I was going to start posting a reading list feature a while back, but my reading habits are pretty random. Finished like six novels in September, and I've not finished three in the past month... So let's just go with sharing some things I think are worth taking a peek at. In no particular order.
The Southern Reach Trilogy
Jeff VanderMeer published a trilogy this year, scif-fi, that just absolutely blew me away. I read a sample chapter of the first book, Annihilation, and it reminded me of what I used to love about sci-fi books. Those of authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and even C. S. Lewis.
It plays with perception, identity, love, and all sorts of fabulous sci-fi tropes in surprising, delectably creepy ways... and is chock full of suspense. I immediately pre-ordered the second and third books, and finished them within days of their arrival.
It's also being fast-tracked to a film adaptation written and directed by the oh-so-perfectly matched Alex Garland (who wrote 28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Beach and wrote and directed the upcoming Ex Machina, which looks to be a wonderfully creepy and prescient sci-fi piece).
If you like LOST, you'll love this trilogy. If you hated LOST, you'll likely still love it, because it's much better and more nuanced at all of the types of concepts that those stories share.
David Fincher is one of my favorite directors. So I'm a little biased, but I also hold him to a higher standard than most. One of my favorite days on a film set in Hollywood was working on his feature, Zodiac, as a camera guy. Anywho - Gone Girl, adapted for the screen from the novel of the same title by author Gillian Flynn, is a near-perfect film. I can't say too much, because the plot twists are kind of the key to the enjoyment, but it is meticulous. It is a dark psychological thriller. It's a comedy. It's a mystery. It's an exploration of the pitfalls of marriage (and if you find yourself uttering a belly laugh at certain lines - go get some couple's counselling right now). Just go see it on the big screen while you still can.
Christopher Nolan is also at the top of my list of directors. Ever since his first big splash with Memento, I'm always waiting to see what he explores next. And, much like VanderMeer's Annihilation, Interstellar revives the sci-fi genre with a sense of hope. Yes! That's right! An epic, journey-to-space story that doesn't just focus on disaster, angry aliens and explosions. Again, the story itself is kind of the gem, so I can't say much. But if this doesn't pull on the heartstrings, well I don't know what to tell you.
Run to the theatre - see one of the Imax or film editions if you can. It really will be a noticeably better experience than the standard DCP / digital projection.
Maybe my next things-to-check-out will be something other than sci-fi? We'll see.