Ender's Game is a classic sci-fi novel that got a lot of attention recently after the film came out a few years ago. As is usually the case, the film was a bit disappointing compared to the book. The ethical questions and inner struggles the protagonist faces in the novel were lost in the film. Which is really too bad because those themes are at the heart of the story. At least there is still a lot of potential for a much better film to be made. In the meantime, if you haven't read it yet or if you are looking for similar books, I have a couple you should check out.
1st pick - Dune
Dune is the story of a cosmic empire controlled by familial dynasties who are fighting amongst themselves for control of Arrakis, the only planet in the universe to produce the spice melange, the most coveted and sought after commodity in the empire. The story explores the religion and politics of the empire as well as the complex allegiances between the characters.
Dune is another sci-fi classic. The size is a little intimidating and the characters and timeline are a lot to keep track of. I listened to the audiobook and I frequently had to look up who was who on Wikipedia, but it's well worth the challenge. It's one of those books that stays with you long after you finish it. I'm planning to reread it soon which is something I almost never do.
2nd pick - The Lathe of Heaven
The main character has dreams that alter reality. Scared and confused he seeks help, but the person assigned to his case is corrupted by his power. Things quickly begin to spiral out of control. It's a short read, but an unforgettable fable that explores what happens when humans try to play god.
Ursula K. Le Guin is probably best know for her young adult fantasy series Earthsea, though she came to my attention after reading about her essay on beauty and aging in an article by Maria Popova. I was so intrigued I looked up Le Guin's work. I was surprised to see she had an extensive backlist. I'm currently half way through her other book The Dispossessed.
While the three stories are each vastly different they all share common elements. All three books are epic adventures that unfold on a cosmic scale, yet each story is unique in that it addresses a different facet of the human experience. Greed, politics, and deceit drive the plots forward and gives perspective to the ethical and moral dilemmas each character must face. These books are sci-fi at it's finest.
Want more book recommendations? Check out all of the What To Read After posts.