Basic Stfantasy Library
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
The Basic Stfantasy Library is something over which much bibliophilic debate has been expended. It is usually thought of as something to which you could point and explain to an outsider "that's what science-fiction and fantasy is like". The obvious question here is whether an historic or introductory survey of the field is more desirable; the latter wouldn't explain where we came from, yet the former would require the neophyte to wade thru several volumes of appalling crud at the very beginning. A questionnaire to several leading fannish bibliophiles produces the following set of suggestions for a nuclear library of science-fiction and fantasy:

Historically important background:
* Poe: Collected Works
* Verne: From the Earth to the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
* Haggard: King Solomon's Mines, She
* Burroughs: Warlord of Mars trilogy
* Gernsback: Ralph 124C41+
* Wells: Seven Famous Novels

Science-Fantasy:
* DeCamp: Lest Darkness Fall
* A C Clarke: The City and the Stars
* E F Russell: Sinister Barrier
* Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
* George Orwell: 1984
* S Fowler Wright: The World Below
* L Ron Hubbard: Final Blackout
* Ted Sturgeon: More Than Human
* John Taine: The Gold Tooth
* Stapledon: Last and First Men, The Starmaker

Science-Fiction:
* Doyle: The Lost World
* E E Smith: Spacehounds of IPC
* J W Campbell: The Mightiest Machine
* Stanley Weinbaum: A Martian Odyssey
* A E vanVogt: Slan
* George O Smith: Venus Equilateral
* Healy & McComas: Adventures in Time & Space
* Asimov: I, Robot, The Foundation trilogy
* Heinlein: "The Man Who Sold The Moon"
* A C Clarke: Prelude to Space
* Bester: The Demolished Man
* Clement: Mission of Gravity
* Herbert: The Dragon in the Sea

Fantasy:
* Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
* Talbot Mundy: The Nine Unknown
* Merritt: The Ship of Ishtar
* Cabell: Jurgen
* Machen: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural
* Lovecraft: The Outsider & Others
* Collier: Fancies and Goodnights
* Graves: Hercules, My Shipmate
* Howard: the Conan Saga
* DeCamp & Pratt: Incomplete Enchanter
* Pratt: The Blue Star
* Lieber: Conjure Wife
* Tolkein: The Lord of the Rings
* C A Smith: Out of Space & Time
* M R James: Collected Stories

Non-fiction:
* The Books of Charles Fort
* DeCamp: Science Fiction Handbook
* damon knight: In Search of Wonder

Also useful would be a few checklists of proz and books, like Don Day's or Bleiler's, even tho all published checklists are overpriced to the point of felony. Have fun with your studies or recruiting or whatever you're up to.