Review What is the single best science fiction novel of all time?

Parmandur

Book-Friend
But it is also true that there is a lot of best selling genre fiction that is, by literary standards, very, very basic.
Actually, the top 6 selling science fiction novels of all time are quite good and have literary cred: 1984 is Numero Uni, followed by the Hunger Games and then each Hunger Games sequel (all three excellent books that are taken seriously), then Animal Farm (of we count that)...and then Dune. Nothing else arguably sci-fi cone close to those 6, and all 6 are legitimately good books by lit-crit lights.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Actually, add Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale by Ivan Yefremov to that bestseller list, but that emphasizes even more the correlation between Scoence Fiction selling best when it is good by non-genre ghetto measures.
 

Hussar

Legend
Actually, the top 6 selling science fiction novels of all time are quite good and have literary cred: 1984 is Numero Uni, followed by the Hunger Games and then each Hunger Games sequel (all three excellent books that are taken seriously), then Animal Farm (of we count that)...and then Dune. Nothing else arguably sci-fi cone close to those 6, and all 6 are legitimately good books by lit-crit lights.

Ummm, where are you getting this list?

My google searches are not pulling up your list at all.
 

That is quite a limited take on Orwell, Atwood, and Burroughs.
I'm criticising the critics, not the authors. They all have good reasons for writing depressing books. The main point is they are not genre authors. They use a science fiction plot device (set the story in the future in order to warn about the present), but they do not set out to write science fiction. Great authors don't care about genre.

Animal Farm
I don't think Animal Farm counts as science fiction by anyone's definition. Someone obsessed with labels might call it fantasy, since it features talking animals, but I don't think "If you like Narnia you will like this" follows.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't think Animal Farm counts as science fiction by anyone's definition. Someone obsessed with labels might call it fantasy, since it features talking animals, but I don't think "If you like Narnia you will like this" follows.
Fair point: Dystopian Fable? But the point stands that the best selling science fiction is also critically acclaimed science fiction.
 



Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Boy - lots of arguments about Dune here. Suffice it to say my perspective is that "best" is subjective for each person, and to try to defend whether something is "best" seems like a fools errand (and also makes up about 90% of the traffic on the internet :ROFLMAO: )

About 5-7 years ago I stopped reading books published before 1980. The casual racism, heteronormativity, and sexism; and the centering of the white male experience got sort of tiring for me. I can acknowledge that those books are/were "good" books, but as we've said through the course of this thread - "a product of their time". It's funny, the classic books that hold up better for me are the ones by non-dudes; like LeGuin and Butler. (Note, Andre Norton does not hold up sadly...)

All of which is prelude to help explicate my list below. I am only including books not yet mentioned so far in this thread (as far as I could see)

  1. Lois McMaster Bujold Shards of Honor
  2. Octavia Butler Parable of the Sower
  3. NK Jemisin The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (I just really liked the Inheritance Trilogy more than Broken Earth) Also, is this series FANTASY?!?
  4. CJ Cherryh Pride of Chanur (followed closely by Downbelow Station)
  5. Martha Wells Network Effect (very hard to pick one of them)
  6. Becky Chambers Prayer for the Crown-shy
  7. Tamsyn Muir Nona the Ninth
  8. David Brin The Uplift War
  9. Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples Saga Vol 1
  10. Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl
Of all of these, if I had to pick the one book that is my favorite (aka, my "BEST") it's probably Shards of Honor by Bujold. The whole series is amazing, certainly the first 10 volumes or so.
 
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