Tag Archives: science fiction

Be Prepared. Read More SciFi.

Do you feel like you’re living in a SciFi novel?? Now might be a great time to read or listen to some Science Fiction while you’re staying home and staying safe. Here are a few suggestions that you can download from Overdrive with your Fairfield Public Library card.

Title details for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Available

THE TESTAMENTS
By Margaret Atwood

“Atwood’s confident, magnetic sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale details the beginning of the end for Gilead, the authoritarian religion-touting dystopia where fertile single women (handmaids) live in sexual servitude…Atwood’s eminently rewarding sequel revels in the energy of youth, the shrewdness of old age, and the vulnerabilities of repressive regimes..” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Passengers by John Marrs - Available

THE PASSENGERS
By John Marrs

“The future appears to be steering toward autonomous cars, and in Marrs’s story, the implementation of driverless automobiles has become a reality. Nobody drives themselves around anymore. Eight different folks from varying backgrounds are about to start their day by getting into one of these vehicles so they can get to their various destinations. For each one of these people, the doors lock and a voice comes over the computer and tells them they are about to die… No one will want to ride in one of these cars after reading this terrifying thriller…Don’t pass this novel by.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson - Available

ROBOPOCALYPSE
By Daniel H. Wilson

“Ever thought that technology was out to get you? In Wilson’s thriller, it happens 20 years from now, when a powerful artificial intelligence called Archos rises up to kill its creator and then takes control of technology worldwide. In a matter of moments every piece of equipment turns against humanity—which ends up united for the first time ever.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - Available

THE GONE-AWAY WORLD
By Nick Harkaway

“In a postapocalyptic world made so by a weapon whose evil-genius creator didn’t quite think through the complications of actually using it, a man makes a journey of self-discovery that is unlike anything we’ve seen before…at the heart of The Gone-Away World is a meditation on the very nature of what makes us human. Funny, digressive, dark, and possibly optimistic, Harkaway’s debut displays ingredients of Catch-22, Dr. Strangelove, and The Road Warrior with maybe a pinch of Pynchon and a sprinkling of Vonnegut.” ~Booklist
*Staff Favorite

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Blackout by Connie Willis - Available

BLACKOUT
By Connie Willis

“Three history researchers, all time travelers from the future, find themselves trapped in England during World War II when they discover that the portals to their own times have disappeared…Willis is a consummate storyteller whose immersive style hooks readers from the start; her latest work, which is being published in two parts (see below), should appeal to a wide readership and be a particular draw for her devoted followers.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for All Clear by Connie Willis - Available

ALL CLEAR
By Connie Willis

“Traveling back in time, from Oxford circa 2060 into the thick of World War II, was a routine excursion for three British historians eager to study firsthand the heroism and horrors of the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz. But getting marooned in war-torn 1940 England has turned Michael Davies, Merope Ward, and Polly Churchill from temporal tourists into besieged citizens struggling to survive Hitler’s devastating onslaught…The thrilling time-tripping adventure that began with Blackout now hurtles to its stunning resolution in All Clear.” ~PRH

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick - Available

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
By Philip K. Dick

“It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.” ~Amazon.com

“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” ~New York Times

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Armada by Ernest Cline - Available

ARMADA
By Ernest Cline

“In his second geek-coming-of-age tale, Cline presents Zack Lightman, a teen with anger issues obsessed with his late father, who left behind some rocking mixed tapes and notebooks delineating a wild conspiracy theory about the truth embedded in popular science fiction novels, movies, and videogames. When Zack looks out a school window and sees an alien spacecraft just like those he shoots down so decisively while playing the online alien-invaders videogame, Armada (he’s ranked sixth best player in the world), he fears he’s losing his mind. Readers, however, will feel confident that they’re in for another hard-charging adventure that blasts open the barrier between the actual and the virtual.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - Available

STATION ELEVEN
By Emily St. John Mandel

“Mandel’s ambitious, magnificent fourth novel examines the collapse of civilization after a deadly flu wipes out most of the world’s population…Mandel’s vision is not only achingly beautiful but also startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit. In the burgeoning postapocalyptic literary genre, Mandel’s transcendent, haunting novel deserves a place alongside The Road, The Passage, and The Dog Stars.” ~Booklist
*Staff Favorite

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - Available

CRYPTONOMICON
By Neal Stephenson

“Computer expert Randy Waterhouse spearheads a movement to create a safe haven for data in a world where information equals power and big business and government seek to control the flow of knowledge. His ambitions collide with a top-secret conspiracy with links to the encryption wars of World War II and his grandfather’s work in preventing the Nazis from discovering that the Allies had cracked their supposedly unbreakable Enigma code…Stephenson’s freewheeling prose and ironic voice lend a sense of familiarity to a story that transcends the genre and demands a wide readership among fans of technothrillers as well as a general audience. Highly recommended.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel - Available

SLEEPING GIANTS
By Sylvain Neuvel

“An inventive tale inventively told, Sleeping Giants is designed for people who like to take things apart and put them back together. Its jigsaw-puzzle narrative style works as a mirror for the project at the story’s center: the gathering and assembly of the scattered pieces of a huge and mysterious robot. But the real appeal of the book—the debut novel of Sylvain Neuvel, a Canadian linguist and software engineer—is the way in which putting together the robot tears apart the lives of the people involved. The book, like its namesake, is an elegant blend of technology and biology.” ~BookPage

For more information, please click here.

