Okay gang, I know this is a departure from the gaming advice that I normally try to focus on, but I love fantasy/sci-fi novels. I have been reading a lot of “best fantasy epics” or “top ten best fantasy/sci-fi novels” list lately (which is borne of the new focus on it in the media arts). This made me think, what are the best fantasy/sci-fi epics that I have read? So without further ado, here are my top ten favorite books in the sci-fi/fantasy genre:
10.) Jedi Search (Kevin J. Anderson): I love KJA, no matter what others may think. He introduces his series in a classic way here, and shows why he was so apt at his Star Wars works. This book tends to take a lot of hate on, but I really enjoyed it, along with the follow ups of Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force. Plus, Luke Skywalker gets his ass kicked by a ghost.
9.) Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan): Another starter for a series here. The whole of the Percy Jackson series is cool, but this book put Rick Riordan on the map. The storyline is fairly well developed, while the characters are especially deep for a “teen” novel (this book series is a lot like Harry Potter, meant for kids but beloved by adults).
8.) The Hunger Games Series (Suzanne Collins): I am going with the whole series here. From page 1 of the first book (The Hunger Games) to the last page of the last book (Mockingjay) the series catches you. It drags you into the world and makes you care about the characters. It is a disturbing picture of what can happen when we give away our rights for safety.
7.) The Once and Future King (T.H. White): I am going into the way back machine for this one! This is a retelling of the classic Mallory tale about King Arthur. It is written in modern English so that anyone can understand. It leaves in all the good dark parts and doesn’t try to make it kid friendly.
6.) The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan): Okay, by now you have figured out that I love book series. The Eye of the World is older by most standards (1991 or 92, can’t remember off hand), but that doesn’t mean it is bad! It has plenty of twist and turns and easily is one of Jordan’s best works.
5.) Homeland (R.A. Salvatore): The first chronological book in the Drizzt series, it has plenty to be happy about. There were some times that it seemed to slow down, but Salvatore proved that he could make even a simple origin story work. The fact that it is 1 of 28 books is enough of a testament to that.
4.) Word and Void Series (Terry Brooks): This series is a later addition to Brooks work, but it outlines how the transformation of the Earth gets started. Nest Freeman is a great character, and the Knight of the Word is a broken one. You can’t go wrong if you read the series right, and then follow it through the chronological order!
3.) Heir to the Empire (Timothy Zahn): Thrawn! Okay, so the one word tag line gave me away. I love this series because of everyone’s favorite Chiss. Zahn is a master wordsmith and manages to create what would become known as the EU. His work lead to thousands of comics, books, video games and even a few TV series.
2.) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J. K. Rowling): This is, hands down, my favorite book in the series. The series, in fact, turns on what is laid out here. It seems odd to wait so long into the series to make such drastic changes, but Rowling worked it. I love the whole series but this book made it come to life for me.
1.) Dragonlance Chronicles (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman): My first fantasy foray! I love Weis and Hickman, and these books prove why. They wind a great epic around believable characters, who are far from perfect in their execution. If you are ever looking for a fantasy series to read and you haven’t touched this one, grab it!
What are some of your favorite sci-fi/fantasy novels? Do you agree with this list, if not why? As always don’t be a dick!