The Essential Sci Fi Library Project

Here are the essential 50 Sci Fi authors and their 116 key works, as proposed by John C. Wright. This page tracks my progress getting copies and reading them.

Update: adding links to free editions on the Web where available; adding 1st published date. When I get all the first published dates in, I’ll reformat the list chronologically – that way, it’s easier to see who was cribbing from whom.

As of October 23th, 2015, I’ve read 46 (40%) of the stories and novels, and have copies to read of another 23 (20%).

RED – I’ve read it;

GREEN – I’ve got a copy to read

  1. Mary Shelley: FRANKENSTEIN – 1818   Review
  2. A Square (Edwin Abbott) FLATLAND – 1884   
  3. Jules Verne:

 TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – 1870

 FROM EARTH TO MOON – 1865

 MASTER OF THE WORLD – 1904

  1. H.G. Wells

 THE WAR OF THE WORLDS – 1897  Review

 THE TIME MACHINE – 1895   Review

THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU – 1896   Review

 THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON – 1901   Review

  1. E.M. Forster ‘The Machine Stops’ – 1909
  2. David Lindsay VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS – 1920.
  3. Olaf Stapledon:

 LAST AND FIRST MEN – 1930

 STARMAKER – 1937

  1. Jorge Luis Borges “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” – 1940
  2. George Orwell NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR – 1949
  3. Aldous Huxley A BRAVE NEW WORLD – 1932
  4. A Merritt

THE MOON POOL – 1918

 THE METAL MONSTER – 1920

  1. Edgar Rice Burroughs

 A PRINCESS OF MARS – 1912   Review

 GODS OF MARS – 1913

 WARLORD OF MARS – 1913

  1. E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith

 SKYLARK OF SPACE – 1928   Review

 SKYLARK DUQUESNE – 1965

The Lensman Series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith includes

THE GALACTIC PATROL – 1950

THE GRAY LENSMAN – 1951

SECOND STAGE LENSMAN – 1953

CHILDREN OF THE LENS – 1954

  1. Stanley G. Weinbaum ‘A Martian Odyssey’ – 1934
  2. Jack Williamson

‘With Folded Hands’ – 1947

LEGION OF SPACE – 1934

LEGION OF TIME – 1952

‘The Moon Era’ – 1931

  1. H.P. Lovecraft

 ‘The Call of Cthulhu’  – 1928   Review

 ‘A Whisperer in Darkness’   – 1931   Review

 ‘Shadow Out of Time’ – 1936    Review

  1. A.E. van Vogt

‘The Black Destroyer’ – 1939

 SLAN  – 1946   Review

WORLD OF NULL-A – 1945

PLAYERS OF NULL-A – 1948

THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER – 1951

  1. Isaac Asimov

 FOUNDATION – 1951

 FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE – 1952

 SECOND FOUNDATION – 1953

CAVES OF STEEL – 1953

THE NAKED SUN – 1956

  1. Robert Heinlein

“The Man Who Sold the Moon” – 1950

“Requiem” – 1940

“Green Hills of Earth” – 1947

ORPHANS OF THE SKY – 1963 – review here

HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL – 1958

CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY – 1957

STARMAN JONES – 1953

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND – 1961

 STARSHIP TROOPERS – 1959   

  1. Joe Haldeman FOREVER WAR – 1974
  2. C.S. Lewis

 OUT FROM THE SILENT PLANET – 1938

 PERELENDRA – 1943

 THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH – 1945

  1. Arthur C Clarke

 CHILDHOOD’S END – 1953

 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY – 1968

‘Against the Fall of Night’ aka CITY AND THE STARS – 1956

RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA – 1973

  1. Clifford Simak

CITY – 1952

WAY STATION – 1963

  1. Hal Clement – MISSION OF GRAVITY – 1953
  1. Poul Anderson

‘The Man Who Counts’ – 1958

‘The Queen of Air and Darkness ‘- 1939

BRAINWAVE – 1954

TAU ZERO – 1970

HARVEST OF STARS – 1993

  1. Alfred Bester

THE STARS MY DESTINATION – 1956

THE DEMOLISHED MAN – 1952

  1. Keith Laumer DINOSAUR BEACH – 1971
  2. Fritz Leiber THE BIG TIME – 1958
  3. Robert Silverberg ‘Nightwings’ – 1968
  4. Philip Jose Farmer

RIVERWORLD – 1971

WORLD OF TIERS – 1965

  1. Tom Godwin ‘The Cold Equations’ – 1954   Review
  2. Harlan Ellison ‘Repent Harlequin Said the Ticktockman’ – 1965   Review
  3. Philip K Dick THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE – 1962
  4. Roger Zelazny

LORD OF LIGHT – 1967

NINE PRINCES IN AMBER – 1970

  1. Ray Bradbury

 FAHRENHEIT 451 – 1953

 THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES – 1950

 I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC – 1969

 SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES – 1962

  1. John Brunner STAND ON ZANZIBAR – 1968
  2. Michael Moorcock

THE JEWEL IN THE SKULL – 1967

ELRIC OF MELNIBONÉ – 1972

THE KNIGHT OF THE SWORDS – 1971

  1. Daniel Keyes ‘Flowers for Algernon’ – 1959
  2. Walter M. Miller A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ – 1959
  3. Frank Herbert DUNE – 1965
  4. Cordwainer Smith

 ‘Scanners Live in Vain’ – 1950

 ‘The Dead Lady of Clown Town’ – 1964

 ‘Alpha Ralpha Boulevard’ – 1961

  1. Ursula K LeGuin

LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS – 1969

THE DISPOSSESSED – 1974

  1. Jack Vance

‘The Dragon Masters’ – 1962   Review

 ‘The Last Castle.’ – 1966

THE LANGUAGES OF PAO – 1958

EMPHYRIO – 1969

THE DYING EARTH – 1950

  1. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle MOTE IN GOD’S EYE – 1974
  2. Larry Niven RINGWORLD – 1970   Review
  3. Gene Wolfe

The New Sun books

  1. THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER – 1980
  2. THE SWORD OF THE LICTOR – 1981
  3. THE CLAW OF THE CONCILIATOR – 1982
  4. THE CITADEL OF THE AUTARCH – 1983

URTH OF THE NEW SUN – 1987

‘Fifth Head of Cerberus’ – 1972

  1. William Gibson NEUROMANCER – 1984
  2. Neal Stephenson

SNOWCRASH – 1992

THE DIAMOND AGE – 1995

  1. Dan Simmons HYPERION – 1989
  2. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons THE WATCHMAN – 1986