The History of Science Fiction Literature Challenge

So, after my trip to the British Library’s Out of this World Exhibition, I felt inspired to do a crazy reading challenge. I’m not going to set myself a time limit, but I am going to read 40 of the most influential science fiction books starting at Thomas Moore’s Utopia from 1516 to White Queen by Gwyneth Jones (1991). And of course, blog about the experience.


Anyway, here’s the list:

  1. Thomas Moore – Utopia 1516
  2. Francis Godwin – The Man in the Moon 1638
  3. Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels 1726
  4. Voltaire – Micromegas 1752
  5. Rudolf Raspe – Baron Munchhausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels 1785
  6. Mary Shelley – Frankenstein 1818
  7. Mary Shelley – The Last Man 1826
  8. Jane Loudon – The Mummy 1827
  9. John L Riddell – Orrin Lindsay’s Plan of Ariel Navigation 1847
  10. Jules Verne – Voyage to the Centre of the Earth 1864
  11. Samuel Butler – Erewhon 1972
  12. Richard Jefferies – After London 1885
  13. HG Wells – The Time Machine 1895
  14. HG Wells – The War of the Worlds 1889
  15. HG Wells – A Modern Utopia 1905
  16. Edgar Rice Burrows – A Princess of Mars 1912
  17. Yevgeny Zamiatin – We 1920
  18. Olaf Stapleton – First and Last Men 1930
  19. Aldus Huxley – Brave New World 1932
  20. CS Lewis – Out of a Silent Planet 1938
  21. George Orwell – 1984 1949
  22. Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles 1950
  23. Arthur C Clarke – Childhood’s End 1953
  24. Alfred Bester – Tiger Tiger 1956
  25. John Wyndham – The Midwych Cuckoos 1957
  26. Robert Heinlein – Stranger in a Strange Land 1961
  27. Philip K Dick – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch 1965
  28. JG Ballard – The Crystal World 1966
  29. Samual Delany – The Einstein Intersection 1967
  30. Keith Roberts – Pavane 1968
  31. Lary Niven – Ringworld 1970
  32. Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow 1973
  33. Ursula Le Guinn – The Dispossessed 1974
  34. Russel Hoban – Ridley Walker 1980
  35. Gene Wolf – The Book of the New Sun 1980
  36. William Gibson – Neuromancer 1984
  37. Margaret Atwood – A Handmaid’s Tale 1985
  38. Sherri Tepper – Grass 1989
  39. Gwyneth Jones – White Queen 1991
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