Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pringle's 100 Best Science Fiction Novels

While there are quite a few lists of the best science fiction novels floating around out there, Science Fiction: the 100 Best Novels: an English-Language Selection, 1949-1984, by David Pringle (1985), with a Foreword by Michael Moorcock, is one of the more notable. Here’s a brief description of the book, taken from Library Journal:

Beginning with George Orwell's 1984 (1949) and ending with William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984), the editor of British sf magazine Interzone presents brief (two-page) essays on 100 books that he considers to be landmarks of the genre. Pringle freely admits his subjectivity in selecting these titles; nevertheless, most important sf authors are represented here, and a thought-provoking introduction makes a case for his omissions. Each essay provides a synopsis of the book, a brief history of the author, and, in most cases, a critical commentary. This is not intended as a definitive reference source; in fact, a bibliographic essay directs readers to more serious studies of the genre.”

The following Mars-related novels are included in Pringle’s 100:

The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury (1950)

A Mirror for Observers, by Edgar Pangborn (1954)

The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut (1959)

Martian Time-Slip, by Philip K. Dick (1964)

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick (1965)

Man Plus, by Frederik Pohl (1976)

A complete list of Pringle's 100 Best Science Fiction Novels is at Also, a more thorough analysis of Pringle's book is Matthew Appleton's 1999 piece from The New York Review of Science Fiction.

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