Science Fiction

The mountain in the sea book cover

The mountain in the sea

Ray Nayler

Science Fiction

"Following a mysterious murder on an island off the coast of Vietnam, a research team convenes to study an octopus community that seems to be developing its own language and culture. Humans, AIs, and animals are swept up in the machinations of governments and corporations in this near-future thriller about the nature of intelligence"--

Brian's picture

This is an incredibly intelligent slow burn, Sci-Fi thriller with interesting and complicated characters. It's going to stick with me for a long time, and I'm definitely going to read everything that Nayler writes in the future. -Brian

Ancillary sword book cover

Ancillary sword

Ann Leckie

Science Fiction

"What if you once had thousands of bodies and near god-like technology at your disposal? And what if all of it were ripped away? The Lord of the Radch has given Breq command of the ship Mercy of Kalr and sent her to the only place she would have agreed to go -- to Athoek Station, where Lieutenant Awn's sister works in Horticulture. Athoek was annexed some six hundred years ago, and by now everyone is fully civilized -- or should be. But everything is not as tranquil as it appears. Old divisions are still troublesome, Athoek Station's AI is unhappy with the situation, and it looks like the alien Presger might have taken an interest in what's going on. With no guarantees that interest is benevolent"--

Brian's picture

Breq's story continues as she tries to make up for her sins the only way she knows how. The book also explores the destruction and assimilation of cultures during the creation of empires, and the personhood of AI. I'll say this again--I can't believe that I slept on these books for so long. If you are a Sci-Fi fan, this is a must read. -Brian

Yumi and the nightmare painter book cover

Yumi and the nightmare painter

Brandon Sanderson

SCIENCE FICTION Sanderso Brandon
Science Fiction, Fantasy

"Yumi comes from a land of gardens, meditation, and spirits, while Painter lives in a world of darkness, technology, and nightmares. When their lives suddenly become intertwined in strange ways, can they put aside their differences and work together to uncover the mysteries of their situation and save each other's communities from certain disaster? "--

Mykle's picture

Brandon Sanderson is an amazing high fantasy and sci-fi author and this looks like his most fun book, to date. Put this on your holds list! -Mykle

The three-body problem book cover

The three-body problem

Cixin Liu

Science Fiction

"With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenemonenon from China's most beloved science fiction author. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision"--

Annie's picture

Although this book took me a long time to really get into (I lack a basic understanding of quantum mechanics and astronomy...), I couldn't put it down once I reached about the halfway mark. Don't be daunted by the science jargon; you'll be glad you stayed for the riveting plot, historical tidbits and intriguing dialogue. I'm also glad that the jargon wasn't too dumbed down since it made it so much more authentic and rewarding to read when I actually was able to visualize some of the concepts. I can understand how it can be difficult to put these details in popular science fiction (let alone translate it from another language), and I thought the attempt was well-done and not too complex so as to throw off the reader from the rich meat of the story. I'm curious to see how the upcoming January 2024 Netflix series will pull it off. -Annie

After many a summer book cover

After many a summer

Tim Powers

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure

A down-and-out screenwriter is hired to deliver a mummified head as the ransom for a kidnapped Belgian heiress, but his encounters with the supersitious kidnappers and the heiress lead him to question his actions. --from Amazon.

Paul's picture

Novella in length and easily a one sitting read, Powers once again engrosses the reader in a quickly moving tale with lots of interesting main and side characters, all bound to a peculiar supernatural situation. I hope he will continue the story of Conrad and Arielle in the future, two of the newest players in his expansive, off-reality Los Angeles land-, or is that hell-, scape. -Paul

The scourge between stars book cover

The scourge between stars

Ness Brown

Science Fiction

"A tense, claustrophobic sci-fi/horror blend set aboard a doomed generation ship harboring something terrible within its walls. As acting captain of the starship Calypso, Jacklyn Albright is responsible for keeping the last of humanity alive as they limp back to Earth from their forebears' failed colony on a distant planet. Faced with constant threats of starvation and destruction in the treacherous minefield of interstellar space, Jacklyn's crew has reached their breaking point. As unrest begins to spread throughout the ship's Wards, a new threat emerges, picking off crew members in grim, bloody fashion. Jacklyn and her team must hunt down the ship's unknown intruder if they have any hope of making it back to their solar system alive"--

Brian's picture

Join is for our Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club discussion of this book on Thursday, September 14: -Brian

Lesser evil book cover

Lesser evil

Timothy Zahn

Science Fiction

"The fate of the Chiss Ascendancy hangs in the balance in the epic finale of the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. For thousands of years The Chiss Ascendancy has been an island of calm, a center of power, and a beacon of integrity. Led by the Nine Ruling Families, their leadership stands as a bulwark of stability against the Chaos of the Unknown Regions. But that stability has been eroded by a cunning foe that winnows away trust and loyalty in equal measure. Bonds of fidelity have given way to lines of division among the families. Despite the efforts of the Expansionary Defense Fleet, the Ascendancy slips closer and closer toward civil war. The Chiss are no strangers to war. Their mythic status in the Chaos was earned through conflict and terrible deeds, some long buried. Until now. To ensure the Ascendancy's future, Thrawn will delve deep into its past, uncovering the dark secrets surrounding the ascension of the First Ruling Family. But the truth of a family's legacy is only as strong as the legend that supports it. Even if that legend turns out to be a lie. To secure the salvation of the Ascendancy, is Thrawn willing to sacrifice everything? Including the only home he has ever known?"--

Brian's picture

Goodness, do I love Thrawn! Just give me more Thrawn books, okay? I swear, if they mess him up in his live action debut in Ahsoka, I am going to be one sad panda! -Brian

How high we go in the dark : a novel book cover

How high we go in the dark : a novel

Sequoia Nagamatsu

SCIENCE FICTION Nagamatsu, Sequoia
Science Fiction, Short Story

"For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague-a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus. Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects-a pig-develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe"--

Brian's picture

This is an amazing and devastating novel. I had to psych myself up each time to read it, because I would always end up sobbing. I'm glad I read it though. It's beautiful and cathartic. -Brian

Caliban's war book cover

Caliban's war

James S. A Corey

Science Fiction

We are not alone. On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system. In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Brian's picture

I'm late to the party on continuing this series, but I highly recommend it to Sci-Fi fans. I absolutely love the characters, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the scope of the story. -Brian

God Emperor of Dune book cover

God Emperor of Dune

Frank Herbert

Science Fiction

Brian's picture

Warner Bros released the trailer for Dune Part II, and it got me interested in continuing my re-read of the series. God Emperor of Dune has always been my favorite--and revisiting it has not disappointed. -Brian