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5 Great Sci-Fi Authors of Our Generation

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

If you’re one to dive straight into the fantastical, then science fiction, or sci-fi as it’s commonly called, is the genre for you. With action, drama, and technology all thrown in together, alongwith a heavy dose of space, time travel, and maybe even some robots, an interesting read is pretty much guaranteed.

Here’s a list of 5 great authors in the one genre that basically covers all genres within it.

 

1. Isaac Isamov

The king of the fantastic, Isaac Isamov will not only make you love robots, but fear them too. Though he was a professor by profession, he devoted quite a bit of time and energy towards his novels, and ended up publishing over 500 books throughout his career.

Image source - Encyclopedia Britannica

Image source – Encyclopedia Britannica

 

2. Arthur C. Clarke

Called the “Prophet of the Space Age”, Arthur Clarke is not only a multiple award winner, but also beloved author of one of the all time classics. And if you have read The Space Odyssey, go now. Seriously, go read it now.

Image source - Telegraph.uk

Image source – Telegraph.uk

 

3. H.G. Wells

Ok, so we’re cheating with this one (because he’s technically not of this generation), but then again, he’s too good not to mention. With classics like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds under his belt, is it any wonder why we’re bending the rules for him? For many, his books were the first introduction to the fantastical and wild.

Image source - Famous Biographies

Image source – Famous Biographies

 

4. Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, best known for his novel Fahrenheit 451, is one of the most prolific writers of the 21st Century. He has also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. The Martian Chronicles is another of his beloved works.

Image source - firewireblog.com

Image source – firewireblog.com

 

5. William Gibson

New age sci-fi is all about technology and the rise of the information age, and Gibson is the one who took on the challenge of that integration absolutely seamlessly. His novels set the stage for the coming of the internet, and how all encompassing and involved virtual realities are. Interesting fact – he’s also the credited with coining the term ‘cyberspace’.

Image source - Amazon UK

Image source – Amazon UK

 

Happy Reading!

5 Great Horror Authors of our Generation

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

With Hollywood finally getting caught up with how awesome the horror genre is (think the seemingly endless series in Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, and Insidious), we can still sit in our happy bubble, because we’ve been at this a long, long time. While watching a horror movie is all nice and all, it can never compare to the treat of reading a really good horror book. If the author plays his cards right, your imagination runs riot, creating a mental image of the activities in the book that stay with you long after you close the book and move on.

So here’s a list of the top 5 horror genre authors that are sure to send a chill up your spine.

 

1. Stephen King

Often termed ‘The Master of Horror’, Stephen King is synonymous with spooky stuff! And with nail-biting chillers like Carrie, Pet Semetary, and The Shining, he’s created characters that shall live on for many generations to come.

Image source - Google.com

Image source – Google.com

 

2. Anne Rice

Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice is a sure thing in this list. Her style is considered gothic fiction, and with it, she creates a sense of doom and foreboding that isn’t easy to forget once the book is over.

Image source - npr.org

Image source – npr.org

 

3. Peter Straub

Having received several awards for his books, Peter Straub is often considered an underground favorite for lovers of the horror genre. But his work hasn’t been noticed just by awarding bodies. Two of his books have been collaborative efforts with none other than Stephen King himself.

Image source - Wikipedia

Image source – Wikipedia

 

4. Jonathan Maberry

No stranger to awards himself, Jonathan Maberry is often best known for his Joe Ledger series, which focus on a detective’s battles against extreme science (think zombies and the apocalypse). Interestingly enough, he also recently published a back story to Dana Scully (yes, from X Files), and it’s quite the read for hardcore fans.

Image source - timesfreepress.com

Image source – timesfreepress.com

 

5. Dean Koontz

Okay, okay. We admit, Dean Koontz doesn’t like to advertise himself as a horror author. And we get it. He’s extremely versatile in his writing style and genre. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t write one mean horror novel! So, we’re keeping him here, because we’re just bad like that. And with over 450 million copies of his books sold worldwide, we don’t anyone really minds.

Image source - Google.com

Image source – Google.com

 

So happy reading!

 

Psst…. That sound you just heard? That wasn’t us.

5 Great Thriller Authors of Our Generation

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

“A great thriller, to me, is more about creating a sense of unease: a queasiness that comes with knowing something is not quite right.” These words by Gillian Flynn certainly sum up why we love our thrillers so much. It’s like sitting in a rollercoaster without having to leave your favorite chair. Who wouldn’t want that?

So here, we share a small sample of some great thriller writers, and if you aren’t reading them, may we advise a trip to the bookstore or library?

 

1. Lee Child

An all-out bestselling author, Lee Child has risen to fame from his series depicting tough, retired Army cop Jack Reacher. With strong action sequences, a hero that never quits, and situations that are not only complicated, but often end up being bizarre, Child has managed to corner the market of thriller writing. Loyal fans across the world swear by Reacher and his infallible sense of justice. In fact, many fans were up in arms with the selection of Tom Cruise to play Reacher in the screen adaptations of his books, as he bears little to no resemblance to the physical description of Reacher. But scandal and grumbling aside, the character has become much loved. Fun fact, Lee Child is not really his name, but rather just a pen name he uses. His actual name is James D. Grant.

Image source - Penguin House

Image source – Penguin House

 

2. James Patterson

With his first novel “The Thomas Berryman Number’ winning the prolific Edgar Award for Best First Novel, James Patterson was well on his way to stardom. His numerous books have since sold over 275 million copies worldwide. He is most well-known for his Alex Cross detective series, three of which have been turned into full length feature films, with Morgan Freeman in the first two. His latest release has been co-written by former US President Bill Clinton. Another interesting thing about him is that he holds the New York Times record for the most hardcover fiction bestselling books by any writer!

