The mundane nature of this list explains a lot about the man’s literary mediocrity. That being said, he doesn’t have particularly terrible taste, it is merely pedestrian. Well, except for the Sheri Tepper. And THAT Heinlein novel? Seriously?
1. Always Coming Home, Ursula Le Guin
Ye cats. Seriously, number one? Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness is quite good. Everything else I’ve read of hers has been well-written, tedious tripe. It’s not that she’s a bad writer, it’s just that she has nothing particularly interesting to say that you haven’t heard since the age of six if you’re under fifty.
2. The Dark is Rising Sequence, by Susan Cooper
This truly astonished me. Susan Cooper is fantastic, I’m just amazed that McRapey not only read them, but didn’t dislike the books due to the author’s obvious respect for pretty much everything that McRapey is seeking to destroy. On the other hand, Cooper is presciently pre-PC on race, so perhaps that explains it. The “Paki” insult is a just little less troubling than the rape gangs presently preying on white and Asian girls alike in England these days.
3. Dune, by Frank Herbert
Well, yeah. It’s only the greatest science fiction novel ever written.
4. Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
I quite liked Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion myself. The succeeding novels, not so much. There are some thoughtful, interesting spins on religion in space, among other things. But they wouldn’t make my top ten, although the Shrike is considerably awesome.
5. Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper
Ye cats squared. A feminist with religion issues. That’s new. Does McRapey not know the feminists are already as in his corner as they’re ever going to be? He really doesn’t need to keep catering to them.
6. Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville
Very good book. Very good author. But Embassytown is better.
7. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
Very good book. Very good author, almost certainly the best of our generation. But Anathem is better. So is Cryptonomicon. And Reamde. And, arguably, The Diamond Age.
8. Speaker For the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
It’s solid. Wouldn’t crack my top 25. Maybe not my top 50.
9. Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein
And this pretty much explains all you need to know about McRapey and his twisted psychosexual issues.
10. Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin
No idea. Haven’t read it. But on the advice of one of the readers here, I will put it on my to-read list.
I posted my top 100 SF/F novels on my old site, but as that is long gone, I’ll see if I can dig up the HTML somewhere. And if I can’t find it, I’ll simply have to write a new one. Needless to say, my list will without question begin with the maestro of maestros himself, JRR Tolkien.
It is acceptable for an SF author to leave Tolkien and Lewis off their top ten list, although I can’t help but notice there is no Asimov and no Clarke. But for a fantasy author? Unforgivable.