Superversive Book List!

Update: Forgot to mention: Once we get the list, the folks at Superversive will go over the list. Anything that gets additional votes from us will go on the official list. Anything that does not will go on a special “and some folks also liked these books” list.

Today’s the day!

We are actually beginning our Superversive Book List! Our goal is to have a suggested reading list that can be shared about, listing books–from all time periods–that are worth reading! Hopefully, this will eventuall lead to a Year’s Best list and a Superversive Award.

But for now, we are merely compiling a list. The results will be posted in a special Superversive Reading List place.

What is a Superversive book, you ask? A book that lives up to the motto: Good storytelling, great ideas.

For convenience sake, while this is not necessary, it would be nice if you could mark your suggestions by catagory:

Superversive — good storytelling, great ideas

Starship Trooper
 Harry Potter 

Noumenal Superversive (NS) – what I call Superversive–a story that lifts you out of the ordinary into something finer and higher.

 The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe — and all the Narnia books
 Wrinkle In Time

Childrens — books that are Superversive, but specifically for children.

Watership Down
   The Dark is Rising

So come one, come all!

Write down your favorite Superversive book titles! 

Suggestions so far (note: some may be missing. I will add them, but please feel free to write them in the comments)

Watership Down”

“A Wrinkle in Time”

“Awake in the Night Land”

Narnia books, of course

“Lord of the Rings”, of course

Tunnel in the Sky —- Heinlein

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — Heinlein

The Iliad ———Homer

Man Who Was Thursday

Anything by Stephen Lawhead

Citizen of the Galaxy — Heinlein

Starship Troopers — Heinlein

“No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Series

Harry Potter

Nine Princes of Amber

Screwtape Letters.

The Prisoner of Zenda

The Charwoman’s Shadow,

The King of Elfland’s Daughter.

Ballad of the White Horse

The Napoleon of Notting Hill

The Four Men: A Farrago

For Young Children: The Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans

The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot…
A Little Princess (or Sara Crewe) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

the Princess series by Jessica Day George

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne CollinsT

The Rachel Griffin series by L. Jagi Lamplighter…
O. Henry’s short stories–The Last Leaf

The Gift of the Magi; the story story by Isaac Asimov

The Ugly Little Boy; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

The Lord of the Ring series by J.R.R. Tolkien

True Grit by Charles Portis

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz

Shane by Jack Schaefer

The People series by Zenna Henderson

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmauska Orczy

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Antigone by Sophocles

Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes

Joy Cometh with the Mourning by Dave Freer

Frontier Magic series by Patricia C. Wrede

Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series by Larry Correia

the Chronicles of Brather Cadfael by Ellis Peters

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Good Omens e Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

The Shifter series by Sarah A. Hoyt

St. Patrick’s Gargoyle by Katherine Kurtz…

The Secret Garden

The Railway Children

Roger Lancelyn Green’s Adventures of Robin Hood

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ring of Bright Water

Pride and Prejudice.

“Who Fears the Devil?” by Manly Wade Wellman


  • Mary

    Let’s see.

    The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip
    The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek
    A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner
    Wearing the Cape by Marion

    For children’s
    The 13 Clocks, by James Thurber
    The Cloak Society trilogy by Jeramey Kraatz: The Cloak Society, Villains Rising, and The Fall of Heroes.
    Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett

  • Declan Finn

    Suggestions for simple Superversive

    Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International
    As well as his Grimnoir Chronicles.

    Wright’s “Iron Chamber of Memory”

    “Les Miserables”

    “Chasing Freedom,” Marina Fontaine

    Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series

    “Out of the Darkness,” by David Webber

    John Ringo’s “Special Circumstances” series

    Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire”… okay, Zahn doing Star Wars. And Cobra. And … oh, just Zahn.

    James Rollins “Sigma” novels are very scifi and very superversive as well.

    I’ll work out some more later.

    • Anthony M

      I say “Iron Chamber of Memory” is definitely NS.

  • Noumenal Superversive:

    Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

    Iron Chamber of Memory by John C. Wright

    The Golden Key by George MacDonald -possibly fits under Children’s

    (Nobility Among Us by Ben Zwycky) – If I’m allowed to toot my own horn


    The Soul Cycle by Brian Niemeier

    Somewhither by John C. Wright

    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

    (Beyond the Mist by Ben Zwycky) – If I’m allowed to toot my own horn

  • Definitely, Ben! Your book should be there!

    • Mary


      Normal superversive — I hope — all by one Mary Catelli

      Madeleine and the Mists
      A Diabolical Bargain
      (And these are collections):
      Curses and Wonders
      Enchantments and Dragons
      Magic and Secrets
      Treachery and Spells
      Journeys and Wizardry

  • The Witches of Karres, by James H Schmitz
    The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope

    Noumenal Superversive:
    Harvey, by Mary Chase
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison
    The Man Who Was Thursday, G K Chesterton
    The Ball and The Cross, GKC
    Prospero’s Children series
    The Great Divorce, CSL
    The Princess and Curdie, The Princess and the Goblin: George MacDonald
    The Space Trilogy of CSL

  • I suggest:

    Beowulf translated by JRR Tolkien

    The Hour of the Dragon by Robert E. Howard

    Lee by Tito Perdue

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  • Anthony M

    I’m delighted you’re using a distinction I made a long time ago.

