Dante Nahai/ Staff Writer
Sci-fi novels are one of the most popular forms of literature. There are countless series that either expand on already established properties like Star Wars and Star Trek, and ones that build original worlds from the ground up. Yet there so many to pick from that new readers may hesitate to dive into the gigantic genre of sci-fi. While it may seem overwhelming, know that it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice to sci-fi or the most well versed reader. These five books can serve as a gateway to more sci-fi.
Courtesy of Titan Books
“Aliens Phalanx” written by Scott Sigler
Aliens Phalanx is a brilliant twist on what we know from the Alien’s series. While most fans are used to our heroes being tech savvy and using futuristic weaponry to fight against hordes of xenomorphs the main protagonists in this story can’t. It’s not because they can’t use this technology, it’s because the planet they are from is not advanced. Think of it as Aliens but in medieval times. It’s a thrilling read from start to finish, and you do not have much prior knowledge of the Alien series to understand.
“Dune” written by Frank Herbert
Considered one of the most influential science fiction series of all time Dune is an estinal read for the genre. While it is a tough and at times boring read it’s a sci-fi series that’s on every read list you’ll come across. Hebert creates this vast world of religion and cultures that almost emulate a Tolkien level of world building. Which proves why Dune is considered The Lord of the Rings of sci-fi. With the film coming out later this year now would be the perfect time to check out the novel. Though aftering reading the first book it left me wondering how the film would be able to translate some ideas and complex scenes onto the screen, but we’ll find out once the film is released.
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster
“Star Trek: New Frontier Series” written by Peter David
Star Trek is another sci-fi series with countless shows, films, comics, and novels. While many novels are great and expand on already existing series like The Next Generation, or Deep Space Nine there are few that contain original characters. This is where New Frontier comes in. Making up almost 25 novels and a few comic book series New Frontier is it’s own standalone series. Though the series intertwines with the TNG and readers will see notable characters from that show it still has a cast of original characters and stories and can be read by itself.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House
“Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” written by Philip K. Dick
Another influential sci-fi novel that has both popularized the cyberpunk genre thanks to the Blade Runner films which were inspired by it’s story. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? is a brisk read of 210 pages but filled to the brim with philosophical ideas of humanity like what it means to be human. The sci-fi noir feeling is like nothing else in this genre. While it is slow at times the world that surrounds it’s characters and the way of their life seems like the most accurate representation of what our future will look like. Funny enough the story even takes place in 2021 so you’re just in time to read it.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House
“Star Wars: Heir To The Empire Trilogy” written by Timothy Zahn
Also known as “The Thrawn Trilogy” Heir To The Empire continues the stories of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo. Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars in 2012 this trilogy was considered the episodes seven, eight, and nine before the actual films. Yet since that purchase most novels and comics were deemed non-canon. Meaning they did not happen hence the “Legends” banner. But even though it is not canon it is still one of the best series of Star Wars novels written. It introduced new characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn, a fan favorite who was so popular was brought back into the Disney canon of Star Wars.