Saturday, June 20, 2015

The eight best, worst, and weirdest dad/child pairs in sci-fi & fantasy

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Somers tagged eight good, bad, and weird dad/child pairs in science fiction and fantasy. One good pairs:
The Father and Son (The Road, by Cormac McCarthy)

One thing people never seem to note when discussing McCarthy’s bleak, incredible book is how inspiring the central relationship is. The world is literally ending in the worst way possible (slow, grinding starvation and despair, peppered with a spice of cannibalism), and yet the unnamed man and his son maintain a loving bond. The father tries to shield his son from the worst of this dying world while struggling to keep them both alive, and even feeds his son spiritually with his stories of carrying the Light, giving the child a sense of hope and purpose he himself doesn’t share. If the value of our relationships is truly shown when the chips are down, these two may well be the greatest father/son duo in literary history.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Road appears on Amelia Gray's ten best dark books list, Weston Williams's top fifteen list of books with memorable dads, ShortList's roundup of the twenty greatest dystopian novels, Mary Miller's top ten list of the best road books, Joel Cunningham's list of eleven "literary" novels that include elements of science fiction, fantasy or horror, Claire Cameron's list of five favorite stories about unlikely survivors, Isabel Allende's six favorite books list, the Telegraph's list of the 15 most depressing books, Joseph D’Lacey's top ten list of horror books, the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five unforgettable fathers from fiction, Ken Jennings's list of eight top books about parents and kids, Anthony Horowitz's top ten list of apocalypse books, Karen Thompson Walker's list of five notable "What If?" books, John Mullan's list of ten of the top long walks in literature, Tony Bradman's top ten list of father and son stories, Ramin Karimloo's six favorite books list, Jon Krakauer's five best list of books about mortality and existential angst, William Skidelsky's list of the top ten most vivid accounts of being marooned in literature, Liz Jensen's top 10 list of environmental disaster stories, the Guardian's list of books to change the climate, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and the Times (of London) list of the 100 best books of the decade. In 2009 Sam Anderson of New York magazine claimed "that we'll still be talking about [The Road] in ten years."

--Marshal Zeringue