Science Fiction books push our imaginations to experience possible futures that allow us to see beyond the present day and contemplate new worlds. Rather than limiting our reality, readers are exposed to science or technology that may be out of the box. It gives us countless opportunities to expand the environment in which we live by interacting with each other and creating a possible new vision of the future.
The following authors have done just that – they have let their imaginations run unrestricted and escape to innovative and unique realities and scientific developments that explain what a future would be like if different from what we already know.
A Princess of Mars – Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars is a science fantasy novel. John Carter goes prospecting in Arizona immediately after the war’s end. Having struck a rich vein of gold, he runs afoul of the Apaches. While attempting to evade pursuit by hiding in a sacred cave, he is mysteriously transported to Mars, called “Barsoom” by its inhabitants. Carter finds that he has great strength and superhuman agility in this new environment as a result of its lesser gravity and lower atmospheric pressure. He soon falls in with a nomadic tribe of Green Martians. Thanks to his strength and martial prowess, Carter rises to a high position in the tribe and earns the respect and eventually the friendship of Tars Tarkas, one of the Thark chiefs.
Mysterious Island – Jules Verne
The story opens in Richmond, VA, 1865, during the American Civil War. A small group of Union soldiers steal a hot air balloon to escape a POW camp. They take off during a storm. The balloon is blown across continents and oceans, and they crash land on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. It is both a shipwreck adventure and a mystery.
Dune – Frank Herbert
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud’dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family – and would bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. It is a stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics and won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
Macroscope – Piers Anthony
Throughout history, man has been searching for better ways to gather information about his universe. But although they may have longed for it, not even the most brilliant minds could conceive of a device as infinitely powerful or as immeasurably precise as the macroscope, until the twenty-first century. By analyzing information carried on macrons, this unbelievable tool brought the whole universe of wonders to man’s doorstep. The macroscope was seen by many as the salvation of the human race. But in the hands of the wrong man, the macroscope could be immensely destructive-infinitely more dangerous than the nuclear bomb. By searching to know too much, man could destroy the very essence of his mind. This is the powerful story of man’s struggle with technology, and also the story of his human struggle with himself. It is a story of coming of age, of sacrifice, and of love. It is the story of man’s desperate search for a compromise between his mind and his heart, between knowledge and humanity.
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Earnest and naive solicitor Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to organize the estate of the infamous Count Dracula at his crumbling castle in the ominous Carpathian Mountains. Through notes and diary entries, Harker keeps track of the horrors and terrors that beset him at the castle, telling his fiancé Mina of the Count’s supernatural powers and his own imprisonment. Although Harker eventually manages to escape and reunite with Mina, his experiences have led to a mental breakdown of sorts. Meanwhile in England, Mina’s friend Lucy has been bitten and begins to turn into a vampire. With the help of Professor Van Helsing, a previous suitor of Lucy’s, Seward, and Lucy’s fiancé Holmwood attempt to thwart Count Dracula and his attempts on Lucy and consequently Mina’s life.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
Frankenstein, published in 1818, is the most celebrated horror story ever written and one of the best-selling books of all time. It is the tale of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist whose unbridled quest for the secret of life unleashes a creature that embodies our deepest fears about the moral bounds of human progress. Readers have been fascinated with the iconic image of Frankenstein’s monster and the unresolved ethical questions his creation challenges us to answer.
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all – a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug. In this fantasy classic, master storyteller J.R.R. Tolkein creates a bewitching world filled with delightful creatures and thrilling dangers.
Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
1984 – George Orwell
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humanity, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.
If you haven’t read these books, I hope you will soon. If you love books about dragons, check out my website at www.solitaireparke.com
An enormous “Thank You” to Dr. John Brimhall at Brimhall Wellness
for the opportunity to display my books at their 2020 Homecoming in Tempe, January 17 – 19. I was able to connect with many new folks and view the other exhibits there as well. It was a great weekend. My good friends, Brian and Alex were there being super supportive. Thanks guys! Many many thanks to everyone who stopped by. It was a pleasure to meet you all. Check out the pics below –
Check out my website for all my books and fun extras. Happy Reading!
The third Sunday in June every year is Father’s Day. A great day to let your Dad know that he is important and you care, with a card, a gift, or just a hug and a visit. Fatherhood is rarely a smooth ride, but one that’s full of ups and downs, with both joyful and sometimes tragic experiences. You learn to find joy in the everyday pleasures and count your blessings, because nothing in life is guaranteed. So, live simply, don’t take yourself too seriously, live your life intentionally and with a sense of humor. Cherish each one of life’s moments that you have.
Here are some quotes from a handful of Fathers:
“A Father carries pictures where his money used to be.” – Steve Martin
“One Father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert
“No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.” – Abraham Lincoln
“What you teach your children, you also teach their children.” – The Talmud
“A two year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld
“There should be a children’s song: If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.” – Jim Gaffigan
“It’s on ongoing joy being a Dad. ” – Liam Neeson
“The older I get, the smarter my Father seems to get.” – Tim Russert
“When my Father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” – Linda Poindexter
“A daughter needs a Dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.” – Gregory E. Lang
“Having a kid is like falling in love for the first time when you’re 12, but every day.” – Mike Myers
“My Father used to say, ‘It’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’ ” – Michael Jordan
“A Father doesn’t just tell you he loves you; he shows you.” – Unknown
“My Father taught me not to overthink things, that nothing will be perfect, so just keep moving and do your best.” – Scott Eastwood
“Daddies don’t just love their children now and then. It’s a love without end.” – George Strait
Happy Father’s Day!
My newest prequel book to the Dragomeir Series is now in the editing process and will be out later this year. It will be the 4th book in the prequel series – Daughter of the Dark Lord – which can all be found on my website –www.solitaireparke.com.
When you finish reading the last book in a series – one that you just couldn’t put down – it would often be amazing to find out the stories behind the story. What were the circumstances in the past that contributed to, or carved out the personalities of the characters we either fell in love with, hated, or never even knew existed? Generally, a prequel provides the reader with new or expanded information on a story line that was important to the original series but perhaps only touched upon.
Yes, I know that over and over again, prequels have messed things up – especially when you’re talking about movies. Prequels can be difficult to write since they have to line-up with already established story lines. But they can be enormously popular as well. You just have to adhere to some guidelines in order to keep your stories straight.
First of all, be sure that your prequel story has a strong enough scope to merit telling. It should be able to stand on its own without relying too heavily on the original story, otherwise it will feel like “more of the same.”
Can you expound on the history of a particular place or answer more in-depth questions about your characters or their families, all without compromising the original story line? There might be an extensive untold backstory that could be important to the original series, that was only previously touched upon. Focus on telling your audience something unknown. In the prequel, you might find pieces of the story or past events that never got a complete or proper explanation, leaving you with questions.
Since the reader knows the outcome of the story, it can be tricky, and you must be careful not to contradict anything said in the original series. After writing thousands of pages, and spending countless hours editing and revising, an author can easily lose track of their own story. The prequel’s job is to fill in gaps and flesh out story lines, answer the unanswered questions, and give some important characters background on their motives for later actions, so a reader going back to the prequel can have that “aha” moment. At the same time, the author has to be careful to keep the essential secrets of the original series.
I would suggest that if you decide to write a prequel, do yourself a favor and scan through the original series before starting and as you go along, to refresh your mind on the world and characters you have created. It might even be wise to compile a database of information from which you can garner information when needed.
Telling a good prequel story is not easy. But if you decide to take on the challenge, these tips might help you stay on track and craft a story that your readers will love!
What are your ideas about prequels?