Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Well-Read Minion

National Public Radio recently held a contest for the best science-fiction and fantasy novels of all time. The site narrowed the list down to a mere 200, then invited viewers to vote for up to ten titles. The contest may still be going on, if you are interested.

“But T-bone,” you say. “The minions are sci-fi/ fantasy geeks that are always talking books on the podcast. What do you guys think are the best books?” “Excellent question,” I reply.

So I (T-Bone), Duck Sauce, Americano, Gyro, Pad Prick, Flounder, and Chico Stix all voted, then tallied up our votes to create a Minion’s top ten. Err...top forty.

As a disclaimer, we chose our books on personal preference, entertainment value, impact on the genre, or quality of writing. Thus, some are classics, and others are just fun reads. Not surprisingly, between 70 votes we picked 40 different books. Many of us did not have a one single book in common, which just shows how many great fantasy/sci-fi novels there were to choose from.

Our not-so-definitive list is…

5 votes:
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy

4 Votes:
  • Starship Troopers
  • Ender’s Game

3 Votes:
  • Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy
  • 1984
  • 2001

2 Votes:
  • World War Z
  • Eisenhorn Omnibus
  • I Robot
  • Foundation Trilogy
  • Conan Series
  • Old Man’s War
  • The Forever War
  • The Stainless Steel Rat Books
  • The Stand
  • Hyperion Cantos
  • Caves of Steel

1 Vote:
The Riftwar Saga, Fahrenheit 451, The Belgariad, Dune Series, Drizzt Series, The Watchman, Xanth Series, Bridge of Birds, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Ringworld, Uplift Saga, Neuromancer, War of the Worlds, The Saint, The Diamond Age, The Deed of Paksenarion, Snow Crash, Childhood’s End, Chronicles of Amber, Martion Chronicles, Song of Ice and Fire, Chronicles of Tomas Covenant, Elric Saga, Silmarillion, Rendezvous with Rama, VALIS, Sandman Series.


  1. Love the list guys. I have read some and look forward to reading some of the ones on your list

  2. Color me impressed with your compilation skills T-Bone, nicely done sir.

    One thing about the lists, there were a lot of novels I've been meaning to get around to and haven't had the chance, now I'm inspired to moreso. Also, there were a few titles snuck in there that I didn't recognize that I'm now curious about.

  3. I just finished reading Rendezvous with Rama, which, I'm embarrassed to say, I've never read. Next on my list are Ender's Game and Old Man's War.