Over at io9.com, Charlie Jane Anders has rounded up some opinions on the 10 SF novels people pretend to have read--and why you should actually read them:
Science fiction and fantasy offer a rich legacy of great books — from Asimov to Pynchon, there are some fantastic, ambitious works of genre fiction out there. But they're also daunting. So a lot of us just muddle through and pretend to have read these classics — which isn't that hard, because they're everywhere, and we've heard people talk about them so many times. We SF fans are good at pretending. But these books are classics for a reason — and they're worth reading.
We asked some of our favorite writers, and they told us the 10 science fiction and fantasy books that everybody pretends to have read — and the reasons why you should read them for real.Here they are, in no particular order.I talk about Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow, partly because I think it's an amazing book--though definitely flawed--partly because the info was to hand as I've just written a short essay on the book for the Library of America. More on that next week. For now, go add to your reading lists. Just remember, in the real world more than twenty percent of the books you should read are by women. For example, you couldn't go wrong by looking up the work of the other two women who comment in the piece, Pat Murphy and Pat Cadigan.
I admit I've only read half of these books. I have started two of the others and found them, for whatever reason, not to my taste; two I haven't even bothered with because I know, from the authors' other works, I wouldn't care for them. One I keep meaning to try and forgetting. Perhaps I'll move it up the list: it's by a woman.