These posts are fun! Last month I posted on 8 Popular Fantasy Novels I Enjoyed, and
this month I’m here to talk about fantasy’s slightly more advanced albeit slightly deranged twin, science fiction. I couldn’t quite come up with eight novels, but that’s merely because I haven’t been reading sci-fi quite as long. Give me time, and I’m sure I’ll find more!
Now I’m not a dystopian fan, so you can automatically strike those of the list, with one exception. Sorry, dystopian fans. It’s just too depressing for my taste. What you can expect, however, is some space opera, superheroes, and AI’s. You’re welcome.
Books are arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Many people have heard of the movie—which I hated—and it wasn’t until later on that I discovered there was a book, thanks to another blogger. (Thank you, fellow bloggers!) A collection of short stories strung together, I, Robot is set in a world where robots move from a focus on scientific advancement to a place of political influence. And some of the artificial intelligences of the book wind up being far more intelligent than those portrayed in the film adaptation. A thought-provoking read.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Funny story—I almost didn’t read this one, but I remember listening to my friends from college talk about it, so I gave it a try. Then I almost didn’t like it, but I picked up the rest of the series and liked it so much that I went out and bought the books. It’s probably time for a reread of Ender’s Game.
Thoughtful yet tragic, the story describes the ends humanity might go to in order to protect itself against a hostile alien race. And it’s about Battle School, a place where brilliant children learn to be military leaders. Though I don’t agree with many of the tactics used throughout the book by various characters, it is an interesting exploration of human psychology with compelling characters.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
An exploration of what it means to be human, the story of The Giver follows a young boy, Jonas through his training in a seemingly utopian society. Parts of the story I didn’t quite understand at first, like color first coming into Jonas’ understanding, which makes sense considering the point of view, but coupled with the beautiful interpretation of the movie adaptation, the story makes more sense. I still have yet to read the final book in the series, and considering how far apart I’ve read the books, I think I’ll go back and reread them all.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I have mixed feelings about this book and the llluminae Trilogy as a whole. On the one hand, it’s filled with less-than-admirable characters and profanity, albeit censored. But on the other hand, it’s got a unique format, a fast pace and great overarching themes, like standing up against tyranny. Overall, it kinda reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy if you add a murderous AI who somehow manages to be a fan favorite.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Talked my sister into reading this gem, and now she’s more obsessed than I am. Focusing on events after the rise of superheroes, or prodigies as they’re called, the story explores what it means to be a hero or a villain. It’s not always as clear cut as some of the characters would like to think. With traditional superpowers and unique, new ones, Renegades is part one in a trilogy with the final book recently released.
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
I recently posted a book review for this superb read, which you can check out here. Set on a planet where humans have been forced to live in cave systems to survive the bombardment of an alien species, Skyward follows the daring expeditions of the new pilots in training both in holographic simulations and in real flights. Not to mention the excellent characters, the AI, and the cave creature that the main character, Spensa, fondly names Doomslug. I’m curious to see what direction the future books will take.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
This book is a long-time favorite of mine. I was first introduced to the movies when I was a kid, and I later picked up the book in college. Next on my list of childhood favorite films based on books is Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The Time Machine, though, is quite unlike its film adaptations (1960 and 2002). While they do an overall good job of portraying the Eloi and the Morlock, the two races that human beings have become, the films superimpose more plot on the story than was in the original book. If you don’t mind a little more wandering and scientific speculation, the book is a fantastic read!
Let’s chat! What are some of your favorite popular sci-fi novels? Enjoy any of the ones I listed? What’s your favorite sci-fi subgenre?