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50 Notable Works of SF/F from the Past 50 Years

In celebration of Bookshop’s 50th Anniversary, and to complement the 50 Notable Works of Fiction list that we created earlier this year, we, the lovers of the fantastical and the futuristic, made our own list of 50 Notable Works of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Hubristically we imagined our task much easier, given that we were only looking at one genre of fiction, and limited as we were only to titles that had been published since Bookshop first opened its doors in 1966. But as anyone who has read any SFF knows, it is a rich and complex canon, stuffed full of excellent authors, subgenres, and more great books than could fit on any list. Much humbled, we present this list as a starting point, in hopes that it will thrill fans to see some of their favorites on it, and give readers new titles to add to their own lists. We hope you will also check out the other “50 Notable” displays featured throughout the year, including the 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction list and the 50 Notable Cookbooks and Food Writing that will be featured in our winter newsletter. Enjoy! 

Also of SF/F interest: Our staff loved the 50 Years of Bookwyrms finalist in the 2016 Design a Tote contest so much that we had to produce a limited print run of these bags. They are perfect for carrying these notable books around.

50 Notable Works of Science Fiction and Fantasy (In chronological order)

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, 1966

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, 1968

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, 1968

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, 1968

Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice, 1968

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, 1968

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1969

Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny, 1970

Ringworld by Larry Niven, 1970

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, 1974

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, 1975

The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, 1979

Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe, 1980

The Gunslinger by Stephen King, 1982

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, 1983

Neuromancer by William Gibson, 1984

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, 1985

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, 1986

Hyperion by Dan Simmons, 1989

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, 1990

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, 1990

He, She and It by Marge Piercy, 1991

Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, 1991

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, 1992

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, 1993

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, 1993

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind, 1994

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, 1995

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, 1996

Otherland: City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams, 1996

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, 1996

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, 1997

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, 1997

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko, 1998

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, 2000

Storm Front by Jim Butcher, 2000

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, 2001

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, 2001

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, 2004

Old Man's War by John Scalzi, 2005

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, 2006

World War Z by Max Brooks, 2006

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, 2007

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, 2009

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, 2009

Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor, 2010

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, 2011

The Martian by Andy Weir, 2011

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, 2013

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, 2015