to become reacquainted with an old favorite or to discover a previously unknown treasure. With a foreword by David Pringle, this invaluable reference is sure to provoke conversation and debates among sci-fi fans and devotees.

17 review for Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985 – 2010

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010: Interesting choices, but reviews inept Originally published at Fantasy Literature Even since high school I’ve used David Pringle’s Science Fiction: 100 Best Novels, 1949-1984 (1985), Modern Fantasy: 100 Best Novels, 1946-1987 (1988), and The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction (1991) as excellent guides to some of the highest-quality, distinctive, and intelligent books in the SF and fantasy genres. By introducing me to many obscure and underappreciate Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010: Interesting choices, but reviews inept Originally published at Fantasy Literature Even since high school I’ve used David Pringle’s Science Fiction: 100 Best Novels, 1949-1984 (1985), Modern Fantasy: 100 Best Novels, 1946-1987 (1988), and The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction (1991) as excellent guides to some of the highest-quality, distinctive, and intelligent books in the SF and fantasy genres. By introducing me to many obscure and underappreciated titles and authors, including a number of UK writers unfamiliar to American fans, Pringle served to broaden my SF and fantasy horizons so much that I will always owe him a debt of gratitude. The only drawback was that he never followed up these volumes with a newer selection of titles, and after high school I became busy with college and work and family and couldn’t find the time to read SF much. Two decades later, Damian Broderick and Paul di Filippo, both SF critics and published authors in their own right, saw an opportunity to fill the gap left by Pringle. Using essentially the same format, they made a selection of their choices for the best SF novels of the next 25 years, taking up the year after Pringle’s book ends. Purely by accident, I discovered Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010 and bought it on impulse. Since I had been away from the genre for about 20 years, many of the titles were completely unfamiliar to me. It was the perfect primer to catch up with the genre and get motivated to dive back in. Each entry is 2-3 pages long, and describes the author’s background and body of work, importance in the genre (or not, in the case of some mainstream authors included here), and a synopsis of the book, complete with quotes, opinions, and unfortunately inexcusable spoilers of major plot points in some cases. I cannot fathom why they need to include spoilers when the book is designed to get people interested in new books to read. Both authors are regular reviewers of SF works, including in The New York Review of Science Fiction and Asimov’s Science Fiction, and there is no question that they have read very widely in the genre. Just imagine how many books you need to have read to narrow it down to ‘just’ 101 titles over a 25-year span. They are also extremely enthusiastic about their recommendations, and gleefully describe how special or underappreciated a given title is. I too am a die-hard fan of speculative fiction, especially the more highbrow ‘literary’ SF that attempts to both entertain, enlighten, and challenge readers and deliver new insights and ideas about the world and what the future might hold. However, I found the writing style of these two reviewers to be way too clever, self-congratulatory, and more florid and purple than Barney. For example, I have never seen so much use of superfluous and pretentious terms in any book not labeled ‘literary criticism’: “mimetic, deracinated, limned, re-complicated, evergreen-deep tropes, or hieratic numerology" are thrown about with abandon, just to show how incredibly erudite and sophisticated our reviewers really are. Instead of impressing me, it just made me roll my eyes in disgust. One of the best things about the SF genre is that it can be unashamedly intelligent and mind-expanding without being as haughty and elitist as mainstream ‘literary’ writers and critics often are. So it’s a shame when two clearly well-read and enthusiastic promoters of the genre feel the need to impress by mimicking the worst excesses of ‘literary criticism’. The beauty of David Pringle’s books were his ability to describe in concise and clear terms what made a book worth reading, without throwing in too much of his own prejudices. There are dozens of examples of irritating writing that doesn’t belong in a review, and I found this in another review of the book which will give you an idea: Lethem's beautifully balanced, metaphorically rich prose propels this blackly jolly fable to a surprising yet satisfying conclusion. By book's end, a sense that the author had accomplished his takeoff taxiing and was now fully in flight for more cosmopolitan cities pervades the pages. In the end, I read through all the reviews but used Goodreads and Fantasy Literature as a filter to weed out books that I wasn’t sure were quite as amazing as the reviewers suggested. As we all know, no two readers will be able to agree on even a fraction of the books included in a “Best of” list, and in particular I am not sure about the recommendations in this book. However, although I have read at least half of Pringles’ SF picks, I have only read a paltry 13 of the 101 books listed below, so I really can’t judge how ‘on-target’ they are. That would depend entirely on each person’s individual taste and preferences. From the list, the following titles look attractive and I plan to read them sometime in my lifetime: This Is the Way the World Ends, The Falling Woman, Soldiers of Paradise, Life During Wartime, The Sea and Summer, Cyteen, Neverness, Grass, Queen of Angels, Barrayar, Stations of the Tide, China Mountain Zhang, Red Mars, A Fire Upon the Deep, Aristoi, Doomsday Book, Parable of the Sower, Ammonite, Brittle Innings, Permutation City, Revelation Space, The Time Traveler’s Wife, River of Gods, Accelerando, Spin, Blindsight, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, The Alchemy of Stone, Zoo City, and The Quantum Thief. 1. Handmaid’s Tale* by Margaret Atwood 2. Ender’s Game* by Orson Scott Card 3. Radio Free Albemuth* by Philip K. Dick 4. Always Coming Home by Ursula K. LeGuin 5. This Is the Way the World Ends by James Morrow 6. Galapagos* by Kurt Vonnegut 7. The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy 8. The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent 9. A Door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski 10. Soldiers of Paradise by Paul Park 11. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard 12. The Sea and Summer by George Turner 13. Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh 14. Neverness by David Zindell 15. The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein 16. Grass by Sheri S. Tepper 17. Use of Weapons* by Iain M. Banks 18. Queen of Angels by Greg Bear 19. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold 20. Synners by Pat Cadigan 21. Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler 22. White Queen by Gwyneth Jones 23. Eternal Light by Paul McAuley 24. Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick 25. Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter 26. Dead Girls by Richard Calder 27. Jumper by Steven Gould 28. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh 29. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson 30. