A list of the "Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years" has been doing the rounds, and now appears to have evolved into a meme. The idea is that you reproduce the following list with the books you have read in bold-type.
Here's the list. And though I consider myself a SF fan, it appears I'm not as big a fan as I thought:
The consensus seems to be that of sheer mystification regarding the inclusion of The Sword of Shannara on this list, and understandably so. The book is derivative rubbish: not only is it a cheap rip-off (in every sense) of Lord of the Rings, it also reads like the kind of fantasy novel that graces the bargain bins of second-hand bookstores or the rotating bookstands you find at train station newsagencies. But I suppose it could be argued that this is a list of the most significant SF/Fantasy, and The Sword of Shannara merits its selection on the strength of the Shannara series as a whole. (And the series improves greatly post-Sword.)
Still, if you're going to include The Sword of Shannara for the reasons just mentioned, I don't see why Raymond E. Feist's far superior Magician doesn't get a guernsey. Magician wears its Tolkien influences on its sleeve--particularly in the way it represents elves and dwarves--but it still manages to be original and enthralling.
(And where's L. Ron Hubbard? I haven't read any of his stuff--nor do I plan to--but his SF spawned a whole new religion! How many SF/Fantasy authors can say as much?)
Thumbs up to the inclusion of Stephen Donaldson and William Gibson. I would have liked to have seen Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed up there, too.
(Via Pharyngula. And although this is a meme, I won't tag anybody this time. I'm interested to hear your thoughts, however.)