SFF Masterworks

 SFF Masterworks Meme

I've recently become involved in a new reading project which began July 1st. Put together by Patrick of Stomping on Yeti, a group of us are reading the SF and Fantasy Masterworks.  The Masterworks are a series of science fiction and fantasy books published by Orion publishing group through its imprints Millennium and Gollancz.   The books on the list are ones Orion felt should not be forgotten and should stay in print.  The books are in series order instead of publication date order.  Each one of us will be reading one book a month and reviewing them on a group blog  until all the books on both lists have been read.  How many of these books have I already read?  The books in bold are the ones I've read, the ones in italics the ones I own, but not read yet.

SF Masterworks

1    The Forever War**- Joe Haldeman
2    I Am Legend Richard Matheson
3    Cities in Flight - James Blish
4    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -  Philip K. Dick
5    The Stars My Destination** - Alfred Bester
6    Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany
7    Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
8    The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
9    Gateway - Frederik Pohl
10  The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
11  Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
12  Earth Abides -  George R. Stewart
13  Martian Time-Slip -  Philip K. Dick
14  The Demolished Man -  Alfred Bester
15  Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
16  The Dispossessed -  Ursula K. Le Guin
17  The Drowned World -  J. G. Ballard
18  The Sirens of Titan -  Kurt Vonnegut
19  Emphyrio -  Jack Vance
20  A Scanner Darkly- Philip K. Dick
21  Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
22  Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock
23  The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
24  The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
25  Flowers for Algernon -  Daniel Keyes
26  Ubik - Philip K. Dick
27  Timescape - Gregory Benford
28  More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
29  Man Plus - Frederik Pohl
30  A Case of Conscience - James Blish
31  The Centauri Device - M. John Harrison
32  Dr. Bloodmoney - Philip K. Dick
33  Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss
34  The Fountains of Paradise - Arthur C. Clarke
35  Pavane - Keith Roberts
36  Now Wait for Last Year - Philip K. Dick
37  Nova - Samuel R. Delany
38  The First Men in the Moon - H. G. Wells
39  The City and the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
40  Blood Music - Greg Bear
41  Jem - Frederik Pohl
42  Bring the Jubilee - Ward Moore
43  VALIS - Philip K. Dick
44  The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
45  The Complete Roderick - John Sladek
46  Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
47  The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells
48  Grass - Sheri S. Tepper
49  A Fall of Moondust - Arthur C. Clarke
50  Eon - Greg Bear
51  The Shrinking Man - Richard Matheson
52  The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K. Dick
53  The Dancers at the End of Time - Michael Moorcock
54  The Space Merchants - Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth
55  Time Out of Joint - Philip K. Dick
56  Downward to the Earth - Robert Silverberg
57  The Simulacra - Philip K. Dick
58  The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick
59  Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
60  Ringworld** - Larry Niven
61  The Child Garden - Geoff Ryman
62  Mission of Gravity  - Hal Clement
63  A Maze of Death - Philip K. Dick
64  Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
65  Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
66  Life During Wartime - Lucius Shepard
67  Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm
68  Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
69  Dark Benediction - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
70  Mockingbird - Walter Tevis
71  Dune** - Frank Herbert
72  The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress**  - Robert A. Heinlein
73*** The Man in the High Castle** -  Philip K. Dick
74   Inverted World - Christopher Priest
75   Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
76   The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells
77   Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
78   H.G. Wells - The Time Machine
79   Dhalgren  - Samuel R. Delany - (July 2010)
80   Helliconia  - Brian Aldiss  (August 2010)
81   Food of the Gods  - H.G. Wells (Sept. 2010)
82   The Body Snatchers Jack Finney  (Oct. 2010)
83   The Female Man - Joanna Russ (Nov. 2010)
84   Arslan - M.J. Engh  (Dec. 2010)

