By Sydney Ririe
Westwind Weekly News
I have a great appreciation and love for literature. Classics like Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Pimpernel are some of my favorite books. And yet, I will always have a place in my heart (and on my bookshelf) for sci-fi and fantasy novels. The genre of fantasy was really what built my early appetite for reading. I especially loved tales of fairies and kingdoms, dragons and magic. I discovered sci-fi later on, and was just as thrilled by tales of outer space gallantry and adventure.
The beauty of both sci-fi and fantasy novels are the focus almost solely on a great story. Literature and classics are meant to tell a good story while also being deeply thought provoking. Most fantasy and sci-fi novels I have read do not claim to preach a moral lesson or make you question your perspective on life, but through a great story, they always end up doing just that. And at least for me, I’m almost always touched more by lessons learned from a story in itself rather than reading an instruction manual!
These are some of my personal favorite fantasy and sci-fi novels. Hope you enjoy!
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
This is a little advanced for small children, but an amazing book to read out loud. Inkheart tells the story of a man who has the ability to bring stories to life-literally. Anything he reads out loud is transported from the world of their story into ours. Inkheart follows this man and his daughter as they search for his wife who was unexpectedly swallowed up into one of the stories. Full of magical characters and daring escapades, Inkheart is a book I can always pick up and begin again.
Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
An intriguing twist on the story of Peter Pan and Neverland, Peter and the Starcatchers follows the young orphan Peter, as he and his friends are shipped off on a rickety boat to be servants for a foreign king (rumored to have a monstrous snake he fed on disobedient boys!) But on the boat, Peter discovers a mysterious girl, and a glowing chest that makes people gleefully happy. Filled with familiar characters like Captain Hook and a dangerous crocodile, you’ll love this swashbuckling adventure!
The Dune Trilogy, by Frank Herbert
This award-winning and best-selling sci-fi trilogy is, hands down, the most intricate and intense series I have ever encountered. The story takes place in an interstellar society, where ruling houses fight for power. The first book “Dune” chronicles the adventures of a young prince who takes control of the planet Arrakis, coveted for a special drug necessary for modern medicine and space travel. The incredible nature of this book truly lies in the details, as so many stories are being told at the same time, and unexpectedly connect for an incredible tale. This series has 5 books, with numerous prequels and sequels written by Herbert’s son.