3 Science-Fiction-Klassiker neben "Dune", die man lesen sollte
Culture & Society

“Dune”& 3 other filmed science fiction classics that everyone should read

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“Dune” by Frank Herbert was published in 1965 and is one of THE science fiction masterpieces that shaped the genre. The attempts to bring the “unfilmable” epic to the big screen are legendary. But this year the time has finally come. On 16 September 2021, the “Dune” film adaptation started in Germany, which should prove worthy of the story.

I don’t yet know whether the film with Timothée Chalamet in the role of the protagonist Paul Atreides will be convincing. But the film by director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”, “Blade Runner 2049”) is definitely at the top of my watch list. In the forefront of the eagerly awaited cinema release, I read the first part of the “Dune” epos. And I have to say: I love it. It’s hard to imagine how revolutionary the book was in 1965 when it’s aged so well to this day. You could actually also guess the year of release to be 2021. If you are looking for an exciting story to dive into an unknown world, “Dune” is the book for you. But there are other science fiction classics that appeared years BEFORE Dune, have already been made into films – and are still worth reading again and again.

My tip: Read thick science fiction and fantasy books like “Dune” as an eBook. That way you can always have even the biggest wäzer with you. © Viktoria Vokrri

“Dune” by Frank Herbert in the newly translated new edition of 9 August 2021, paperback edition at 13 euros or eBook (epub-format) at 10 Euros via penguinrandomhouse.de.

“Dune” trailer: The film has been in German cinemas since 16 September

For the cinema release of “Dune”: 3 more science fiction books made into films that shaped generations

What made “Dune” so special? The book and the first attempts to film it inspired generations of writers and filmmakers. But there are other science fiction books that I can also recommend to everyone. Even if you are not a fan of the genre – because quite honestly: I am and never really was. Nevertheless, these three books are my absolute reading tips, even if you have already seen adaptations based on them.

“1984” by George Orwell (1949) – last filmed (who would have guessed?) in 1984

George Orwell’s dystopian book about a fictional future in which England is ruled by a totalitarian surveillance state was published in 1949. Agitation, propaganda and brainwashing are the order of the day for the main character Winston Smith. He is himself a member of the ruling Socialist Party of England, but resistance is sprouting up in him in small ways. A thought of his own here, a conflicting feeling there – and a lover who increasingly distances him from his belief in the guidelines of “Big Brother”. The book has been filmed several times and adapted for the stage countless times. But I can only recommend everyone to read the original for themselves. If only to understand where the programme “Big Brother” actually got its name.

“1984” by George Orwell in the newly translated new edition of 24 February 2021, paperback edition at 12 euros via fischerverlage.de.

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (1932) – last filmed as a series in 2020 by NBCUniversal

Radio plays, stage versions, television films and most recently a 2020 series from NBCUniversal: “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is often understood as a counterpart to Orwell’s novel and is considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century. The novel was first published in 1932 – 17 years before “1984” – and is also a dystopia. The book describes a society in a fictional future in the year 2540 AD. And it is actually incredible how timeless “Brave New World” and its moral questions are.

With the motto “communality, uniformity, consistency”, the people in it live in a society in which children have long since ceased to be born naturally. Embryos, foetuses and later infants are created in a test tube, manipulated and brainwashed for their specific caste. Hunger, disease and emotional suffering do not exist in the “Brave New World”. But how does an outside, “normal” person cope in it – and whether that is really all we need to be happy? Because of this question alone, I can recommend “Brave New World” to everyone.

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley in the new edition from 2020, hardback edition at 38 euros via vincent&voltaire.de.

“The Triffids” by John Wyndham (1951) – not as trashy as “Plants of Terror” sounds

Finally, a science fiction classic that seems a bit trashy but is really entertaining. If I had only seen the film adaptations or series adaptations of the book, I would never have read “The Triffids”. The idea of carnivorous plants running wild really doesn’t appeal to me at all. My advantage: my parents slipped me the book as a recommendation for Christmas without any comment – and it was worth it! “The Triffids” is exciting, entertaining and enjoyable. It is actually ALSO about a plant species (the Triffids) that becomes a bit bloodthirsty – but actually they are rather the unfortunate consequence for a reckless humanity.

The novel has become a classic, in my opinion, not because of its martial monoculture of triffids. Rather, it is about the question: how do people behave in a post-apocalypse after 95% of them go blind as a result of an “asteroid sight”? The monster plants are just the assumed big evil that is supposed to bring the drama to a head. And so that I don’t scare anyone off here, there is no trailer at this point. Ignore the adaptations, just read the book!

“The Triffids” by John Wyndham in the 2012 reprint as eBook (epub format), available to buy at 8 euros via penguinrandomhouse.de or as paperback via amazon.de at 10 Euro.

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Right out of her art history studies, Viktoria Vokrri started out into the colorful media landscape and wrote her way through agencies and newsrooms for a few years until she turned to her current job as SEO Manager for Condé Nast - where, surrounded by numbers, she rediscovered her passion for words - but above all for books.