Category Archives: List

23 Best Fantasy Mystery Books

We like mystery because life is mysterious, and storytelling exists to help us figure out how to live. Mysteries help us figure out how to deal with the unending avalanche of unknowns in our own lives (probably not directly, unless you deal with dead bodies a lot).

Some say that mysteries are popular because people like puzzles. Well, I like a certain kind of mystery, but I’ve never been a puzzle person.

I like Raymond Chandler mysteries, the hard-boiled detective who fights to stay alive while prowling dark alleys and darker minds. Often, I don’t care that much about the final reveal of who the real criminal is. It’s the journey, the tortuous path that I like.

In fantasy especially, the who-dunnit can easily become a what-dunnit.
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The Best Planetary Romance Books

Art from the game MARS Adventure Omnibus (Savage Worlds) by Adamant Entertainment

In planetary romance, the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, which usually have distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Many planetary romance stories are a little goofy and pulpy, but some take their characters a little more seriously. Note that the “romance” part of the term doesn’t refer to romantic love, but to the old-timey definition of romances as a kind of adventure tale (science fiction itself used to be called “scientific romance”).

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23 Best Fantasy Graphic Novels

Sandman, © Vertigo Comics

There’s still a stigma to reading graphic novels. As a grown man, I wouldn’t do it in public. However, at home, I love them and I encourage my kid to read every one he gets his hands on.

At their best, graphic novels combine deep, thoughtful storytelling with real works of art. I’m glad to see that great comics are still being written and drawn (and inked and colored).
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9 Best Ben Bova Books

Ben Bova wrote over 120 science fiction and fact books and won the Hugo six (!) times. Unfortunately, he recently passed away at the age of 88 due to Covid-19-related pneumonia and a stroke. This list is a tribute to his vast body of work, which focused on hard science.

However, his writing style may come across as dated to modern readers, as does an occasional reliance on clichés and stock characters.

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