Catholic Friendly Fantasy and Sci-Fi Books

I know of:

The Lord of the Rings (love this series, along with the Hobbit an related books)
Gene Wolfe's books
C.S. Lewis Series
Canticle of Leibowitz

Any others?

I was going to say the Space Trilogy by CS Lewis, but I think you already mentioned it :)

You’re asking ths forum this? really? Don’t you know what inevitably witll ALWAYS happen when you bring up fantasy in this website?

Don't you know what inevitably witll ALWAYS happen when you bring up fantasy in this website?

People recommend books...and good ones at that :p

Earthsea *by Ursula LeGuin (although she herself is far from Catholic)
*The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan
And, yes, Harry Potter

In Christ,
Rand

[quote="shondrea, post:3, topic:222153"]
You're asking ths forum this? really? Don't you know what inevitably witll ALWAYS happen when you bring up fantasy in this website?

[/quote]

I'm aware of the crazies who call everything a sin or evil.

However, I don't think most cases of Fantasy of Sci-fi are anti-Catholic nor is it a sin to read it. It's make believe, for entertainment. If you go as far as to think it's real or try to live like the characters, it's probably a sin but then you are also probably crazy.

I see no harm in most science fiction so long as it doesn't make you think differently about Jesus or the Catholic Faith.

Drumwall by Lynden Rodriguez.

It is a self-published book available through Amazon. It is about a priest who is assigned to a colony of humans on another planet. He is kidnapped by the indigenous people and held as a slave. He learns much about himself and grows much closer to God through his ordeal. It is a wonderful book.

If you know "A Canticle for Leibowitz", then have a look at Walker Percy's "Lost in the Cosmos", you might like that too. I would caution having children read it, however.

Also have a look at Stanislaw Lem's "Tales of Pirx the Pilot".

On the fastasy side:

George McDonald "Phantastes" or" Princess and the Goblin"

And, with caution, I might also mention Charles Williams' "The Greater Trumps".

[quote="Rand_Al_Thor, post:5, topic:222153"]
Earthsea *by Ursula LeGuin (although she herself is far from Catholic)
*The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan
And, yes, Harry Potter

In Christ,
Rand

[/quote]

You're kidding, right?
I'm not a HP-basher but the series is not only not Catholic-friendly, it's not something I'd use to teach kids good morals. Yes, it's about friendship and defeating the evil bad guy. But all Harry & his friends' decisions are based on "will it work" and "can we get away with it?"

Oh Heavens, as Shondrea predicted the inevitable has occurred.

[quote="didymus, post:9, topic:222153"]
You're kidding, right?
I'm not a HP-basher but the series is not only not Catholic-friendly, it's not something I'd use to teach kids good morals. Yes, it's about friendship and defeating the evil bad guy. But all Harry & his friends' decisions are based on "will it work" and "can we get away with it?"

[/quote]

Well, HP may not be Catholic friendly but I don't see it being a sin to read it

Didymus said nothing about it being a sin to read HP, just that IHO it wasn't Catholic-friendly.

Personally, I agree. I have the same reaction about the morals. Obviously I do not think every single solitary situation faced by every single solitary character had the character showing 'bad' moral judgment, but there were enough incidents with the major characters where the choices were a bit iffy at best that I would at the very least find myself digressing over and over and over to discuss why this particular choice was not appropriate or what would have been more appropriate.

At the very least I would have to say that HP is a series that is rather, um, 'polarizing.' If people can find parts in it that have a strong moral message and they find these parts strong enough to offset the parts that are weak, if they have the time to discuss with their children, if they have a strong enough faith foundation to be able to make appropriate discernments, then HP is fine for them. But if people see more 'weak' morals than strong, if they don't have the time to carry out discussion or would just let the children go through and 'figure it out themselves', if they don't have a strong enough faith to make appropriate discernments, then HP could wind up being a poor choice for them.

Heck, there are some people who just aren't into any kind of fantasy literature and would find even classics like Lord of the Ring tough going --not because the morals are wrong, but because they just don't like the genre and find the whole story concepts sappy, annoying, etc. (My own mother hates sci fi, so we just agree that she doesn't have to join us when I read The Hobbit aloud, or we watch Star Trek, or discuss anime, etc. But she's glad that we enjoy ourselves and we both respect each other's tastes.)

So long as we don't get all huffy and defensive when people disagree (and that is really a matter of people's personal TASTES) with our 'choices' as though the people are somehow casting a judgment on US as moral persons instead of just exercising the same kind of individual choice that WE exercise ourselves, we should be fine.

