The Doubtful Palace
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A while back an on-line correspondent asked me for my top ten science fiction and fantasy books. I couldn't whittle it down, so instead I came up with this list of personal "must-reads" -- books that, for me, cross the line from pleasure to necessity. I've deliberately ignored historical importance, critical consensus, etc. when compiling this list; instead, it reflects only my own taste.

In determining what is SF and fantasy, I've chosen to be as inclusive as reasonably possible. Someday I may annotate these, or at least link to someone's description, but for now, here's the bare list.

Richard Adams: Watership Down
Brian Aldiss: Hothouse; Barefoot in the Head; The Malacia Tapestry
Robert Aickman: The Wine-Dark Sea*; Cold Hand In Mine*; Painted Devils*
Poul Anderson: The Broken Sword
J.G. Ballard: The Unlimited Dream Company; Crash; High-Rise; The Terminal Beach*; Best Short Stories of...*
Iain M. Banks: Use of Weapons; The Wasp Factory
Peter Beagle: The Last Unicorn; The Folk of the Air
John Bellairs: The Face in the Frost
James P. Blaylock: The Digging Leviathan
James Branch Cabell: Jurgen; Figures of Earth
John Clute: Appleseed
John Collier: Fancies and Goodnights*
John Crowley: Little, Big; Engine Summer
Samuel R. Delany: Dhalgren; Triton (aka Trouble On Triton); Driftglass*; Tales of Neveryon*
Philip K. Dick: Martian Time-Slip; A Scanner Darkly; Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Thomas M. Disch: 334; Camp Concentration; On Wings of Song; Getting Into Death*; Fun With Your New Head*; The Man Who Had No Idea*; The Businessman
E.R. Eddison: The Worm Ouroboros
Carol Emshwiller: The Start of the End of It All*
John Fowles: The Magus; Mantissa
Alan Garner: The Owl Service; Red Shift
Felix Gotschalk: Growing Up In Tier 3000
Alasdair Gray: Lanark
Richard Grant: Views From the Oldest House
Barry Hughart: Bridge of Birds
Langdon Jones: The Eye of the Lens*
Graham Joyce: The Tooth Fairy
Ellen Kushner: Swordspoint
Ursula K. LeGuin: The Left Hand of Darkness; The Dispossessed; The Wind's Twelve Quarters*; the Earthsea trilogy
Fritz Leiber: Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series; Our Lady Of Darkness; The Big Time
Rhoda Lerman: The Book of the Night
Jeremy Leven: Satan (His Psychotherapy and Cure)
Kelly Link: Stranger Things Happen*, Magic For Beginners*
Richard Lupoff: Space War Blues
Barry Malzberg: Galaxies; Beyond Apollo; Herovit's World
A. Merritt: Dwellers in the Mirage
China Mieville: Perdido Street Station
Michael Moorcock: Mother London
C.L. Moore: Jirel of Joiry*
Ward Moore: Bring the Jubilee
James Morrow: Only Begotten Daughter
John Myers Myers: Silverlock
Paul Park: Soldiers of Paradise
Mervyn Peake: Gormenghast trilogy; Boy In Darkness
Pohl/Kornbluth: The Space Merchants
Richard Powers: The Gold Bug Variations; Galatea 2.2
Tim Powers: The Anubis Gates; Last Call
Fletcher Pratt: The Well of the Unicorn; The Blue Star
Christopher Priest: Inverted World; The Prestige
Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials
Joanna Russ: And Chaos Died; The Female Man; The Adventures of Alyx*
Geoff Ryman: The Warrior Who Carried Life; The Unconquered Country; The Child Garden
Darrell Schweizer: The Shattered Goddess
Robert Silverberg: Dying Inside; The Book of Skulls
John Sladek: Mechasm; Roderick
Cordwainer Smith: Norstrilia; Best Stories of*
Olaf Stapledon: Star Maker; Last and First Men, Sirius, Odd John
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Reindeer Moon
James Tiptree: Star Songs of an Old Primate*; Out of the Everywhere*
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings; The Silmarillion; The Hobbit; "Smith of Wootton Major"
Jack Vance: The Eyes of the Overworld; The Dying Earth
T.H. White: The Once and Future King
Gene Wolfe: The Fifth Head of Cerberus; The Book of the New Sun; The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories*; There Are Doors; Peace

*short story collection

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