    For regular superversive I nominate “The Once and Future King”.

  • Anthony M

    For noumenal superversive, “God, Robot”.

  • JudgeDeadd

    Here are my suggestions, then:


    “Fahrenheit 451”, Ray Bradbury
    “Tarzan of the Apes”, Edgar Rice Burroughs
    “The Roaring Trumpet”, L. Sprague de Camp
    “Treason”, Orson Scott Card
    Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton
    “Dinotopia”, James Gurney
    “Dune”, Frank Herbert
    “Tintin in Tibet”, Hergé
    “The Cyberiad”, Stanislaw Lem
    “Tales of Pirx the Pilot”, Stanislaw Lem
    “At the Mountains of Madness”, H. P. Lovecraft
    “Perfect State”, Brandon Sanderson
    “Hyperion”, Dan Simmons
    “Snow Crash”, Neal Stephenson
    “Five Weeks in a Balloon”, Jules Verne
    “Mysterious Island”, Jules Verne
    “In Search of the Castaways”, Jules Verne
    “A Martian Odyssey”, Stanley Weinbaum
    “The Reign of Wizardry”, Jack Williamson
    “The Song of Roland”


    “La grande encyclopédie des lutins”, Pierre Dubois (released in English together with its sequel as “The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures”)
    “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”, H. P. Lovecraft
    “The Shadow out of Time”, H. P. Lovecraft
    “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”, H. P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffman Price
    “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, Jules Verne

    Also suggesting that “The Man Who Was Thursday” and “Napoleon of Notting Hill” be placed in this category.


    All of the Moomin books by Tove Jansson (except possibly for the last two ones–they’re still good, but don’t quite have the same mood)
    “Pippi Longstocking”, Astrid Lindgren (and possibly the sequels, which I haven’t read)
    Doctor Dolittle books by Hugh Lofting
    “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner”, A. A. Milne
    “When We Were Very Young”, A. A. Milne
    The Borrowers books by Mary Norton

    • JudgeDeadd

      OK, here’s a small change — “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” would be better under “Regular” and not “Noumenal”.

  • A Canticle for Liebowitz, Noumenal.

    I remember King Solomon’s Mines as being strongly non-noumenal superversive.

  • votermom

    I recommend the books on my “best of 2016” post

  • SquidPope

    I’ve been working on some similar lists on my Riffle profile; mine are broken down by Objectivist, Libertarian, and Capitalist novels and not restricted to SF. I’ll put a link at the bottom, but first the SF books from those lists that I’ve personally read and would call Superversive:

    The Unincorporated Man, by Dani and Eytan Kollin
    Atlas Shrugged (don’t forget, there were quite a few sci-fi inventions in that story)
    Beggars In Spain, by Nancy Kress
    The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert A Heinlein
    This Perfect Day, by Ira Levin
    The Martian, by Andy Weir
    The Good Fight, by Justin Robinson (my own debut novel, ya horror with sci-fi elements)

    Anyone interested in the full lists, including some entries I haven’t read yet, here’s the link:

  • dpmoring

    Superversive — good storytelling, great ideas
    – The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe
    – The Book of the Long Sun series by Gene Wolfe (Nightside the Long Sun, Lake of the Long Sun, Calde of the Long Sun, and Exodus From the Long Sun)
    – This Immortal by Roger Zelazny
    – Changeling and Madwand by Roger Zelazny
    – Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
    – Dune by Frank Herbert
    – The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers
    – Last Call by Tim Powers
    – Declare by Time Powers
    – Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and The Rise of Endymion)
    – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
    – The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    – The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
    – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Childrens — books that are Superversive, but specifically for children.
    – The Devil in a Forest by Gene Wolfe
    – The Wizard Knight duology by Gene Wolfe (The Knight and The Wizard)
    – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

  • ScribesShade

    Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli

  • morrigan508

    well the only ones that I didn’t see already mentioned is the fuzzy series by H Beam Piper, the weapon series by Mike Williamson, and everything by John Ringo

  • jdelarroz

    Superversive — good storytelling, great ideas
    Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
    Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Telempath by Spider Robinson
    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
    Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump 😉

  • JD Cowan

    The works of David Gemmell. Specifically “Legend” and “Wolf in Shadow”, if examples are needed.

    “Rupert of Hentzau” by Anthony Hope. It’s the sequel to “Prisoner of Zenda” and is quite under-looked.

    “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury might qualify.

    The “Love At First Bite” series by Declan Finn and “Souldancer” by Brian Niemeier could also classify for newer works.

