Escaping Into Science Fiction and Fantasy

Photo by chiaralily via Creative Commons

As a kid, my favorite novels were C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. I had no idea about the Christian undertones to the fantasy novels back then. I just enjoyed escaping into a different world, full of magical creatures. Of course with any good fantasy novel, there is a battle between good and evil.

After I devoured the nine books of Chronicles of Narnia, I jumped to more classics like Frank Herbert’s Dune and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Over the weekend I finished the last two books of The Hunger Games trilogy. All these books, besides drawing readers into a fantasy world, have been or will be made into a movie.

A well written book allows the reader to create the entire world in his or her head. Each reader hears Aslan’s voice in her head or pictures the bright blue eyes of Dune’s citizens. There are no restrictions when it comes to our imagination.

I also enjoy seeing how others view these worlds that I briefly live in as I turn each page of the novel. That’s why I have a weak spot for movies and television shows in these genres. For me a good sci-fi or fantasy movie isn’t about how much fighting or explosions I seen onscreen. It’s how the director and his creative team envision this new world and bring it to life. What has this world’s people been through? Why are they unhappy or angry or poor?

Recently, hubby and I saw Disney’s John Carter. When I first saw the preview, I had no idea what the movie was really about. The description about a Civil War veteran who is transported from the wild west to an alien Mars didn’t help either. For the 2 hours I sat in the movie theater, I believed that Barsoom (Mars) existed. I believed that those characters existed. I’m kinda bummed that the movie didn’t do well in the box office because both of us would like to see the sequel. John Carter is very loosely based off Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I wouldn’t call it a very good movie, but it was fun and I enjoyed the story.

Lost Girl cast photo from SyFy

Hubby turned me onto the television show Lost Girl. I guess most people would call it paranormal ever since the Twilight series (which I’ve never read) made that genre popular. I’d call it contemporary fantasy, more in the line of Charles de Lint’s novels. The setting is present day. The characters are magical creatures that live and walk among us, but of course most of humankind has no idea they exist. Lost Girl’s main character is Bo who had no idea she is a succubus. That is until she accidentally killed her boyfriend. She discovers that is is a Fae, creatures that most humans believe are myths. It’s a really good show. The characters are interesting and each episode keeps you on your toes. The continuing battle of dark Fae versus light Fae is woven very well. Plus whoever decided to make the main character a succubus is a genius. It allows for plenty of sex scenes-and sex sells right?

As for the books I mentioned earlier. I preferred SyFy’s Dune mini-series over the movie version. The costumes were so much more imaginative. Ender’s Game is being made into a movie due out in 2013. I hope they do the book justice.

What sci-fi or fantasy books, shows or movies have you read or seen? Share your faves and I’ll definitely check them out!

Hubby and I went on a date night for the preview screening of John Carter. All opinions are our own.  This post contains affiliate links.