Here we go again with Top 5 Tuesdays, after a small hiatus this weekend to get my head back in order! As always, we’re hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.
I haven’t always been the biggest fan of science fiction, but something about that changed just a few years ago, probably when I started getting super into Star Wars and all that, too (even though Star Wars is NOT Science Fiction – it’s Science Fantasy). It probably really kicked into gear when I started reading The Martian.
Without further ado, let’s go!
#1: The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi
I know I put this on every single list that I write, but honestly, The Android’s Dream is absolute sci-fi perfection. Beautiful. The characters are believable and witty, the situation is high-risk, and the aliens are realistic (as realistic as aliens can be, I guess). It follows the tale of Harry Creek, who is tasked with defending the last of this particular breed of sheep, the Android’s Dream, from an alien race who wants to sacrifice it to make their chosen clan person the ruler of that particular alien race. It sounds a little complicated, but trust me: once you get into it, you won’t want to get out of it.
I’ve listened to the audiobook and I’ve read the book for myself, and it’s amazing any way you slice it. The audiobook will certainly give you a heads-up on how to pronounce the difficult alien names throughout the novel, though. This will forever be my number-one science fiction book.
#2: The Martian by Andy Weir
As much as I disliked his second foray into science fiction, Artemis, you can’t tell me that Andy Weir’s first novel wasn’t amazing. It had everything: a snarky protagonist, multitudes of drama, and an amazing amount of science that actually worked (as far as I can tell, at least). It’s one of those rare books that pretty much anyone can get into. One of my friends, who doesn’t really read science fiction, read this book because she saw the movie and really enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that everyone needs to read at least once, and I’m usually really not into calling books something everyone should read, because I know it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. But this one has something for everybody. It’s even got Lord of the Rings references! I know this is the book that’s going to be on 95% of the lists today, but at least I know it deserved that spot!
#3: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I first encountered this book through my favorite show, Scooby Doo, and then later through a Great Illustrated Classics edition. I found it to be very interesting (who wouldn’t?), and when I was old enough, I even got to read this book as part of my Myths, Gods, and Monsters class for my undergrad (freshman year English classes were the bomb!).
It follows the tale of Dr. Henry Jekyll, who wants to know if it’s possible to separate the good and the bad in a person, and things end up going horribly wrong. Edward Hyde is his bad alter-ego, and things continuously go from bad to worse as the book winds its way towards the conclusion. The final revealing letter from Dr. Jekyll is just mind-blowing, and it makes you wonder, will science in our time ever go so far? Is there merit to being able to separate this in people, or should we always take a little bit of darkness with our light?
#4: Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey
Here’s a fun science fiction series! The books are absolutely massive, but they read really quickly once you get into them. It’s about the spreading of a new plague among those who live in the stars, and figuring out how to deal with new discoveries and new colonization of planets. Humanity has figured out space travel, but they have yet to figure out faster-than-light travel, meaning that the majority of people are left around Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and maybe a few places further. It follows the original band of heroes throughout all of the books, although side characters are brought in here and there and throughout. As of right now, I own all of the books that are currently out in paperback, but I want to purchase those that have been released as e-novellas so I can fill in some background information. I need to go back and reread this entire series, and I just might do that once I finish up my thesis. I can’t wait until I have all this free time come December.
#5: Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Not to be confused with Ernest Cline, whom he has no relation to, this series is written by Peter Clines. It deals with what happens if humans were to gain supernatural powers around the same time that a zombie apocalypse hits the world. (And when you find out who caused that apocalypse to happen…wow!) The main character in the first book is George, who is called St. George due to his ability to fly and the fact that people see him as their savior. The book takes place in Los Angeles, where all of the remaining humans have barricaded themselves into an arena and created their own thriving town, where the superhumans go out and collect food and supplies while attempting to avoid the zombies. It’s pretty kitschy, but it’s also a ton of fun. Don’t expect anything super deep here, but it’s a fun series. I guess people refer to this as reading popcorn, but I hate that term.
Science fiction is usually a genre that people don’t think is very accessible, due to the fact that it often deals with a lot of STEM-related things (have you read The Martian?!) and it is sometimes harder to give things the benefit of the doubt when it’s set in a world very similar to our own. Science fiction has begun to grow on me, though, and I’m finding more and more science fiction books on my shelf every year. I’m hoping to eventually get around to reading some of the older Star Wars novels, because I know my boyfriend would really like it if I did that. (I’m not doing it just for him, though; I really want to be able to catch up and understand all the things in the non-canon Extended Universe because of the miniatures game we play!)
I know I missed the last few days, but Saturday was busy with an X-Wing tournament, Sunday was busy with getting breakfast out and going to see the new Solo movie, and then yesterday we spent all day at one of his friends’ house eating both brunch and dinner then came home and bummed around. Maybe I’ll be able to back-publish something, but I think that missing two days out of a month isn’t such a bad thing.
Today is also my little sister’s 20th birthday, so happy birthday to her. This fact makes me feel really, really old.
Do you agree with my list? Do you have any comments on them, or another one I should read? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.