This is the Science Fiction Book Club's list of the fifty most significant science fiction/fantasy novels published between 1953 and 2002.
Bold the ones you've read.
Strike-out the ones you hated.
Italicize those you started but never finished.
Put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert*
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein*
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson*
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.*
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison*
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card*
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl*
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon*
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven*
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien*
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock*
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
So I've read 22 of the 50, 6 of which I've not finished, 16 of which I have. I tended to love almost everything I did finish and didn't hate anything (though I was underwhelmed by the Bradbury).
Some explaination on how I can not complete JRR's work and yet put it down as a favorite. As a child, I saw the Bakshi film, fell in love with it, started the books, but quit before Return of the King to read 1/2 of The Silmarillion but quit that when it got boring to read The Tolkien Companion and paint pewter figures. But I had a five by three foot table top covered with a battle between the Riders of Rohan and an army of Orcs in my room for years, and I ruined my eyes painting the little guys, so how canI say I didn't love it?
As for not having read PKD's greatest - both my college film teacher and my post-graduate history of theatre teacher were of the type who felt "I don't want to show you the classics you can see anywhere, let's look at the obscure works." So I'd seen all the lesser known works from the great directors like Hitchcock, Polanski, etc... before I'd seen their major ones. The attitude/approach apparently rubbed off. Galactic Pot Healer is my favorite PKD.