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge 31. Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams 32. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis 33. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 34. Ammonite by Nicola Griffith 35. Chimera by Mary Rosenblum 36. Nightside the Long Sun* by Gene Wolfe 37. Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop 38. Permutation City by Greg Egan 39. Blood: A Southern Fantasy by Michael Moorcock 40. Mother of Storms by John Barnes 41. Sailing Bright Eternity by Gregory Benford 42. Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers 43. The Diamond Age* by Neal Stephenson 44. The Transmigration of Souls by William Barton 45. The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter 46. The Sparrow/Children of God by Mary Doria Russell 47. Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling 48. Night Lamp by Jack Vance 49. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker 50. Forever Peace* by Joe Haldeman 51. Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand 52. As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem 53. The Cassini Division by Ken MacLeod 54. Bloom by Wil McCarthy 55. Vast by Linda Nagata 56. The Golden Globe by John Varley 57. Headlong by Simon Ings 58. Cave of Stars by George Zebrowski 59. Genesis by Poul Anderson 60. Super-Cannes by J. G. Ballard 61. Under the Skin by Michael Faber 62. Perdido Street Station* by China Mieville 63. Distance Haze by Jamil Nasir 64. Revelation Space Trilogy by Alastair Reynolds 65. Salt by Adam Roberts 66. Ventus by Karl Schroeder 67. The Cassandra Complex by Brian Stableford 68. Light by M. John Harrison 69. Altered Carbon* by Richard Morgan 70. The Separation by Christopher Priest 71. The Golden Age by John C. Wright 72. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenger 73. Natural History by Justina Robinson 74. The Labyrinth Key/Spears of God by Howard Hendrix 75. River of Gods by Ian McDonald 76. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth 77. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 78. The House of Storms by Ian R. MacLeod 79. Counting Heads by David Marusek 80. Air (Or, Have Not Have) by Geoff Ryman 81. Accelerando by Charles Stross 82. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson 83. My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen 84. The Road* by Cormac McCarthy 85. Temeraire/His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik 86. Blindsight by Peter Watts 87. HARM by Brian Aldiss 88. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon 89. The Secret City by Carol Emshwiller 90. In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan 91. Postsingular by Rudy Rucker 92. Shadow of the Scorpion by Neal Asher 93. The Hunger Games* by Suzanne Collins 94. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow 95. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia 96. The Windup Girl* by Paolo Bacigalupi 97. Steal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress 98. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest 99. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes 100. Zero History by William Gibson 101. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is a book I have been eager to read for some years after finding the 100 best Modern Fantasy on one of my random travels. Now I will admit that back then the book was an amazing eye opener. Not only gave a wonderful mixture of titles covering an astounding array of sub-genres it also gave brief and tantalising ideas of what the story was all about. At this point I must say that I love reading a book for the journey I can read the last page of a book and still get the same amount of enjoymen This is a book I have been eager to read for some years after finding the 100 best Modern Fantasy on one of my random travels. Now I will admit that back then the book was an amazing eye opener. Not only gave a wonderful mixture of titles covering an astounding array of sub-genres it also gave brief and tantalising ideas of what the story was all about. At this point I must say that I love reading a book for the journey I can read the last page of a book and still get the same amount of enjoyment out of it simply because I want to see how the characters got there even if I do not enjoy what happens to them. So reading a brief preface of what happens if anything makes a book even more appealing to me that I started. Anyway this book does not get the full rating for one reasons. Its NOT by David Pringle - now sitting here looking at it that is quite obvious but not every review or sales site confirms this - in fact he wrote the preface to the book and others did the section and reviewing. Why the disappointment well simply because I love Mr Pringles style - who is clear and accessible and generally light in tone (after all if you want to dive in to a book thats great but that is for the book now the introduction) which sadly is not always the case with this book. In fact there were several entries which I felt the author was almost trying to be too smart to show off their superior knowledge of the story and in the process making you feel inferior about what you thought of it. Now I am sure that was not the case intended but it did feel that way. That said they were few and far between and there are some both amazing choices of titles and entries- this is one book which will be referred to time and time again although when I start reading it I may have to take a few deep breaths.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Kahn

    I want to preface this review by stating that the reason I read (as do most people, I would think) a book like this is as a "what to read next." And in this it succeeded, as I have pulled several books or authors from this book to try, including Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Filippo, an excellent book which I really enjoyed. It's hard to believe that someone that wrote such a fun, witty book as Fuzzy Dice could be involved in such a dud as this. The book is excrutiating to try and read. Full of half-bake I want to preface this review by stating that the reason I read (as do most people, I would think) a book like this is as a "what to read next." And in this it succeeded, as I have pulled several books or authors from this book to try, including Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Filippo, an excellent book which I really enjoyed. It's hard to believe that someone that wrote such a fun, witty book as Fuzzy Dice could be involved in such a dud as this. The book is excrutiating to try and read. Full of half-baked literary theories, author bios, recommendations of almost every other work by the author, comparisons of each book with mentions of several other authors and books, I gave up on reading the entries and turned to scanning them after awhile. Then I stopped doing that and simply grabbed the title of each book and looked up reviews on-line to get an idea of whether the book would interest me or not. This book is intended as a sequel to David Pringle's Science Fiction: the 100 best novels. As a consequence, I went and sought out Pringle's book, a vastly superior work. Pringle keeps his reviews short and to the point. If an author has written more than one book that ranks as one of the best novels, Pringle gives them multiple entries. Not so with Damien Broderick and Di Filippo, who never give an author more than one listing, but then mention several of the author's works under that book's entry. In one book (which escapes me), the reader is told not to start with the book in question, but rather