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1001 Personal Lists > Looking to create a list of the best Phliosophical SF/Fantasy Novels

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message 1: by Marion (new)

Marion Hill (kammbia1) I would like to create a list of the best Philosophical Science-Fiction and Fantasy Novels. I will start with some titles here and please add to that list with your own suggestions.

1) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
2) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson
3) Parable of the Sower/ Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
4) The Child Goddess by Louise Marley
5) The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen
6) Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright
7) Litany of the Long Sun/ Epiphany of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe
8) Raising the Stones by Sheri S. Tepper
9) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Leguin
10) Outcasts/Captives/Rebels Safe Lands Series by Jill Williamson

That's my list to start with. Any Other suggestions?


message 2: by Geoffreyjen (last edited Nov 19, 2014 07:14PM) (new)

Geoffreyjen (gedsy) | 17 comments Not sure quite what you mean by "philosophical". I would put most of Leguin's work into that class, not just The Dispossessed. Her recent cycle (Voices, Gifts, Powers) fits, works such as The Telling, Searoad, Four Ways to Forgiveness, but also the Earthsea books - their philosophy is part of the reason one likes Leguin. Another writer who has done little else is Samuel Delany - look at his Return to Neveryon series (ostensibly fantasy), for example. Or Guy Gavriel Kay, most of his books have a strong philosophical bent. I'm thinking of Sailing to Sarantium and the others in that series. Another one that springs to mind is David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus.


message 3: by Geoffreyjen (last edited Nov 19, 2014 09:16PM) (new)

Geoffreyjen (gedsy) | 17 comments Technically, although it is not usually classified that way, Hesse's The Glass Bead Game is SF... it's hard to get more philosophical than that...


message 4: by Barbm1020 (last edited Nov 20, 2014 11:08AM) (new)

Barbm1020 | 57 comments I second the nomination of Raising the Stones. It's my favorite Sherry Tepper book.

I would add Terry Pratchett's The Truth. Although it's a really funny satire of the rise of journalism and the notion of the free press, there's some life-changing personal drama for the main character. Rather than the cynical acceptance of corruption that marks a lot of fantasy, we see an apple rolling away from a decadent tree and making a difference in his community.


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