Science fiction and fantasy – are these your genres?

I recently did a work book chat on science fiction and fantasy. I would never consider these my favorite genres because I have always preferred my fiction to be set in a familiar world. Like many, to me, science fiction and fantasy conjure up aliens, spaceships and other worlds, or animals that talk or strange creatures I’ve never even considered. For some reason, that has never excited me, or so I thought.

The more I got into preparing, however, the more I realized that I’ve read a good number of science fiction and fantasy and they were books I actually liked a lot! Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite books.

So today I’m sharing those books. Some I read in high school, so I don’t have reviews for those. I’ve linked everything to either Goodreads or my blog. This list is by no means comprehensive. To find these, I referred to: Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books on NPR.

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Here are a couple I’ve always wanted to read:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Watership Down by Richard Adams

This is proof that it’s always good to stretch yourself to different genres. You may already find some familiar books in there and more that you will enjoy! How do you feel about science fiction and fantasy? Leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

47 thoughts on “Science fiction and fantasy – are these your genres?

  1. I like science fiction okay, maybe because I have a science background?? I don’t usually like fantasy because of all the long world-world building and the strange character names/places/magic. But I do like it when fantasy is clever or has beautiful prose or is character driven. Watership Down is one of my faves.:-)

  2. I love the science fiction and fantasy genres.

    The Princess Bride was lighthearted and simply delightful. Have you seen the film version of it from the 1980s yet? If not, do check it out as well. They really did a good job of capturing the essence of this tale.

    Watership Down was a good read as well, but be warned that it has some dark passages. I haven’t seen any film versions of it yet, so I can’t comment on them. 🙂

  3. You’re so right Book Club Mom. Upon first thoughts, I really wouldn’t class myself as someone who has read any sci-fi or fantasy books. However, there’s some here I have read. I want to try and read more but there is always something that stops me. Hope you’re well my friend. 💜

    1. Hi Books and Bakes – we must be alike in our reading tastes. It is good to try new genres, though! Thanks so much for the visit. Doing okay. Hope you are too 🙂

  4. I’m having to stretch myself because Sci-fi and fantasy are not my favorite genres. However, I did enjoy reading several of the older titles you posted, so I guess I do have a taste for them, especially C. S. Lewis

  5. Watership Down has very difficult segments. There is an animated film version of it that is a good representation of the book. Princess Bride (both book and film) are great – funny, a bit quirky, romantic. I enjoyed John Wyndham’s novels. Very accessible science fiction. Cheers.

  6. HI, Barbara – Although Science Fiction and Fantasy are not my usual genres, I agree that it is good to expose ourselves to all different kinds of books and genres. That’s one of the things that I love most about book clubs. Through them I’ve read some incredible books that I would never have read otherwise!

  7. I love science-fiction a lot more than I do fantasy. And it doesn’t have to be ‘out of this world’ stuff or stuff we’re not familiar with. Take, for example, time travel. It comes under the science-fiction genre yet remains firmly in a world we know when time-travellers travel back in time and not forward. So I believe there are always little nuggets within genres that we’ll probably enjoy even though we don’t think we will.

    1. Hi Hugh, I think you are right. Time travel is an interesting element of science fiction. I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, but didn’t really like that one – seemed a little creepy (my book club agreed). But kids’ time travel books are very good – I remember reading them with mine. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  8. I’m absolutely a science fiction and fantasy fan! Although I get fantasy fatigue at times — it’s sometimes exhausting starting a new fantasy book or series when there are so many rules and systems and special gifts to learn. I’ve actually read all the books on your list except the Bradbury — I’ve read other stories and books by him, but not this one (although I probably should). I suppose it comes down to the writing — if the characters and overall approach appeal to me, I’ll make the effort!

    1. You’re right, Lisa. The writing can really widen the appeal of a genre. My son read Something Wicked in high school and I read it at the same time. Bradbury is a good writer. Thanks for the visit!

  9. Some wonderful books here and like others I read many of these before even considering the genre of books! My son introduced me to ‘The Hunger Games’ and I devoured the series! Just seeing the covers of some of the books has me longing to revisit them sometime – time allowing!

  10. Thanks for the great list! The science fiction and fantasy genre is bursting at the seams with variety. My favourites are the fantasies set in current times, the secret society within our own, where magic and the supernatural live among us.

  11. Okay so… according to Atwood, her Handmaid’s Tale is not fantasy. She prefers to call it speculative fiction. The difference between speculative and fantasy is that with the former, what happens in the book are things that have actually happened before; the latter has little to no basis in reality. I’d put both Flowers for Algernon and The Giver in that category as well.

    The difference between fantasy and science fiction is that the former relies on magical beings with special powers; the latter uses science to imbue characters with the ability to do things that we can’t do today. Mind you, these days, books classified as Sci-Fi often have a good deal of fantastical elements, which I don’t care for much.

    As for The Princess Bride, there’s very little fantasy there (although it is present in a few bits), but it is more humor than fantasy (with a touch of satire thrown in).

    Yes, I’ve read several of these books even though I also don’t care for fantasy, and if I do read science fiction, I need it to be more classical Sci-Fi which doesn’t have the fantastical elements. I read Watership Down when it came out and I recall liking it and I remember a great deal about it, but today, the idea of animals as the narrators of the story, rubs me a bit the wrong way. Mind you, I still think that Animal Farm is a masterpiece, but that was really much more an allegory than a fantasy novel. Which makes me remember that Watership Down was also very allegorical…

    1. Interesting, Davida. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think there’s a lot of crossover between genres which leads to conversations like this. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

  12. I don’t go looking for sci-fi or fantasy, and yet – as you’ve indicated – there are lots of great books out there that fall into those genres. And then, having always thought I’d write crime and thrillers, my first two books contain elements of fantasy. It just seemed to work for the stories I wanted to write. The reality is that, as long as it’s a good story, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.

    1. Hi Graeme, every time I read an excellent sci-fi or fantasy book, I think the same thing. If the story is good, it doesn’t matter what the genre is. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  13. I think of many of the books on your first list as being dystopian fiction, Barbara. I like these books too. The first four you mention are in my top 20. I also loved The Hobbit and all the Chronicles of Narnia books. Strangely, LOTR’s wasn’t as enjoyable for me, but my son loves it so much he’s read the 10 supporting books.

    1. That’s interesting, Robbie. I really loved LOTR, but I wouldn’t say I’m much of a science fiction and fantasy reader. Of course, I also love Chronicle of Narnia books, but I didn’t ready them when I was young, and I’ve only read 2 of them. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

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