  • the gripping hand

    David Weber’s body of work, including the Honorverse novels and the Safehold series.

    Kevin J. Anderson’s Saga of the Seven Suns.

    Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.

    Corey’s Expanse series.

  • bensira587

    Hey! Just found this place. Some here may know me as robertjwizard at Mr. Wright’s site. I have a few suggestions:

    -Past Master: R.A. Lafferty
    -Crime and Punishment: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    -G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series (Priest as hero – so offensive!)
    -A Canticle for Leibowitz: Walter M. Miller
    -Martians Go Home and What Mad Universe: Fredric Brown (wild, carefree romps and laughs from the 50’s)

  • deuce

    Justin mentioned KING SOLOMON’S MINES. H. Rider Haggard is the only author (save, perhaps, Shakespeare and Homer) who was admired by Arthur Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt and Robert E. Howard. His influence upon fantasy and sci-fi (especially the “adventure” variety) is incalculable. HRH’s novel, SHE, remains the best selling novel of all time.

    Thus, I nominate those two novels and SHE AND ALLAN. All three are superversive in the basic sense, and I would argue that the two featuring Ayesha are also noumenal.

  • brucecharlton

    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004). A wonderful, uncategorisable, life-enhancing book of unsurpassed historical-magical world building.

  • For a reader:

    Superversive (good storytelling, great ideas):

    The Depths of Time, The Ocean of Years, & The Shores of Tomorrow by Roger MacBride Allen
    Wabi by Joseph Bruchac
    Sabriel, Lirael, & Abhorsen by Garth Nix
    The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris
    Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
    The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson (& Legion & Elantris)
    The Dragon and Thief series by Timothy Zahn
    Instead of Three Wishes (anthology) by Megan Whalen Turner, as well as her Queen’s Thief series
    The Legend of the Wandering King by Laura Gallego Garcia (a tale told in the form of a qasida, which poetic form is used in the competition that begins the story. Brilliant storytelling technique, in my opinion.)

    Noumenal Superversive (something finer & higher):

    The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Oddly Enough (anthology) by Bruce Coville, esp. The Box & A Blaze of Glory
    The Land of the Blue Flower by Frances Hodgson Burnett (esp. the 1993 ed. illustrated by Judith Ann Griffith)
    The Ashtown Burials series by N.D. Wilson (lyrically written, blending myth, history, and the superversive) as well as his 100 Cupboards series (basically what would happen if good-and-evil Oz was found in a bricked-up cupboard in Kansas) – both series very worth a read; though intended for children, they’re best read with a background in mythology and history.
    The Divine Comedy by Dante

    Children’s Superversive:
    Outlaws of Time by N.D. Wilson (a Western involving a kid with snakes for arms. It is, no kidding, the strangest time-traveling adventure I have ever read.)
    Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones
    Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
    The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
    The Waterstone by Rebecca Rupp
    The Redwall series by Brian Jacques, or if you want to get really superversive, his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series.

  • Cordwainer Smith! Best most superversive SF EVER.

    • bensira587

      Good addition!

  • I know that the Newberry Award has been fully converged, but when I was growing up it was a sign of a book that was probably worth reading. Pretty much anything before the mid-60’s would be worth considering, but some of my favorites are:
    Doctor Doolittle (series)
    Little House on the Prairie (series)
    Mr. Poppers Penguins
    Call it Courage
    Rabbit Hill
    Justin Morgan Had A Horse, King of the Wind
    The Twenty-One Balloons
    Charlottes Web
    Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
    Old Yeller
    The Great Wheel
    My Side of the Mountain
    Island of the Blue Dolphins
    A Wrinkle in Time
    The Black Cauldron

    Which is a lot of books that weren’t the science fiction I mostly read
    I’d also add Stuart Little, which I didn’t see on the list.

    And I don’t see Space Cadet or Farmer in the Sky or Citizen of the Galaxy.

  • Dark Days Club and The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

  • Jeanette O’Hagan

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda (or any of her series – Rowan of Rin, The Rondo series, The Door trilogy)
    How to Train a Dragon by Cressida Cowell
    Anne of Green Gables and the sequels including the Rilla & Emily series
    Not just Little Women – but Good Wives, Little Men, Jo’s Boys
    Anything by Patricia St John including Treasure of the Snow, Tanglewood Secrets
    Adele Jone’s Blaine Colton trilogy – Integrate, Replicate and Activate
    Lynne Stringers Verindon trilogy – The Heir, The Crown, The Reign
    Anne Hamilton’s Daystar
    Paula Vince’s books – especially Once Forgotten, Imogen’s Chance, A Design of Gold – and Picking Up the Pieces
    City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
    The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (Eragon, The Last Dragon, Brsinger, Inheritance)
    C S Lewis – Narnia (of course) but also his space trilogy – Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength
    The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter

  • The Phantom

    The Silmarilion by Tolkein.

    The Long Way Home by Poul Anderson