space trilogy and sigurd

Nightstand Books #6

space trilogy and sigurdThis month for my nightstand post I’m continuing with the theme of books I’ve already read along with those I’d hope to read at some point in the near future. I think I’ve read seven or eight books so far this year so that gives you an idea of how slow I am as a reader. But these posts serve as motivation for me to push myself a little harder so I can get to all these wonderful books.

Last month I featured two works by Lewis and Tolkien and this month I have unintentionally ended up with these two authors on my nightstand again. No big master plan here, it’s just that most of my most prized books are from these authors so it’s only natural that they would end up getting featured on these lists more frequently.

The boxed set of books featured above is Lewis’ Space Trilogy. This is far and away my favorite science fiction series. As far as I know these are the only works of science fiction which Lewis published and they are fabulous. Of the three books, Perelandra (book 2) is my favorite, Out of the Silent Planet (book 1) is next, and finally That Hideous Strength (book 3). They are really unique as far as science fiction goes with a generous dose of imaginative elements that sci-fi purists would probably thumb their noses at, but I love them. If there are any books which I most took inspiration from when writing Into the Vast and The Chronotrace Sequence it is these. I really can’t do justice to them in this short post, but if you haven’t read them, I’d highly recommend them to you.

The book underneath these is Tolkien’s posthumously published The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. To be honest I know little about this book other than that it was written before even The Hobbit and is Tolkien’s retelling or reimagining of some classic Norse tales. Although I have not read much Norse material, I love stories told in a mythical vein. Even as a child I’ve always been drawn to such stories. There is something ancient about them and so I am looking forward to dipping my feet in these deep and icy waters once again when I get the chance. I hope Sigurd and Gudrun will be along that vein.

So a few more books to read or re-read as the case may be. Whatever is on the horizon for your next read, I hope it’s one which brings you to a new and better place than before you read it.

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Comments (7)

  1. Jenelle Leanne August 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

    You just can’t beat Tolkien and Lewis for quality fantasy/sci-fi reads. (Though, confession, “That Hideous Strength” is one of the few books I just can’t get through. I’ve tried a couple of times, and I just can’t get into it. No idea why. Random). I love Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet, though.

    • DJ Edwardson August 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

      I know what you mean about Hideous Strength. As I said, it’s my least favorite of the three. The story is a bit hard to follow. And it’s missing the wonder and imagination which make the first two books so compelling. I hope you get through it one day, though. The ending does tie the series together and it’s worth wading through the beginning parts to see what happens.

  2. Abbey August 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve never heard of Sigurd and Gudrun before, though I love Tolkien’s posthumously published narrative poems. I’m going to have to keep my eye out for that one.

    • DJ Edwardson August 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      I know, this was a bit of a surprise that it came out after all these years. I wonder why it took so long? Here’s hoping it was worth the wait.

      • Abbey August 7, 2014 at 2:03 am

        I know that Tolkien didn’t publish some of his other narrative poems (the ones he translated from other languages, like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) because he felt that something wasn’t quite right with them, or that something was off with the translation. Christopher Tolkien just published his father’s translation of Beowulf earlier this year, finishing up the translation in the way he thought his father would have done it. Maybe it’s the same thing here.
        You know, I believe that the only thing (fiction-wise) that Tolkien published himself while living were The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

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