Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I’m back from vacation and I noticed that over on Goodreads, they’re celebrating science fiction/fantasy books. So, I thought I’d dive in and list my ten favorite science fiction and ten favorite fantasy books of all time. Many of these books are classics and some are new releases. Let’s start with science fiction.
Top 10 Science Fiction Books –
Ender’s Game (The Ender Quartet series Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (Author)
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury (Author)
Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Author)
Now more than ever: Aldous Huxley’s enduring “masterpiece … one of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century” (Wall Street Journal) must be read and understood by anyone concerned with preserving the human spirit in the face of our “brave new world”
Aldous Huxley’s profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. “A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine” (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history’s keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.
“Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English.” —Chicago Tribune
The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle (Author)
THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL TIME…
THE HISTORY OF HUMAN ORIGINS…
WILL BE REVEALED.
70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.
The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.
From the Hardcover Edition
Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep inside an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, hiding a secret that will rewrite human history.
In a lab in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Kate Warner has made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous–for her and for the entire human race. Her discovery could set off the next stage of human evolution, an event that might kill 99% of the global population.
With time running out, Kate races to unravel the truth about the Atlantis Gene. At each turn, she is thrust deeper into a conspiracy spanning thousands of years–and a mystery rooted in her own past. The history of human origins is not as it seems, and the future hangs on a decision she must make.
About The Atlantis Gene
THE ATLANTIS GENE is a thought-provoking technothriller about global genetic experiments, ancient conspiracies, and the mysteries of human evolution. Its complex characters and historical and scientific details will stay with you long after you finish. This fast-paced adventure is the first book in The Origin Mystery Series (now in development at CBS Films to be a major motion picture).
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (Author)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.
What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .
Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
The Giver (illustrated; gift edition) (The Giver Trilogy Book 1) by Lois Lowry (Author)
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
The Key: Project Enterprise Book 1 by Pauline Baird Jones (Author)
The key will unlock more than an unknown civilization; it will define who one woman will become….
Sara Donovan, an elite member of Project Enterprise, signs up for a mission that will take her far beyond the safety of her galaxy and into one torn apart by warfare. Shot down, she finds herself on an inhospitable planet with an alien resistance fighter who has a few secrets of his own.
Kiernan Fyn is a member of a resistance group called the Ojemba. Kiernan has enough of his own troubles without adding a mysterious alien female searching for answers to the list. He is given little choice when Sara is targeted by three separate forces believing she has the key to a long lost civilization – a key they are determined to possess.
Together, Sara and Kiernan must avoid capture, and deal with their growing attraction for each other, while they search for a mysterious, hidden city on a planet that brings Sara closer to understanding her baffling abilities and her mother’s past.
Don’t miss out on the excitement in this Independent Book Bronze Medal and Dream Realm Awards Winner! Join Sara and Kieran today as they discover where the key is hidden and stop those that would use the secrets left behind by a lost civilization for their own agenda.
1984 (Modern Classics Series): Big Brother Is Watching You – A Political Sci-Fi Dystopia by George Orwell (Author)
1984 is a political and dystopian science-fiction novel set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania. It is a mind-numbing world which in a state of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Dictated by a political system, called Ingsoc, the lives of its people is under the control of privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thought crime.” Due to the novel’s huge popularity, many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. It has also popularised the adjective “Orwellian”, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.
George Orwell (1903-1950) whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
Exordium of Tears (The IX Series Book 2) by Andrew P. Weston (Author)
Fight or Die…
Victorious in a star-flung battle against the inhuman Horde, Earth’s fabled 9th Legion of Rome; the U.S. 5th Company’s 2nd Mounted Rifles; and a Special Forces anti-terrorist team settle on Arden, their adopted planet, to raise families and live in peace.
But soon, state secrets are revealed: The greatest of the inhuman Horde didn’t join the battle, but yet lurk among Arden’s outer colonies, posing a grave threat.
Humanity’s Ardenese defenders send a flotilla of ships to far Exordium, the world where the Horde outbreak began, with orders to reclaim the outer colonies…
Exordium . . . where the Horde awaits . . . where the cream of Arden’s fighting force must engage this adversary of unrivaled power…
As worlds are sundered, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated, a universal conflict proves again that…
Death is only the beginning of the adventure.
Top 10 Fantasy Books –
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Author)
Read the definitive edition of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in middle-earth in this classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie.
The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.
Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.
Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Author)
In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet Book 1) by Madeleine L’Engle (Author)
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.
Harry Potter series (any book) by J. K. Rowling
From Book 1: “Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is currently the featured read in Pottermore’s Wizarding World Book Club.Visit Pottermore to sign up and join weekly Twitter discussions at WW Book Club.
The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde (Author)
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.
When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.
Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.
The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+
The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection with Bonus Book: Boxen by C. S. Lewis (Author), Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)
This collection contains all seven books in the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia without art, to appeal to older readers. This special ebook edition includes an introduction by C. S. Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, and full text and art for Lewis’s very first work—Boxen!
Experience C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety—The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle. This bundle comes with a special introduction by Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson, for a behind-the-scenes look at Lewis while he was writing the book.
The Chronicles of Narnia has become part of the canon of classic literature, drawing readers of all ages into magical lands with unforgettable characters for over sixty years. Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world.
And then discover the world before Narnia with Boxen, a collection of stories written by C. S. Lewis and his brother when they were children, with the authors’ own delightful illustrations. For every reader who has been captivated by the magic of Narnia, Boxen will open a window to another enchanted land and offer the first glimmer of C. S. Lewis’s amazing creativity.
The Clan of the Cave Bear (with Bonus Content): Earth’s Children, Book One by Jean M. Auel (Author)
This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear.
A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
Legends of Windemere series by Charles E. Yallowitz
From Book 1: Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.
Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.
With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials 1st Edition, by Philip Pullman (Author)
The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.
But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other…
A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which contintues with The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.
A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction
Published in 40 Countries
What’s your favorite science fiction/fantasy book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!
MRS N, Book Addict