Image source - Facebook

Image source – Facebook

 

3. Dan Brown

Best know for his controversial novel The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown has certainly written many books, though his Robert Langdon series remain a favorite for all.  Though The DaVinci Code was the second novel in the series, it was the first to be adapted into a feature film, and that certainly helped the series gain momentum (though many claim that the movie doesn’t come near doing justice to the book). He’s known for featuring themes relating to ancient Christianity, treasure hunts,  cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, art, and conspiracy theories.

Image source - Dan Brown

Image source – Dan Brown

 

4. Tess Gerritsen

A surgeon and writer, Tess has written mostly novels in a single series, but the Detective Rizzolli series became so popular in and on its own, it even inspired a multi-season television show called Rizzoli and Isles. Tess herself studied anthropology before heading into surgery, though being a writer remained her childhood dream. Though medical thrillers are now her forte, she actually started as a romance thriller writer, and gained popularity in that genre, before finding her true niche with her first medical thriller Harvest. Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold all across the world.

Image source - Tessgerritsen.com

Image source – Tessgerritsen.com

 

5. David Baldacci

While the series written by David are too numerous to list, The Camel Club, and King and Maxwell series have huge fan following (King and Maxwell was also turned into a small television series).  Though he himself trained to be a lawyer, his first novel Absolute Power was such a hit, that he turned to writing full time. And we are extremely thankful for the change in career, aren’t we? With strong characters, taunt plotlines, and interesting twists and turns, what’s not to like. On a side note, David and his wife Michelle run a non-profit organization called Wish You Well Foundation aimed at fighting illiteracy.

Image source - David Baldacci

Image source – David Baldacci

 

While we know it isn’t possible that any one list can possibly contain every single person’s favorite thriller writer, we do acknowledge that our lives have certainly been racier and more exciting thanks to their hard work! And we can’t forget the countless other who have worked to make this genre as ‘thrilling’ as it is. So here’s a special mention – Michael Connelly, Tom Clancy, Agatha Christie, Michael Chrichton. Thank you too!

It’s Only Words

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

It’s the age of communication, and there seems to be no getting away from it. And with social media being a permanent and inescapable part of our lives, nothing can drive this point home more.

But are we unequipped to deal with the sudden requirement for us to sound intelligent no matter what we do? We have to comment on a friend’s status update. We have to tweet at our favorite celebrity. We have to find that perfect caption for our latest Instagram picture. And what about those lovely people who seem to login to various sites purely to correct other’s mistakes in spelling or grammar? How do we possibly escape them? And let’s not even begin on how we have to reply to our boss’ emails at work in the most diplomatic way possible.

The trick is simple really. We have to do that one thing our English teacher in school kept telling us to do – improve our vocabulary! (And this holds true for all languages by the way, not just English).

So all those years of ignoring our teacher seem to be coming back to bite us in the, err, rear, while our old teachers are sitting at home probably creating fake profiles just so that they can correct us in public domains. (Dear teacher, that was a joke, not an invitation to do so)

So, here’s how you can fight back, and improve that vocabulary!

 

1. Use the dictionary

Sorry. There’s no getting around this one. Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what a word means, we can’t use it correctly. The good news is that you don’t have to lug around the actual book though. Just download any dictionary app, and use it every time you come across a word you don’t quite understand.

Image source – Unilad

 

 

 

2. Read more

Ok, sure, the last time you were told this, you probably had a mountain of text books in front of you. But here too, there is good news. It doesn’t matter what you read, just that you cultivate reading as a habit. So, cultivate away, but towards your individual tastes and interests, whether that’s the latest automobile magazine, Bollywood gossip column, Harry Potter book, or even an Archies comic, or Tinkle digest! Even newspapers, political blog posts, sports magazines, industry journals, or a self-help book count. Though you should draw the line at Whatsapp forwards. Those don’t count. Just 20 minutes a day is more than enough!

Image source - Reading Ahead

Image source – Reading Ahead

 

3. Play word games

Yes, you read that correctly. And it works too! It doesn’t matter whether the games are in a newspaper, or puzzle book, or board game, or even on an app on your phone. Crosswords, word jumbles, Scrabble, they all help you keep your word count up!

Image source - Chemistry World

Image source – Chemistry World

 

4. Stop using the word ‘very’

Unfortunately, the word ‘very’ has a tendency to become a bit of a crutch for those suffering from a poor vocabulary. We miss out on using so many alternative ways of expressing things just by hiding behind this one little word. ‘Very angry’ could be ‘furious’, ‘very pretty’ could be ‘gorgeous’, and ‘very bad’ could be ‘atrocious’. Our language tends to become a bit colorless and bland if get used to just using ‘very’ everywhere.

Image source – SankeiBiz

 

5. Don’t think you’re too old to learn

Just because you’re no longer in school, doesn’t mean you know everything. And it also doesn’t mean that you should. Every situation you face in life will try to teach you something, you just have to be open to it. And even teachers themselves should be constantly learning new things. Don’t use age as an excuse, but rather as an opportunity!

Image source – Telegraph

 

But above all else, never be ashamed for where you stand in terms of your knowledge. As long as you are working to better yourself, you are the master of your fate. Don’t forget, no one out there is perfect, and we are all learning something every day. The power is in realizing this, and staying humble. More power to you!