with an earlier book in the series. But that book doesn't make the list on its own. Many specific entries are meant to stand in for a whole series. The book does not read like the authors wanted to compile a list of the best sf books between 1985 and 2010 as much as give a literary overview to books of that period. It may not seem that different, but it is. I also didn't like that fact that the table of contents included a list of the books, but not the authors. There was no index, either, which made it impossible to see who had written what without flipping through the whole book. I thought this was a huge omission. Overall, I'd recommend this book for the list of recommendations, which the reader can then go elsewhere to find out about. Reading this book is just too painful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    This isn't exactly filled with sparkling deathless prose, and if you're expecting something definitive or unassailable, I think you're a bit batty. If you think you're going to agree with every choice, I think you're more than a bit batty. It's basically a list with some commentary, comprising of a number of novels which the authors found notable in one way or another -- not necessarily literary merit, but sometimes just really cool ideas. It's an interesting list, a little more diverse than I wa This isn't exactly filled with sparkling deathless prose, and if you're expecting something definitive or unassailable, I think you're a bit batty. If you think you're going to agree with every choice, I think you're more than a bit batty. It's basically a list with some commentary, comprising of a number of novels which the authors found notable in one way or another -- not necessarily literary merit, but sometimes just really cool ideas. It's an interesting list, a little more diverse than I was expecting, and I'm planning to go through it reading all the books. Sometimes the commentary by the authors is useful, sometimes it amounts to little more than a plot summary, but either way it usually gives you a feel of what the book is about, at the very least.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    Any authors who dare to compile a list of ‘best’ SF novels do so at their peril. If there is anything more divisive to SF fans than what constitutes the genre itself, then it is what novels or authors are most representative of that genre. (For a genre supposedly based on inclusivity and universalism, SF is renowned for its rivalries and schisms, some petty and others quite epic; this book will no doubt fan some of those fires.) Kudos then to Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo for defusing the Any authors who dare to compile a list of ‘best’ SF novels do so at their peril. If there is anything more divisive to SF fans than what constitutes the genre itself, then it is what novels or authors are most representative of that genre. (For a genre supposedly based on inclusivity and universalism, SF is renowned for its rivalries and schisms, some petty and others quite epic; this book will no doubt fan some of those fires.) Kudos then to Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo for defusing the critical minefield by making two very bold statements in their introduction: firstly, that SF is a mode of reading and, secondly, that the term itself is more of a marketing distinction than it is a literary one. The latter point is best underlined by some notable inclusions in this list, namely The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. These are authors not normally associated with SF, even though their books highlighted here share many of the techniques and tropes of the genre. This, of course, is the 2012 sequel to David Pringle’s Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels: 1949-1984, published in 1985. This means that the next instalment is due in 2035, which is a scary thought, given the momentous social, political and technological changes that the world has undergone in this 25-year period – as encapsulated by the SF genre itself. Indeed, Pringle comments that “the world is different, but science fiction carries on vigorously, reflecting our times back to us in imaginative form.” Broderick and Di Filipo pick up on this point in their introduction: “Science fiction is the tool that allows us to master such change.” Science fiction is the one type of literature that promotes, to use the phrase pioneered by the bloggers at Boing Boing, the creation of ‘happy mutants’. It’s the literature of cultural Darwinism, the sieve through which we pan for ideational gold. The authors provide a sobering snapshot of the world (way back) in 1985, when a state-of-the-art cellphone was the Motorola DynaTAC and a state-of-the-art computer was the Commodore 64, cyberpunk was the ‘in’ thing (Bladerunner was released in 1982), and Ronald Reagan took up the reins for his second term as US president. What is remarkable about this book, and which makes it such fun to read, is how diverse SF is as a genre (and perhaps even moreso as a socio-political and cultural movement). This is very much the sort of book you dip in and out of when the mood takes you. For seasoned SF readers such as myself, it offers some surprises – I have not read Linda Nagata, Jamil Nasir, William Barton, Raphael Carter, Rosemary Kirstein or Howard Hendrix, for example. On the other hand, there are some baffling inclusions, such as Suzanne Collins and Audrey Niffenger, but I think this has more to do with illustrating the zeitgeist of the times than literary merit (one hopes). Equally, there are notable exclusions: Samuel R. Delany’s Nova is in the Pringle book, but not Dhalgren. And Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand (1984) is not, and neither is it squeezed into this second compendium. Let us hope that Delany’s Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders (2012) makes the third volume at least. Some prominent critics like Michael Moorcock have already referred to the lack of women writers and writers of colour on this list. However, given recent developments in the genre, the 2035 instalment will likely make for very interesting, and very different, reading. Here is to the next 25 years.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    While I discussed the list of titles (as it made its way online as a meme) in a FBC post here: http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com... and I even offered some other suggestions in another post here: http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com..., I finally got a copy of the book itself and a little to my surprise I found it very entertaining and the authors present a convincing case for most books (I still do not get Temeraire which is still mediocre fantasy with no place on either a sf list or a best of While I discussed the list of titles (as it made its way online as a meme) in a FBC post here: http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com... and I even offered some other suggestions in another post here: http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com..., I finally got a copy of the book itself and a little to my surprise I found it very entertaining and the authors present a convincing case for most books (I still do not get Temeraire which is still mediocre fantasy with no place on either a sf list or a best of anything but how to churn endless sequels that go nowhere) and while I disagree in a lot of cases with the choices as noted in the post above, I felt the authors did a good selling job for most novels. The style is generally jargon-free and the arguments to the point with a short overview of the author's work and a description of the novel in cause, sometimes (but not always) an argument for why it was chosen from among the author's work rather than why the author has been chosen. As for content again imho it has several notable misses and it has a heavy "soft sf" orientation rather than the epic-sf - space opera and its cousins, mil-sf and epic alt-history which i tend to favor, so i think that it will be much less relevant 20-30 years from now since I would argue that in the 1985-2010 period, sf moved decisively towards the more epic form plus a strong post-apocalyptic branch (not that well represented in the book either), while the softer side moved into mainstream, thrillers, YA, urban fantasy (which is a misnomer to a large extent as its topic used to be sf once upon a time) and is much less prevalent today in what is packaged as sf

