February Books 5) Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels, by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo

I bought this at Philcon in 2012, really because it was there; 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.)

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.

Anyway, I’ve read 49 of the 101 entries (in bold below, actually 52 of the 105 books listed). Which have you read? Which should I read (please tell me in comments?

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