** Also printed in hardback
***Due to printing error has 72 on it

Fantasy Masterworks

1   The Book of the New Sun, Volume 1: Shadow and Claw - Gene Wolfe
2   Time and the Gods - Lord Dunsany
3   The Worm Ouroboros - E.R. Eddison
4   Tales of the Dying Earth - Jack Vance
5   Little, Big - John Crowley
6   The Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
7   Viriconium - M. John Harrison
8   The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle - Robert E. Howard
9   The Land of Laughs - Jonathan Carroll
10 The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea - L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
11 Lud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees
12 The Book of the New Sun, Volume 2: Sword and Citadel - Gene Wolfe
13 Fevre Dream- George R. R. Martin
14 Beauty - Sheri S. Tepper
15 The King of Elfland's Daughter - Lord Dunsany
16 The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon - Robert E. Howard
17 Elric - Michael Moorcock
18 The First Book of Lankhmar - Fritz Leiber
19 Riddle-Master-  Patricia A. McKillip
20 Time and Again - Jack Finney
21 Mistress of Mistresses - E.R. Eddison
22 Gloriana or the Unfulfill'd Queen - Michael Moorcock
23 The Well of the Unicorn - Fletcher Pratt
24 The Second Book of Lankhmar - Fritz Leiber
25 Voice of Our Shadow - Jonathan Carroll
26 The Emperor of Dreams - Clark Ashton Smith
27 Lyonesse I: Suldrun's Garden - Jack Vance
28 Peace - Gene Wolfe
29 The Dragon Waiting - John M. Ford
30 Corum: The Prince in the Scarlet Robe - Michael Moorcock
31 Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams - C.L. Moore
32 The Broken Sword - Poul Anderson
33 The House on the Borderland and Other Novels - William Hope Hodgson
34 The Drawing of the Dark - Tim Powers
35 Lyonesse II and III: The Green Pearl and Madouc - Jack Vance
36 The History of Runestaff - Michael Moorcock
37 A Voyage to Arcturus - David Lindsay
38 Darker Than You Think - Jack Williamson
39 The Mabinogion - Evangeline Walton
40 Three Hearts & Three Lions -  Poul Anderson
41 Grendel - John Gardner
42 The Iron Dragon's Daughter - Michael Swanwick
43 WAS - Geoff Ryman
44 Song of Kali - Dan Simmons
45 Replay - Ken Grimwood
46 Sea Kings of Mars and Other Worldly Stories - Leigh Brackett
47 The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers
48 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld - Patricia A. McKillip
49 Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
50 The Mark of the Beast and Other Fantastical Tales - Rudyard Kipling

As you can see, I've read very few which is the reason I joined the project.   Check out the reviews that have been posted so far and follow us if you are so inclined.
There's an interesting variety of authors which begs the question "what makes a book a  masterwork?  To me, a masterwork is a novel that stands the test of time.   One that is so well written, it makes you want to read it over and over and each time you get something different out of it.   A masterworks novelist is one who paints a picture and draws you into a story so completely, you shut out the outside world while reading it.   Great writing, imaginative worlds, new concepts and ideas. They make you think and ponder what if.  

Some thoughts from the group so far: 

Andrew says:  "I see a masterpiece of science fiction as something that's sort of a game changer. It changes how people think about the genre and everything afterwards, at least in specific genres, look back to it. Dune, Foundation, Neuromancer, etc, are examples here."

Harry says: "is this book written with such skill that it stands as an example or does this book carry an undying idea, which ensures its place in pop culture for a long time? I think the idea is to answer the latter, but is easy to get stuck on the technical side as well."

Through the reviews of the books, thoughts of what makes a particular masterwork will be revealed.   What do you think makes a novel a masterwork? Not just science fiction, but in any genre.


  1. Well you know I like this idea of reading through an imprint. There are quite a few titles I don't recognize in the fantasy list that I'll have to check out.

  2. I think you've done fine. It's just you have a long list. ;)


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