The Discoverability Challenge: 2017

Over 2016 I took Jo Hall’s Discoverability Challenge. Well, in 2016 I want to continue the challenge, but I want to do something different with it. I haven’t read a lot of the classics – Ender’s Game, Brave New World, Farenheit 451, Watership Down, Gormenghast, any of the Elrics or Conan, Slaughterhouse 5, The Mists of Avalon, A Wrinkle In Time…I don’t think I ever managed to pick up 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, either. So while I do have a lot of classics on my ‘read’ pile, I’ve also got a large stack on the “haven’t quite got round to yet”!

I’m using this list from Flavorwire of 50 fantasy and sci-fi books that everyone should have read, as it looked comprehensive but not overwhelming! I’ve read 19 out of the 50 and crossed them off the list, and I’ve also read quite a few books from some of the authors (eg. Ursula Le Guin…) if not the actual one listed. I’m going to pull 12 off this list to start with, and have another 12 in reserve for if (when?) I finish those 12.

You can find the complete list below, or check out the updated Discoverability Challenge page to see what I’ve picked. Are there any you’d add? What should I have read that you consider a classic?

  • Ubik, Philip K. Dick
  • Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • The Gormenghast series, Mervyn Peake
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
  • Kindred, Octavia Butler
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • The City & The City, China Miéville
  • The Once and Future King, T.H. White
  • The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Zone One, Colson Whitehead
  • The Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
  • The Time Quartet, Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
  • His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  • The Female Man, Joanna Russ
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
  • Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson
  • Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • The Dune Chronicles, Frank Herbert
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
  • Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  • The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  • Neuromancer, William Gibson
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • The Foundation series, Isaac Asimov
  • Discworld, Terry Pratchett
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • Among Others, Jo Walton
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  • The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
  • The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard
  • Witch World, Andre Norton
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
  • The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
  • Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Little, Big, John Crowley
  • The Dragonriders of Pern series, Anne McCaffrey
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Patricia C. Wrede
  • The Castle trilogy, Diana Wynne Jone
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.

One thought on “The Discoverability Challenge: 2017”

  1. Good list!

    Will no longer reast Scott Card or MZB on principle (the principle being that there are enough books written by non-awful people to keep me going for the rest of my life ;)) Read Kindred this year, it was brilliant, as was Among Others. There are quite a few I probably should have read on this list too 🙂

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