Esquire: The 50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

“Choosing the fifty best science fiction books of all time wasn’t easy, so to get the job done, we had to establish some guardrails. Though we assessed single installments as representatives of their series, we limited the list to one book per author. We also emphasized books that brought something new and innovative to the genre; to borrow a great sci-fi turn of phrase, books that ‘boldly go where no one has gone before’.

Personal opinion: (a) a couple of sops to modern mores in the top 10 but of the choices they could have gone with, the vanity is eminently forgivable; (b) a couple in the top 20 that by rights ought to have been in the top 10, also forgivable; (c) lots of entries that made me go “nice” including King’s “The Stand”, Whitehead’s “Zome One”, and Mieville’s “The City and the City”; (d) Ugh, L’Engle – wildly overrated, I simply cannot fathom why everyone loves this incredibly shitty book; (d) respectable cyberpunk entries.

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