Welcome to part 2 of the Introduction to Science Fiction. I had a great response from people saying that the last post was helpful. So many people want to take that step into science fiction and don’t know where to start. If you missed it, the last post were the books that are an easy first step into the genre (click here to see part one!). This second part is the books that have a little bit more science in the writing but are still easy to follow. These are the books that REALLY got me into the genre! I’ve always been bad at science. But these books put things into a perspective that made sense and it blew my mind! They were kind of the books that opened up a whole new world of possibilities and make my brain spin out of control. If you think you’re ready for that, then here are the books I suggest!
THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
This was my first ever, really in depth science fiction and I was stunned by the whole experience! I remembered thinking that it was science for dummies. It took the most complex of systems and put it in a way that I understood as if it was second nature. I craved all the tech terms and descriptions! I wanted to know how everything worked, why it worked, and so much more. The main character was also incredible and hilarious so that helped!!
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? Find it on Goodreads
DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch
My mind spun for weeks…… wait, that’s a lie…… MONTHS after reading this book!!! Once again I craved the why’s and how’s of it all. It was a little confusing and hard to grasp in the beginning, but it’s written that way for a reason. The main character is abducted and needs to figure out why and where he is. So we are along for the ride. But, as he learns the truth of his situation, the possibilities and gravity of the enormity is heart stopping!
“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. Find it on Goodreads
SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel
I read this book still early on in my science fiction journey. When I first started it I was nervous I wouldn’t get into it. But as the story unfolded, the more insane it got! And the unique way of telling the story also helped. It’s told in the way of files, interviews, and journals. We see multiple perspectives and how they tie in together. The second book in the series is even better!!! If you’re unsure, I HIGHLY recommend the audio books!!
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected. But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction? Find it on Goodreads
LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
This is my most recently read on this list and it totally blew me away! The tech and science of this one more revolves around the creation and relationships with artificial intelligence and robots. Humans created them to protect and serve, yet do they have rights to feelings, emotions, and protection themselves? It was a very powerful and thought provoking read!
On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.
But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past. Even if those secrets were better off staying buried. Find it on Goodreads
THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers
After reading reviews, I spent WEEKS searching for this book. I called to places hours away to see if they had it, but, for some reason, it was nowhere in Canada! I had to have it shipped halfway across the world, and feared that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Thank goodness it was well worth the trouble! There’s a lot of space in this one. It takes place on a ship, we learn how they live and travel, and we also meet many different species along the way. I devoured all of the specifics because they were so well written and interesting. Even if space and all that stuff isn’t for you, this book is VERY character driven. It’s all about emotions, relationships, connections, and feelings. This might be a good step into space books without being too technology driven.
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe. Find it on Goodreads
So there we are! A few more sci-fi to add to the list if you’re interested in getting into the genre. I’m so glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t imagine my life without science fiction now! Hope this little mini series helped to find something new 🙂
Until next time, happy reading!