Let me back up a bit. I was introduced to sci-fi reading at the age of 12, and for a short while, I was a voracious reader. You can probably figure out who my favorite author was, but I’ll spoiler box it for you, in case you want to guess.
Anyway, though I read quite a bit as a teenager, my reading fell way, way off in my adult years. I go through phases here and there where I’ll get engrossed in a book or three, but then I’ll stop reading again for a few months.
In the past few months, I’ve started paying a bit more attention to my Kindle. I’ve read a couple of recent (2016 and 2017) sci-fi short story compilations, and as referenced in the title, I just finished Dune. And it made me realize that, despite having read a few books in my day that might be considered classics, I know there are many, many more that I’ve missed. As a non-scientific example, I took a look at this Good Reads compilation of “100 Science Fiction Novels Everyone Should Read.” Of the first ten books, I’ve read either seven or eight of them, including the first six on the list. But after that, it drops off quickly. I’ve only read a total of 22 of the top 100.
I’d like to get some additional “classic” sci-fi under my belt, in addition to picking up some new stuff. For what it’s worth, I liked Dune, and I’m well aware of the debate about whether to finish part or all of the rest of that series. Suffice to say that isn’t going to be my next step. I thought it was more of a hybrid of sci-fi and fantasy, and while I don’t object to fantasy, that’s not what I’m after at the moment.
So, where to, now? Obviously, I like Asimov a lot. I like Arthur C. Clark. I’ve enjoyed Neal Stephenson quite a bit. I like Greg Bear. I like Lois McMaster Bujold. I don’t like Heinlein much (I got incredibly turned off by the sliminess of “Stranger In a Strange Land” and never finished it). What are some of the classics you think I might be missing that I shouldn’t? I realize that you can’t give me perfect recommendations without me providing you with an exhaustive list of what I have and haven’t already read, so I’m happy for this to be a broader discussion of sci-fi literature. But I’m hoping for some focus on books that might be considered classics and/or “must-read” for sci-fi fans.
The floor is yours.