Monday, March 23, 2020

Top Ten Favorite Science Fiction Reads

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week is a genre freebie. I decided to pick a genre I don't often read — science fiction — and find the books I have read that I've enjoyed!

1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
The Carls just show up all around the world one day. Are they sentient? Are they here for good or for ill? And why does everyone in the world start having the same dream?

2. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti is the first of the Himba people accepted to Oomza University, and she must travel among the stars to reach it. But an alien race is looking for revenge on Oomza — will she be caught in the middle?

3. Blindness by José Saramago
A plague of white blindness has swept the world. Through the eyes of one woman who is immune, we see the world slowly descend into chaos as people's animal instincts emerge.

4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In this future world, everything is regimented and ordered. Each new child is developed by the State to slot into a pre-ordained class to do the work they are scheduled to do. People are kept happy through drugs and sex. What's missing are genuine relationships and free will. Are those worth trying to take down the social order?

5. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The technology has been developed to allow a mentally disabled man to become super-intelligent. As he becomes more aware and articulate about what's happening to him, he begins to question for the first time whether his worth is somehow linked to his intelligence and whether a relationship can be genuine if it's between people with different mental abilities. This book also raises one of the ultimate questions of science fiction: Just because science and technology can, should they?

6. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
This book is properly classified as horror, but it's fair to call it science fiction as well. It's hard to talk about this one without spoiling too much, but the book clearly questions whether all things are justified in the name of scientific inquiry.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
In this futuristic society, everything is in balance. No one experiences great pain or great joy. Everyone is safe and comfortable — except for the old man who carries the true memories of his people's history, and the boy whose job it now is to receive those memories.

8. Kindred by Octavia Butler
Dana is a black woman of the 1970s who suddenly and repeatedly finds herself transported to the time of chattel slavery in the southern United States. This modern classic turns the traditional time travel paradox on its head, asking, "What if you had to travel back in time to prevent one of your ancestors from dying?"

9. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Valentine Michael Smith is human, but he was raised on Mars and has now come to Earth. Through his experience trying to acclimate to the culture in which he finds himself, the reader is forced to question why certain things on Earth are the way they are. There are also plenty of classic sci-fi elements like telepathy and teleportion to round out the other-worldliness of this book.

10. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is another, very different, time travel book. Henry has a condition that causes him to spontaneously time travel. Can he maintain a relationship and anything resembling a normal life with the woman he loves?

What are your favorite science fiction reads?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Mankiller, A Fighting Chance, and Redwall
Five years ago I was reading: These Is My Words, Mary Poppins, and Angle of Repose
Ten years ago I was reading: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and How Starbucks Saved My Life

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