Best books

Here are my favourite 20 books in various categories, of the books I’ve read in the last 20 years.

When asked to name my favourite book I will say A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewksi.

Top 20 science fiction novels

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • Foundation – Isaac Asimov
  • The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks
  • Evolution – Stephen Baxter
  • The Demolished Man – Alfred Bester
  • The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
  • Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
  • The City and the Stars – Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • House of Suns – Alastair Reynolds
  • The Wild Shore – Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Hominids – Robert J. Sawyer
  • City – Clifford D. Simak
  • Hyperion – Dan Simmons
  • A Door Into Ocean – Joan Slonczewski
  • Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
  • A Fire Upon the Deep – Vernor Vinge
  • Passage – Connie Willis
  • Darwinia – Robert Charles Wilson

Top 20 fantasy novels

  • Watership Down – Richard Adams
  • The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle
  • The Last Dragonlord – Joanne Bertin
  • Seventh Son – Orson Scott Card
  • Someplace to Be Flying – Charles de Lint
  • Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • Replay – Ken Grimwood
  • Dragonsbane – Barbara Hambly
  • Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
  • Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay
  • A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
  • The Book of Knights – Yves Meynard
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Witching Hour – Anne Rice
  • The Initiate Brother – Sean Russell
  • Nobody’s Son – Sean Stewart
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Tooth and Claw – Jo Walton
  • A Sorcerer’s Treason – Sarah Zettel

Top 20 science fiction & fantasy collections

  • I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  • Nightfall – Isaac Asimov
  • Virtual Unrealities – Alfred Bester
  • The Golden Apples of the Sun – Ray Bradbury
  • Maps in a Mirror – Orson Scott Card
  • Stories of Your Life and Others – Ted Chiang
  • Expedition to Earth – Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Nine Billion Names of God – Arthur C. Clarke
  • Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick – Philip K. Dick
  • Daughter of Regals & Other Tales – Stephen R. Donaldson
  • Gravity Wells – James Alan Gardner
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Wind’s Twelve Quarters – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories – Ken Liu
  • Identity Theft and Other Stories – Robert J. Sawyer
  • Iterations – Robert J. Sawyer
  • Over the River & Through the Woods – Clifford D. Simak
  • The Aliens Among Us – James White
  • Impossible Things – Connie Willis
  • The Perseids and Other Stories – Robert Charles Wilson

Top 7 science fiction & fantasy anthologies

  • Seeds of Change – John Joseph Adams
  • Masterpieces – Orson Scott Card
  • One Million A.D. – Gardner Dozois
  • Give Me Liberty – Martin Harry Greenberg & Mark Tier
  • The Road to Science Fiction Volume 4: From Here to Forever – James Gunn
  • The Savage Humanists – Fiona Kelleghan
  • The Bakka Anthology – Kristen Pederson Chew

Top 15 non-science fiction & fantasy novels

  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
  • Shogun – James Clavell
  • Tai-pan – James Clavell
  • Gai-jin – James Clavell
  • Noble House – James Clavell
  • Whirlwind – James Clavell
  • Generation X – Douglas Coupland
  • Aztec – Gary Jennings
  • Too Many Blackbirds – Ken Ledbetter
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • The Lake House – Kate Morton
  • Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
  • The Story of B – Daniel Quinn
  • My Ishmael – Daniel Quinn

Top 6 graphic novels

  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
  • Battlestar Galactica: Complete Omnibus V.1 – Greg Pak
  • The Amazing Spider-man (starting with Coming Home) – J. Michael Straczynski
  • Superman: Grounded – J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Roberson
  • Angel season 6 (starting with After the Fall) – Joss Whedon et al
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 (starting with The Long Way Home) – Joss Whedon et al

Top 13 comic strip collections

  • Bloom County Babylon – Berke Breathed
  • Classics of Western Literature – Berke Breathed
  • The Far Side Gallery – Gary Larson
  • The Far Side Gallery 2 – Gary Larson
  • The Far Side Gallery 3 – Gary Larson
  • The Far Side Gallery 4 – Gary Larson
  • The Far Side Gallery 5 – Gary Larson
  • The PreHistory of the Far Side – Gary Larson
  • Last Chapter and Worse – Gary Larson
  • The Essential Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Watterson
  • The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book – Bill Watterson
  • The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Watterson
  • The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Watterson

Top 16 nonfiction books

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big – Scott Adams
  • Reflections of Eden – Biruté M.F. Galdikas
  • David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • What the Dog Saw – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Through a Window – Jane Goodall
  • The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight – Thom Hartmann
  • Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
  • The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
  • Beyond Civilization – Daniel Quinn
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death – Neil Postman
  • Mind Over Medicine – Lissa Rankin
  • Why Do People Believe Weird Things – Michael Shermer
  • Native Roots – Jack Weatherford
  • What Would You Do? – John H. Yoder

Top 12 Star Trek books

  • The Lost Years – J. M. Dillard
  • Spock’s World – Diane Duane
  • How Much for Just the Planet? – John M. Ford
  • Double, Double – Michael Jan Friedman
  • Crucible: McCoy – Provenance of Shadows– David R. George III
  • Crucible: Spock – The Fire and the Rose– David R. George III
  • Crucible: Kirk – The Star to Every Wandering– David R. George III
  • Ishmael – Barbara Hambly
  • Enterprise: The First Adventure – Vonda N. McIntyre
  • Prime Directive – Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
  • Vulcan’s Forge – Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz
  • Vulcan’s Heart – Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz

Top 7 Star Trek: The Next Generation books

  • Imzadi – Peter David
  • A Rock and a Hard Place – Peter David
  • Q Squared – Peter David
  • A Call to Darkness – Michael Jan Friedman
  • Destiny: Lost Souls– David Mack
  • Destiny: Mere Mortals– David Mack
  • Destiny: Gods of Night– David Mack

Top 6 Babylon 5 books

  • The Passing of the Techno-Mages: Casting Shadows– Jeanne Cavelos
  • The Passing of the Techno-Mages: Summoning Light– Jeanne Cavelos
  • The Passing of the Techno-Mages: Invoking Darkness– Jeanne Cavelos
  • Legions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime– Peter David
  • Legions of Fire: Armies of Light and Dark– Peter David
  • Legions of Fire: Out of the Darkness– Peter David