Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books More than 5,000 of you nominated. More than 60,000 of you voted. And now the results are in. The winners are an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles.

Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books

Illustration: A robot reads. (w)
Chris Silas Neal

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. Over on NPR's pop culture blog, Monkey See, you can find one fan's thoughts on how the list shaped up, get our experts' take, and have the chance to share your own.

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.

So, at last, here are your favorite science-fiction and fantasy novels. (And a printable version, to take with you to the bookstore.)


The Lord Of The Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

by Douglas Adams


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.


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.


A Song Of Ice And Fire Series

by George R.R. Martin



A Novel

by George Orwell


Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury


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.


Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley


American Gods

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.


The Princess Bride

S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

by William Goldman


The Wheel Of Time Series

by Robert Jordan

At 13 volumes and counting, this sweeping — some would say sprawling – richly imagined epic chronicles the struggle between servants of the Dark One and those of the champion of light known as the Dragon Reborn.


Animal Farm

by George Orwell



by William Gibson

Gibson's groundbreaking debut novel follows Case, a burned-out computer whiz, who is asked to steal a security code that is locked in the most heavily guarded databank in the solar system. A seminal work in the genre that would come to be known as cyberpunk.



by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons


I, Robot

by Isaac Asimov


Stranger In A Strange Land

by Robert A. Heinlein


The Kingkiller Chronicles

by Patrick Rothfuss

This suspenseful coming-of-age story folllows Kvothe as he recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief and assassin in his world.



by Kurt Vonnegut



by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?

by Philip K. Dick


The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood


The Dark Tower Series

by Stephen King

Roland, the world's last gunslinger, tracks an enigmatic Man in Black toward a forbidding dark tower, fighting forces both mortal and other worldly on his quest.


2001: A Space Odyssey

by Arthur C. Clarke


The Stand

by Stephen King


Snow Crash

by Neal Stephenson


The Martian Chronicles

by Ray Bradbury


Cat's Cradle

by Kurt Vonnegut


The Sandman Series

by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman originally told his tale of Morpheus, the Dream King, whose interactions with mortals rarely end well, and whose fractious extended family includes the personifications of Death, Despair, Desire and Destiny, in a 75-issue comic book series over several years; the hugely influential series is now collected in ten trade volumes.


A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess


Starship Troopers

by Robert A. Heinlein


Watership Down

by Richard Adams



by Anne McCaffrey

At a time when the number of Dragonriders has fallen too low for safety and only one Weyr trains the creatures and their riders, the Red Star approaches Pern, threatening the planet with disaster.


The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

by Robert A. Heinlein


A Canticle For Leibowitz

by Walter M. Miller Jr.


The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells


20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

by Jules Verne


Flowers For Algernon

by Daniel Keyes


The War Of The Worlds

by H.G. Wells


The Amber Chronicles

by Roger Zelazny

Zelazny's tales of Corwin, prince of the "true world" of Amber (of which our Earth is merely a shadow) and his son Merlin, a magic-user/computer hacker, have spanned several decades. Amid the eternal struggle between Order and Chaos, Zelazny delights in tossing in allusions to Shakespeare, the Tarot and quantum mechanics.


The Belgariad

by David Eddings

Edding's five-volume epic fantasy follows young farmboy Garion as he is drawn into a quest for a stolen mystical orb, and the rich world of prophecy and power that surrounds it.


The Mists Of Avalon

by Marion Zimmer Bradley


Mistborn Trilogy

by Brandon Sanderson

In a world where special magic users called Allomancers can employ metals to enhance their physical and mental abilities, a young thief discovers her destiny and sets out to overthrow the Lord Ruler.



by Larry Niven


The Left Hand Of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

While on a mission to the planet Gethen — a world whose inhabitants can change their gender — earthling Genly Ai is sent by leaders of the nation of Orgoreyn to a concentration camp. The exiled prime minister of the nation of Karhide tries to rescue him.


The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Once And Future King

by T.H. White



by Neil Gaiman


Childhood's End

by Arthur C. Clarke



by Carl Sagan


The Hyperion Cantos

by Dan Simmons

Seven pilgrims undertake a voyage to the world of Hyperion — dominated by a fearsome and mysterious creature called the Shrike — where they hope to learn the secret that will save humanity.



by Neil Gaiman



by Neal Stephenson


World War Z

An Oral History of the Zombie War

by Max Brooks


The Last Unicorn

by Peter S. Beagle


The Forever War

by Joe Haldeman

Drafted into the ranks of Earth's interstellar warriors, private William Mandella finds his fight against the Taurans secondary to the side-effects of faster-than-light space travel, which affects the rate at which he ages.


Small Gods

A Novel of Discworld

by Terry Pratchett


The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever

by Stephen R. Donaldson

In this first trilogy, reclusive, guilt-ridden writer Thomas Covenant finds himself transported to a magical realm where he is hailed as a hero who wields powerful magic — and where he finds his leprosy miraculously cured. Ultimately, he must defeat the malevolent Lord Foul to save the Land — and his own sanity.


The Vorkosigan Saga

by Lois McMaster Bujold

In a human colony on one of a series of planets connected by wormholes, a young man who suffers from a series of physical disabilities (the result of an assassination attempt on his royal parents) grows up to become a powerful military leader.


