10 Titles Added to the Classics of Science Fiction List – Classics of Science Fiction


I added several best science fiction book lists to our database of citations. See the List of Lists to see the kind of lists we use. The new lists were from 2022, 2023, and even a few from 2024. Whenever I do this, some titles reach a total of 12 citations. We call all forms of lists citations. 12 citations is the minimum number for getting on the Classics of Science Fiction List v. 5. Before I started there were 127 titles on the list, now there are 137. With version 5 of the list, an online database, I can add new lists anytime and the totals are recalculated. If any book reaches 12 citations, it automatically gets on the list.

This is how newer books eventually get remembered and recognized. We now have two titles from 2014, the most recently published on the list. That suggests it takes about a decade to be remembered well enough to make it to the Classics of Science Fiction List. Here are the new titles with links to Wikipedia in case you want to know more about them:

If you look at the Classics of Science Fiction List, be sure to click on the citation number to show where the citations come from. Or you can click on “Show Citations” at the top of the list to see the citations for all the books. The CSF list has been in production since 1989. See our About page.

It’s interesting that only one old novel finally made it onto the list, Hothouse by Brian W. Aldiss. The YouTube book reviewer Bookpilled put it on his “15 Best Sci-Fi Books I’ve Ever Read” video. That one citation was all Hothouse needed. Bookpilled is my favorite YouTube reviewer. He’s young, but he’s quickly reading all the classics of science fiction and he’s very discerning about what are still credible reads today.

I try to use only lists created by people who are well read in science fiction, or lists made from polls. Younger readers tend to know the most recent books or the most famous science fiction books of all time. So, when I add new lists, the standard classics get more citations, while some newer titles get more recognition. For example, The Left Hand of Darkness now has 52 citations, the most of any title.

Of the ten new titles, I haven’t read Oryx and Crake or Blindsight. That increases my list of books I need to finish reading the entire list. My TBR of CSF now includes the titles below. Their current number of total citations is in brackets.

  1. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (1954) [15]
  2. Solaris – Stanislaw Lem (1970) [34]
  3. The Gods Themselves – Isaac Asimov (1972) [19]
  4. Roadside Picnic – Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (1972) [16]
  5. The Female Man – Joanna Russ (1975) [28]
  6. Dreamsnake – Vonda N. McIntyre (1978) [12]
  7. Kindred – Octavia Butler (1979) [13]
  8. The Snow Queen – Joan D. Vinge (1980) [15]
  9. The Book of the New Sun – Gene Wolfe (1980-1987) [23]
  10. Downbelow Station – C. J. Cherryh (1981) [16]
  11. Helliconia Spring – Brian W. Aldiss (1982) [12]
  12. Consider Phlebas – Iain M. Banks (1987) [12]
  13. The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks (1988) [15]
  14. Grass – Sheri S. Tepper (1989) (13)
  15. Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold (1991) [14]
  16. Synners – Pat Cadigan (1991) [13]
  17. The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson (1995) [18]
  18. A Deepness in the Sky – Vernor Vinge (1999) [14]
  19. Revelation Space – Alastair Reynolds (2000) [12]
  20. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (2003) [14]
  21. Blindsight (2006) by Peter Watts [12]
  22. World War Z – Max Brooks (2006) [12]
  23. Anathem – Neal Stephenson (2008) [12]

You can use List Builder to create a custom list. You can control the date ranges, the citation minimum, or even zero in on an individual author.

If you’re curious about titles not listed, here’s the list configured for a minimum of one citation. That lists all the titles in the dataase, 2527 titles.

James Wallace Harris, 1/30/24

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