Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Meeting of Science and Fantasy

With all the "reality" TV around paranormal events, mythbusting urban legends, and even NOVA and the History Channel trying to get ratings with spurious science claims it is hard to know what is science and what is fantasy in today's world.  I think that's also why the paranormal, Science Fiction, and fantasy genres continue to sell so well--particularly in young adult novels.

The four novels pictured here are some of my favorites--though I must admit, I probably have 100 favorites. All of them, except the Heinlein novel, are parts of series where I loved the entire series. I began my serious novel reading with Science Fiction. I loved it because it was the world of ideas, the world of what could be in our best selves or what might horrors we might bring with our worst selves.  I also loved Social Science Fiction--the type of story that commented on mores of today's society by putting it in the future and exaggerating consequences.

My upbringing included an odd combination of good Christian faith and church going with a belief in the paranormal, numerology, and psychics.  So, I've always had that niggling part of my subconscious saying, "Yes, all this stuff could be explained as paranormal experience. Yes, it is possible my mother really is psychic."  For the most part, in my early adult years I stayed with Science Fiction and spurned Fantasy as too unreal.  My only fantasies were carried out in romance novels.

As I've gotten older, I've found some comfort in the Fantasy genre. I like the idea of worlds that actually have rules--even though they might still be complex.  But most of all I like stories where the protagonists face long odds, puzzles to solve, and trials to overcome. Yet they persist in their quest because they believe it will turn out well in the end. They believe that what they do will make a difference.  Below are some of the books I've read recently that I really found unique, loved the characters, and loved their persistence toward making the world better.  Again, some of these are parts of series where I've read the entire series and still loved the characters. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson.

Do you have any SF or Fantasy you've read recently you would recommend?  How about classic favorites?

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Testing the comment window because someone has indicated it isn't working.