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The Amazing Colossal Science Fiction Ketchup!

Sep 21, 2012

Compared to many of my colleagues, friends and hamsters I’ve read a pathetic amount of science fiction in my lifetime. It’s not that I never liked sci-fi, in fact much of what I’ve read I like very much, I just never really got around to it. Therefore, in an effort to “catch-up” I’m taking it upon myself to start at the beginning of sci-fi and read until I’ve exhausted most of the list below (in no particular order).

If it’s not on the list then I’ve either read it already, have no intention of reading it or I just didn’t know it existed. I’m happy for recommendations in the comments. Please do not comment about how some title listed is not sci-fi — I don’t care.

I’m crossing off entries as I go. Follow along if you wish — we’ll meet back again in ten years.

1800s and before

1900 – 1920


all by Burroughs

1920 – 1940


Heinlein juveniles






2000 – 2010


Need More of…

  • Leiber
  • Jack Vance
  • CM Kornbluth
  • Lem

Useful links

When I’m done with these, I’ll move on to the The Amazing Colossal Fantasy Ketchup!1

  1. My phone corrected “catch-up” to ketchup, so I thought I’d defer to its wisdom in the spirit of hokey sci-fi AI. 

110 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Peter

    I recommend you REMOVE “Scalzi: Zoe’s Tale”. It’s a retelling of the events of “Scalzi: The Last Colony”, but from the perspective of Zoe. It didn’t add anything important, IMHO. I will admit to getting bored and stopping halfway through, so maybe there is something interesting in the second half?

  2. Hans _Dorn

    More Lem:


  3. alunelu

    Great list! Try including Ann Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy.

  4. Hey, I’m just getting into scifi myself. This list is really great. How did you find, and decide on, the titles?

  5. @Matt

    I mostly chose them because these are the books that I didn’t read “back in the day.”

  6. Derrick

    Excellent list! I think it needs the Three Body Problem Trilogy. I also second the Ancillary trilogy. Both took me two tries to get past the first hundred pages but then its a ride.

  7. Henrik Mohr

    I second the Three Body Problem trilogy – best sci-fi I’ve read.

  8. Amazing list! Helps me fill in some gaps. As for more Lem, try Fiasco ->

    I’d also urge you to read Last and first men by Stapledon -> and prioritize Roadside Picnic by Strugatsky that’s already on your list. Also +1 to the Three Body Problem and the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy by Liu.

  9. Bob

    I highly advise you to add “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir to the list of 2010+ Scifi, iff you enjoyed “The Martian”.

  10. @Bob — thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check it out.

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