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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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“Somewhere out there in the millennial dark night, tall ancient towers howled on a rising wind.”

– A Storm of Wings,
M. John HJarrison

Why Yet Another Science-Fiction and Fantasy List Site?

Let’s face reality: for the civilized reader, too many—most—web sites about science-fiction or fantasy literature recall American Bandstand: “Uh, wull, Dick, I give it a 86 ’cause it had a good beat an’ yuh could dance to it.” What one might charitably call “naive enthusiasm” abounds.

If your sensibilities suggest to you that Eric Eddison and Ernest Bramah have written better fantasy than Piers Anthony and Katherine Kurtz, or that Cordwainer Smith and M. John Harrison have written better science fiction than Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, this site should be of real interest to you; if not, you are in the wrong place.

No one disparages authors who lack greatness if they possess competence. But, while a cold spritzer is often welcome refreshment, when we go into a restaurant of quality and ask for the wine card, we do not expect to see Gallo Chablis or Annie Greensprings among the listings. This site seeks to be a wine card of science-fiction and fantasy literature.

For long now the literati have scorned both science-fiction and fantasy books, when they have deigned to notice them at all; sad to say, the responses from within the community of science-fiction and fantasy readers (and writers) almost invariably call to mind an old saying: “I can save myself from my enemies, but only God can save me from my friends.” Another aim of this site is to be a place to which science-fiction and fantasy aficionados can fearlessly send intelligent, civilized readers not familiar with the field.

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So What Have We Here?

What we have here is a site dedicated to presenting works in the fields of science-fiction and fantasy—sometimes collectively called “speculative fiction”—that get high grades for literary quality without needing any bonus points just for being science fiction or fantasy. The books are judged as literature, not as “science-fiction books” or “fantasy books”.

This is a big site, with hundreds of pages. While most of those pages carry mechanical information about particular authors and books, and some duplicate the information on others but in a different arrangement, there is still a hard core of many, many “basic” pages. A site so large needs a full page just to explain what’s where in a coherent way, and this site has such a page. But there are a few mechanical things you should know even before you get to that page, plus there are some things about this site’s raison d’etre that I would like to explain before you plunge in. So the very next page you should go on to—ignoring the Site Directory at the bottom of this page—is the Welcome page linked just a little below.

When first I set up this site, I wrote here If, as a result of this site existing, but one reader finds and enjoys but one book that that reader would likely otherwise not have come round to, I will feel satisfied that I have not labored completely in vain. The many kind emails and reviews since then have justified to me my labors, and encourage me to continue expanding the site. Thank you all.

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Where Next?

Click here to continue on to the Welcome

(a page that further introduces and explains this site)

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This page was last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2020, at 5:04 pm Pacific Time.