September 03, 2004

Recommended Reading

The movie, The Lord of the Rings, has put the limelight on the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre. Psuedo intellectuals watch the movie and propound theories on just about every aspect of Tolkien's writing. To such people Fantasy is Tolkien and Sci-Fi is Asimov.

Everytime the topic of SFF comes up, some bugger always comes up with the names of Asimov and Tolkien as if they are the only authors worth reading. Surprising as it may sound, dudes, they are not the only authors in this genre.

Oh, dont get me wrong. They are both good, no doubt. But I feel there are some other authors that genuine SFF fans will heartily recommend. Here are four extraordinarily excellent books I would strongly recommend:

A Song of Fire and Ice (G.R.R. Martin)
The characters, the story, the backdrop, the plots, the twists are all immense and staggering. In Martin's stories there are no perfect heroes, no perfect villians. More leading characters die betrayed in his novels than any other fantasy epic. The uncertainity and the shifting loyalties which are a hallmark of this book, all make for a great read.

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
Aha, my favorite! Often people in ISB have asked me who is eNder. Now you know! Ender's Game is about Earth's search for a brilliant commander who will lead them against the alien invaders: The Buggers. The military finds all it is looking for in Ender Wiggin. The only problem: Ender is a 6 year old kid. Ender's Game is about Ender's rise to the top in Battle School and his training in order to combat the Buggers.

Dune (Frank Herbert)
Dune is one of the grandest epics in the annals of imaginative literature. It is science fiction's answer to The Lord of the Rings, a brilliantly imaginative epic of high adventure, unforgettable characters, and immense scope. Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, who later becomes Muad'Dib, the person with extraordinary psychic powers. Collaborating with Fremen, he finally avenges the death of his noble family in this stunning blend of adventure, mysticism and politics.

The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan)
The Wheel of Time is not a book, it is an epic. I was recently talking to a friend of mine working at Google and quite a bit of our conversation revolved around the topic of WOT. The Wheel of Time can not be described. It has to be experienced.

The Wheel of Time is a world where the battle between Light and Shadow is fought daily. With the seals on the Dark One's prison weakening, the power of Aes Sedai women is not enough to counter it. Into such a world a child is born and as he discovers his powers he becomes more powerful than the Aes Sedai. He does the unthinkable by tapping the True Source and wielding the one power. He is Rand'alThor and he is the only hope of humanity in the Last Battle.

What books in the SFF genre, would you recommend?

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