I read a lot. Too much, I think.
A few years ago – well, about twenty-five years ago – I started reading science-fiction, a genre I had generally avoided before then. Not knowing what constituted “good” sci-fi, I turned to some friends at a bookstore and asked for their recommendations. “What would you consider to be the quintessential sci-fi novel?” The recommendation? Frank Herbert’s Dune.
I was familiar with Dune, but had never bothered to read it. The recommendations, however, were so overwhelming, that I figured I’d give it a shot. Now, I should add that this was after the David Lynch film (which, at the time, didn’t impress me), so while I was open to the book, I didn’t have high hopes. (I’ve since reconsidered the film and it’s not as bad as I originally believed. Maybe my judgment has matured. At least the soundtrack is phenomenal.) In short, I finished the book and actually enjoyed it. I loved the world-building that Herbert did, as well as the complex nature of the overall narrative – it was an interesting take on an old idea. I promised myself that I would eventually finish out Herbert’s narrative by reading the other five books in the series. Real-life intervened, and before long, Dune and my promise, were things of the past.
Fast forward to 2011, and the closing of a local bookstore. Taking advantage of the extremely low prices, I bought many of the newer Dune books written by Herbert’s son Brian and Kevin Anderson. This renewed my desire to finish the tale, so I acquired the group of them reasoning that I’d finish them in no time at all.
Well, five years later, I’m finally starting the last book, Chapterhouse Dune, and I have to say that the cliche is legit: The first book of a series is usually the only one worth reading. I’m thinking about the Herbert/Anderson books; I mean, I have them, but I don’t know if I want to stay with the series.
Any other sci-fi series (other than O S Card) recommendation? I’d appreciate it.