Monday, April 15, 2013

5 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books Everyone Knows (but few have read)

(original image from Nasa)
I have a reputation for reading. Reading stuff that other people would probably not read (by that I mean your "normal" people, not the other book geeks!). Right now, I want to share some of the classic sci-fi/fantasy books that many people know from movies and media references, but not a whole lot of people have read. These are my thoughts to share with you: 

1. Dune

First off, anybody who makes it through this book deserves an award. A medal. Definitely a geek card, at least. In fact, I think everybody who wants a geek card should be required to read it, just to prove their dedication to our kind. 

This book is confusing, weird, and sort of fascinating. I have not clue what any of it was really about, but I pulled from it the story of a prince on the run who has some sort of special powers. Escaping from the assassins who killed his father, he flees to the desert, where he meets the desert people and is hailed as their Chosen One. It all has to do with harvesting a type of spice that everyone in the aristocracy is addicted to. Turns their eyes completely blue - which is cool in concept, and totally freaky in reality. 

2. The War of the Worlds

One of the pioneers of the science fiction genre, H. G. Wells saw technology before it even happened. This story recounts an invasion by a type of indestructible warships manned by nameless horrid creatures bent on killing humankind. 

I actually couldn't put this book down. They story haunted me until I finished it, because every step hinges on whether the protagonist will survive, and even more importantly, weather Earth will survive. There is also an interesting psychological twist to the characters, showing the many facets of what the human mind will do when placed under extreme stress. 

3. Frankenstein 

Everybody knows the premise of this tale... some dude that takes a bunch of body parts, imbues them with life, his creation gets out of hand, starts killing, and the doctor has to try and fix his mistake. What most people don't know, is that the doctor's name is Frankenstein, not the monster! 

Moral of the story: don't make something you can't control... like kids. Or patched together monsters.   

4. Journey to the Center of the Earth

Another forerunner of the great sci-fi fathers, Jules Verne had a mind full of futuristic worlds and scientific discoveries. I think almost all of his works have been made into films. While the movie version of JCotE is a little cheesy, you would be amazed how much of the bizarre imagery is straight out of Verne's book!

The awesome thing about all of Jule's stories and places it that there is the element of believability. He makes you hope that there is a lost world hidden at the center of the earth, or a real Mystery Island, or a real Nautilus. If you are a dreamer of dreams... read his books!

5. Silmarillion

I put this book last... because it seems to be the last book anybody ever thinks about reading.  Except total Tolkien fanatics, kinda like me. Everything you wanted to know about the origins of Middle Earth, and more. If you like history, you will love the detail and care that went into creating the world of Lord of the Rings. I absolutely loved it.

Did you watch the Hobbit? Were you totally confused by some of the back story and stuff that wasn't even from the book? The reason the producers split the book into three movies is because they wanted to share some of the history that ties the gap between Hobbit and LOTR, and also explain the events leading up to the ring being cast into the fire. Wanna know what on middle earth is going on in the movies? Read the book!

What are some of your favorite, not-so-commonly-read sci-fi/fantasy books? Have you read any of the ones above? Do you like the movie adaptations?


  1. I have not read all of those. Only simarillian and journey... I almost quit reading journey because of the evolution. I haven't read any H.G Wells. But I watched the movies. Didn't care for wotw. The latest journey tce was cute. I haven't made it though Dune. Something always interrupts it.
    There is a book called Children of the gods that the star gate movie is based on, I never found it so I haven't read it either. The Host was pretty good. By Stephanie Meyer its a alien invasion story.

    1. Yes, that is always the frustrating side of most sci-fi is the evolution. I've not seen WOTW in movie, but I thought the book was interesting. Dune is easy to get distracted from... it's just plain weird! lol
      I've seen previews for The Host movie, but haven't seen the book. Looks like an interesting concept. Now that you said you couldn't find Children of the Gods, it makes me want to find it! I love finding hard to find or out of print books - so many good books get lost that way.