Science fiction is a marvelous genre that encompasses many ideas. You can read more along the “science” end or “fiction” end of the spectrum based on your personal taste. Almost anything goes in sci-fi; there are monsters, space flights, advanced technologies, aliens, mutants, experiments, dystopias, robots, time travel, and much more.
Science fiction has been around for quite a long time, at least since Frankenstein in 1818 and the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne in the late 1800s. Some classic sci-fi ideas have even become reality, like traveling to the moon and other planets. I remember reading Ender’s Game in high school and thinking it was strange that the students did all their schoolwork on laptops that had everything they needed. It didn’t seem real to me, the girl with a backpack full of textbooks. But that is now the reality for many students. Makes you wonder what future realities we’re reading about today!
This genre is so diverse, you’re sure to find a story to enjoy. If you need help, just ask a DCL librarian for recommendations — or jump into a new world in one of these recent releases.
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Reviewers have described this as an alternate history of the space race, and it hits on some of today’s hot social issues. After a meteorite falls to earth on a cold spring night in 1952, the earth faces a climate cataclysm that calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space. Elma York, an experienced WASP pilot and mathematician, earns a place in the International Aerospace Coalition as it attempts to put a man on the moon. But Elma wonders why women can’t go too. Elma’s drive to become the first lady astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held social conventions of the day may not stand a chance against her.
by Rachel Heng
This debut is set in near-future New York City, where the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming and human organs are traded on what’s called the New York Exchange. Lea Kirino is a “lifer,” which means she has the potential to live forever if she does everything right. But her perfect life is turned upside down when she is drawn into the world of the Suicide Club, a group of rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality and instead choose to live, and die, on their own terms.
by Patrick S. Tomlinson
One reviewer called this the Brooklyn Nine-Nine of space opera comedies — a light, fun and funny read. On humanity’s first extra-solar mission, the exploration vessel Magellan (“Maggie”) discovers an alien construction and decides it’s too important to ignore, thus setting off events that culminate in a plot to destroy Earth.
by Hannu Rajaniemi
In this sci-fi spy thriller, loss is a thing of the past, murder is obsolete, and death is just the beginning. It’s 1938 and death is no longer feared — it’s exploited. Since the discovery of the afterlife, the British Empire has extended its reach into Summerland, a metropolis for the recently deceased. Yet Britain isn’t the only contender for power in this life and the next. The Soviets have spies in Summerland. When SIS agent Rachel White gets a lead on a Soviet mole, blowing the whistle puts her hard-earned career at risk. The spy has friends in high places, and she will have to go rogue to bring him in.
by Cixin Liu
When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier. While Chen’s quest for answers gives purpose to his lonely life, it also pits him against soldiers and scientists with motives of their own.
by Steve Toutonghi
In this mind-bending thriller, Vin is a down-on-his-luck tech entrepreneur who was forced out of the software company he started. He takes a job house-sitting a beautiful Seattle mansion, where he discovers the owner — who has been missing for a year — has built a secret basement lab filled with computers, wired caskets, and a thick, dog-eared notebook of codes, odd symbols, and strange drawings. The notebook refers to the entire system as the “creche,” which induces a state similar to suspended animation. When Vin tries the system, he finds himself transported into other human consciousnesses. As his reality begins to unravel, he finds himself on a terrifying journey through the multiverse, returning each time to a mutated version of his own reality.
by Tom Sweterlitsch
Time-traveling Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent Shannon Moss is assigned to solve the case of a Navy SEAL’s murdered family and to find the SEAL’s missing teenage daughter. Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels through time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence or insight that will crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it’s not only the fate of a family that hinges on her investigation, but also the fate of humanity itself.