Best Speculative Fiction Novels Ever Written

Discussion in 'The Green Dragon' started by Violanthe, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    I'm an editor for a new online magazine, and I'm working on a feature article on the most influential novels in speculative fiction (i.e. scifi, fantasy, horror, historical, etc.). The article (set to be published in December) will be a ranked list of the top 10 speculative fiction novels ever written. In order to test the validity of the list, I'm going around to online speculative fiction communities like this one to solicit your opinions.



    So, what do you think? What are the most important speculative fiction novels ever published? The best written? The most compelling stories? The most fascinating characters? The most revolutionary concepts? The most influential?



    Thanks for your input!



    -Violanthe



    P.S. If anyone here would like to participate directly in the compiling of the list by voting for your favorites(http://p068.ezboard.com/farwzdicussionforumsfrm1.showMessage?topicID=1032.topic ) we'd welcome your opinion. If anyone from this page votes, I'll be happy to give the page credit for participating with a link at the end of the article.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2005
  2. e.Blackstar

    e.Blackstar wanderer, not lost

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    Orson Scott Card's books are definitely up there: I'd vote for the Ender and Bean serieses.
     

  3. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    I imagine Ender will be on the list. I did some preliminary research by checking out the Amazon bestsellering in SciFi, and Card's Ender ranked pretty high there. Not sure if anyone has voted for it yet.
     
  4. Nenya Evenstar

    Nenya Evenstar Registered User

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    Of course my vote for the best fantasy of all time goes to The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. On the back of the books that I own the text says that the series is "called by millions of readers the greatest epic fantasy of all time."

    Also The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

    And The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He may be milking the series for all it's worth, but his writing itself if phenomenal.
     

  5. e.Blackstar

    e.Blackstar wanderer, not lost

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    I agree; Narnia's good stuff.

    Also, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is EXCELLENT (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and several more books upcoming.) ;)
     
  6. Talierin

    Talierin Still here... sometimes

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    These aren't really in any particular order....

    1. The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
    Comments: The book that spawned the entire genre of epic fantasy

    2. I, Robot/The Empire/Robot/Foundation Series - Isaac Asimov
    Comments: The book that started robotic sci fi, and his wonderful series

    3. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
    Comments: The first book to ever win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, excellent

    4. Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
    Comments: The most random books in the history of the world

    5. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
    Comments: A classic

    6. Dune - Frank Herbert
    Comments: Another classic, but the rest of the series is ****

    7. Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
    Comments: Possibly the most influential children's series of the 20th century

    8. The Sandkings - George R.R. Martin
    Comments: One of the best, and scariest, short stories eer

    9. War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
    Comments: Classic

    10. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
    Comments: Frankly I hated this book, but it is one of the first sci fi stories ever written



    And my vote for the 5 best sci-fi shows are:

    Star Wars
    Star Trek
    Dr. Who
    Battlestar Galactica
    MST3K
     
  7. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    I'm a huge fan of GRRM myself. I hope one of this novels places high on the list. But I won't do the editorial tampering to get him there.
     
  8. e.Blackstar

    e.Blackstar wanderer, not lost

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    I'll vote as many times as is necessary to get him there! :D
     
  9. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

  10. Barliman Butterbur

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

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    Well, being an old geezer, I would name Ray Bradbury and Theodore Sturgeon as my personal favorites. They certainly held me rivited to their pages back when I was in high school!

    Barley
     
  11. ingolmo

    ingolmo The Voidroamer

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    Seeing that we're in The Tolkien Forum, I'm bound to vote for The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien.
    Apart from that in no particular order,
    -Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code
    -Paulo Coelho's the Alchemist
    -Some of Oscar Wilde's books like The Picture of Dorian Gray(I'm a big fan of his,
    and, (though it'll seem childish)
    -Rowling's Harry Potter series.
     
  12. Eledhwen

    Eledhwen Cumbrian

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    By 'Speculative', do you mean novels that perceive the way in which the world is going?

    My list would have to include Manalone by Colin Kapp (which few have read) and also The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressle (which was banned in the UK when it was first published in the early 20th C, and so was read by many).

    But my favourite reads remain Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis etc. for sheer can't-put-it-down-ability.
     
  13. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    "Speculative Fiction" is a term that was coined (I believe, by Harlan Ellison) to refer to the three big genres of otherworldly fiction: scifi, fantasy, and horror. I would also include historical fiction in that category, because it speculates as to what was going on with historical actors at the time of major historical events.
     
  14. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    For those interested, I found this on wikipedia.org:

    Speculative fiction is an all-encompassing term which includes science fiction, alternative history (fiction), horror and fantasy.

    The term is often used among writers and publishers who wish to break out of what is commonly called the "sci-fighetto". There is an unfortunate tendency, among both many publishers and a large segment of the reading public, to expect only science fiction stories from a person who has once written science fiction. Writers such as Harlan Ellison (an outspoken advocate of the term) have deliberately rejected identification as a science fiction writer for precisely such reasons; they don't reject the science fiction genre (in which Ellison, for example, still participates) but they do reject pigeonholing their work.

    The abbreviation "sf" (usually spelled in lowercase, but occasionally uppercase) is often used to indicate either speculative fiction or what is traditionally known as "science fiction".

    This term is coming into more frequent usage among younger fans who wish to break down the literary barriers between the horror, fantasy, and science fiction genres.

    The term is also sometimes used without any implication of breaking down barriers or breaking out of the ghetto, simply as a convenient shorthand way to refer to multiple genres at once. A variation of this term is "Speculative Literature".
     
  15. Eledhwen

    Eledhwen Cumbrian

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    Thanks, I found that definition useful, as I'd never come across the term before (our library still uses 'Science Fiction' and 'Fantasy')
     
  16. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    Certainly, "speculative fiction" isn't a subsitute for the individual genre headings. They aren't meant to be replaced. "Speculative" just provides a larger classification to link them together. Scifi, fantasy and horror share a fan base with one another in a way they don't, for example, with detective fiction.

    I think that it is truly the otherworldly nature that connects them. If I had the liberty, I might call them "otherworldly fiction" but "speculative" is a fairly widely accepted term.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2005
  17. Violanthe

    Violanthe Guest

    I suppose, considering the title of the magazine, I could always call it "Alternative Reality Fiction" but so many people already know the term "Speculative" I'm resistent to giving it up completely