If youíre at this page, Iím assuming youíre already a sci-fi and/or fantasy lover, or at least interested in the genre. So Iím not even going to bother explaining why sci-fi isnít just for nerds or Trekkies, although Iíve been called a nerd and most of my friends are Trekkies (and Iíve watched a good number of episodes and movies, although not enough to qualify as an actual trekkieÖ). I think if I were ever to become a writer (by some mysterious twist of fate) I would go into the science-fiction field. It appeals to me because itís the most open to the weird twists of the writerís imagination. And it tweaks the readerís imagination because it makes you think, "This stuff really could be happening somewhere out there or could easily happen in the futureÖ" I think thatís pretty cool. If this just isnít for you, go back to the booklist. If youíre saying "Shut up and get to the books already!", read on.

Sparkyís List oí Sci-Fi & Fantasy:

Rathaís Creature by Clare Bell
This book and its sequel, Clan Ground, are about a group of sentient cats who are somewhat like early man in that they live in a clan and herd animals, but have not mastered fire and must constantly battle the forces of nature to stay alive. Ratha, a cub-less clan member, discovers fire, her "creature," and the plot revolves around how this discovery affects her clan.

Enderís Game by Orson Scott Card.
Iím a big fan of Cardís work, and this is my favorite. Itís set in the future, and it concerns one Ender Wiggin, who happens to be a very smart kid. The Earth has been attacked by aliens, and the government, fearing another attack, has taken to tracking genius-children with "monitors," little boxes attached to the backs of their necks. The best of the best get taken to "Battle School" and trained to be warriors. Itís an amazing book that gets inside Enderís head. If you are or ever were a child who wished adults wouldnít treat you like you had mush for brains, read this book. The sequels are Xenocide and Speaker For the Dead.

Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
This is, perhaps, my favorite book ever. Itís about a man who was born on a mission to Mars which crashed. Valentine Michael Smith never knew another human until 25 years later, when the next Mars mission landed. This book is a look at humanity from an outsiderís point of view, and at how humanity affects Mike but, more importantly, how Mike affects humanity.

The Time Trilogy by Madeline LíEngle.
(A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters - okay, so thereíre really four of them) These books are little, but theyíre really cool. A good gift for a kid who likes to read. Theyíre about the Murry family: two parents (both scientists) and three kids, and the weird adventures the kids get into.

The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
I was obsessed with these books for a period of time, although I got tired of them after a while. The idea of a planet (Pern) where people still lived like we used to on Earth: in mostly villages with a few cities, no electricity, that kind of thing (okay, so I used to be pretty taken with the Middle Ages, too). The difference, though, is that Pern is beset with a rain of "thread", spoors released from a nearby star, every few hundred years, and to combat this they have bred huge, flame-breathing dragons to "flame" the thread in midair. At least read the first four (and Dragonsdawn if youíre interested in the origins of humanity on Pern), and if theyíre still holding your attention, go on.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
This book is amazing. Itís cyberpunk for intellectuals. Set in the future (which is like now, only more so), the Internet has turned into a virtual world called the Metaverse. Our hero, Hiro Protagonist, is a pizza delivery guy/freelance hacker who, after crashing his pizza car, must escape the wrath of Uncle Enzo, the Mob boss/pizza chain owner. This hurls him into a twisted power struggle involving a boat full of refugees, a skater chick named YT, and a mysterious drug - or is it a computer virus? - called "snow crash." This book will leave you panting with your reality view skewed. Hungry for more? Try The Diamond Age, also by NS, which is about an interactive storybook that falls into the wrong hands.

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame ed. by Robert Silverberg
This is an amazing collection of short sci-fi chosen by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America by vote. A must-read for any sci-fi aficionado. (in fact, the subtitle is "The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time") My favorites are "Microcosmic God" by Theodore Sturgeon, "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett, and "Arena" by Fredric Brown. There are a couple more Iíd like to mention, but Iíll just let you read it for yourself.

The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
(The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Return of the King, and The Two Towers) These books are about a variety of characters - hobbits, elves, and the like - and all the wacky adventures they have. The plots get a bit hard to follow at times (i've heard Tolkien used charts to keep track of all the threads), but they're excellent books and very well written. A must for all fantasy fans.

Do you have a book suggestion? Notice any typos? Want to review a book for me? Want to disagree with something i've written? Exercise your right to free speech! Write to me!

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