Welcome to my latest new blog post series! I’m not sure yet how many posts are going to be in this series, but I’m hoping to make it a monthly thing, probably for the rest of this year. Each month, I’m going to pick a different genre, focusing on popular bookstagram/booktube genres, and recommend 10 classics that you will probably enjoy if you’re a fan of that genre! If I’ve read and reviewed them, I’ll leave a link to my review so you can find out more, but some might be TBR books. Today, I’m focusing on science fiction and fantasy, and suggesting some classics (including modern classics!) that you might enjoy if you’re a fan of this genre.
- The Time Machine – HG Wells
If you’re a science fiction fan, then this is definitely a great classic to pick. Wells has an accessible writing style, so it’s a great introduction to classic literature if you haven’t read a lot before. I have posted a review of this one pretty recently, so here’s the link!
- Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
OK, so I’m sure everyone’s heard of this, but it is a great read for SFF fans. It’s written as a framed narrative, mostly told by Victor Frankenstein, but there’s also some sections of the book told from the perspective of the creature himself. It’s not quite as accessible as The Time Machine stylistically, but it has a great narrative, and it’s certainly not out of the realm of accessibility, so I would really encourage you to give this one a go: it’s one of my favourites on this list!
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
A more modern classic, Clarke’s 2001 series makes for a fab science fiction read. It’s a proper space adventure, complete with evil AI. If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, then I’d probably recommend this one, but it definitely isn’t quite as… strange as Adams!
- Shame – Salman Rushdie
This is a book that I read for my University course! Again, it’s a modern classic, and it’s more in the realm of magical realism than true SFF, but I still think it’s a good pick for SFF fans. This is definitely a strange book, and there are a lot of twists and turns. This one is a bit more intense than some of the others in terms of themes, and it definitely brings a lot more of a political slant in, so if that’s something you’re interested in then this is the perfect blend of real life politics (the context for this book is so interesting), and magical realism.
- Dracula – Bram Stoker
Another one that everyone has definitely heard of! With this one, the writing perhaps isn’t the most accessible, but given that almost everyone knows the storyline, it’s still one that you can follow. I read it as a buddy read last year, but didn’t ever write a proper review for it. It’s a bit slow paced to start off with, but there is definitely a fair bit of action throughout the book.
- Carmilla – Sheridan le Fanu
This is the one book from this post on my TBR, so I can’t speak for the accessibility, but what I do know is that it’s a Victorian vampire novella that predates and influenced Dracula, so to me it’s worth a read. It’s also been adapted into a queer YouTube series, so that’s worth checking out as well!
- The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkein
One for the fantasy fans, The Hobbit is definitely a well-known classic, but possibly not as widely read as Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was written to target a younger audience than Lord of the Rings, so as well as being shorter, the writing style is quite accessible, and it’s a really fun, action-packed read.
- The Word for World is Forest – Ursula K. Le Guin
This is a book I read and reviewed recently again! It’s a nice short read, and it’s super easy to get into. Having read this, I definitely want to pick up more books by Le Guin, who has a really extensive back catalogue. It’s a science fiction story that also has a political slant: it’s anti-colonial, and also touches upon issues around deforestation.
- Flowers for Algernon – David Keyes
My uni friend bought me this as his favourite book ever, so I was super excited to read it. I read and reviewed it on my blog last year, and I really like it. It perhaps falls more under science fiction/speculative fiction as opposed to fantasy, but it’s about the idea of scientists coming up with a way to raise people’s IQ. It does deal with some sensitive topics relating to people with developmental disorders, but I felt as though the book definitely does challenge and critique the morals and ethics around the IQ raising technology.
- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The “trilogy of five”, Adams’ series is definitely a wacky one. If you’re into science fiction, then you should absolutely give this one a go, but it is known for being bizarre, to say the least. It’s pretty abstract, and has a couple of elements of surrealism in there as well, but I remember really enjoying the randomness and creativity that went into it.