Going Postal

A Novel of Discworld

by Terry Pratchett


The Mote In God's Eye

by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle


The Sword Of Truth Series

by Terry Goodkind

Young Richard Cypher gradually embraces his destiny as the Seeker of Truth, and sets out to stop the evil that others would unleash.


The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

In a novel set in an indefinite, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son make their way through the ruins of a devastated American landscape, struggling to survive and preserve the last remnants of their own humanity.


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

by Susanna Clarke


I Am Legend

by Richard Matheson


The Riftwar Saga

by Raymond E. Feist

Evil entities have opened a rift in the fabric of space-time, plunging the world of Medkemia into peril. As the battle between Order and Chaos threatens to engulf everything, reluctant wizard Pug is the only hope of a thousand worlds.


The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

by Terry Brooks

Over the course of three novels, several generations of the Ohmsford family find themselves retrieving magical artifacts in the desperate hope to fight evil.


The Conan The Barbarian Series

by Robert E. Howard and Mark Schultz

Howard's original set of interlinked stories featuring his muscle-bound warrior represents a classic kind of sword-and-sorcery fantasy adventure in all its pulpy, richly imaginative glory.


The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb

An wily assassin plies his trade while his uncle the Prince confronts attackers who are turning people into emotionless, zombie-like "Forged ones."


The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger


The Way Of Kings

by Brandon Sanderson


Journey To The Center Of The Earth

by Jules Verne


The Legend Of Drizzt Series

by R. A. Salvatore

Drizzt Do'Urden, a Dark Elf, finds adventure, peril and awesome magical power as he confronts the underground civilization of the evil and treacherous matriarchal race of Drow elves.


Old Man's War

by John Scalzi


The Diamond Age

by Neal Stephenson


Rendezvous With Rama

by Arthur C. Clarke


The Kushiel's Legacy Series

by Jacqueline Carey

Sold into indentured servitude at the exotic Night Court as a child, Phedre faces a difficult choice between honor and duty as she deals with a world of glittering luxury, conspiracy, sacrifice, and betrayal. Two subsequent trilogies chronicle the adventures of her adopted son and her distant descendant.


The Dispossessed

An Ambiguous Utopia

by Ursula K. Le Guin


Something Wicked This Way Comes

by Ray Bradbury

When the carnival comes to town, two boys unearth the terrifying and horrible secrets that lurk within Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show and learn the consequences of wishes, as a sinister and evil force is at work in Green Town, Ill.



The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

by Gregory Maguire


The Malazan Book Of The Fallen series

by Steven Erikson

Erickson's densely plotted series jumps around in time to chronicle the vicissitudes of the sprawling Malazan Empire, a place of shifting alliances, mysterious mage guilds, assassin gods and military uprisings.


The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde


The Culture Series

by Iain Banks

A science-fiction series by the author of the Wasp Factory features a symbiotic human and machine society that is engaged in a galaxy-wide battle to the death between the Idrians, who fight for their faith, and the Culture, which defends its right to exist.


The Crystal Cave

by Mary Stewart



by Neal Stephenson


The Codex Alera Series

by Jim Butcher

In the land of Alera, where people bond with the furies — elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal — young Tavi struggles to cope with his lack of magical talent, until his homeland erupts into conflict between rebels and loyalists and Tavi discovers that he holds the key to his realm's survival.


The Book Of The New Sun

by Gene Wolfe

In the distant future, after the sun has cooled and dimmed, the disgraced torturer Sevarian recounts his hard-fought rise to absolute power.


The Thrawn Trilogy

by Timothy Zahn


The Outlander Series

by Diana Gabaldon

Hurtled back through time more than 200 hundred years to Scotland in 1743, Claire Randall finds herself in the midst of a world torn apart by violence, pestilence and revolution, and haunted by her feelings for a young soldier.


The Elric Saga

by Michael Moorcock

Elric of Melnibone, an albino prince, travels in the Ship Which Sails Over Land and Sea to the city of Dhoz-Kam, through the Shade Gate to the Pulsing Cavern where the magic swords Stormbringer and Mournblade await him.


The Illustrated Man

by Ray Bradbury



by Robin McKinley


A Fire Upon The Deep

by Vernor Vinge


The Caves Of Steel

by Isaac Asimov


The Mars Trilogy

by Kim Stanley Robinson

On a mission to provide Mars with an Earth-like atmosphere, John Boone, Maya Toitovna, Frank Chalmers and Arkady Bogdanov meet stiff resistance from those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from being changed.


Lucifer's Hammer

by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle


Doomsday Book

by Connie Willis


Perdido Street Station

by China Miéville


The Xanth Series

by Piers Anthony

In Anthony's pun-besotted magical realm (which is shaped a lot like Florida), every human is born with a unique magical ability, which they use navigate a landscape full of dragons, goblins, harpies, centaurs and all manner of eldritch creatures.


The Space Trilogy

by C.S. Lewis

Philologist Edwin Ransom travels to Mars and Venus, and makes a series of dramatic discoveries about Earth's place in the solar system – and the nature of a threat it unwittingly faces.

Edited by Glen Weldon