Are there websites that maintain lists of "must have" English SF books?

As an example, in French, there is La Bibliothèque Idéale de l’Imaginaire from Le Cafard Cosmique, which loosely translates to The Ideal Library of the Imagination.

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    This almost seems like the same question as What SF book/film awards are there?, asked a couple of hours ago, only phrased differently. Jan 13 '11 at 18:23
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    @Bill the Lizard No, some good S-F books don't won any award, example: I don't think the "Culture series" from Iain Banks won any major award. A good list include the books that where overlooked when they where published, but are now recognized as "masterpieces".
    – DavRob60
    Jan 13 '11 at 18:42
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    Those are good points. I guess some gems do get passed over even for nominations. Jan 13 '11 at 18:54
  • @Bill: A good list would include classics that predate awards. @DavRob60: there are several different notions of “must have”: most influential? most enjoyable? most philosophically profound? … Any particular notion in mind?
    – user56
    Jan 13 '11 at 19:31
  • @Gilles No, I just found the french link I put in the question useful and I was wondering if there was any equivalent in English.
    – DavRob60
    Jan 13 '11 at 20:59

The lists of Hugo and Nebula nominees would probably be the best places to start.


Well these are these two websites. This site, The Classics of Science Fiction has got a pretty good list, based on a citations metric, i.e. the number of times they are mentioned in blogs, sites, email, across the web. Some books I've not read. Worth a look.

The second subsite, found 162 Classics of Science Fiction 1996 is also based on citations as well. The second list is much more detailed. The citations detailed, are if they have been mentioned in the reference works at the top of the article.


Another list can be found at Scifi Lists. There are actually 200 books listed as well as short stories, movies and TV shows.


Another good site is http://greatsfandf.com/, which despite its dated look was last updated June of 2012.


There was a list that was maintained since beginning of the nineties by Tristrom Cooke. Unfortunately, the list hasn't been maintained since 2003 (as far as I know). Still it's a great list. A copy can be found here.

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