Saturday, June 6, 2009

"10 Most Crucial British Science Fiction Novels"

By Dave Golder at SFX. [via SF Signal]

It's actually a much larger list than 10, but 10 is a nice number - so why not put it in title!!

Also, totally stupid navigation - makes you keep clicking forever. Someone would think this trick to increase page hits would be obvious by now! It's because of time-wasting navigation that I reproduce the whole list below. Their list is annotated; so I link pages that contain specific entries.

  1. page 2: Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" & Justina Robson's "Natural History".

    Note: I used to think "Frankenstein" is horror! No. There seems to have grown up a lot of lore about the story, but actual reading - which is a generally light read - busts them. I could not even see the official "monster" as a monster. Book is online at Project Gutenberg, & probably at many other places too.
  2. page 3: H G Wells' "The War Of The Worlds" & Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World".
  3. page 4: Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" & John Brunner's "Stand On Zanzibar".
  4. page 5: George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" & "Animal Farm".
  5. page 6: John Wyndham's "The Day Of The Triffids" & John Christopher's "The Death Of Grass".
  6. page 7: J G Ballard's "Crash" & Jeff Noon's "Falling Out Of Cars".
  7. page 8: Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy" & Terry Pratchett's "Strata".
  8. page 9: Iain M Banks' "Consider Phlebas" & Colin Greenland's "Take Back Plenty".
  9. page 10: M John Harrison's "Light" & Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space".

    Note: I'm aware Reynolds has his fans, & I haven't read "Revelation Space". But none of his 3 or 4 stories I've read so far have really struck. Last year's "The Six Directions of Space" was positively forgettable. While "Turquoise Days" is a readable story, its colorful background is really Stanislaw Lem's "Solaris" with Solaris' dynamic formations replaced with floating carnivorous forests from Yann Martel's "Life of Pi".
  10. page 11: Ian McDonald's "River Of Gods" & Geoff Ryman's "Air".

    Note: I won't recommend "River Of Gods" (set in India) to Indian readers, going by my experience with "The Djinn's Wife" (also set in India in the same universe). But I haven't read River Of Gods. Readers outside India don't seem to see many inconsistencies & simplifications, & may not be bugged by them.
  11. page 12: Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "The Coming Race", Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", Olaf Stapledon's "Last And First Men: A Story Of The Near And Far Future", Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange", Michael Moorcock's "The Final Programme", Arthur C Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama", Doris Lessing's "The Memoirs Of A Survivor", Brian Aldiss' "Helliconia Spring", Christopher Priest's "The Prestige", Stephen Baxter's "Flood".


Arvind Mishra said...

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