Thoughtful Thursday: What’s your favorite SFF TRILOGY?

It is not so simple a question as you might at first blush think, although some decades ago, the answer may have come to mind a bit quicker.

So what IS your favorite sci-fi or fantasy trilogy?

Many years back, one might automatically have responded “Isaac Asimov‘s FOUNDATION trilogy” to the first and “Ursula K. LeGuin‘s EARTHSEA trilogy” to the second.

But those are not quite valid answers any longer.

The FOUNDATION trilogy was later expanded to include no fewer than seven books, while that EARTHSEA three-parter currently stands at five books, all told. Even Tolkien‘s MIDDLE EARTH trilogy was intended by its author to be read as a single volume, only to be split into three segments by publishers in later years.

So as I say, the question is not one to be answered hastily. But I DO urge you to respond as quickly as possible, before your favorite three-parter is suddenly turned into a four-parter by its author!

As always, we’ll choose one random commenter to choose a book from our stacks.


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SANDY FERBER, on our staff since April 2014 (but hanging around here since November 2012), is a resident of Queens, New York and a product of that borough's finest institution of higher learning, Queens College. After a "misspent youth" of steady and incessant doses of Conan the Barbarian, Doc Savage and any and all forms of fantasy and sci-fi literature, Sandy has changed little in the four decades since. His favorite author these days is H. Rider Haggard, with whom he feels a strange kinship -- although Sandy is not English or a manored gentleman of the 19th century -- and his favorite reading matter consists of sci-fi, fantasy and horror... but of the period 1850-1960. Sandy is also a devoted buff of classic Hollywood and foreign films, and has reviewed extensively on the IMDb under the handle "ferbs54." Film Forum in Greenwich Village, indeed, is his second home, and Sandy at this time serves as the assistant vice president of the Louie Dumbrowski Fan Club....

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28 comments

  1. Ah! A very difficult (is it even possible?) to pick a single one…

    Very quickly, without thinking more than a second, here’s what comes to my mind:

    Trilogy:
    The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

    Series (I’ll add the following in a heartbeat):
    A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin (for all the various sorts of criticism that the series draws, it’s still a great work)
    The Dagger And The Coin by Daniel Abraham
    Malazan Book Of The Fallen by Steven Erikson

  2. Nat Attack /

    The Chronicles of Breed by K.T. Davies & The Cycle of Galand by Edward W. Robertson are tied for me

  3. I do love Lord of the Rings, but I’m gonna go with a recent one, Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle.

  4. Barry Willis-Finn /

    The Night Angel trilogy.

    Absolutely love these books!

  5. The Night Angel trilogy is a good one. The Linesman series by SK Dunstall. Imperial Radch by Ann Leckie. The Mysterious Benedict Society. Farseer trilogy by Hobb. That is about it. All the rest of my favorites go from four books to many.

  6. Keith Innes /

    Mistborn Trilogy from Brandon Sanderson would be right up there as I work through his entire back catalogue

  7. Clare Riley /

    The most recent trilogy I’ve read and loved is Becky Chambers Wayfarers trilogy.

  8. From my heart, I’d have to say my favorite trilogy is still Patricia McKilip’s RIDDLEMASTER OF HED series. The best trilogy I’ve read, though, is tied between Robert Jackson Bennett’s THE DIVINE CITIES and N.K. Jemisin’s BROKEN EARTH books.

    • Here’s a second vote for RIDDLEMASTER. I can’t say it’s my favorite because it’s been too long since I read it, but it’s up there. I need to read it again.

  9. Fee Roberts /

    My favorite will always be Tolkien‘s Middle Earth trilogy.

  10. When I was growing up, I really enjoyed “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman. That trilogy was published at the same time “Harry Potter” was being published; and yet, I enjoyed that trilogy more than the “Harry Potter” series.

    Recently, I cannot stop raving about “The Broken Earth Trilogy” by N.K. Jemisin. That series was my first YouTube book review, and I told all of my friends in the ASoIaF Community about it. In addition, I’m looking forward to reading Brent Weeks’ “The Night Angel Trilogy.” Has anyone here read it? Is it any good?

    • Barry Willis-Finn /

      Yes, it’s excellent and what’s better is Brent Weeks went on to write the Lightbringer series which is even more fantastic (just not a trilogy).

  11. John Smith /

    The original Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams. (The later books don’t count.)

  12. Noneofyourbusiness /

    The His Dark Materials trilogy is new every time I read it.

  13. Jonathan /

    Hm… So many of my favorite series are long and growing longer. I’m going to pick Phedre’s trilogy of the Kushiel’s Dart series. Love as thou wilt.

  14. Terry Brooks’ Shannara trilogy (Sword/Elfstones/Wishsong). Partly a nostalgic pick, I know (you said favorite, not necessarily best!). But I’ve reread them recently, and they hold up surprisingly well. Especially Wishsong, which really is a remarkable book.

  15. Adrian Albu /

    Hugh Howey’s The Wool

  16. Ii’d have to say it’s a toss up between Lord of the Rings and The Riddlemaster of He’d for me. Most of the series I’ve enjoyed over the years wound up being longer.

  17. The Lord of the Rings will always be my favorite, but I’d like to also mention the Future Shock trilogy by Elizabeth Briggs. It’s a really great time-travel series.

  18. The Distinguished Professor /

    The Second Foundation Trilogy was an admirable addition to the series by a trio of good authors.

  19. Lady Morar /

    The Broken Earth trilogy by Nora Jemisin really pulls you in. Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeve’s Interworld trilogy has a fascinating core concept, too.

  20. Sethia /

    So many TERRIFIC trilogys have all ready been mentioned. I’m going to pick one I recently read and enjoyed. The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel.

  21. Maria do Rosário Monteiro /

    what IS your favorite sci-fi or fantasy trilogy?
    Fantasy: His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
    Sic-Fic: C. S. Lewis Space Trilogy

  22. Mike Voss /

    John Varley’s Gaea Trilogy: TITAN/WIZARD/DEMON.

  23. Adrian Albu, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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