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    Vivid readers always welcome new recommendations. If you just need a raw list then you can go to Worlds without End and look up the different awards or compiled lists. Personally I enjoy it when someone writes a paragraph or two why a book has been selected and this is what Damien Broderick does. I am familiar with many of the authors and have read about 20 books from the list. Some I really loved (The Road, The Golden Age, Use of Weapons) and others not so much (Night Lamp despite being a huge Vivid readers always welcome new recommendations. If you just need a raw list then you can go to Worlds without End and look up the different awards or compiled lists. Personally I enjoy it when someone writes a paragraph or two why a book has been selected and this is what Damien Broderick does. I am familiar with many of the authors and have read about 20 books from the list. Some I really loved (The Road, The Golden Age, Use of Weapons) and others not so much (Night Lamp despite being a huge Jack Vance fan, Natural History) but every single one left a lasting impression. It's safe to say that Broderick favors grand ideas so if you look for speculative fiction with a spin then take a look at his Top 101. Some people have complained that only one entry is allowed per author. In my opinion this is a good choice and encourages to take a good look at an article to find more recommendations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Roddy Williams

    I’ve only recently come across this book, having made it my mission back in the 80s to read all of the books in 100 Best SF Novels. (I still have about 5 to go.) I am a little surprised and somewhat disappointed at some of the choices and would seriously question the selectors’ definition of the word ‘Best’. Pringle’s criteria I imagine would be that the novels would be both important in terms of influence within the SF world and also be great works of literature. Certainly that applies with a la I’ve only recently come across this book, having made it my mission back in the 80s to read all of the books in 100 Best SF Novels. (I still have about 5 to go.) I am a little surprised and somewhat disappointed at some of the choices and would seriously question the selectors’ definition of the word ‘Best’. Pringle’s criteria I imagine would be that the novels would be both important in terms of influence within the SF world and also be great works of literature. Certainly that applies with a large percentage of this selection but Difillippo and Broderick were well off the mark with the remainder. I suspect that some authors were included because of their prior reputations rather than the quality of that particular novel. Ballard and Vonnegut wrote far better years before and seem to have been included out of respect rather than merit. In some cases an arbitrary novel seems to have been picked out of a respected author’s canon where far better works could have been included. It does seem odd for instance that ‘Shadow of The Scorpion’ was the Asher choice rather than ‘Gridlinked‘ or Greg Bear’s ‘Queen of Angels‘ being the best thing he wrote in twenty five years. Louis McMaster Bujold, CJ Cherryh and Orson Scott Card write workmanlike SF novels, but they can’t surely be good enough to be listed in the best 101 since 1985. It is the omissions that are as surprising as the inclusions. Where is Dan Simmons’ ‘Hyperion‘ or Richard Paul Russo’s ‘Unto Leviathan‘, either of which would knock the Hunger Games into a cocked hat? I’m not even going to get into the debate about whether ‘The Hunger Games’ should be on the list. That one selection undermines the validity of the entire enterprise. Where are Peter F Hamilton, Robert Reed, Ian Watson? It doesn’t strike me as a list that has been properly thought through and one which was designed to please the lowest common denominator rather than being a truly critical choice. ‘Most popular’ seldom equates with ‘Best’.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    An interesting yet to my mind subjective selection of the "best 101". I definitely have missed out some (possibly) important works, but many of my absolute favourites are here (such as Air and Grass) plus all the obvious choices such as Ender's Game, Red Mars, Perdido Street Station, Use of Weapons. Also Natural History that I have only this week discovered. But some glaring ommissions - Peter Hamilton? Dan Simmons? David Brin? But overall, the authors intelligently present their reasons for eac An interesting yet to my mind subjective selection of the "best 101". I definitely have missed out some (possibly) important works, but many of my absolute favourites are here (such as Air and Grass) plus all the obvious choices such as Ender's Game, Red Mars, Perdido Street Station, Use of Weapons. Also Natural History that I have only this week discovered. But some glaring ommissions - Peter Hamilton? Dan Simmons? David Brin? But overall, the authors intelligently present their reasons for each choice with detailed analysis of the novel. It's a nice little reference, has given me some new ideas for my rapidly enlarging "to-read" list.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Norman Lee Madsen

    Perhaps a more accurate title would be something like: S/F: 101 Eccentric Big Idea Novels 1985-2010. I would think that a list of "Best Novels" would place more weight on novels that successfully balance plot, character, setting, theme and fine prose writing, culminating in novel that is greater than the sum of its parts. Also, it feels as though the number 101 was a marketing decision; as a result the final list is diluted (and resulting shortened analysis and/or critique generally rather shallow Perhaps a more accurate title would be something like: S/F: 101 Eccentric Big Idea Novels 1985-2010. I would think that a list of "Best Novels" would place more weight on novels that successfully balance plot, character, setting, theme and fine prose writing, culminating in novel that is greater than the sum of its parts. Also, it feels as though the number 101 was a marketing decision; as a result the final list is diluted (and resulting shortened analysis and/or critique generally rather shallow) by the inclusion of some rather odd choices, included because of their Eccentric Big Ideas.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Adam Gilmour