 

 

The Martian

[Cover]

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group, 2011

Summary/Review: To understand why you will enjoy this novel let’s start with the author. Andy Weir was hired as a computer programmer for a national laboratory at age 15. He is a self-described science geek who actually created and programmed a Mars mission in order to make this story as realistic as possible. His grasp of all things outer space, scientific and NASA is truly breathtaking. He actually received a book and a movie deal within weeks of each other.

We meet the hero of the story, who I could not help but thinking of as Matt Damon, who stars in the movie, as he wakes up from a dust storm catastrophe as a member of a manned mission to Mars. He is all alone and wonders why he isn’t dead. The rest of the crew has lost touch with him an assumes that he is dead. He is incredibly resourceful as he creates, seemingly out of thin air, methods to produce water, oxygen and to grow potatoes to provide sufficient calories to sustain him for the years he figures he will have to wait for even a remote chance of rescue.

Time and again the poor guy has to react to the unforgiving climate and the unexpected consequences of his solutions to an unending list of problems of everyday life, any one of which could kill him. Along the way he hatches plans to modify the Mars surface rover vehicle to allow him to reclaim a probe from a previous mission and hot-wire it to make radio contact with Earth, and other McGiver-like scientific sleight-of-hand just to make it to the next day.

An unexpected pleasure of this book is how funny it is as he talks to himself and then to NASA about the problems of surviving and maintaining a minimum level of sanity as he survives alone for years. He watches lots of 70’s era television shows, listens to Disco music and reads detective novels, all left behind after the first of the many catastrophes he endures.

This is an exceptionally interesting and funny read. You will only be disappointed when it ends.

Who will like this book?:  This book was recently made into a movie, so if you’ve seen it and enjoyed it of course you should read the book!  Someone looking for a funny book that’s written about a serious topic.

If you like this, try this:  This is Andy Weir’s first novel, but you can expect more from him after the success of The Martian. It’s rated 4.38 of over 250,000 reviews on Goodreads –  if that doesn’t convince him to write again nothing will! There are a slew of space novels available, but none hit the funny mark quite like Andy Weir.  If you’re looking for funny science fiction, try Ernest Cline or the classic Douglas Adams.

Recommended by:  Mark Z, guest reviewer

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

 

Lexicon

[Cover]

Title:   Lexicon

Author:  Max Barry

Publisher:  Penguin Press, 2013

Summary/Review: “Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” is basically a big, fat lie in the world of Max Barry’s Lexicon.    If a Poet tells you to go shoot yourself, you will.

Emily Ruff, a homeless teenager making money by hustling tourists, is one of the special few recruited to attend a very exclusive school where the students are taught to use words to manipulate the minds of others.  The best will graduate and become Poets.   Emily is already adept at the power of persuasion, a skill she’s had to develop to survive life on the street.  She is, however, lacking in discipline, wary of authority and absolutely ruthless in doing whatever it takes to survive.  Not surprisingly, Emily is tossed out of school but not before learning that everyone has a specific personality type and once you learn what that is you can control them with certain words.  And there are some words that are very, very powerful.

Wil Parke is the exception to the rule.  He is (almost) completely immune to manipulation by a Poet. Wil’s world has become a waking nightmare.  Strange men want information from him that he doesn’t have and they aren’t shy about hurting him to get it. He has vague memories of a happy life but can’t quite recapture them as he’s too occupied with not getting killed.

Will and Emily’s stories play out against a background of potential Armageddon.  An ancient symbol with the power to destroy has surfaced and the race is on to possess it.

Who will like this book: Readers who enjoy a fast paced science fiction thriller that keeps you guessing about who the real “bad guy” is until the very end.

If you like this, try this: Lexicon has been compared to The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman;  NOS4A2  by Joe Hill and  The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Recommended by: Sue D’num, Technical Services

If you think this could be your next read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and/or place a hold

 

After the Fall Before the Fall During the Fall

[Cover]

TitleAfter the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Author: Nancy Kress

Publisher: Tachyon, April 2012

Summary/Review: In 2035, the Earth as we know it is no more. An alien attack by the mysterious ‘Tesslies’ has devastated the planet, transforming it into a poisoned wasteland.  A small band of humans have been culled to survive in The Shell, a futuristic shelter installed on the Earth’s damaged surface by the aliens. Damaged by radiation, the survivors are desperate to reproduce, thrive and restart the human race. In 2013, a brilliant statistician working for the FBI is trying to connect the dots between seemingly random kidnappings of young children and bizarre robberies occurring all over the East coast. All the cases, witnesses insist, end in a bright flash of light and the disappearance of the assailant and whatever they were taking. And in 2014, an undetected bacterium is slowly attacking plant life all over the planet.

Nancy Kress is an award-winning science fiction force and this book is a great introduction to her work. Told in the voices of Julie, the FBI analyst and Pete, a teenager born in the Shell, After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall weaves together three separate timelines that tell the story of the end of the world as we knew it.

Who will like this book? This short novel is a great choice for fans of dystopian fiction and ecological non-fiction. It is suitable for both adults and older teen readers. And with a surprising twist at the end, it’s not as bleak as it sounds.

If you like this, try this: “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. “Eternity Road” by Jack McDevitt. “Life as We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

If you think you would like this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!  [Link will open in a new window]