The List Chronologically:

Here are the essential 50 Sci Fi authors and their 116 key works, as proposed by John C. Wright. Here the items are listed chronologically:

RED = Read

1818:

  1. Mary Shelley: FRANKENSTEIN– 1818   Review

 1865:

  1. Jules Verne : FROM EARTH TO MOON– 1865

1870:

  1. Jules Verne:  TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – 1870

 1884:

  1. A Square (Edwin Abbott) FLATLAND– 1884

1895:

  1. G. Wells:THE TIME MACHINE – 1895   Review

1896:

  1. G. Wells:THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU– 1896   Review

1897:

  1. G. Wells: THE WAR OF THE WORLDS – 1897  Review

1901:

  1. G. Wells: THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON– 1901   Review

1904:

  1. Jules Verne: MASTER OF THE WORLD – 1904

1909:

  1. M. Forster ‘The Machine Stops’– 1909

1912:

  1. Edgar Rice Burroughs:  A PRINCESS OF MARS– 1912   Review

1913:

  1. Edgar Rice Burroughs:  GODS OF MARS– 1913
  2. Edgar Rice Burroughs:  WARLORD OF MARS– 1913

1918:

  1. A Merritt: THE MOON POOL – 1918

1920:

  1. David Lindsay VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS– 1920.
  2. A Merritt: THE METAL MONSTER – 1920

1928:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith: SKYLARK OF SPACE – 1928   Review
  2. P. Lovecraft:  ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ – 1928   Review

1930:

  1. Olaf Stapledon:  LAST AND FIRST MEN – 1930

1931:

  1. Jack Williamson: ‘The Moon Era’ – 1931
  2. P. Lovecraft:  ‘A Whisperer in Darkness’   – 1931   Review

1932:

  1. Aldous Huxley A BRAVE NEW WORLD – 1932

1934:

  1. Stanley G. Weinbaum ‘A Martian Odyssey’ – 1934
  2. Jack Williamson: LEGION OF SPACE – 1934

1936:

  1. P. Lovecraft:   ‘Shadow Out of Time’– 1936    Review

1937:

  1. Olaf Stapledon: STARMAKER – 1937

1938:

  1. S. Lewis: OUT FROM THE SILENT PLANET – 1938

1939:

  1. E. van Vogt: ‘The Black Destroyer’– 1939
  2. Poul Anderson: ‘The Queen of Air and Darkness ‘- 1939

1940:

  1. Jorge Luis Borges “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” – 1940
  2. Robert Heinlein: “Requiem” – 1940

1943:

  1. S. Lewis: PERELENDRA – 1943

1945:

  1. E. van Vogt: WORLD OF NULL-A – 1945
  2. S. Lewis: THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH – 1945

1946:

  1. E. van Vogt: SLAN  – 1946   Review

1947:

  1. Jack Williamson: ‘With Folded Hands’ – 1947
  2. Robert Heinlein: “Green Hills of Earth” – 1947

1948:

  1. E. van Vogt: PLAYERS OF NULL-A – 1948

1949:

  1. George Orwell NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR – 1949

1950:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith: THE GALACTIC PATROL – 1950
  2. Robert Heinlein: “The Man Who Sold the Moon” – 1950
  3. Ray Bradbury: THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES – 1950
  4. Cordwainer Smith: ‘Scanners Live in Vain’ – 1950
  5. Jack Vance: THE DYING EARTH – 1950

1951:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith: THE GRAY LENSMAN – 1951
  2. E. van Vogt: THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER – 1951
  3. Isaac Asimov: FOUNDATION – 1951

1952:

  1. Jack Williamson: LEGION OF TIME – 1952
  2. Isaac Asimov: FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE – 1952
  3. Clifford Simak: CITY – 1952
  4. Alfred Bester: THE DEMOLISHED MAN – 1952

1953:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith: SECOND STAGE LENSMAN – 1953
  2. Isaac Asimov: SECOND FOUNDATION – 1953
  3. Isaac Asimov: CAVES OF STEEL – 1953
  4. Robert Heinlein: STARMAN JONES – 1953
  5. Arthur C Clarke: CHILDHOOD’S END – 1953
  6. Hal Clement – MISSION OF GRAVITY – 1953
  7. Ray Bradbury: FAHRENHEIT 451 – 1953

