5 Sci-Fi Series I Want to Read

One of my goals for 2021 was to actively seek out science fiction stories as part of my reading goal. Recently, I’ve read some incredible sci-fi stories – Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, Dune by Frank Herbert and A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. If you haven’t read these stories, I highly recommend giving these books a read! This got me thinking about some of the other amazing Sci-Fi series I keep hearing about and what should move to the top of my TBR. Without further ado…. let’s find out what sci-fi stories I’m interested in reading!

The Expanse by James S. A. Corey

The Expanse has been on my radar for a long time now! I remember hearing about this series back when my wife and I started watching the Game of Thrones TV series back in 2017. This was well before I picked up reading again. We were searching for a new TV Show to watch and started watching a few episodes of The Expanse before stopping. I decided I would rather read the series before getting invested in the show. Flash forward 4 years…. I still haven’t started reading The Expanse. Why? At the time I only wanted to start series that were finished and back in 2017 the books weren’t complete. This won’t be my excuse anymore with the 9th and final book Leviathan Falls coming out November 30th. The Expanse will be the next big series I will be tackling after I finish The Wheel of Time!

The Divide series by J. S. Dewes

The first thing that made me interested in this series was the title and cover. There is something so exciting about the title The Last Watch. “They’re Humanity’s Last Chance” To me this already has epic written all over it. J. S. Dewes is a very active author on Instagram. She made a video a while back of what her inspiration for The Last Watch was. Mass Effect was a huge inspiration for the series. I personally haven’t played the Mass Effect games but this definitely makes me curious enough to want to pick up a copy and try it. The Last Watch came out early this summer and shortly after that the sequel The Exiled Fleet came out. I’m excited I won’t have to wait to read the sequel! It was also announced that the third book in the Divide is coming in 2023!

The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov

Let’s take a step back into time to 1942 when Foundation was published. After enjoying Dune, I found out that Dune was inspired by Foundation. I don’t really know what to expect with this story. Issac Asimov has been on my list for a long time. A lot of people are familiar with I, Robot whether they saw the movie featuring Will Smith or read the short story. The biggest reason I have him on the list is I want to see how he inspired the sci-fi genre and what some of his futuristic ideas were. Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation make up the main trilogy. There are two prequel novels – Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation – as well as two sequels, Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth. There is a lot of content to read outside the original trilogy!

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game has been on my list since High School. I was looking for sci-fi series similar to Star Wars so I picked this up because it was a popular sci-fi book. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t read this story after buying it. This is probably one of my biggest reading mistakes. In college I picked up the movie because it had Harrison Ford in it and I knew I had interest in the series… If you haven’t watched the movie do yourself a favor and read this book first. The twist at the end of the movie entirely ruins wanting to read the story. It’s quite an interesting surprise that I wish I read first. I’m not really sure if the movie was a success in the box office but I actually enjoyed. Now I’m more curious how close of an adaption the movie is to the book. There are 18 books in the Ender’s Game series and 5 in the Ender Series which is the series that Ender’s Game takes place.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

I recently was doing some digging into podcasts that tell stories and stumbled across this title. Welcome to Night Vale is a popular podcast that airs a new story twice a month. You can find this series on a multiple platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Youtube. This series has quite a lot of content! At the moment of writing this there are 195 episodes, 3 stand-alone Novels, Live Shows and music! The Episodes of the show have also been compiled into four collections for people to read. I also discovered they are going to be doing a Live Show next year in a city really close to me! If I manage to read and listen to all of the content maybe you will find me there!

I’m really excited about these five science fiction series. I’m curious what sci-fi series you are interested! Have you read or listened to any of these titles? Do any of ours align? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Reading!


BOOK REVIEW | DUNE BY FRANK HERBERT

Hi everyone! I am Arthur, also known as nocrackedspines on instragam! I’m really excited to be working with Sam and her team over here at The Book in Hand blog! I will be reviewing Dune by Frank Herbert!

Years ago one of my closest friends recommended Dune because I like Sci-Fi but I never really got around to reading it until now. I am really disappointed I slept on this book for as many years as I did. This past July and August, I held a large read along on Instagram for Dune since the new movie is being released in October. After finishing Dune, I can see how it has influenced so many books, stories and movies like Star Wars, Wheel of Time, Tremors and even the popular miniature wargame Warhammer 40K.

Dune was written by Frank Herbert in 1965. It is the first book in his 6 book series. Beyond the original six books, Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert’s son) has published many books in the Dune Universe alongside sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson.

Synopsis

We follow young Paul Atreides and his family’s quest to govern the desert planet of Arrakis. Melange, the coveted “spice” of Arrakis, drives the Houses to conspire against each other. Dune explores different cultures, religion, a unique planet ecology and interesting sci-fi technology.

Characters

Dune has a rather large cast of characters. Despite not being excited about some of the names of the characters like Paul or Jessica, I quickly discovered how much I really enjoyed following their story. Even side characters like Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck and Stilgar were fleshed out, enjoyable characters. Frank Herbert succeeded in creating great relationships between many of the characters. Some of my favorites were the interactions between Paul and his mother Lady Jessica and Duke Leto and Lady Jessica.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will not permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain”

World Building

Arrakis is a essentially a waste desert planet with only one unique item – Melange or “spice” – that makes it so popular among the houses in the empire. Frank Herbert dug into the ecology of the planet Arrakis from the giant sandworms to the importance of water and how the empire wants to terraform the world into a green planet. I never thought about how interest ecology would be in a sci-fi / fantasy story. Even though Dune was written in 1965, it reads like a fantasy story feels like a modern sci-fi. Dune has aged incredibly well.

Beyond just the ecology of Arrakis, I found the different houses and politics to be absolutely fascinating. Normally I have no interest in politics but it was woven into the story extremely well. The conflict between House Atreides and House Harkonnen was well fueled by the “spice” and how everyone wanted to control Arrakis. I can see the influence Dune had on George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Frank Herbert laid the foundation for so many amazing stories. Dune is a story I think will continue to stand the test of time.

Final Thoughts

I had an absolute blast reading Dune. Honestly, it surprised me. I didn’t think Dune would grab me as well as it did. I was nervous this would feel outdated or difficult to read but I felt it was the complete opposite. Dune was fast-paced, modern and rather easy to read. It definitely took me a few chapters to get used to his writing style. I would definitely recommend Dune to anyone. For me, Dune was a home run. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year!