NPR just released a Top 100 list for science fiction and fantasy. The hideously unreadable-in-every-way Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever clocks in at #58, right before the multi-award-winning Vorkosigan saga at #59. Sandman is way down at #29, but American Gods is #10? Madeleine L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, Narnia, and Harry Potter are not on the list at all. Nor is Octavia Butler. This ranking clearly has an undiagnosed mental health condition.
So here’s my top 20:
1. Tie between Ender’s Game and Dune
3. Speaker for the Dead
4. Brave New World
5. The Handmaid’s Tale
6. Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?
7. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
8. Prydain cycle
12. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
13. The Hunger Games trilogy
14. Westmark trilogy
15. The Dark Is Rising
16. Watership Down
18. The Tiffany Aching books
19. Brightness Falls from the Air
20. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
GRRM hit #5 on NPR’s list, but I just don’t feel right putting him here until he finishes his damn series. It’s not like Ender’s Game or Dune where the sequels dribble off into wackness but the first two stand alone just fine. Also, if we count One Hundred Years of Solitude as fantasy, I guess I could find a place for it on my list.