    This is the sequel to David Pringle's brilliant Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. Don't know why I delayed so much in getting this because I loved all the other similar genre guides. Main differences with Pringle's earlier guide is that it adds an extra book more, Pringle always used 2 pages per entry and this uses 2-3 pages (Gene Wolfe was the only one to get 4 pages if I remember correctly). No author gets more than one book (or book series), while Pringle was quite happy to choose multipl This is the sequel to David Pringle's brilliant Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. Don't know why I delayed so much in getting this because I loved all the other similar genre guides. Main differences with Pringle's earlier guide is that it adds an extra book more, Pringle always used 2 pages per entry and this uses 2-3 pages (Gene Wolfe was the only one to get 4 pages if I remember correctly). No author gets more than one book (or book series), while Pringle was quite happy to choose multiple books by the same author. It could be said that Broderick and Di Filippo cheat by cramming in lots of other recommendations as tangents (Attanasio's Radix is given a strong recommendation in the entry for Zindell's Neverness, they lament that he was overlooked for the previous book) and career run-throughs for lesser known authors (Liz Jensen gets a bundle of her books profiled). Some reviewers disliked all this extra cramming but I really appreciated it. Like other reviewers I sometimes suspected some books were included for being important and representative (perhaps to discuss developments in the genre) rather than the best, a surprising number of bestsellers are chosen and I wondered if this was a crowdpleasing move. Some later successes by the SF elders are chosen (including Poul Anderson, Vance, Vonnegut, Ballard, Moorcock, Le Guin, Aldiss) and many other reviewers felt these entries were just out of respect to the legends of the genre. Possibly some writers were chosen out of respect for their short fiction? Since I haven't read a single one of these books and cant read the minds of Broderick & Di Filippo, I cant say how honest the choices were. I normally welcome dense writing but when I read reviews, I rarely have the patience for it and sometimes feel like a traitor for this. But a lot of the descriptions are really confusing. They insist that science fiction rarely has much actual science in it but I was frequently lost with the mentions of singularity, quantum sciences and other such things. In a guide like this, which will probably attract newbies as much as huge SF fans, I felt they should have been more accessible like Pringle was. But I enjoyed the writing more than most people seemed to, I thought there was a glee to it. My biggest complaint is that the type size is too small, making the book much more difficult. Even if you're not fond of ebooks you might want to consider the ebook version to save your eyes. There was quite a lot of epic Hard SF and that's a hard sell for me despite my admiration for the scale of such stories, but Broderick and Filippo did quite a good job getting me to consider getting some of them. Half way through I was wondering how many women wrote this sort of thing and the entry on Linda Nagata answers that. I never thought I'd be interested in Michael Chabon or Orson Scott Card's Ender series but they also sold me on those. I recently passed by Cherryh's Cyteen in a charity shop and assumed it must be one of her lesser works but according to this guide it's one of her best! The book entries I was most excited by were... James Morrow - This Is The Way The World Ends Pamela Sargent - Shore Of Women Joan Slonczewski - A Door Into Ocean Paul Park - Sugar Festival David Zindell - Neverness Gwyneth Jones - Aleutian trilogy Richard Calder - Dead Girls trilogy Walter Jon Williams - Aristoi Michael Moorcock - Second Ether trilogy Christopher Priest - The Separation John C Wright - The Golden Age (Strange to see him featured here considering what he done to his reputation since. 2012 was such a different time in the genre!) Ian McDonald - River Of Gods Ian R MacLeod - House Of Storms David Marusek - Counting Heads Geoff Ryman - Air Liz Jensen - My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (along with a bunch of her other works discussed) Carol Emshwiller - Secret City (the crazy sounding The Mount even moreso) Ekaterina Sedia - Alchemy Of Stone Hannu Rajaniemi - Quantum Thief series (seemed to do interesting things with the references) Please don't be put off by some of the drawbacks of this guide. I cant verify how good the choices are but I haven't found many better ways to aquaint myself with what has been going on in science fiction during the period covered. Speculative fiction (and maybe other genres) are perhaps getting too big for anyone to cover comprehensively and perhaps people wont be able to do this kind of thing convincingly anymore. But I pray there will be more guides like this. Fantasy really needs more top 100 guides like this because the last really good ones were in the 80s.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ebenmaessiger

    Quarantine's reverted me to some sort of juvenile state, happy just to wallow in the encyclopedic breadth of THINGS -- thus this read. It's par for the course at this point (see the Pringle and Burgess reviews for my basic take on the ins and outs of the genre), but there are interesting distinctions with this work here and two most visible idiosyncratic touches that distinguish these two pickers from the others: 1) their predilection for the -punks of the new sf world, neuro-, bio-, and, most s Quarantine's reverted me to some sort of juvenile state, happy just to wallow in the encyclopedic breadth of THINGS -- thus this read. It's par for the course at this point (see the Pringle and Burgess reviews for my basic take on the ins and outs of the genre), but there are interesting distinctions with this work here and two most visible idiosyncratic touches that distinguish these two pickers from the others: 1) their predilection for the -punks of the new sf world, neuro-, bio-, and, most significantly, cyber. These are here in spades, which is tempting, even if I find most of them unappealing. That said, what this interest does do, is make this an extremely science fictional book, which might not seem like much, but is, considering even the Pringle and other Reccy books, which give considerable space to the AltHist, fantastika, anthropological, or science fantasy subgenres (some might say soft science fiction). These are here, but much less so than books categorizable as Hard. This, all in all, is a good thing, as most popular(izing) lists tend to emphasis the former rather than the latter, for reasons of accessibility and cross-over appeal, and, as such, there are some unheard of works here for me, of both the lesser-known-work-by-known-author variety, as well as just the who-is-this? form. Nice. The personal challenge, though, is trying, when picking one to read, to separate the wheat from the chaff, an especially hard task, considering the second idiosyncratic point here; 2) some turgid prose, complimented by some of the strangest summarizing one could imagine. It's almost admirable, that one could get a two-page summary of a book and feel like they understand less what's going on than just looking at the cover. Partially, this is helpful -- even this prefacory reading masks some of the spoilers. Mostly it's a byproduct of their own writing style. Like a Clute without the red thread of genius. More broadly, their analysis is good (meaning, they pay attention to) at pulling out the philosophical quandries of works and placing things in broader sf historical perspective, and quite bad on style, composition, and such [save, strangely, the one Egan work -- doesn't seem like he would necessarily deserve it compared to others].

