I suppose if you want to argue with the books that Pringle selects, you might give this 4 stars, but as far as what Pringle is trying to accomplish, I really haven't seen this book's equal. One of the biggest problems in reading s-f (or any genre fiction, I suppose) is that you have to wade through a lot of dreck in order to get to the good stuff.
Well, Pringle has selected a good beginning list of "the good stuff." He devotes the same two pages to each book, and doesn't seem to favor one school of s-f over another, giving the volume as a whole a very balanced feel.
Lastly, a couple of caveats: first, the book does limit itself to the time frame listed in the title, beginning with Orwell's 1984 and ending with Gibson's Neuromancer; it would be interesting to read Pringle's thoughts on the last twenty years. Lastly, Pringle's reviews contain "spoilers;" as he's trying to write thoughtful mini-essays on the books in his list, he occasionally refers to specific plot twists while discussing them.
All in all, a very nice job.