The 50 Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade : NPR

Deborah Lee for NPR
Deborah Lee for NPR

The question at the heart of science fiction and fantasy is “what if?” What if gods were real, but you could kill them? What if humans finally made it out among the stars — only to discover we’re the shabby newcomers in a grand galactic alliance? What if an asteroid destroyed the East Coast in 1952 and jump-started the space race years early?

This year’s summer reader poll was also shaped by a series of “what ifs” — most importantly, what if, instead of looking at the entire history of the field the way we did in our 2011 poll, we focused only on what has happened in the decade since? These past 10 years have brought seismic change to science fiction and fantasy (sometimes literally, in the case of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series), and we wanted to celebrate the world-shaking rush of new voices, new perspectives, new

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15 Science Fiction And Fantasy Screen Adaptations Coming Soon

Foundation

What it’s about: Originally published as short stories in 1942, the series by famed science fiction author Isaac Asimov then turned into a trilogy of novels set in planets across the galaxy all ruled by the Galactic Empire. Start reading the series with Foundation.

Where to watch: Apple TV+

Latest updates: The show is set to premiere Sept. 24, 2021. It stars Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, Laura Birn, Terrence Mann, Cassian Bilton, and Alfred Enoch.

Dune

What it’s about: The first in a two-part film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel takes place mostly on the desert planet Arrakis. Paul Atreides is the son of Duke Leto Atreides and Bene Gesserit Lady Jessica. Leto is assigned to the planet Arrakis as part of a plot to overthrow him. Arrakis is significant for being the only place to acquire

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Life Lessons from Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Science fiction and fantasy may be out of this world (literally!), but they have a lot to teach us if we’re willing to listen. In fact, many people have argued that science fiction tends to operate as a cautionary genre.

For example, Hugo Gernsback is often credited with establishing modern-day science fiction in the publishing industry. In the introduction to the first issue of the sf magazine Amazing Stories in 1926, Gernsback famously wrote that writers in this genre “have the knack of imparting knowledge, and even inspiration, without once making us aware that we are being taught.”

I would argue that this is true not only of science fiction, but also of fantasy and other speculative genres. Interestingly, these genres also tend to be touted as escapist tales that have nothing to

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Blending Fantasy and Sci-Fi in Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer

I first encountered Gene Wolfe’s work when I was a sophomore in high school, when I accidentally stumbled onto the paperback of The Shadow of the Torturer at my public library. I picked it up not knowing anything about it, intrigued as much as anything by the fact that even though it was called science fiction it had a cover that looked like a fantasy novel: a masked and caped figure holding a massive sword. But it also had a blurb from Ursula K. Le Guin, whose Earthsea books I had loved, describing it as “the best science fiction I’ve read in years.” So, was this science fiction or fantasy?

This wasn’t clarified for me by the other words on the cover, where the book was described as a “world where science and magic are one” and, by Thomas M. Disch (a writer I wouldn’t read until years later) as

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