The 101 Best SF Novels 1985-2010

I would really like a copy of this book, and also more time to read each and every one it lists – almost all of the spare time I used to spend reading is taken up by writing these days. Maybe I’ll have had time to read a few of them by the time the next edition comes out in 2035.

Review at Worlds Without End here.

Reading the entries sequentially, then, we get an episodic history of the last quarter century of science fiction. If I were to try to come up with any general trends after reading the 101 entries, in comparison to the earlier era of Pringle’s book, it would be that stories of space travel migrated into the far future (the New Space Opera mentioned in the Wright entry), while stories of posthumanity came to the fore in medium-term futures. In looking for similarities, both books have their share of alternate histories (more prominent in later years), and dystopias, which never seem to go out of style. It’s also heartening to see the increasing appearance of women authors. Pringle included nine books by women (including two by Le Guin, and only one prior to 1969), compared to about one-third of the authors in the new survey.