So it’s summer, which means that maybe you’ve got some free time on your hands. Maybe you’re even really lucky and will be spending some of that time on the beach, or by the pool. Maybe it’s the kind of free time that can really only be filled by taking a serious nosedive into an epic book series that will eat your life until you’ve finished it. Well if science fiction is your cup of tea, here are some of my favorite series. Though if you get sucked in and neglect the rest of your life, don’t blame me!
Saga of the Skolian Empire, by Catherine Asaro
I once heard someone call these books “science fiction for girls,” which is pretty silly in my opinion – but there aren’t that many series that combine hard science fiction with romance, and Asaro does an amazing job in these books. And if you are a fan of hard scifi, especially in the form of physics and biotechnology, don’t doubt Asaro’s cred just because she sneaks in the romantic entanglements – she has a PhD from Harvard and was a physics professor before she started writing full time. The Skolian books are essentially space opera, heavy on the political intrigue, artificial intelligence, and interstellar travel – also strong female characters. The first book in the series by publication is Primary Inversion, but you can also read them in chronological order.
The Night’s Dawn Trilogy, by Peter F. Hamilton
I read these books perhaps a decade ago, and they were my first real foray into space opera – which is really like jumping in headfirst. Though it’s technically a trilogy, the paperbacks were published in two parts for each book – and they were still pretty thick, so trust me when I say that this series still counts as “epic.” The world here is so sprawling that it’s hard to describe the books briefly, but the gist is that it’s a far-future with tension between users of biotechnology and nanotechnology – oh, and a little problem with souls of the dead coming back through living possession. Even though this future is ostensibly a “golden age,” the story of the Night’s Dawn books is still very much about the darker side of humanity. Most people I know who’ve read these either love them or hate them, so be prepared. The first book is The Reality Dysfunction.
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NEIL GAIMAN SAYS HBO-STYLE ‘SANDMAN SERIES IS THE ‘MOST LOGICAL’ OPTION
Back in March, “Kick-Ass” director Matthew Vaughn told MTV News he’d love to adapt Neil Gaiman’s celebrated “Sandman” stories as an HBO-style television series. Saying there was “too much to get into an hour and a half [movie],” Vaughn said he’d spoken to the award-winning writer about the possibility of adapting “Sandman” after the pair collaborated on a big-screen adaptation of Gaiman’s novel “Stardust.”
When I caught up with Gaiman during last month’s C2E2 convention in Chicago (where he was speaking in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), I asked him about his chat with Vaughn — and whether an HBO-style series was indeed the best format for a “Sandman” adaptation.
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A Sandman adaptation would make my world, I think – but, I don’t know how it would translate to cinema/tv series – a few of Neil Gaiman’s work that has been adapted for tv / movies has been modified quite a bit (ie, Stardust and Coraline) and both those worked.. but, I don’t know. What do you think? what are you going to be reading this summer?
Join us in the forum to discuss!