You might think that Science Fiction is just for the Ravenclaws of the world, who want to hunker down with an encyclopedia of robotics and talk about the scientific inconsistencies in the new Star Trek movie. But, with all due respect to Ravenclaws everywhere, science fiction can be fun! Truly great sci-fi is full of narrow escapes from alien planets, harrowing space battles, and daring android heroics. So here are some brilliant sci-fi novels every Gryffindor will love.
After all, what says "Gryffindor" more than a grand adventure? Discovering new worlds, exploring the final frontier, fighting to save humanity from alien invaders, shooting at things with a laser gun—science fiction is the perfect genre for a Gryffindor. And yes, it's true that individual Gryffindors might have different taste, but every Gryffindor can get behind a good story of bravery. Besides, science fiction comes in all shapes and sizes: there's smart, intellectually challenging sci-fi for your Hermione-style Gryffindor thinkers. There's funny, absurd sci-fi for your Ron Weasley-esque Gryffindor jokers. And there's classic sci-fi heroism for good old fashioned Harry Potter fans.
So, if you consider yourself a Gryffindor lion, you might want to check out some of these science fictional adventures:
1. Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
The Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating Carnival, and young Tan-Tan is dressed up in her favorite costume as the Robber Queen. But when Tan-Tan and her father are banished to a strange and dangerous new world, she must find a way to make the Robber Queen real. Or die trying. Tan-Tan has a tough life, but she's as brave, strong-willed, and Gryffindor as they come.
2. Ringworld by Larry Niven
Ringworld starts with Louis Wu sneaking out of his own 200th birthday party. Sure, he still has his youthful looks and yes, he's wildly rich and successful. But he's so bored. So Louis teams up with a cowardly alien "puppeteer," a human girl genetically bred for luck, and a giant warlike cat monster, to head into the unknown reaches of space in search of the fabled Ringworld. It's as much sheer space adventure as any Gryffindor could want.
3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples
Gryffindors may like to rush headfirst into battle, but at the end of the day they want to do what's right. And that's exactly what Alana and Marko are trying to do in Saga: they're on opposite sides of a galactic war, but they're determined to find a peaceful life for themselves and their daughter. Saga gives us an epic comic book universe populated by rebels, bounty hunters, and robot princes, and it's one of the best space operas you'll ever read.
4. Dawn by Octavia Butler
Lilith Lyapo has just lost her entire family. And she's one of the last surviving humans saved from a nuclear apocalypse. She may also be the only hope for saving humanity and repopulating the decimated Earth (you know, no pressure). Dawn is less of a swashbuckling space adventure than some of these other books, but it's a deeply nuanced tale of personal strength and courage, for the Gryffindor who's a little less interested in laser guns.
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
For the Gryffindor who likes a smart, well-crafted quest, Ready Player One has got you covered. It's 2044, and reality is the worst. Teenage Wade Watts would rather spend his time jacked into a virtual world, solving puzzles. But then he comes across a puzzle that requires venturing into the real world in order to win—and if he doesn't win, he might not survive.
6. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The main character is a pizza delivery guy named "Hiro Protagonist." But he is also (according to his business card, at least) the "last of the freelance hackers and Greatest swordfighter in the world." Do you need any more convincing? Snow Crash is a cyberpunk novel filled with virtual reality villains and streets lit with neon. It's a wild ride through a bizarre, darkly hilarious version of future America, and it's a lot of hacking, swordfighting fun.
7. Flash Gordon Omnibus by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Evan Shaner, Jordie Bellaire
You probably have a hazy idea of who Flash Gordon is. Some kind of goofy spaceman from the 1930s, right? Well the Flash Gordon Omnibus is a collection of updated, modern, less problematic Flash Gordon comics, from a whole bunch of celebrated comic book writers. Flash is still an overconfident spaceman jock, and his adventures are still a little goofy, but they're all updated for the modern Gryffindor who enjoys some occasional throwback sci-fi nonsense.
8. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
On an alternate Earth, where the land is plagued with constant Earthquakes and a world-spanning empire is on the verge of collapse, one ordinary woman must cross a dying continent to save her daughter. N.K. Jemisin has created an epic, sprawling world in its dying throes. But the real heart of the novel is the bravery of Essun as she fights her way through an apocalyptic wasteland to bring her daughter home. Surely any true Gryffindor would do the same, end of the world notwithstanding.
Images: Warner Bros