Reading Goals: Science Fiction.

For someone that enjoys fantasy so much, I really haven’t read much sci-fi. I always said I don’t really care for space stories because I assumed that’s all they were. No to aliens, no to space ships, and everything else that comes with the genre. Then I listened to To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini and if you aren’t aware of my deep love for that book yet, then just check this out. This book and my recent read of Ready Player 1 convinced me to give the genre a few more tries before making an informed decision about whether or not I would continue on with the genre regularly. I asked on Twitter and Discord and have compiled a couple of titles I want to try this year. I do have an extensive list of ARCs to read as well as 2 read alongs (yes, I added another aside from the Cosmere Conquest -> The Faithful and the Fallen) so I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many additional books since I do want to read more books off my actual physical shelves also. I decided 5 is a reasonable number to achieve though. These are what I’ll be trying this year:

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet // by Becky Chambers

Recommended by – I can’t actually remember who originally recommended this. I’ve come across it so many times and decided it would be the first title on this list a little while ago. When I brought it up, I heard some more excitement for it so why not?

Synopsis:

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

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.

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

The Space between Worlds // by Micaiah Johnson

Recommended by – Thank you Trin

Synopsis:

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

Binti: The Complete Trilogy // by Nnedi Okorafor

Recommended by – I honestly cannot remember where I first heard about this book but I’ve looked at it again and again. After watching Trin talk about it in one of her videos though, I realized that it counts as sci-fi so it’ll be perfect for this. I always thought about it as afro-futuristic – which it is! – but didn’t really think about its genre beyond that.

Synopsis:

In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.
 
But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti’s spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.
 
There is more to the history of the Medusae—and their war with the Khoush—than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.
 
But even if Binti achieves this remarkable feat, it’s not the end of her story. For this lone Himba woman, now bonded with a Medusa and forever changed by this bond, still must find a way to survive and thrive at Oomza University amid swirling interspecies biases. And eventually, she must return home to test the strength of the fragile peace she worked so hard to win.

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

Leviathan Wakes // by James S.A. Corey

Recommended by – Thank you to Jess and Anthony

Synopsis:

Humanity has colonized the solar system — Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond — but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for — and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations — and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

The Martian // by Andy Weir

Recommended by – I found this one at the local secondhand shop and picked it up not knowing whether I’d actually read it. I just figured it would be fun to have on my shelf. When I asked for sci-fi recommendations on twitter though, someone suggested it and I was reminded that I already own it – how perfect! I wish I could remember who it was. If I find out, I’ll make sure to update my post.

Synopsis:

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?

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

Well that is that. I did get many more great sounding recommendations on my twitter post but this is what I decided to begin with. I do love the covers of Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series so I’m really hoping that I’ll like that book and can buy the rest of them as well. Leviathan Wakes is through my favorite publisher (though I did not get an ARC this one time hahaha) so I’m pretty excited for that as well since I have never been disappointed with any of their books so far. Special shoutout to Ollie also for suggesting The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I totally meant to put that on my list but then forgot until just now after I already chose those others. I’ll try to squeeze it in there somewhere along the way…

I’m also excited to show my progress on the 2021 SFF Badge Collection, which is hosted by Alex of Spells & Spaceships. I’ve started and finished 2 books so far this year (I did also start an audiobook last year that I finished last night but I’m not counting that here). We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson earned me The Big Battle Badge and Elantris by Brandon Sanderson got me The Big’Un Badge for reading a book with more than 500 pages. I’m excited to take part in this, especially since I’m also planning to actually read sci-fi now rather than just fantasy titles.

While my reading list for sci-fi is definitely full for right now, I still like to hear what other people like. Do you read science fiction? Do you have a favorite and why do you like it? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!

7 thoughts on “Reading Goals: Science Fiction.

Add yours

  1. Oh wow, special shout out! Touched! I hope you love everything on this list. I’ve wanted to start The Expanse series myself for some time now, so will be interested to see what you make of the first!

    Liked by 1 person

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