10. Q Squared by Peter David
I read Star Trek and Star Wars books because I need something relaxing and not challenging. They are like eating popcorn; it gives you something to do but not much else. Peter David’s books are the best of that. It is clear he knows the Star Trek series well and Q squared brings in one of my favorite characters without the constraints of a TV budget.
Throughout this movie you get to see the connection Q has to many of the other godlike beings we have seen in the Star Trek series, including the god being from Star Trek 5, the wormhole aliens and O a Q like alien from another reality.
If you like Q and Star Trek you can’t really miss with Q squared.
This would likely be higher on my list if I hadn’t read it so recently. I only finished the last of the second group of five books a couple weeks ago. Still the characters in these books are great and in many ways, the world makes more sense than in a great many other fantasy novels.
The politics, the gods, even the orb all really affect the world and though I figured out some of the secrets before they were revealed there were plenty of others things that I didn’t recognize were going to happen until they did.
One of the first major fantasy series I took on after reading Lord of the Rings, these books are high on the list in part because of the great memories I have of reading them in school. I used to sit inside during lunch hour reading them. I even mis
sed school because I stayed up all night reading.
I know there are flaws in the writing and the truth is that I haven’t continued to read the series, but the first three books are responsible for keeping me reading after Lord of the Rings and for that, they have to be on my list.
7. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony
The Xanth books started declining quickly after the first couple, but I love this book. The series itself is known for pun and while there are a few in this books this was before he started to see how many he could fit in each book and so "A Spell for Chameleon" is a really fun book with good ideas, good characters.
Because of this book I have read a dozen other Piers Anthony novels some of which are good and some which are bad, but I wouldn't have read any of them if it hadn't been for "A Spell for Chameleon"
Probably the most obscure book on my list. Most of the other books I found because people suggested them to me. Part of the appeal of Lawrence Evans Watt’s stuff is that I found it myself.
The misenchanted sword is the first in a sort of series, though each book focuses on a new story with a new main character. The story in this book is a bit more serious than in other books in the series but it is still fun with a great and complicated magic and world.
Another book I read recently. I had read other of Vernor Vinge’s work and enjoyed it but it wasn’t great, then I read “A Fire Upon the Deep” and it was fantastic. The aliens in it are well done, and quite alien, and the two separate stories weave together perfectly.
The way that he gets around faster than light travel
and other extreme technologies is brilliant as is how he finally defeats the main enemy in the book.
A thanks to the Kickass Mystic Ninjas for recomending this.
4. Wizard’s First Rule : Terry Goodkind
I’m trying to watch “Legend of the Seeker” but every time
I do, all I can think is how much it isn’t Wizard’s First Rule. As the series went on it was a bit more hit or miss to me, but Wizard’s First Rule was great. It is rare to have true romance in a fantasy novel, though it is getting more common.
Now I’m not a huge romance fan, but in this book it is great, mostly because it can’t happen, but there is still far more to this book than that. This book explores how people think, or don’t while being able to retain the fun of a fantasy novel.
3. Foundation Trilogy :Isaac Asimov
This is a big idea series and I love big ideas. Asimov is one of my favorite authors and has certainly written more of my favorite short stories and novels than anyone else has. From Nightfall to I, Robot, he has a library of things that I love, and the Foundation Trilogy is at the top of that pile.
Compared to modern doorstops these are small novels but they get through the ideas they want to and I suspect many modern novels could be vastly improved by being far shorter.
This novel is a massive space empire story with the first foundation, which has been created by Harry Sheldon to cut the chaos caused by the collapse of the galactic empire from ten thousand years to a thousand. Harry Sheldon is able to do this by predicting the way large group of people will react a science fiction idea that doesn't need spaceships or robots.
2. Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
Ender’s game feels like fantasy in a world like ours if a hundred year or so. The technology is advanced but not overly so, and the countries and religions still exist. The story follows Ender Wiggens the smartest of the students in the Battleschool, a school devoted to training general to fight the Buggers who work as one thanks to their Queen and will defeat the human fleet if they can’t work together as well.
The training takes place through games, but it is the way he writes children that is so great. From the beginning, the children feel like people not just children and though much of the story is in games he brings in a feeling of rushing forward as they push Ender.
There is far more in this book than can be explained in a few words and I love every word of it.
1 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams
Picking the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as my favorite book is difficult. The science fiction in it isn’t as good as in other books on this list. It’s the book I have reread the most and will continue to reread. From the destruction of earth to the restaurant at the end of the universe, there are great tangents, great characters and tons of humor.