[Lynx enhanced] DD-B

The Five Best Science Fiction Novels

I've had versions of this list for years, and it's always been the same, pretty much. The rule of thumb is that there must always be either 4 or 6 books on it; in exceptional circumstances some other number might be allowed, although I'll avoid 5 as much as possible.

And I can't define what "best" means. These are certainly not the books I've re-read most often, or that have influenced me the most (no Doc Smith is on the list!), or necessarily even the ones I've enjoyed most. I think it's something like books I recognize as having high literary and science-fictional values and being strongly to my taste. So don't expect me to be impressed if you disagree with me.

The list is science fiction, not fantasy. Yes, I know the boundary is very fuzzy. But I'm not the biggest fan of fantasy (though I'm bothered by keeping The Lord of the Rings off this list).

I had to create this page since I referred to the concept of my five best SF books list in a booknote, and didn't want to bury the whole explanation there.

The links below, if they are links, go to my booknotes on the titles in question.

I just added that last one (5/19/2014), giving me the dreaded 5 for a while. I'm giving some consideration to something of Greg Egan's, too. Not David Weber, though, at least so far; he falls more into Smith's category, stuff I like a lot, sometimes even am influenced by, but lacks the literary quality to be really top SF. And what about Lois McMaster Bujold? Or...oh! Maybe John M. Ford's Growing Up Weightless?

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Last modified Monday, 19-May-2014 16:06:54 PDT.
David Dyer-Bennet