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    An interesting sequel to Pringle's famous earlier work. Some of the selections already look a bit surprising 2018 (in particular the concentration on late career work of older writers over more new voices) but interesting to see the perspective and reasoning for these.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Francis Fabian

    A follow up to David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. Different in style (2 different writers) but just as interesting as the previous volume.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    I've had this out twice from the library, but really have only read most of it in the last few days. It's pretty interesting, with some books I love, a few that I hated, some I'd like to read, a few that I never will. TOC: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?3... OK, some highlights (and low points), in reverse order (most recent first): * The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (2010). His first novel, good but confusing. 4/5 stars ? Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2009). I hated it, 1/5. Doctorow's I've had this out twice from the library, but really have only read most of it in the last few days. It's pretty interesting, with some books I love, a few that I hated, some I'd like to read, a few that I never will. TOC: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?3... OK, some highlights (and low points), in reverse order (most recent first): * The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (2010). His first novel, good but confusing. 4/5 stars ? Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2009). I hated it, 1/5. Doctorow's best work is short-form. * The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (2007). Alt-history, where the Jews settled Alaska in 1948. 4/5 stars * My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen (2006). A cheerfully-bawdy romantic time-travel fantasy: 4/5 stars * Accelerando by Charles Stross (2005). 4/5 stars now. It's kind of a mess, and the early parts aren't aging well, but what a story! 5/5 back then. * Counting Heads by David Marusek (2005) Lots of Neat Stuff, but an interesting failure as a novel. 2.7/5 stars ? The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (2004). Nazi fantasies of a left-wing intellectual. Never read, never will. * Natural History by Justina Robson (2003). (Then-) New Brit Space Opera. Impressive novel. 4.3/5 stars * The Golden Age (omnibus) by John C. Wright (2002+). Astonishing book. 4.4/5 stars * Ventus by Karl Schroeder (2001). Amazingly good first novel. 4/5 stars * Bloom by Wil McCarthy (1998). Pretty near flawless. His masterwork. 5/5 stars * The Cassini Division by Ken MacLeod (1998). He's done better, but this is good. 3.6/5 stars * In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker (The Company #1, 1997). Impressive start to the series. 4/5 stars * Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling (1996). One of Stirling's strongest. Holds up well to rereading. 4.4/5 stars * The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter (1996). "I am a Camera". Great stuff when new; hasn't aged well. 3.3/5 stars now * The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (1995). Arguably his masterwork, 5/5 stars *A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (1992). Wonderful space opera; his masterwork. 5/5 stars * Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick (1991). “The bureaucarat fell from the sky." 5/5 stars * Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan Saga #7 , 1991). Hugo winner, 4/5 stars * Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (Culture #4, 1990). 4/5 stars * Grass by Sheri S. Tepper (1989), her masterwork. 5/5 stars So: 20 first choices (4 or 5 stars) and 2 duds. Plus a bunch of inexplicable-to-me choices, but hey, it's their list. Worth browsing. See if your library has a copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Conceived of as a sequel to David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels - 1949-1984, this book serves as a genre menu of some of the tastiest morsels of the last 25 years. I don't consider myself to be much of a science-fiction reader, maybe a handful of titles a year, but I was surprised to see that I have read 12 of the 101 titles in the book. As with all such "Best" lists, I'm sure there is plenty of debate to be had about those that are on the list and those that aren't -- but I hav Conceived of as a sequel to David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels - 1949-1984, this book serves as a genre menu of some of the tastiest morsels of the last 25 years. I don't consider myself to be much of a science-fiction reader, maybe a handful of titles a year, but I was surprised to see that I have read 12 of the 101 titles in the book. As with all such "Best" lists, I'm sure there is plenty of debate to be had about those that are on the list and those that aren't -- but I have zero qualifications to weigh in on that angle. Presented chronologically by publication date, each book is given a two or three page critical appraisal, positioning it and its author within the context of earlier writers and themes within science fiction. This can sometimes get a little highbrow, with references to Lacan, Freud, Jung, Marx, Jameson, and other thinkers and theorists (surprisingly, Barthes and Derrida are MIA). There are also plot summaries, many of which can stray deep into spoiler territory -- so beware. I can't say that I've earmarked very many of the selections to go find and read (so far, the two I have are Richard Calder's Dead Girls, Mary Rosenblum's Chimera, and Michael Faber's Under the Skin), but it is proving to be a good way to acquaint myself with a number of books and authors I've heard of, but know nothing about. Recommended for casual science-fiction readers like myself, looking for an overview of contemporary science fiction. Note: The book has one huge flaw, which is that the type is minuscule, either 6 or 7 point I believe. It doesn't matter how old you are or what your eyesight is, this is inexcusable design and typesetting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dave Newton

    In 1985 David Pringle - writer, fan, reviewer & editor - published 'SF - The 100 Best Novels 1949-1984' [I'd love a copy]. This is the follow up. It is in chronological order and each book gets a 2-3 page review/overview, which may also briefly comment on its place in SF or the writer's career. It begins with Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' and ends with Hannu Rajaniemi's 'The Quantum Thief'. The authors haven't restricted themselves to straight or 'hard' SF either. Along the way are men In 1985 David Pringle - writer, fan, reviewer & editor - published 'SF - The 100 Best Novels 1949-1984' [I'd love a copy]. This is the follow up. It is in chronological order and each book gets a 2-3 page review/overview, which may also briefly comment on its place in SF or the writer's career. It begins with Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' and ends with Hannu Rajaniemi's 'The Quantum Thief'. The authors haven't restricted themselves to straight or 'hard' SF either. Along the way are mentions for The Time Traveller's Wife and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, as well as the 'usual suspects' from authors such as Card, Robinson, Banks, Bujold, etc. {see full list posted by another reviewer] I *thought* my SF reading was quite wide ranging. I recognised quite a few of the books and more of writers, but