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Worlds Without End Blog

Gollancz SF Masterworks Meme Posted at 8:32 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

SF MasterworksSo there’s been a lot of recent buzz on the internets about the SF Masterworks series from Gollancz including this meme.  Mostly it’s because of the SF and Fantasy Masterworks Reading Project that kicked off a few weeks ago.  The reading project is a "a group blog dedicated to reading and reviewing Gollanczs series of genre classics in its entirety".  They have several reviews posted already that are worth a read.

As you might have guessed from looking at WWEnd I really love this idea.  The Masterworks collections contain some of the best works in the genre and have some great cover art to boot.  I’ve only read a few from the list but it’s my goal to eventually read them all – though I’ll be taking my time.  These guys will be reading them all within a year.  Sheesh!

Of course, if you’re interested in reading them too, WWEnd’s BookTrackr can help you keep tabs on your progress.  We’ve got the complete lists for the SF Masterworks and the Fantasy Masterworks and you can use BookTrackr to tag the ones you’ve read as you go along.  The color coding will show you how many you’ve read and which ones you still need to read.  Give it a shot.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my SF list so far.  I’ve bolded and linked the ones I’ve read.

  1. The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
  2. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  3. Cities in Flight – James Blish
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
  5. The Stars My Destination – Alfred Bester
  6. Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delany
  7. Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny
  8. The Fifth Head of Cerberus – Gene Wolfe
  9. Gateway – Frederik Pohl
  10. The Rediscovery of Man – Cordwainer Smith
  11. Last and First Men – Olaf Stapledon
  12. Earth Abides – George R. Stewart
  13. Martian Time-Slip – Philip K. Dick
  14. The Demolished Man – Alfred Bester
  15. Stand on Zanzibar – John Brunner
  16. The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin
  17. The Drowned World – J. G. Ballard
  18. The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut
  19. Emphyrio – Jack Vance
  20. A Scanner Darkly – Philip K. Dick
  21. Star Maker – Olaf Stapledon
  22. Behold the Man – Michael Moorcock
  23. The Book of Skulls – Robert Silverberg
  24. The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  25. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
  26. Ubik – Philip K. Dick
  27. Timescape – Gregory Benford
  28. More Than Human – Theodore Sturgeon
  29. Man Plus – Frederik Pohl
  30. A Case of Conscience – James Blish
  31. The Centauri Device – M. John Harrison
  32. Dr. Bloodmoney – Philip K. Dick
  33. Non-Stop – Brian Aldiss
  34. The Fountains of Paradise – Arthur C. Clarke
  35. Pavane – Keith Roberts
  36. Now Wait for Last Year – Philip K. Dick
  37. Nova – Samuel R. Delany
  38. The First Men in the Moon – H. G. Wells
  39. The City and the Stars – Arthur C. Clarke
  40. Blood Music – Greg Bear
  41. Jem – Frederik Pohl
  42. Bring the Jubilee – Ward Moore
  43. VALIS – Philip K. Dick
  44. The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin
  45. The Complete Roderick – John Sladek
  46. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said – Philip K. Dick
  47. The Invisible Man – H. G. Wells
  48. Grass – Sheri S. Tepper
  49. A Fall of Moondust – Arthur C. Clarke
  50. Eon – Greg Bear
  51. The Shrinking Man – Richard Matheson
  52. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch – Philip K. Dick
  53. The Dancers at the End of Time – Michael Moorcock
  54. The Space Merchants – Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth
  55. Time Out of Joint – Philip K. Dick
  56. Downward to the Earth – Robert Silverberg
  57. The Simulacra – Philip K. Dick
  58. The Penultimate Truth – Philip K. Dick
  59. Dying Inside – Robert Silverberg
  60. Ringworld – Larry Niven
  61. The Child Garden – Geoff Ryman
  62. Mission of Gravity – Hal Clement
  63. A Maze of Death – Philip K. Dick
  64. Tau Zero – Poul Anderson
  65. Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C. Clarke
  66. Life During Wartime – Lucius Shepard
  67. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang – Kate Wilhelm
  68. Roadside Picnic – Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
  69. Dark Benediction – Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  70. Mockingbird – Walter Tevis
  71. Dune – Frank Herbert
  72. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein
  73. The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
  74. Inverted World – Christopher Priest
  75. Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  76. The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
  77. Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke
  78. The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
  79. Dhalgren (July 2010) – Samuel R. Delany
  80. Helliconia (August 2010) – Brian Aldiss
  81. Food of the Gods (Sept. 2010) – H.G. Wells
  82. The Body Snatchers (Oct. 2010) – Jack Finney
  83. The Female Man (Nov. 2010) – Joanna Russ
  84. Arslan (Dec. 2010) – M.J. Engh

