Top Ten Tuesday: Best Sci-Fi as voted for by my dad

I was brought up in a house full of reading and my parents used to take me and my brother to the local library every Saturday whilst my dad sorted out his 8 BOOKS A WEEK HABIT.

I very much remember the shelves of yellow Gollancz sci-fi he spent hours looking at and I blame him entirely for my reading tastes (the fantasy and history stuff is his fault too).  So who better to seamlessly tie together yesterday’s blog post, our weekly top ten and the end of our Summer of Sci-Fi, but my dad.

Here is a photo of my father consuming something other than books (which, quite frankly, makes a change).

Dad Manning

As a member of the “baby boomer” generation this list of my favourite SF books tends to be chosen from the ’50s and ’60s rather than anything more contemporary.  This is because firstly, they are the ones I grew up with but secondly, they are hard SF from the classic era. (There are more omitted than listed – H.G. Wells, as everybody loves his work and Douglas Adams because I feel the radio and TV versions are the best.)

1)      Isaac Asimov – THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY

A series of stories that work as one and invented future history.

2)      Isaac Asimov – I, ROBOT

The shear invention and exploration of the effects of the three laws of robotics.

3)      Frank Herbert – DUNE

A stunning vista of an apocalyptic event (but I don’t rate the follow on books anywhere near as highly)

4)      Arthur C. Clarke – THE CITY AND THE STARS

(Or any other of his.) What a concept of the future of us humans.

5)      Larry Niven – RINGWORLD

Where else do you find so many different aliens with such a logical genesis?

6)      Robert Silverberg  – LORD VALENTINE’S CASTLE

One of the best inventions of life on a giant planet.

7)      Gene Wolfe – THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN

Gripping and inventive – (volume 1 – I couldn’t read other books in the cycle.)

8)      Dan Simmons – HYPERION

A marvellous rewrite of the Canterbury Tales.

9)      Anne McCaffrey – DRAGONFLIGHT (and the rest of the PERN series)

Adventure without guns.

10)   Joe Haldeman – PEACE AND WAR

Its initial volume is a marvellous answer to Robert Heinlein’s war story.


Go on, disagree with him if you will.  I refuse to take sides.


We are running a special Summer (well, not so much summer left now) of Sci-Fi promotion with our own ebooks with many of our titles on sale for just £2.99. Find out more here!