72 & 73. 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels & 100 Must-Read Crime Novels - Nick Rennison et al. 320 pages and 320 pages (4/5 stars)
I’ve read a lot of science fiction, so imagine my surprise when this list had many books I’ve never even heard of, much less read! Many of the premises seemed excellent, so I’ll slowly but surely make my way through this list (and the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list, and the BBC’s 100 best books, and the Guardian’s list of 1000 books…I think I have an addiction to book lists). It’s amazing to see how imaginative people have been through the years, and science fiction provides such a good medium to explore potential futures. I’ve read perhaps 20% of this list.
I’ve not read a lot of crime novels, so I thought this would be a good place to start. I’ve read some Raymond Chandler and a couple of the other big names, but I enjoy the clever plots and hidden clues embedded in mysteries, so I will begin to read more of them. What struck me as I read this collection was how versatile the genre of crime novels are. There are medieval mysteries, ones set in countries all over the world or based on well-known cities. There are detectives that are black, white, female, straight, gay (although, like the genre of SF, it’s still more whitewashed than it should be). I must say, though, that I’m pleased to see that none of the detectives on this list are quite like the one in my slowly emerging novel.
I really like the layout of these books. Each entry says when the book was written and what nationality the author one. They generally open with a brief summary of the plot, and then analyze what works in the novel, what makes it unique, and how it contributed to the genre.
These books (there’s also another one that focuses on classics that I’ve already read and reviewed here), are a great starting point if you want to be like me and read every good book ever written.
(P.S. Hi there, I like new friends)