I got into reading science fiction when I was about twelve years old. I had just watched The Faculty (of all things) and decided that I wanted to read up on aliens. This is seriously the way that my brain works. Little did I know the journey that I was about to embark on. I freaking DEVOURED as much science fiction as I could over the summer. I stuck mostly with aliens, but did some branching out into other areas. Today, science fiction is one of my favorite genres.
I decided to play desert island with my favorite works of science fiction. It was a difficult process. At one point all of the books listed were written by Michael Crichton. In the end I came up with a list that I am pretty happy with. I think these books would satisfy my sci-fi cravings for the rest of my life. Enjoy!
The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein (1951)
Seeing as The Faculty name-checked Robert Heinlein, I decided to start with him. I headed to my local Border’s (R.I.P.) and persuaded my mom to buy The Puppet Masters. I chose this particular book because I knew it was about aliens. What a great choice it ended up being.
It still creeps me out to think that parasites could be controlling the bodies and minds of others and we might not even know it. After reading this, I was very suspicious of everyone around me. If I didn’t see your bare back at some point that summer I was convinced that you were a puppet. The best thing about reading this on a desert island (which I’m assuming is in a tropical location) is that I would be able to subtly check out any other stranded persons easily once my paranoia kicked in.
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (1961)
A friend of mine lent this book to me when I was in high school. I remember that I kept putting off reading it, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it. Boy was I ever wrong.
I was quickly sucked into the world of Valentine Michael Smith, the human who was raised by Martians. I understood his struggle to fit into a new environment that was completely different from what he was used to. I found myself wanting a water brother which whom I could grok. After all, “I am only an egg.”
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)
I received this book from a guy I was seeing for my nineteenth birthday. Despite being a little leery about his choice of fiction (I also received a book about a wizard that I was NOT into), I got hooked early on and have since read almost the entire series and its companion, which is comprised of eleven novels total.
I want to attend Battle School. Despite having some issues with authority when I was younger (and possibly today), I think I would have thrived in a military school atmosphere. I tend to be a strong leader but can follow others when necessary. Also, I want to fight in the battle room so hard. I don’t care if I get stunned one million times; this seems like the most fun a child could have.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990)
My favorite science fiction novel of all time is Jurassic Park. Michael Crichton is a full on genius at writing highly scientific scenes that are not only ultra compelling, but understandable. Science was always my worst subject in school and I am able to follow (with some degree of difficulty) the scenes that get science heavy. Yes, he has been criticized for tweaking a few things to make them easier for laymen to understand, but that’s where the fiction part in the name of the genre comes in.
My favorite scenes, in both the movie and the book, are those containing Ian Malcolm. He is the rockstar of the chaos theory world and the voice of reason throughout the entire novel. He, rather pessimistically/realistically, predicts the failure of the park. As a fairly pessimistic person myself, I was agreeing with him every step of the way. The only real issue I take with the novel is that his character is pronounced dead at the end. Thankfully he was revived for The Lost World.