11 classic sci-fi novels you must read, and re-read, and their movie counterparts

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May 27, 2016, 11:49 AM EDT (Updated)

Dinosaurs, space, and the future! As far back as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with all things sci-fi. It could have been the first of countless viewings of the original Star Wars trilogy, the moment the T-Rex stomped it’s way on screen in Jurassic Park, or falling asleep staring up into my own personal galaxy with the glowing stars I stuck to my bedroom ceiling as a child.

Where did I go to fulfill even more adventures? Books! Here our imaginations can run wild -- Just like the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. The sci-fi genre has a plethora of novels to choose from. The past is slowly becoming our present. 1984 has passed as well as the day Marty McFly went back to the future on October 15, 2015.

The future is coming fast. Are you ready? Get prepared with these 11 sci-fi novels you need to read (or read again), along with my estimation on whether the book or movie is better. Zombies, Big Brother and dystopian futures….oh my!

World War Z 
By Max Brooks
Type of Sci-fi: Zombies
Why it's great: Brooks takes us through the history of  the contamination of the human world to a zombie virus.
Book or Movie? The book is amazing with tons of details. It is pretty hard to ever beat the book, but the one thing the movie did that really shines is the Doctor Who Easter egg.  Doctor Who was on the verge of announcing it’s new doctor Peter Capaldi stars in World War Z as W.H.O. Doctor. Bravo.

The Giver
By Lois Lowry
Type of Sci-fi: Dystopian
Why it’s great: One of the most influential novels of our time, The Giver is a haunting story of the human species now living in an “ideal,” if colorless, world of conformity and contentment.
Book or movie? Book. But I must say as a book snob, I judged the movie prematurely. In the end it was as beautiful and haunting as the book. Definitely a must see for fans of the book.

A Brave New World
By Aldous Huxley
Type of Sci-fi: Dystopian
Why it’s great: Foreshadowing of what could be to come if humans continue to rely more on technology and not human interactions. All babies are born in laboratories, everyone takes pills to combat depression and the popular form of entertainment is movies that stimulate the senses.
Book or movie? The TV movie from 1998 starring Leonard Nimoy is worth checking out. But book wins this round.

By George Orwell
Type of Sci-fi: Dystopian
Why it’s great: Though 1984 has come and gone, we all can’t stop thinking/believing that Big Brother is always watching us.
Book or movie? Both now classics in their own right, read the book for sure, then watch the 1956 movie adaptation. Then make sure to cover up that camera on your computer, phone and iPad!

Jurassic Park
By Michael Crichton
Type of Sci-fi: Scientific Thriller
Why it’s great: The book has a ton more in depth detail and the movie. You learn so much more about the park, the dinosaurs and its visitors than you can in a two-hour movie.
Book or movie? That being said, Jurassic Park the film has had an even bigger impact on our pop culture than the book in my opinion. Though it took me 10 years to read the book and I loved it, the movie will always be number one in my heart.

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
By Douglas Adams
Type of Sci-fi: Fantasy
Why it’s great: A book so lively, imaginative, and wacky, you cannot put it down. All your deepest questions will be answered, as long as you always carry a towel!
Book or movie? In a book series that out there, your imagination can take it anywhere! Sometimes that is better left in your head than on the big screen. That being said, Alan Rickman as a depressed robot: A+!

The Time Machine
By H.G. Wells
Type of Sci-fi: Time Travel
Why it’s great: Wells coined the term “time machine.” Badass.
Book or movie? Book. Many movies, tv movies, and comics have been made about this iconic classic, but the book is the one that holds up the best through time.

The Time Traveller’s Wife
By Audrey Niffenegger
Type of Sci-fi: Time Travel
Why it’s great: An untraditional love story following uncontrollable time traveller Henry DeTamble as he falls in love with Clare Abshire and artist whose life takes the normal sequential course.
Book or movie? Book and movie. Sucker for a romantically heartbreaking story? This is it. Imagine your time traveling husband reluctantly being torn away on your wedding night. #Feelz

The Martian
By Andy Weir
Type of Sci-fi: Space
Why it’s great: Space-travel adventure, turned marooned survival story with a great sense of humor. An immediate classic.
Book or movie? Both. I loved the book so much I was wary of the movie. And Matt Damon. But the comedy and despair of the book carried over quite well to the movie, with a beautifully-fulfilled image of Mars.

Ready Player One
By Ernest Cline
Type of Sci-fi: Dystopian
Why it’s great: Every pop culture reference ever. Generation-X will love everything about this book and want to be able to live it themselves. Another recent classic.
Book or movie? Movie slated from March 2018. So there is bit of time for you to read the book before you judge the movie! But seriously, read the book. Then go play Joust.

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Type of Sci-fi: Zombies
Why it’s great: A well-known classic story, gets an upgrade for the zombie age.
Book or movie? The beautiful movie was recently released in February of this year. Both carry out the gothic theme in a bloody good way.