2016 September 26

My Favorite Fantasy and Science Fiction Books


Fantasy and science books on one of Elliot's shelves

Why am I devoting an entire list to fantasy and sci-fi? Basically because I've always found imaginative fiction to be the most enjoyable. (You may have already noticed that most of the children's literature books I listed are also fantastical.) I love how anything can happen and how these tales stretch the mind's grasp of reality and possibility. What I like best when I immerse myself in a book is a story—and fantasy delivers in spades. 

As mentioned in the previous book list, these recommendations aren't current. Rather, I'm focusing on books that I grew up with—ones that might even be overlooked by today's readers. I also do not mean these are books you should read—I enjoyed very few of the books I was forced to read in various English and literature classes. These are simply books I loved reading (and re-reading). I think you'll enjoy them too.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Favorites

Adams, Douglas
  • The Hitch-Hiker's Guide trilogy
Anthony, Piers
  • The Tarot trilogy
  • The Xanth series (first 6 or 7 books)
  • The Split Infinity trilogy
  • The Incarnations of Immortality series
  • Prostho Plus
Asimov, Isaac
  • The Robot series
  • The Foundation series
Asprin, Robert
  • The Myth Adventures series (first 5 or 6 books)
Beagle, Peter
  • A Fine and Private Place
  • The Last Unicorn
Bester, Alfred
  • The Demolished Man
Bradbury, Ray
  • The Martian Chronicles
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Many other short stories
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
  • The John Carter of Mars series (first 3 books)
Chalker, Jack L.
  • The Well of Souls series (first 5 books)
de Camp, L. Sprague and Fletcher Pratt
  • The Compleat Enchanter
Donaldson, Stephen R.
  • The First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
Eddings, David
  • The Belgariad series
Ellison, Harlan
  • Dangerous Visions
Farmer, Philip José
  • The Riverworld series
Forward, Robert L.
  • Dragon's Egg
Gaiman, Neil
  • The Sandman series
Galouye, Daniel F.
  • Simulacron-3
Goldman, William
  • The Princess Bride
Heinlein, Robert A.
  • Time Enough for Love
Herbert, Frank
  • The Dune series (first 3 or 4 books)
Leiber, Fritz
  • The Big Time
  • Conjure Wife
MacAvoy, R.A.
  • Tea with the Black Dragon
May, Julian
  • The Saga of the Exiles series
  • The Galactic Milieu series
Miller Jr., Walter M.
  • A Canticle for Liebowitz
Moore, Alan
  • V for Vendetta
  • Watchmen
Munn, H. Warner
  • Merlin's Ring
Myers, John Myers
  • Silverlock
  • The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter
Powers, Tim
  • The Anubis Gates
Robinson, Spider
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Saberhagen, Fred
  • The New Dracula series (first 3 or 4 books)
Stallman, Robert
  • The Book of the Beast trilogy
Stewart, Mary
  • The Merlin trilogy
Tolkien, J.R.R.
  • The Lord of the Rings
Wangerin, Walter
  • The Book of the Dun Cow
Wolfe, Gene
  • The Book of the New Sun series
Young, Robert E.
  • Eridahn
Zelazny, Roger
  • The Chronicles of Amber series

…and a special shout-out to Famous Science Fiction Stories: Adventures in Time and Space, edited by Raymond J. Healy and J. Francis McComas. This anthology of Golden Age stories includes 5 of the greatest sci-fi tales ever told:

  • “By His Bootstraps”, by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Who Goes There?”, by John W. Campbell Jr.
  • “Nightfall”, by Isaac Asimov
  • “Farewell to the Master”, by Harry Bates
  • “He Who Shrank”, by Henry Hasse