Some Excellent Recommendations for 1960s Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

Illustration for article titled Some Excellent Recommendations for 1960s Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

Our favorite meme today is the one where people list their top 11 science fiction novels from the 1960s. It started over on Science Fiction Ruminations and then spread to Yellow and Creased. And there are some great, great recommendations in there. I'm struck by the diversity, with the two lists I've seen thus far covering everything from Madeleine L'Engle to Robert Silverberg to Stanislaw Lem.

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So what are your top 11 favorite science fiction novels published in the 1960s?

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DISCUSSION

lichter
Bwahahahaha

Here's a couple of thus-far-unmentioned (I think) 1960s SF novels I read as a kid in the 1970s:

* "The Witches of Karres" by James H. Schmitz is a sweet YA novel (if you set aside the borderline pedophilia, which, as a YA, I did) that I've read like three times.

* "Babel-17" by Samuel R. Delany is a short one-trick pony based on the largely discredited Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that language determines thought, but it really had a "wow!" impact on me at the time.

Of course, I also endorse "Dune," "Lord of Light," "Stranger in a Strange Land," and "The Left Hand of Darkness." I admire but dislike "Stand on Zanzibar" and recognize the historical importance of but dislike "The Man in the High Castle" (a landmark work in Alternate History)

I enjoyed "Clans of the Alphane Moon" more than any of the other Philip K. Dick novels listed, mostly because of its inventive goofiness, but also because the absurdly shrewish wife (there's always a shrewish wife in Dick's work) really gets it in the end. I'm not sure about "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"; without "Bladerunner" to enrich our reading, I think it's just an average Dick romp.

Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" doesn't belong in this list; it won the 1960 Hugo for best novel, but it was published in 1959. His "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (TANSTAAFL!) was published in the 1960s and is almost certainly a better novel.