Older Science Fiction I Need to Read

In the past few weeks I’ve begun to realize I am lacking very much in my exposure to classic science fiction from days of yore. There are a handful of classic books I’ve read in the genre, but to be honest, I’m missing some of the big hitters of past decades. I think I need to compile a list of the best classic science fiction from the 60s, 70s, and 80s so I can add a few to my reading rotation. Seeing how books from that era were written will probably open me up to new things in the books I’m reading now because today’s books are often influenced by the ones from before.

Here is a list of the few classic science fiction books I have read:

There might have been a few more in past years that I don’t remember reading off the top of my head, but if there are, then I should probably read them again at this point. However, I can think of a longer list of classic science fiction I haven’t read:

I’ve also never read anything by Philip K. Dick or Arthur C. Clarke, which is a terrible admission to make given the circumstances. I’m guessing there are probably several other classic science fiction authors I still need to read, which is why I want to ask anyone reading this if they have some suggestions. I’ll take links to lists of books, Wikipedia pages for specific authors, or just a list of your own favorite classic science fiction books left here in the comments. Help me fix this terrible gap in my reading experience.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

There really aren’t many books that I classify as “intimidating” when it comes to reading them because after you’ve read a few 1,200 page books length doesn’t really scare you much anymore. To be honest, classic books are more intimidating to me than anything else because I often just don’t get why everyone else finds them so good.

Here’s my list of intimidating books I have yet to read.

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
People talk about this book all the time when the topic of classics you “must read” comes up. I’ve never read it and despite thinking Dickens is a decent enough author I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to like it as much as everyone else.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Just like A Tale of Two Cities, this is a book everyone says book readers should read, and I just need to buckle down and do it so I can say I’ve done it. Then perhaps I’ll be able to speak more intelligently about classic literature to some extent.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
This is a classic book that I’m almost certainly going to enjoy. I love the story, I’ve watched the movies about a billion times, and I love every other television show or movie based off the same concept. It’s long though, very, very long. Also, I know the language style is going to be a bit rough for me to get through which is why I keep putting it off instead of picking it up.

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Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
This is the first book in a really, really long series which is why I’m scared to pick it up. I have in my mind that if I read this book I need to be prepared to read all the rest of them immediately after and that is a huge time investment.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Oddly, I just read this book last week, but I’m still going to include it on the list. Lots of friends have told me this book would determine if I was going to like Stephen King or not and that is a lot of pressure to put on reading one 300 page novel. Not to mention it also is the start of a pretty long and involved series.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
I am a bit of a closet hard science fiction fan and this is supposedly considered one of the best hard science fiction books you can read. I’ve seen it in bookstores and on bookshelves at friends homes for year and have always wanted to read it but just can’t seem to find the gumption to pick it up and do it. I think I might have built up in my mind how good it could be to a point where it won’t be anything other than disappointing when I do read it.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
I’ve held this one in my hands at least a hundred times at local bookstores. As a teenager I wanted so badly to read this book but never bought it because there was always another book I wanted more. Years and years later I still haven’t read it but I keep on looking.

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Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune is a classic that just seems a bit larger than life for someone like me. It’s supposed to be this great book, but what if I don’t like it? Will my nerd card be taken away and never given back? Will my friends who think it’s the best book ever written shun me forever as a result?

1984 by George Orwell
I just need to read this. It isn’t that long, and it’s sort of a rite of passage for a science fiction fan to be honest. I don’t really know why I haven’t read it yet.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I’ve heard great and terrifying things about this book which makes me want to read it but it got so much great press over the years that I worry I won’t appreciate it the way it was intended to be appreciated because I enjoy things on a surface level so much rather than a deeper philosophical level.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I’ve Never Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish every Tuesday. Be warned, my entries don’t always follow the prescribed topical schedule of everyone else who participates in the meme because I pick the ones that interest me the most.

I thought that it might be nice to get in on this meme because it provides me with what I think will be a quality column for every Tuesday morning. This week we are delving into ten books I have never read and probably should have by now. You’ll notice that a lot of the books would be considered “classics” that most self-respecting readers have likely read at least once, likely more than once. I offer no excuses as to why I haven’t read this books other than I need to fix the situation.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Published: 1936
Length: 1476 pages

This is one of those books I’ve heard everyone talk about, especially women, but never found the time to read because I figured as a guy it wouldn’t interest me all that much. Lately I’ve been led to believe by my wife that I would like this book far more than I realize if I would just pick it up and read it.

There is a decent chance this book will be featured as a BRICK at some point here on the blog.

 

Dune by Frank Herbert

Published: 1965
Length: 540 pages

I consider myself a big science fiction and fantasy fan and not having ever read Dune brings me no small amount of embarrassment and shame if I’m being honest with myself. This is one of those books that every serious science fiction reader should have read.

 

 

 

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Published: 1939
Length: 468 pages

Want to know of another classic author of whom I’ve never read a single book? Yep, you guessed it, John Steinbeck. I figure this book is a pretty good place to start if I’m going to expose myself to Steinbeck at some point since people like to talk about it all the time.

 

 

 

1984 by George Orwell

Published: 1949
Length: 668 pages

I’ve started this book about a dozen times and always got distracted by reading something else. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past the second chapter during any one of those attempts, so I feel comfortable saying that I’ve never actually read this book at any point. Of course, it’s another one of those must-read types of books for the science-fiction audience.

 

 

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Published: 1844
Length: 1316 pages

I’ve watched the movie based off of this book at least 50 times I love it so much, but I’ve never read the novel. I’ve heard that the book is a billion times better than the movie which would put it pretty close to the stratosphere in terms of awesome if the claim holds true.

 

 

 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Published: 1844
Length: 659 pages

My wife has read this book and all of its sequels and she loves them. I’ve been told by her time and time again that I should step away from my spaceships and dragons and give this book a try but I’ve yet to take the leap.

 

 

 

 

Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

Published: 1942-1993
Length: 7 books

Once again, I’m a science fiction fan and I’ve never read anything by Isaac Asimov? What kind of person am I really? This series is widely regarded as one of the best examples of “true” science fiction writing, so I need to read them at some point.

 

 

 

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Published: 1859
Length: 542 pages

I’ve read a little bit of Dickens in the past, but never this one. I always thought Tale of Two Cities was a lot longer of a book than it apparently is, which is probably what kept me from reading it in the past. It’s another one of those classics that I’ve never found the time to read and really should have.

 

 

 

Les MiserĂ¡bles by Victor Hugo

Published: 1862
Length: 1530 pages

This book is huge. I know for a fact that’s the reason I’ve never read it. But, at some point I really should because it is one of those pieces of literature that has had such an impact on culture and society. Perhaps I could manage it if I read it in pieces over a longer period of time.

 

 

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Published: 1979
Length: 306 pages

I have picked this book up at the bookstore so many times I’ve lost count. Everyone says it’s hilarious and awesome, but I just always find something else to read. I think having a book blog now is going to be the reason I finally pick it up at some point.