I have probably only read a third of the titles covered. What surprised me was not only how many of the books I didn't recognise, but how many author's names weren't familiar either. If you like reading science fiction in its broadest forms - i.e. also dabble around the borders of fantasy, alternate history, technothrillers or slipstream, then this is time/money well spent. I keep it handy and randomly flip through it, rather than actually reading the whole thing cover-to-cover. The authors may miss some of your favourite books - they have mine - but based on what I have read that *is* in there, I'll trust their opinions on the rest. It is certainly giving me plenty of new books and writers to think about. flag Like  · see review Nov 10, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction, b12, about, sf, 2014, 1402, xj http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2251242.html[return][return]I'm not sure that it quite worked for me. For each book, the co-authors give a blurb of two pages or so explaining why it is good and why it is important in the trajectory both of the individual author and of the genre. But one thing I missed was snark: I'd much rather that they had included twenty bad books - or twenty books which they were prepared to admit were bad books - to make it clear that the praise they were lavishing was deserv http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2251242.html[return][return]I'm not sure that it quite worked for me. For each book, the co-authors give a blurb of two pages or so explaining why it is good and why it is important in the trajectory both of the individual author and of the genre. But one thing I missed was snark: I'd much rather that they had included twenty bad books - or twenty books which they were prepared to admit were bad books - to make it clear that the praise they were lavishing was deserved in other cases. (This is why I'm fundamentally unsympathetic to the occasional efforts to set up sites that will only write positive reviews - you just can't trust them if they won't tell you what they don't like.) [return][return]I was also not convinced that individual novels are the right building blocks to construct a chronology of a quarter century of the genre. Quite apart from the facts that many of the choices are individually questionable, and single volumes may fairly not represent longer series (Bujold, Banks, etc), sf also includes short stories and other media. Sure, it's valid to look only at novels; but it's also a huge constraint. flag Like  · see review Aug 27, 2016 Mhd rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction Here's very typical sentence for you: "Unless self-inflicted disaster inevitably reduces intelligence to ruin and global death--explaining the Fermi paradox of the absence of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations--history seems fated to pass through a Vingean Singularity, as we see in a number of other novels here, into a realm beyond our present imaginative capacity." (p. 173) My leisure reading was almost exclusively science fiction in the 1960's through 80's. I got this book because I've Here's very typical sentence for you: "Unless self-inflicted disaster inevitably reduces intelligence to ruin and global death--explaining the Fermi paradox of the absence of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations--history seems fated to pass through a Vingean Singularity, as we see in a number of other novels here, into a realm beyond our present imaginative capacity." (p. 173) My leisure reading was almost exclusively science fiction in the 1960's through 80's. I got this book because I've been wanting to see what's going on and good in 2016. I read this whole book even though I didn't like the writing nor the style of criticism. But, for 101 novels, I think it did give me an idea about whether or not I might actually try the book in question. It was obvious in many of the reviews that the language or sexual content or violence or general theme would be far outside my ballpark. I've flagged only about 2 dozen of the 101 and I'm only really hopeful about a couple. I doubt that my taste and the tastes of a reviewer who writes the way he does ever could match very often... but if it's award winning... we'll see. I am however most eager to see Pringle's book of the 101 best to 1985; the forward here is by Pringle. flag Like  · see review May 05, 2013 Vivian rated it really liked it When I like Science Fiction, I really, REALLY like Science Fiction. The Ender Saga (Orson Scott Card), the Foundation series (Isaac Asimov), almost anything by Ray Bradbury (borderline SciFi), "Never Let Me Go," by Ishiguro, and many others are among my very favorite books. Unfortunately, I've read a few clunkers along the way as well, which now leads me to dread starting a new (to me) Science Fiction novel. Will I love it as much as the raving fans, or will the merits of the book completely esc When I like Science Fiction, I really, REALLY like Science Fiction. The Ender Saga (Orson Scott Card), the Foundation series (Isaac Asimov), almost anything by Ray Bradbury (borderline SciFi), "Never Let Me Go," by Ishiguro, and many others are among my very favorite books. Unfortunately, I've read a few clunkers along the way as well, which now leads me to dread starting a new (to me) Science Fiction novel. Will I love it as much as the raving fans, or will the merits of the book completely escape me? It's happened so often that a recommendation book like "Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels" can be a huge help in choosing those few SciFi novels that really shine. The hitch being, is my taste in SciFi the same as the authors? Well, they do give short summaries, and a general feeling for the type of SciFi the novel falls into, so that is one way to whittle down the huge list of books to-read. Cyberpunk? No thanks. Space opera, with philosophical leanings? A definite maybe...you see the dilemma, I suppose. At least a book like this helps with the initial list; then reading the reviews on Goodreads can finalize the decision. Recommended for Science Fiction fans. flag Like  · see review Jun 25, 2013 Neil rated it it was ok What is it about science fiction critics that makes them feel the need to browbeat readers with overwritten reviews? I can't read stuff like this without feeling like the reviewers have a chip on their shoulder about being ghettoized as genre writers, so they're going to stuff their grad school education into every paragraph. The trouble is that in the process they make the books they're writing about, which are mostly good fun to read as well as full of ideas, sound ponderous and pompous. For t What is it about science fiction critics that makes them feel the need to browbeat readers with overwritten reviews? I can't read stuff like this without feeling like the reviewers have a chip on their shoulder about being ghettoized as genre writers, so they're going to stuff their grad school education into every paragraph. The trouble is that in the process they make the books they're writing about, which are mostly good fun to read as well as full of ideas, sound ponderous and pompous. For that matter, the selection here, while interesting, is hardly representative of the field. More honestly, it would be called something like Damien Broderick and Paul DiFilippo's favorite novel by a selection of major science fiction novelists writing between 1985 and 2010. I was skimming this by the end, and I suspect you'll have a time finding many honest readers who aren't driven to do the same. flag Like  · see review Jun 11, 2012 David rated it it was amazing Fascinating. I love these guide books to reading. I didn't read much science fiction between 1985-1999 so much of this book covers unfamiliar ground. Looking through the best novel picks for those years, I've come to the conclusion that there's a reason I didn't read SF then. The SF from those years just never did appeal to me! Science fiction has been much more interesting since 1999, once "Revelation Space" and some other titles started to hit the market. The section of the book covering these Fascinating. I love these guide books to reading. I didn't read much science fiction between 1985-1999 so much of this book covers unfamiliar ground. Looking through the best novel picks for those years, I've come to the conclusion that there's a reason I didn't read SF then. The SF from those years just never did appeal to me! Science fiction has been much more interesting since 1999, once "Revelation Space" and some other titles started to hit the market. The section of the book covering these books is pretty spot on. I've read most of these novels. One thing missing from this book is "Additional Recommendations" that other books like this one have had. I'm thinking the 100 Best Horror Novels. That book had pages of recommendations past the featured 100. I'd have like to have seen a long, meaty list of the runner ups that didn't get picked for full blown articles. flag Like  · see review Aug 14, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok This book is a collection of SF book reviews of 2 SF authors. The reviews are not straight-forward explain what the books are about but the authors are giving references to other SF books that are about similar ideas or are somehow related to the reviewed and recommended book.It started of very interesting and I got some good book hints out of it. However starting from the 20th book or so the lengthly reviews started to get kind of boring - especially because they were not straight forward but m This book is a collection of SF book reviews of 2 SF authors. The reviews are not straight-forward explain what the books are about but the authors are giving references to other SF books that are about similar ideas or are somehow related to the reviewed and recommended book.It started of very interesting and I got some good book hints out of it. However starting from the 20th book or so the lengthly reviews started to get kind of boring - especially because they were not straight forward but more like musings about the author, its live and its bibliography. I ended up looking for the book reviews and ratings on good reads in order to finish this book.In general it can be helpful. However today there are other ways of finding new books like social platforms as goodreads and you don't need a book like that to find interesting new book hints. flag Like  · see review Jul 21, 2012 Guy Salvidge rated it it was amazing When I was 18 or so, I read David Pringle's The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction, which contains mini reviews of thousands of SF books, virtually cover to cover. I never read his 'Best 101 SF Novels' though. Anyway, Broderick and Di Filippo have produced their follow up here, and it's an impressive volume. Turns out I'd only read about 15 of their best 101 novels since 1985, so I'm trying to rectify that now. I don't see how you can criticise this book - maybe you can criticise some of the sele When I was 18 or so, I read David Pringle's The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction, which contains mini reviews of thousands of SF books, virtually cover to cover. I never read his 'Best 101 SF Novels' though. Anyway, Broderick and Di Filippo have produced their follow up here, and it's an impressive volume. Turns out I'd only read about 15 of their best 101 novels since 1985, so I'm trying to rectify that now. I don't see how you can criticise this book - maybe you can criticise some of the selections. For instance, I'm reading Philip Roth's The Plot Against America now, on this book's recommendation, and I'm underwhelmed. flag Like  · see review Oct 18, 2012 Stephen rated it it was ok Maybe it was the circumstances of reading it (waiting for my son to get out of surgery) or maybe it is a cultural disconnect (British vs. American) but this just didn't connect for me. I was unfamiliar with not only many of the books but many of the authors despite a lifetime of reading science fiction and the essays about each book often seemed unnecesarily elusive regarding the actual plot and characters of the novel. Still I found a few books to add to my to-read list and it occupied my mind Maybe it was the circumstances of reading it (waiting for my son to get out of surgery) or maybe it is a cultural disconnect (British vs. American) but this just didn't connect for me. I was unfamiliar with not only many of the books but many of the authors despite a lifetime of reading science fiction and the essays about each book often seemed unnecesarily elusive regarding the actual plot and characters of the novel. Still I found a few books to add to my to-read list and it occupied my mind during a difficult 6 hour stint in a waiting room. flag Like  · see review Mar 18, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it Shelves: books-that-make-my-tbr-pile-grow A good list of SF books for those who might need an entree into the genre. Like me - I've inly read 3.5 of the entries (and definitely more than just 101 books since some entries cover more than 1 book; but I don't think authors are ever duplicated so this is more like 101 authors from 1985-2010). Beware of spoilers, tho, since more than one reveal was blown. Drawbacks: some of the cover art was from non-us editions, so may not be useful if searching for the book, and the print was too small. flag Like  · see review Sep 17, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction A worthy follow-up to Pringle's 100 best (covering 1948-1984) This has a more diverse selection, a good quantity of which I haven't encountered, often by authors I know nothing of. The essays themselves are longer, and contain less plot summary and more in the way of criticism.It would be nice to get a similar follow up to Pringles 100 best Modern Fantasy as well. flag Like  · see review Jan 03, 2015 Scott Golden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Are some (perhaps many) of these reviews overwritten, to the point where they wind up sounding less like objective considerations of the work at hand, and more like extended publisher's blurbs trying to sell you on why you should be willing to buy said book? Yeah, probably. BUT, the list itself is pretty solid, with very few questionable choices and, ultimately, serves its purpose quite well. flag Like  · see review Oct 12, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing I read the original Pringle book and it served as a guide into the world of science fiction. This new edition by Broderick and Di Fillippo (both respected SF authors/critics) serves a similar function and their selection maps out many of the major trends and highlights of the last 25 years. flag Like  · see review Mar 07, 2013 Taffnerd rated it it was ok Found a few things in here that seem worth reading but it was a very difficult book to get through. Definitely in the "use many big words even when a simple one will do" category. I wonder if the authors just finished their masters degrees and don't know that most people don't talk like that? flag Like  · see review « previous 1 2 next »

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