As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me to finish this list.  I own my shame.   So how many have you read?  Are you trying to read them all?

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7 Comments

Aleix   |   09 Jul 2010 @ 11:55

I’ve read 20… still a lot to go. This list has the best of the best in my opinion. Every book I’ve read from this list is always Amazing… good job.

John   |   12 Jul 2010 @ 07:31

Hmmm. Nice quest, but surely sitting through giant tomes "Cities in Flight", "The first and Last Men", "Dune", "Dancers at the End of Time" and "Helliconia" is going to be draining?I’ve read 32 of these novels, 33 if you count tossing aside "The Female Man" when the jumpy narrative became too frustrating to follow any longer. All of these I’ve read in the last 18 months during my own quest to round up the classic novels of the genre, and it was a great jumping-off point to do so, however, I soon realised that my own quest needed to stray a good distance from this particular path.There are some incredible novels on this list I’d never have read otherwise, but most of the post-1980 books are pretty far from classics. There are a lot of books that will be too antiquated for the modern reader, but some gems have stood the test of time a little better. Worst of all, however, there is no Asimov, only one Heinlein, no John Wyndham, nor any Ray Bradbury. From the more classic material, I might have expected Conan Doyle’s "Lost World", or a Mary Shelley and would insist on Jules Verne. Gollancz can only publish what they have on their roster, and this series is aimed at making sales. It is by no means a definitive list of the great in the genre, and I’ll leave you to discover that there’s more than a couple of utter stinkers.

Dave Post   |   12 Jul 2010 @ 08:16

@John: Yeah, it should always been remembered that this is a money making venture by the pubisher and only contains books they have the rights to publish, hence the missing classics. There are other problems with this list too like the massive number of PKD books: 14! Like all lists there will always be some stinkers. Have a look at any of the awards or "best of" lists we’ve covered here and you’ll find some head scratchers for sure. It’s still a great list for all it’s flaws.

Meridian   |   25 Jul 2010 @ 13:37

Sixty-seven. Glad to see the Tepper there, as well as the barely-known M J Engh.

Dave Post   |   25 Jul 2010 @ 14:07

@Meridian: I’ve read fewer than you have left to read. Show off ;)

Val   |   01 Aug 2010 @ 02:43

The list of the ones I’ve read is too short:Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick (http://valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com/2009/11/do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep.html), Gateway – Frederik Pohl (http://valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com/2010/02/gateway-frederik-pohl.html), Man Plus – Frederik Pohl (http://valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com/2010/04/man-plus-frederik-pohl.html), Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C. Clarke, Roadside Picnic – Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (http://valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com/2010/06/roadside-picnic-arkady-and-boris.html), Dune – Frank Herbert, The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells (http://valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com/2009/10/island-of-dr-moreau-hg-wells.html). I’m 30 pages from finishing Jem by Frederik Pohl so that takes it to 8. There are four more on the to read stack. I’ll probably get around to reading Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke sometime in August.

Dave Post   |   03 Aug 2010 @ 08:08

@Val: It’s funny, I’ve reads hundreds of SF books but somehow missed so many of these classics. I’ve got a bunch on my list though so I’m trying to correct the situation. I’ve just added Roadside Picnic after reading your review. Very nice. @Everyone: Ya’ll should check out valsrandomcomments.blogspot.com for some great reviews.

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