These are the lists we used to assemble the Classics of Science Fiction list. I’ve tried to provide the best URL to view the cited list. Sometimes this is the original document, and sometimes it’s another database. For books like Anatomy of Wonder, which are used by librarians for collection development, we extracted a list from its most recommended books. By the way, I highly recommend Anatomy of Wonder to anyone who loves science fiction. Neil Barron has passed away, but his magnificent work lives on. Each of the five editions are somewhat different, using a different panel of experts.

Year List
1949 The Seventeen Basic SF Titles – Arkham Sampler
1952 Astounding Magazine, The Twenty-Eight All-Time Best SF Books
1956 Astounding Magazine, The Twenty-Six All-Time Best SF Books
1966 Analog All-Time Favorite Science Fiction Poll
1974 Modern Science Fiction by Norman Spinrad
1975 Locus Poll Best All-Time Science Fiction Novels
1976 Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction edited by Neil Barron, 1st edition
1976 The World of Science Fiction by Lester del Rey
1977 “A Basic Science-Fiction Library” from The Road to Science Fiction by James Gunn
1979 A Reader’s Guide to Science Fiction by Baird Searles, et al.
1984 The Science Fiction Source Book edited by David Wingrove
1985 Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels by David Pringle
1987 Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction edited by Neil Barron, 3rd edition
1987 Locus Poll Best All-Time Science Fiction Novels
1994 The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction by David Pringle
1996 North American College Courses in Science Fiction, Utopian Literature, and Fantasy
1996 The Best 105 Books Since the Invention of the Field in the TwentiesAge of Wonders by David G. Hartwell
1998 Locus Poll Best All-Time Science Fiction Novels
1999 The Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List (1999)
2001 200 Significant Science Fiction Books by Women, 1984-2001 by David G. Hartwell
2002 Strictly Science Fiction: A Guide to Reading Interests by Diana Tixier Herald and Bonnie Kunzel
2003 The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn
2003 The Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List (2003)
2004 Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction edited by Neil Barron, 5th edition
2004 Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy by Cynthia Ward
2005 ISFDB Top 100 Books (Balanced List)
2009 1000 Novels everyone must read: the definitive list (science fiction section)
2009 Mindblowing SF by Women and People of Color (
2011 Forbidden Planet: The 50 Books You MUST Read
2011 The Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List (2011)
2011 NPR Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books
2012 AbeBooks: 50 Essential Science Fiction Books
2012 Science Fiction the 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo
2012 Locus Poll Best 20th Century Science Fiction Novels
2012 Locus Poll Best 21st Century Science Fiction Novels
2014 Best-Sci-Fi-Books: The 23 Best Science Fiction Books by Female Authors
2014 Mistressworks by Ian Sales
2016 Best-Sci-Fi-Books: 31 Best Literary Science Fiction Books
2016 Amazon: 100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime
2016 Arthur C. Clarke Awards
2016 Book Riot: 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors
2016 British Science Fiction Association Awards
2016 Easton Press Masterpieces of Science Fiction
2016 How Great Science Fiction Works by Gary K. Wolfe
2016 Golden Age Sci-Fi: 75 Best Novels 1934-1963 by Josh Glenn
2016 75 Best New Wave Sci-Fi (1964-1983) Novels by Josh Glenn
2016 Radium Age Sci-Fi: 100 Best Novels of 1904-1933 by Josh Glenn
2016 50 Best Scientific Romances (1864-1903) by Josh Glenn
2016 Goodreads Best Science Fiction 100 (Sept. 2016)
2016 Goodreads Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century (Sept. 2016)
2016 Goodreads Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 200 (Sept. 2016)
2016 Goodreads Science Fiction Books by Female Authors (Sept. 2016)
2016 Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction: A Basic Science Fiction Library
2016 Hugo Awards
2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
2016 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
2016 Nebula Awards
2016 Philip K. Dick Awards
2016 Ranker: The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time (Sept. 2016)
2016 Sci-Fi Lists 200 (Sept. 2016)
2016 SF Masterworks
2016 James Tiptree Jr. Awards
2016 Worlds Without End: Most Read Books of All-Time
2016 Worlds Without End: Award Winning Books by Women Authors
2016 Sci Femme: The Reading List by Shannon Turlington