Classic reads: Sci-fi & fantasy

With the change of seasons everything slows down a little bit in Ibiza. During the summer months we’re lucky to have time to skim the Diario so it is a luxury to be able to sit down and enjoy a good book. To inspire your library, we’ll be sharing a few posts about classics in different genres. Here are five classic sci-fi and fantasy books that will take you on fantastic adventures.

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin
One of the all-time great science-fiction writers, LeGuin is noted for her stories that go far beyond the classic tropes of aliens and spaceships. This stand-alone novel (she has also written numerous series, including The Earthsea Chronicles) tells the story of an ordinary man, living in the near-future, who finds to his dismay that his dreams alter the real world. An unscrupulous psychiatrist tries to channel the power of these dreams, with unforeseen consequences.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein
You’ve seen the movies, now read the books. The Lord of the Rings, written by British classicist and mythology buff Tolkein are among the most enduring fantasy novels in English. They draw from a deep well of allusion, including Norse and Anglo-Saxon legends and myths to create an enchanting, scary, compelling quest saga loved by kids and grown-ups alike.

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
This surrealistic fantasy comic mystery novel is, to say the least, quirky. Described as part Crime and Punishment, part Alice in Wonderland, it follows the protagonist from the scene of a murder he recently committed into a dizzy alternate reality populated with one-legged men, people who are half-bicycle, an elevator to eternity, and a machine that makes blocks of solid gold. You’ll find yourself laughing hysterically, and won’t be sure why.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
This classic alien-invasion tale is the one by which all others are measured. Wells’ story tells what happens when hostile Martian invaders land on earth, provoking first confusion then fear. Despite putting up resistance, humans soon succumb to the creatures from Mars, a theme that is said to suggest the fragility of society. The book was unnerving enough to stand the test of time, and launch a million films, comics, radio plays, and references into popular culture.

The Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks
Those of you who love wizards, elves, warlocks and intrigue will want to snap up the whole Shannara Trilology. Made up of The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara, these classic fantasy novels recount the battle between good (humans, elves) and evil (warlocks, demons) in a world called the Four Lands. If you like those, the Trilogy is just the beginning. Brooks wrote some 30 books including graphic novels and novellas. His website considerately offers a ‘suggested reading order’ list so you know where to start to avoid spoilers.

What’s your favourite fantasy or sci-fi book? Share in the comments!

About Cila Warncke

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