Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

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General SF&F Chat > SF & F week on Goodreads

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message 1: by Andrea (last edited Aug 25, 2018 12:46PM) (new)

Andrea | 2820 comments I'm curious what people think of the lists put together by Goodreads for the top 50 SF and F books, or how many of them have you read? And how many can you credit this group for making you read :)

Top SF books
Top Fantasy books

They make no special claim as to the quality of the books, merely listing the ones that had at least a 4 star rating, admitting many big names didn't make it.

For me:

SF - read 12 with 8 of those because of the group (two of which I nominated)

Fantasy - read 13 with 3 of those because of the group (1 nominated by me)

I expected to have read more of the fantasy and less of the SF but this group is clearly helping me to balance the two out. Though many more were read by the group for both brackets, I had already read them before so didn't count them as something the group made me to read.


message 2: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin SF Read - 12
Fantasy Read - 16 (and most of the rest are on my want to read shelf)

I was surprised to see some of the choices on those lists, there are authors that I expected to be there that weren't and authors I definitely didn't expect. No one that I was deeply offended about but still surprised. There have been some that made it onto my TBR because of this group but unfortunately I've been a major slacker on group reads.


message 3: by Roger (new)

Roger I wouldn't say that's the best way to come up with a top 50, seems like an no-effort post for them to make.

I'm not sure what your first number is supposed to indicate so I'm going to just list total number read.

SF - read 22 of them
Fantasy - read 38 of them


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2283 comments I've read 30+ in both lists. Not bad for popular lists. I rated a third of each with 4 or 5 stars.


message 5: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments Roger wrote: "I wouldn't say that's the best way to come up with a top 50, seems like an no-effort post for them to make.

I'm not sure what your first number is supposed to indicate so I'm going to just list to..."


It was absolutely a pure popularity vote, unlike a curated list which would require far more effort. So while I'm not sure everything on these lists are the *best* books, they are the ones that people are reading the most. Which I think is fine because they didn't pretend otherwise.

I've read 15 of the sci-fi list and 22 for fantasy. A few of them I've read because of this group, but a surprising number were from real-life bookclubs that only lasted a short period of time before folding.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) SF - read 22
Fantasy - read 10

most of the ones I haven't read are in my TBR pile


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm guessing they threw out YA (otherwise Harry Potter's 4.46 rating & Hunger Games 4.33 rating, both with > 5 million reads would be on the list someplace (though someone seemed to have decided Red Rising wasn't YA.). They also seem to have collapsed series in some arcane way (usually, books in a series get higher ratings as it goes on, since only true fans are reading the later books.) I'd guess they picked the first, except they (correctly, I think) went with Mort rather than Color of Magic for DiscWorld.

It's a more interesting idea for ranking than one of those open voting internet polls where people vote because they've seen the movie or heard of the author.

I've read 43 of the SF list (counting V for Vendetta, which I've read, but not in that omnibus edition; and not counting The Sparrow, which I DNF'd after 100 really boring pages), and 37 from the Fantasy List.


message 8: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments There's a lot of YA on the fantasy list.


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 26, 2018 07:24PM) (new)

Brendan wrote: "There's a lot of YA on the fantasy list."

Yeah, things like a Wrinkle in Time seem to get a pass, maybe because it's a children's book, not even YA, but Adults like the warm fuzzy feeling of mommy reading them a bedtime story. Only the gods know why Bleach is on the list.


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2820 comments Bleach was a weird one, not that it isn't fantasy but manga popping up in the middle there was unexpected. I mean I like the anime but then there are other good manga out there so how did this one single one sneak in.

A lot of people think fantasy is "for kids" so maybe why there are more fantasy books for younger readers on the list? So many times I've seen on GoodReads in the question section of a book page where a person writes "This has dragons in it, it's for little kids right?" even when talking about Tooth and Claw which involves cannibalism...even Watership Down to me is an adult book that simply uses bunnies to contrast a "utopian" society versus a totalitarian one, but is not a kids story (though I grew up with the movie so kids can enjoy it, it just isn't directed at them)

Though as pointed out here and in the blog, how did Harry Potter get left out then? In my mind Harry is better than Wrinkle, re-reading Wrinkle as an adult I just don't get what made it so great?

They did have a limit of 50 though so something that belonged on the list had to be knocked off I guess.


message 11: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin I suspect Wrinkle in Time gets a pass over HP because it's often considered a classic and therefore skips over some of the YA/kids boundaries. Despite its popularity, HP just hasn't gotten the same "classic" label for the most part. I've seen Red Rising get categorized a lot as sci fi rather than YA in libraries, which I've always thought was strange.


message 12: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 487 comments I've read 15 on the sci fi list, and 17 on the fantasy list.


message 13: by Jaelle (new)

Jaelle | 28 comments For Sci Fi, I have read 18 on the list. Several others are on my "to-read in the near future" list.

For Fantasy, I have read 14.5, because I'm currently reading the Night Circus.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "Though as pointed out here and in the blog, how did Harry Potter get left out then? In my mind Harry is better than Wrinkle, re-reading Wrinkle as an adult I just don't get what made it so great?
They did have a limit of 50 though so something that belonged on the list had to be knocked off I guess. ..."


Though by Goodreads' claimed criteria for which 50 make the list, HP has a better ratting (4.46) than Wrinkle (4.02) and 5 times as many readers. If they want to omit YA titles, they ought to be consistent. (Ditto Narnia.)


message 15: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 280 comments I've read 32 on the sci-fi list and only 13 on the fantasy list (but I'm currently reading The fifth season which will make 14).
Overall a good mix of classics and more recent books, though there will always be some authors left out and some books whose inclusion will leave readers scratching their heads.


message 16: by SA (new)

SA | 87 comments have read 23 on the sf list and am currently reading Nexus (Nexus, #1) by Ramez Naam but only 12 on the fantasy list


message 17: by NekroRider (new)

NekroRider | 348 comments Feel like the fantasy list in particular didn't reflect my tastes in general, tbh.

SF List - Have read 10 with many on my not-so-urgent to-read list.

Fantasy List - I think 10 as well with some on my to-read list. Honestly in the fantasy list a lot of it was just not the type of fantasy I enjoy reading. A lot of the urban fantasy/paranormal-ish stuff is not really my thing. Also I'm not a fan of Neil Gaiman or Stephen King so haven't bothered with a lot of their stuff on there either. Same with a couple other authors that are basically the opposite of the type of fantasy I like. Some stuff on my to-read list though, particularly Brent Weeks, Brian McClellan, Brian Staveley, Joe Abercrombie stuff.


message 18: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2820 comments They've posted the same list this year so interesting to see if we've read more of them since last year.

For me, I've read 19 of the 50 fantasy books, an addition of 6. And 13 SF, with the addition of 1 (Left Hand of Darkness)...I have another SF on my to-read pile but guess that one will count for next year.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I've read 23 Sci-Fi, 11 Fantasy.

Like last year, I scoff at many of the selections.


message 20: by Tony (new)

Tony Calder (tcsydney) | 602 comments From the SF list, I have read 14 and there are another 14 on my to-read list. From the fantasy list, I have read 17 and there are another 12 on my to-read list. None of those SF books were read in the last year, but I read two of the fantasy books - The Princess Bride and The Last Unicorn - for the first time in the last year (and reread Lord of the Rings).


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