‘Best’ Novels (my yearly retrospeculative picks)

The following are a list of my picks for Retrospeculative novel of the year, beginning in 1953, a totally arbitrary date, but it was the year that the first Hugo Award was presented.

I think that most of my picks are uncontroversial. Not all would be considered genre works (I include any novel with a ‘speculative’ element), and some are not, for lack of a better term, literate works (novels that may have been published in ‘weak’ years, or perhaps there was something about the novel that appealed to me in a significant, personal way). There have been a few years when I deliberated for a long time; I may have wanted to pick a certain novel, but I also wanted to include as many authors as possible.

At times, this list may lag, or precede, my Retrospeculative blog posts…

1953: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

1954: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

1955: Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

1956: The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

1957: Voss by Patrick White

1958: The Once and Future King by T.H. White

1959: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

1960: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

1961: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

1962: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

1963: Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

1964: GreyBeard by Brian Aldiss

1965: Dune by Frank Herbert

1966: Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

1967: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

1968: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner

1969: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

1970: Ringworld by Larry Niven

1971: A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg

1972: Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg

1973: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe by D.G. Compton

1974: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

1975: Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

1976: The Alteration by Kingsley Amis

1977: Gateway by Frederik Pohl

1978: Blind Voices by Tom Reamy

1979: Tales of Nevèrÿon by Samuel R. Delany

1980: The Book of the New Sun (The Shadow of the Torturer) by Gene Wolfe

1981: Riddley Walker by Russel Hoban

1982: Hitsuji o Meguru Bōken (A Wild Sheep Chase) by Haruki Murakami

1983: The Lyonesse Trilogy (Suldrun’s Gardenby Jack Vance

1984: Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany

1985: The Handmaiden’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

1986: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Patrick Süskind

1987: Watchmen, by Alan Moore (writer), Dave Gibbons (artist), and John Higgins (colorist)

1988: Cyteen, by C.J. Cherryh

1989: Hyperion, by Dan Simmons

1990: Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks

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