Monday, August 31, 2015

Guest Post by Jason Phillips - 7 Fantasy Novels That Are Rocking From Decades

There are hundreds of excellent novels written every year covering every genre imaginable and choosing the seven best ones is not an easy task.  However, there are several books which really stand out, stories which have been read many times by different generations and will become a part of history:

           1.    The Lord of the Rings – by J. R. R. Tolkein

The story was originally written over fifty years ago and has attracted a cult following since its inception. More recently it has been portrayed in a film and has attracted a whole new generation of followers. The book follows a young hobbit called Frodo and his perilous quest to destroy a ring of immense power, simply to prevent it from following into the Dark Lord’s hands. The journey across Middle Earth is fraught with danger and is only made possible with the help of a few close friends.

           2.     Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is well known today despite having been written one hundred and fifty years ago! The story follows a young girl who is tired of sitting on the river bank with her sister doing nothing.  This leads to an amazing adventure where she both becomes tiny and giant – all whilst attempting to free the topsy-turvy land she has stumbled across from tyranny.  Much of the wording is nonsensical and this is part of its appeal – to all generations.

           3.     The War of The Worlds – by H.G. Wells

This story was first written in 1898 and deals with an alien invasion. The aliens target England and the story is narrated from the point of view of an unnamed person and his younger brother. The War of The Worlds covers the battle between humanity and malevolent extra-terrestrials and the destruction to the English countryside whilst the two brothers attempt to avoid the aliens and return to their families. It is one of the earliest writings on conflict between humans and other life forms and is seen as a cult classic. It has been converted into a film on several occasions and the book has never been out of print.

           4.     Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula is the story that introduced the infamous vampire, Count Dracula to the world. It tells the tale of his attempt to move from Transylvania to England in a bid to find new blood and spread the curse of the undead. His attempts are restricted and he ultimately perishes. The Dracula novel by Bram Stoker is seen as the definition of a modern vampire and the principles applied at the time of writing are still adhered to today.

           5.     A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones was originally written in 1996 and was set in a fantasy world known as Westeros where winter’s can last a lifetime and summers just moments. This is the result of a supernatural event. The story is full of characters and each one of them is dealing with their own problems, every character has their own take on what is morally acceptable. It makes for a dark and dangerous world which has an impressive amount of similarity to everyday life. All of these stories are entwined in and around the fate of the Stark family; who are fighting for their survival.

          6.     1984 by George Orwell

The book Ninety Eighty Four was written in 1948 and portrays a future of complete control. Thought police are able to spy upon every person, their conversations and even to watch their every move. All citizens are expected to report those who do not conform to the views of the current political party. The story covers the attempts of its main character, Winston, to bring down the established government by creating a journal which summarizes the truth, including the past which has been rewritten many times. Ultimately the attempt fails and Winston embraces the established regime. Many parallels have been drawn between this novel and the world today!

         7.     The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This was the first book published under John Wyndham’s own name, the many books written before had been published under a variety of pen names. It was originally written in 1951 although there have been several adaption’s since. It has also been converted into a radio series, TV series and even a film. The story was written at a time when chemicals were first being used in abundance on crops and there were serious concerns over the potential side effects. It covers the convalescence of a biologist who works with triffids; huge, carnivorous plants from which humans can extract oils far superior to those from fish or vegetables. 

Unfortunately the triffids are a result of biological experimentation and the majority of people on earth have been left blinded by the light emitted from the triffids. The story then covers the attempt to reclaim the Earth. The Day of the Triffids is still critically acclaimed today and many of its views on human nature still apply today.

By Jason Phillips and!


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