But enough about television/movies …
Let’s talk books – my original media preference. My first fan letter was to an author, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, to be precise. My mom and I were so caught up in her book, House of Zeor, that we wrote the letter together. The Zeor series remains a particular favorite – and probably the original spark for my love of the bro-mance genre. Brothers in arms. A duo standing back to back to take on all enemies. And my immediate rejection of a perceived betrayal of that kind of dynamic. (Yes, yes, I promised not to talk about tv, but NCIS, you know who you are.)
So, proceeding from that book, which I probably read at much too young an age to satisfy most parents, here is a list of Ten Fantasy/ Sci-fi books that I can – and do – read again and again and again. Do with it what you will. The other half of my reading obsession genre (Mystery and Suspense) shall be covered in a future blog.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Fantasy/sci-fi. Brilliant characterization. Utterly surprise ending which doesn’t disappoint even though I’ve read it 35 times before.
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold. Fantasy/sci-fi. It’s the middle of her Vorkosigan series, but my favorite of the bunch. Because Miles – Miles, you are a brilliant, driven idiot. And I love you. If you are looking for a very different type of hero, read these books.
Dune by Frank Herbert. Fantasy/sci-fi. A classic of high level, media res writing. We learn about this universe through Paul’s eyes, and it isn’t always clear. But, man oh man, what a universe. And what a character.
The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Fantasy/sci-fi. One of the many I could recommend from her Darkover series. Great world building. I’ve always loved a little magic.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Fantasy. Enough said. I read it every few years.
The Barque of Heaven by Suzanne Wood. Sci-fi/Stargate. The only media tie-in Stargate novel that I ever recommend. Written by a fan and fellow fan-fic writer, this is the one that gets the characters exactly right. And the adventure is marvelous, the ending only slightly ruined by her publisher.
Jhereg by Steven Brust. Fantasy. Brust created an amazing world and peopled it with elves (in the truest mythological sense) and humans and made their relationships intricate and complex. And ridiculously steeped it all in history and myth and gods and sorcerers. And did I mention that our hero is an assassin?
Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steven Miller. Sci-fi. A recently discovered absolute favorite. The Liaden Universe created by these two is fantastic. Each ‘partnership’ that I discover in this universe holds new and different – and equally compelling – characters. But I think Val Con and Miri will always be my favorite.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. Sci-fi. The multi-verse of Heinlein is a huge and weird and wonderful place, but this novel will always be the heart of it for me. The pragmatism of the Lunies is one reason. The other is most definitely Mike.
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. Fantasy/Sci-fi. The Pern series is another classic that should be standard reading for a fantasy fan. This is Lessa’s story. Lessa and Ramoth. And I defy you to name a better, more heroic, more captivating “strong female character” in this genre. She’s not perfect, but she does what is necessary. And – dragons!!
What? That’s ten already?? But, but, *looks around at all the fantastic books in piles around my feet*. I can’t leave all these others out!
I predict a series of blogs coming up.
What are your Fantasy/Sci-fi favorites?