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Here's the "sequel" to my "Favorite Characters in Fantasy Literature" topic! This time it is Favorite (Top 20) Books or Book Series (not necessarily Fantasy or Science Fiction, or even Fiction for that matter if you are so inclined). Again, I did this in Top 20 format, with five Honorable Mentions (which are in no particular order). I will note which entries are for just a single book, and unless specified as such the rest are for a series. Hope you enjoy and share your own, and have some interesting discussion, and potentially find some new TBRs! 1) Commonwealth Saga (the full series, including the Void Trilogy & Chronicles of the Fallers series) -- Peter F Hamilton* 2) Lord of the Rings (including The Hobbit and The Silmarillion) -- JRR Tolkien 3) A Song of Ice and Fire -- George RR Martin 4) The Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan 5) Riftwar Cycle` (this includes the Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts) -- Raymond E Feist 6) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn -- Tad Williams** 7) Stranger in a Strange Land (novel, Uncut Edition in particular) -- Robert A Heinlein 8 ) Mars Trilogy -- Kim Stanley Robinson 9) The Deed of Paksennarion -- Elizabeth Moon 10) Dune (just the book, not the series) -- Frank Herbert*** 11) Night's Dawn Trilogy -- Peter F Hamilton 12) Masters of Rome -- Colleen McCullough 13) The Pern series -- Anne McCaffrey (and Todd McCaffrey)** 14) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (first trilogy only) -- Stephen R Donaldson 15) Foundation -- Isaac Asimov 16) Thrawn trilogy (aka Heir to the Empire trilogy) (Star Wars) -- Timothy Zahn**** 17) The Baroque Cycle -- Neal Stephenson 18) Time Enough for Love (novel) -- Robert A Heinlein 19) God Emperor of Dune (novel) -- Frank Herbert*** 20) Mistborn (Era I) -- Brandon Sanderson Honorable Mentions (again, in no particular order) Dragonlance Chronicles -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman Dragonlance Legends -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman The Stormlight Archive -- Brandon Sanderson (even though it is unfinished) The Incarnations of Immortality -- Piers Anthony** I, Jedi (novel) -- Michael A Stackpole * This setting is my favorite all time fictional setting, and the one I would most want to live in if I ever found the Genie's Lamp and had three wishes. I would just have to decide which time period, as the three separate series are each a different time period in the overall saga. ** There are newer books in these series that I have not read, books that have come out since I last paid any attention to those worlds and moved on to other pastures. I plan to go back to these realms soon and see what the authors have cooked up. *** You will note that I only included Dune and God Emperor of Dune here from Frank Herbert's oeuvre, and that's because I personally find the rest of the Dune books to be rather weak, both those written by Frank and those written by his son and Kevin J Anderson. Not that I didn't enjoy them for themselves, I just didn't think that they were on par with these two nor were they as good as anything else I listed here. There are a handful of books by Brian and Kevin that I haven't yet read that might be good, I just don't know yet. **** This is the original, now non-canon, trilogy from back in the mid 1990s, not the newer Disney-canon Thrawn books that Zahn has recently written.
This one is a little bit different, as it pulls characters from not just literature but film and televisions as well (I just couldn't come up with that many characters from SF literature alone that I loved enough to put on this list, so I added the other two mediums). Here goes! 1 Ozzie Fernandez Isaacs - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 2 Kara Thrace - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 3 Gaius Baltar - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 4 Paula Myo - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 5 Jean-Luc Picard - Star Trek: The Next Generation (and more)*** 6 G'Kar - Bablyon 5, Babylon 5: Legend of the Rangers 7 Rodney McKay - Stargate Atlantis (and more)*** 8 Data - Star Trek: The Next Generation (and more)*** 9 Valentine Michael Smith - Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein 10 Spock - Star Trek: The Original Series (and more)*** 11 Stephen Franklin - Babylon 5 12 Karl Agathon - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 13 Ronon Dex - Stargate Atlantis 14 Eli Wallace - Stargate Universe 15 Louise Kavanaugh - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 16 Mellanie Rescorai - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 17 Londo Mollari - Babylon 5 18 Ione Saldana - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 19 Josua Calvert - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 20 Galen Tyrol - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) Honorable Mentions (in no particular order) Syrinx - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamiliton Vir Cotto - Babylon 5 (and more)*** Miles O'Brien - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Teal'c - Stargate SG-1 (and more)*** Duncan Idaho - Dune series * Not necessarily good characters or heroes, may be antagonists ** Not including characters from Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe (those are for a totally different list of mine) *** "and more" means also appears, sometimes just briefly, in other properties within that franchise