More than 5,000 of you nominated. More than 60,000 of you voted. And now the results are in. The winners of NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey are an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles…
A quick word about what’s here, and what’s not: Our panel of experts reviewed hundreds of the most popular nominations and tossed out those that didn’t fit the survey’s criteria (after — we assure you — much passionate, thoughtful, gleefully nerdy discussion). You’ll notice there are no young adult or horror books on this list, but sit tight, dear reader, we’re saving those genres for summers yet to come.
1. The Lord Of The Rings by by J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien’s seminal three-volume epic chronicles the War of the Ring, in which Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to destroy the evil Ring of Power and restore peace to Middle-earth. The beloved trilogy still casts a long shadow, having established some of the most familiar and enduring tropes in fantasy literature.Literary Award Winner
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
In the first, hilarious volume of Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series, reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent gets swept up in some literally Earth-shattering events involving aliens, sperm whales, a depressed robot, mice who are more than they seem, and some really, really bad poetry.
3 Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Young Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, bred to be a genius, is drafted to Battle School where he trains to lead the century-long fight against the alien Buggers.
4 The Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert
Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.
5 Game of Thrones Boxed Set / A Song Of Ice And Fire Series
by George R.R. Martin
As the Seven Kingdoms face a generation-long winter, the royal Stark family confronts the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, the arrival of barbarian hordes, and other threats.
6 1984 – a Novel by George Orwell
Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.
7 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit, in a chilling novel of a frightening near-future world.
8 Foundation / The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
A band of psychologists, under the leadership of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, plant a colony to encourage art, science, and technology in the declining Galactic Empire and to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humankind.
9 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Huxley’s classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.
10 American Gods by by Neil Gaiman
On the plane home to attend the funerals of his wife and best friend, Shadow, an ex-con, encounters an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him. When Shadow accepts the stranger’s job offer, he finds himself plunged into a perilous game with the highest of stakes: the soul of America itself.