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Top Ten Tuesday: Animals in Books

Good morning everyone, today’s Top Ten Tuesday choice of topic from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl is Animals in Books. And oh boy, I have some really good choices, well, I hope I do! So, without further ado, here are my picks:

  • ACK-ACK MACAQUE by Gareth L. Powell, features a cigar-smoking, spitfire flying monkey of the same name. Ack-Ack Macaque has got to be one of a handful of unique animal-based characters brought to life in an alternative universe, where a monkey is able to fly a spitfire … this is science fantasy at its best!

  • A PRINCESS OF MARS by Edgar Rice Boroughs has, of course, several unusual Mars-based creatures including the green-skinned Tharks, though it is true these six-armed creatures may be thought of as humanoid more so than animal.
  • 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA by Jules Verne is, of course, a classic, with the kraken-like giant squid attacking the sailors of the Nautilus and its equally famous Captain, Captain Nemo.

  • ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey is just one in novel in her sprawling PERN series of books that, of course, feature colourful Dragons…genetically manipulated flying dragons at that. A fantastic fantasy series.
  • THE XANTH series by Piers Anthony features a land sitting parallel to ours in which every conceivable magical creature exists, talking, creatures like the Centaurs, and ‘Smash’ Ogre and Grundy the Golem.
  • THE PRIDE OF THE CHAUNUR by C.J. Cherryh is another in a series featuring the space-faring ‘Cat-like’ people, the Hani. Great space-opera that features a whole host of animal-based space-faring creatures.
  • DUNE by Frank Herbert and the most infamous ‘Worm’ of Arrakis, the bringer of life and the melange, Spice. The quintessential science fiction series.

Arrakis … Dune … wasteland of the Empire, and the most valuable planet in the universe. Because it is here—and only here—where spice is found. The spice. Without it there is no commerce in the Empire, there is no civilization. Arrakis … Dune … home of the spice, greatest of treasure in the universe. And he who controls it, controls our destiny.

  • TITAN by John Varley is the first book in a trilogy that sees a manned-mission from Earth going to explore a structure out by Saturn that turns out to be, a Stanford Torus habitat. One populated by mythical creatures created by the mad god, Gaia.

  • HIS DARK MATERIALS SERIES by Philip Pullman has a veritable menagerie of animals, spirit animals at that, set in a parallel earth-like universe. I mean, who can forget armoured polar bears!
  • IN THE DARK SPACES by Cally Black we’re introduced to the space-faring race of bird-like Crow People hell bent of keeping humanity at arms-length, as they expand into the Crow’s territory.

And you, what books have you read featuring memorable animals?

12 comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Animals in Books

    • Alex

      Thanks, Lydia. These were all intriguing reads made all the more interesting because of the inclusion of an animal(s).

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    Haha I only read about cats and dogs, it doesn’t get more exciting than that but they are my favorite animals so I’m quite happy. Loved your lust though, incredible that a book about a ‘worm’ became so famous.

    • Alex

      I tried to do a list based on crime fiction (or murder mystery reads) and, well, it was all but impossible, Inge. So that’s why I turned to SFF, as they feature lots of animals (and mythical creatures at that). If I had done contemporary, sure, horses, cats, dog, and farm animals would have featured, like children’s books.

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    *list* of course.. my fat fingers are to blame..

    • Alex

      Hey, I could have been ‘lusting’ as well as making a ‘list’! And you did make me laugh out loud! 😉

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    The Kraken? Well yes you made excellent choices !

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    I’ve never read 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, but the movie TERRIFIED me as a kid! That giant squid thing inspired many nightmares for me. LOL.

    Happy TTT!


    • Alex

      It isn’t such a bad read, Susan, though by now it is a little dated in it’s outlook. And yes, I too was scared by the giant squid as a child, I didn’t go swimming in the sea for decades. 😉

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    I love your alternative choices! Way to go! Was wondering what your list would look like since you read so much crime, but as you said that’s really hard to make a list from. This one is great though!

    • Alex

      Thanks, Eswee. I read a lot of SFF as well as crime fiction, so I had a lot of choices to choose from, especially in fantasy. I mean, who doesn’t love a good mythical creature, after all. And yeah, crime is a tad difficult to say the least!

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