1954:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith: CHILDREN OF THE LENS – 1954
  2. Poul Anderson: BRAINWAVE – 1954
  3. Tom Godwin ‘The Cold Equations’ – 1954   Review

1956:

  1. Isaac Asimov: THE NAKED SUN – 1956
  2. Arthur C Clarke: ‘Against the Fall of Night’ aka CITY AND THE STARS – 1956
  3. Alfred Bester: THE STARS MY DESTINATION – 1956

1957:

  1. Robert Heinlein: CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY – 1957

1958:

  1. Robert Heinlein: HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL – 1958
  2. Poul Anderson: ‘The Man Who Counts’ – 1958
  3. Fritz Leiber: THE BIG TIME – 1958
  4. Jack Vance: THE LANGUAGES OF PAO – 1958

1959:

  1. Robert Heinlein: STARSHIP TROOPERS – 1959
  2. Daniel Keyes ‘Flowers for Algernon’ – 1959
  3. Walter M. Miller A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ – 1959

1961:

  1. Robert Heinlein: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND – 1961
  2. Cordwainer Smith: ‘Alpha Ralpha Boulevard’ – 1961

1962:

  1. Philip K Dick THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE – 1962
  2. Ray Bradbury: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES – 1962
  3. Jack Vance: ‘The Dragon Masters’– 1962    Review

1963:

  1. Robert Heinlein: ORPHANS OF THE SKY – 1963 – Review
  2. Clifford Simak: WAY STATION – 1963

1964:

  1. Cordwainer Smith: ‘The Dead Lady of Clown Town’ – 1964

1965:

  1. E. ‘Doc’ Smith:  SKYLARK DUQUESNE – 1965
  2. Philip Jose Farmer: WORLD OF TIERS – 1965
  3. Harlan Ellison ‘Repent Harlequin Said the Ticktockman’ – 1965   Review
  4. Frank Herbert DUNE – 1965

1966:

  1. Jack Vance: ‘The Last Castle.’ – 1966

1967:

  1. Roger Zelazny: LORD OF LIGHT – 1967
  2. Michael Moorcock: THE JEWEL IN THE SKULL – 1967

1968:

  1. Arthur C Clarke: 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY – 1968
  2. Robert Silverberg ‘Nightwings’ – 1968
  3. John Brunner STAND ON ZANZIBAR – 1968

1969:

  1. Ray Bradbury: I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC – 1969
  2. Ursula K LeGuin: LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS – 1969
  3. Jack Vance: EMPHYRIO – 1969

1970:

  1. Poul Anderson: TAU ZERO – 1970
  2. Roger Zelazny: NINE PRINCES IN AMBER – 1970
  3. Larry Niven RINGWORLD – 1970   Review

1971:

  1. Keith Laumer DINOSAUR BEACH – 1971
  2. Philip Jose Farmer: RIVERWORLD – 1971 – Review (of the short story) 
  3. Michael Moorcock: THE KNIGHT OF THE SWORDS – 1971

1972:

  1. Michael Moorcock: ELRIC OF MELNIBONÉ – 1972
  2. Gene Wolfe: ‘Fifth Head of Cerberus’ – 1972

1973:

  1. Arthur C Clarke: RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA – 1973

1974:

  1. Joe Haldeman FOREVER WAR – 1974
  2. Ursula K LeGuin: THE DISPOSSESSED – 1974
  3. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle MOTE IN GOD’S EYE – 1974

1980:

  1. Gene Wolfe: THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER – 1980

1981:

  1. Gene Wolfe: THE SWORD OF THE LICTOR – 1981

1982:

  1. Gene Wolfe: THE CLAW OF THE CONCILIATOR – 1982

1983:

  1. Gene Wolfe: THE CITADEL OF THE AUTARCH – 1983

1984:

  1. William Gibson NEUROMANCER – 1984

1986:

  1. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: THE WATCHMAN – 1986

1987:

  1. Gene Wolfe: URTH OF THE NEW SUN – 1987

1989:

  1. Dan Simmons: HYPERION – 1989

1992:

  1. Neal Stephenson: SNOWCRASH – 1992

1993:

  1. Poul Anderson: HARVEST OF STARS – 1993

1995:

  1. Neal Stephenson: THE DIAMOND AGE – 1995
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