Alan Dean Foster was born on the 18th of November 1946, in New York, New York, United States of America. Foster is an American author of mostly fantasy and sci-fi writing. He has written multiple book series, with more than a dozen standalone books, and, most notably, a plethora of film-script novelizations. At the present moment, Foster is married to Jo Ann Oxley.
Foster acquired his bachelor’s degree in political science and, also, an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. A rarely known fact about Foster is that he even holds several state records in senior powerlifting, but also a single world record.
The vast majority of Foster’s works concern themselves, or have an underlying facet linked to ecology and the environment. The antagonists in his stories often see their demise at the hands of their own disrespect towards the particular alien race, or the apparently harmless nature of their… nature.
In 2008, Foster was awarded the 2008 Grand Master award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. Being that Foster is quite the well-known author, we will now see what the best Alan Dean Foster books are.
The Alien Book Series
The Alien movies are some of the most loved horror sci-fi movies of all time, period. This is an undebatable argument. What isn’t as well-known is the fact that the Alien books are some of the greatest fiction out there. The series consists of eight primary works, though there is one book that is counted as the zero book, oddly enough. Nonetheless, they go as follows, chronologically:
- Alien: Covenant Origins, published in 2017.
- Alien: Covenant, published in 2017.
- Alien, published in 1979.
- Alien: Out of the Shadows, published in 2013.
- Alien: River of Pain, published in 2014.
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows, published in 2014.
- Aliens, published in 1986.
- Alien 3, published in 1992.
- Alien Resurrection, published in 1997.
Everyone knows – or should know – the story of the Nostromo spaceship and its occupants. They wake from their cryogenic sleep as a distress signal comes blaring through the ship. They go to investigate – a horror staple – on a nearby planet whereby a stowaway boards the ship via facehugger. The rest is a grizzly, gruesome story of pure, unadulterated science-fiction.
What the 0th book concerns itself is the Covenant ship and how it started off on its course. We learn of the infamous Weyland-Yutani Corporation and how it had its beginning. It doesn’t, however, feature aliens, but is a segue for the story of Alien: Covenant, where everyone’s favorite extraterrestrials are in abundance. It cannot be said enough how fascinating and how timeless the Alien series is. Truly the best Alan Dean Foster books, to date.
The Pip & Flinx Book Series
Though one might come to the conclusion that the Alien series is an extensive one, after all it feature just shy of ten books. Well, the Pip &Flinx series features a whopping fifteen works in its composition. By order of publication, the works are:
- The Tar-AiymKrang, published in 1972.
- Bloodhype, published in 1973.
- Orphan Star, published in 1977.
- The End of the Matter, published in 1977.
- For the Love of Mother-Not, published in 1983.
- Flinx in Flux, published in 1988.
- Mid-Flinx, published in 1995.
- Reunion, published in 2001.
- Flinx’s Folly, published in 2002.
- Sliding Scales, published in 2004.
- Running from the Deity, published in 2005.
- Trouble from Magnet, published in 2006.
- Patrimony, published in 2007.
- Flinx Transcendent, published in 2009.
- Strange Music, published in 2017.
In an unspecified time since the Beginning, there was once an extremely beautiful planet. Moth was its name. Moth was the only planet with wings. The wings were 2 grand, golden clouds hanging in the space about the planet. The planet was a fascinating journey for any interested traveler.
As such, Flinx – part-time thief – and his flight-capable snake Pip, by chance, find themselves in contact with some of the largest traders on Moth. Things occur so as to have Flinx and Pip incorporated on a dangerous adventure. To make matters worse, the adventure takes him off his planet for the first time ever.
In the coming books, Flinx’s adventures and experience abound. They are gems of sci-fi writing and the best Alan Dean Foster books. Should be mandatory reading, as far as we are concerned.
The Spellsinger Book Series
- Spellsinger, published in 1983.
- The Hour of the Gate, published in 1984.
- The Day of the Dissonance, published in 1984.
- The Moment of the Magician, published in 1984.
- The Paths of the Perambulator, published in 1985.
- The Time of the Transference, published in 1986.
- Son of Spellsinger, published in 1993.
- Chorus Skating, published in 1994.
Wacky, yet endlessly entertaining, the series is an enthralling read, all-throughout.
In Spellsinger, the first book, we meet hero Jonathan Thomas Meriweather, Jon-Tom for short. Jon-Tom is a pre-law student with aspirations for superstardom – in the rock musical genre. At the moment, he’s harmlessly under influence from a certain herbal-looking drug as he’s transported from his university to a dimension where animals are sentient, can speak, and even wear clothes.
The animals live amongst humans by the wizard – a tortoise – Clothahump. Clothahump was the one that summoned the presence of Jon-Tom. In fact, Clothahump was trying to find a certain entity referred to as ‘En’geeniar’. ‘En’geeniar’ is what Clothahump assumed was the name for wizards in our realm. If it wasn’t obvious, he was referring to engineers. Jon-Tom, however, is only a sanitation engineer.
The first 2 books deal with the crisis that Clothahump summoned Jon-Tom for, while the following 6 see Jon-Tom with sidekick otter, Mudge, and their random adventures. This is the most entertaining series that Foster has written, by far. As such, the books are some of Alan Dean Foster’s best books.
The Star Trek: Logs Series
The Star Trek: Logs Series of Foster is another long series. This one features ten Alan Dean Foster’s best books in its composition. Like we’ve done before, we’ll enumerate the books by year of publication:
- Star Trek Log One, published in 1974.
- Star Trek Log Two, published in 1974.
- Star Trek Log Three, published in 1974.
- Star Trek Log Four, published in 1975.
- Star Trek Log Five, published in 1975.
- Star Trek Log Six, published in 1976.
- Star Trek Log Seven, published in 1976.
- Star Trek Log Eight, published in 1976.
- Star Trek Log Nine, published in 1977.
- Star Trek Log Ten, published in 1977.
The Star Trek Log series is based on the thirty-minute animated show broadcasted in the early 1970s. Alan Dean Foster was the one that did the novelization for the shows. For each log, there are three novellas. The three novellas in Star Trek Log One consist of three episodes.
In the first book, there are three novellas. The first is Beyond the Farthest Star, the second is Yesteryear – we learn of the childhood that Spock had –, and the final one is One of Our Planets is Missing – where a menacing, large cloud is on course for a planet of some eighty million people. For the avid Star Trek fan, these books are indispensable. The same can be said for any sci-fi lover.
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is actually a part of the Star Wars books that were novelized by Foster, but the series continuity is, in a word, a mess. As such, we chose this one, in particular, for its own innate merits. In fact, this is the first noncanonical Star Wars book. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was published in the year of 1994.
The novel is a singularly fast-paced one, something that differs from the other Star Wars books, chock full of tension and an effective air about it.
We see everyone’s favorite Luke Skywalker as he expects a certain dose of trouble and problems as he volunteered to be Princess Leias entourage. The princess is going on a mission to the planet named Cicarpous.
What Luke found out was that on this planet was situated the Kaiburr crystal. This crystal is a rather ominous material, rumored to be able to give the one who uncovers it so much power over the Force that the user would be nigh-almighty. As such, if someone with sinister intentions acquired it, an insidious storm would be brewing rapidly. Luke has one recourse and he must get going fast.
It takes a big step away from what the other, previous Star Wars books were about and it is this feat that we see so praise-worthy. As such, we think it is worthy to be on our list of the best Alan Dean Foster books.
Other efforts of Foster that are sure to amaze readers, from all ages, are the following bunch: The Damned Trilogy, The Taken Trilogy, Dinotopia Universe, and the broader Humanx Commonwealth Universe.