To clarify: I do not think HP is satanic, nor anti-Catholic, nor a sin to read (I've read the books, my son loved them when he was younger).

I don't they are terribly well-written and certainly nor morally edifying. By either measure there's a lot better stuff out there.

Back to our regular programming.

Stuff by Michael Crichton. He wrote Jurassic Park and The Lost World, whose movies are much different from the books.

[quote="didymus, post:13, topic:222153"]
To clarify: I do not think HP is satanic, nor anti-Catholic, nor a sin to read (I've read the books, my son loved them when he was younger).

I don't they are terribly well-written and certainly nor morally edifying. By either measure there's a lot better stuff out there.

Back to our regular programming.

[/quote]

Fair enough, I'd actually agree they aren't all that well-written. Due to the slew of, 'HP is Satanic, The Wizard of Oz has occults roots, practising Yoga will lead to demonic possesion,' in recent days on the forum I've become somewhat over-defensive.

'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' by Susanna Clarke
It makes mention of faeries having a lot of respect for the Saints. It makes of mention of Catholic beliefs. I will warn you, it's not an easy read. Imagine the writing style of Jane Austen with the imagination of J. R. R. Tolkien. That said, it's one of the best books I've ever read.

Another author I would highly recommend is Dianna Wynne Jones. Her books are awsome.

I have enjoyed the Wizard in Rhyme series by Christopher Stasheff. I can only find them in used book stores.

[quote="child_of_God85, post:16, topic:222153"]
'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' by Susanna Clarke
It makes mention of faeries having a lot of respect for the Saints. It makes of mention of Catholic beliefs. I will warn you, it's not an easy read. Imagine the writing style of Jane Austen with the imagination of J. R. R. Tolkien. That said, it's one of the best books I've ever read.

Another author I would highly recommend is Dianna Wynne Jones. Her books are awsome.

[/quote]

Agreed. It isn't really Catholic fantasy, but it is wonderful fantasy.

I'd caution recommending anything Ursula LeGuin writes just as much as anything Margaret Atwood writes --- adults need only apply.

Another great read: A Wrinkle in Time. It has the best, most plausible depiction of evil as evil since Lord of the Rings, without being as didactic as the Children of the Lost Days novels.

I wouldn't say adults only with all of Le Guin's work but it certainly is something for the advanced reader of a child with an inquiring mind. One for a child who is a very advanced reader and really only for older children in their late teens I'd think is Lord Dunsany's work. The King of Elfland's Daughter is sadly far less known than it should be considering the number of people, including Tolkien, that it influenced.

[quote="Tantum_ergo, post:12, topic:222153"]

Personally, I agree. I have the same reaction about the morals. Obviously I do not think every single solitary situation faced by every single solitary character had the character showing 'bad' moral judgment, but there were enough incidents with the major characters where the choices were a bit iffy at best that I would at the very least find myself digressing over and over and over to discuss why this particular choice was not appropriate or what would have been more appropriate.

At the very least I would have to say that HP is a series that is rather, um, 'polarizing.' If people can find parts in it that have a strong moral message and they find these parts strong enough to offset the parts that are weak, if they have the time to discuss with their children, if they have a strong enough faith foundation to be able to make appropriate discernments, then HP is fine for them. But if people see more 'weak' morals than strong, if they don't have the time to carry out discussion or would just let the children go through and 'figure it out themselves', if they don't have a strong enough faith to make appropriate discernments, then HP could wind up being a poor choice for them.

[/quote]

I agree - and I don't have kids though so it's kind of a moot point for me - that there are lots of things you would end up discussing with kids but it really does provide a good opportunity to "tease out" these moral issues. Many kids don't learn that discernment skill, and it's a good skill to have.

Some friends of mine like "darker" literature or movies than I do, ones that kind of satirize religion and so on. As a writer myself I can try to get into the plot and take what I like and leave the rest. That said, some things do make me uncomfortable and I wouldn't choose to read them or see them on my own.

"Humorous" blasphemy or satirizing belief particularly bugs me. Especially if it is so subtle that I question if I'm overreacting or there's a good message that I'm overlooking . . . :shrug: and then sometimes I just have to go, "Naah, it really is offensive to me as a Christian, even if it was meant humorously. Not to my taste, for sure."

Sorry if I got a bit off topic there . . .:blush:

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