Top Ten Tuesday: Science Fiction Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is bookmarks, and while I can’t wait to see what you all use for bookmarks, the truth is, I use just about anything that’s laying around.  I do have a couple of actual book marks, somewhere, and they end up in all kinds of interesting places that usually don’t involve the pages of my book.

So instead, I’m dedicating this week’s T10T to Sci-Fi month, a post that on a SFF book blog is long overdue.  I’m going with books on my TBR, but I’ll include a few for recommended reading at the end.

Gamechanger L. X. Beckett

Gamechanger by L.X. Beckett – I’m reading through this one now and I don’t even know how to describe it.  Set in a world following the apocalypse, where the survivors of humanity are now very careful about how resources are used and reused.  The world is a fascinating mashup of virtual reality laid over reality, and people are judged socially on how kind or eco-conscious they are.  It’s pretty weird, but I’m mostly enjoying it.

Dead Astronauts Borne 2 Jeff VanderMeer

Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer – Gamechanger looks absolutely tame in comparison to VanderMeer’s new one.  Three “astronauts” are exploring the City where the Company is headquartered (the Company was first shown to readers in Borne, if you didn’t know), encountering all kinds of weird biotech.  The trouble is, they seem to be exploring it across multiple realities, and it’s confusing as all hell to follow.  Feels like a literary experiment gone horribly wrong right now.  I need a plot Jeff!

Golden Son

Golden Son by Pierce Brown – There’s really no excuse for me not having finished the Red Rising trilogy, never mind not being up-to-date on the series as a whole.  I loved the first book, it just took too long to get the second book in my hands.  Otherwise I’d be done with them by now.  So I’m hoping to buckle down and get them finished this month.

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk – I read a couple chapters of this and was definitely intrigued, but got distracted by Gamechanger.  I also seem to have a running theme of cli-fi going this month, because much like that one, TFST is set in a world that has been ravaged by climate change.  Built on the old bones of San Francisco, this new city feels very utopian.  The problem?  The world outside the city is very much dystopian, scarce resources, slavery, violence, etc.. What happens when these two worlds collide?

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee The Machineries of Empire

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee – This one has been on my TBR for what feels like forever.  I think I own the whole series too, so I’m more than a little ashamed of the fact that I haven’t read it yet.  I’ve seen it compared to one of my favorites: Too Like the Lightning, in it’s complexity, and somewhat to Game of Thrones in it’s family dramas.  I think I’ve been subconsciously putting it off because I want to love it so badly.

The Menace From Farside by Ian McDonald

The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald – Can I get a happy dance?  Happy book birthday to The Menace from Farside!  It releases today and I’ll likely have it read before the end of the week.  This is an offshoot of one of my favorite SF series: Luna.

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan – I’m listening to this now, and it’s perfect.  I was a little skeptical at first, that a film maker put his name on a book (after all, why not make it a film?) but I needn’t have been.  A plane lands at JFK full of dead passengers, and nobody understands why or how… That is, until they all get up and walk out of the morgue.  This is scary in all the right ways, with just enough science to make it feel real, and I’m absolutely eating it up.

Micro By Michael Crichton

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston – It’s highly unlikely that I’ll get to anything beyond the first seven(?!) books I mentioned (and even that feels overwhelmingly optimistic) but I want to read this one soon.  I’ve just been in the mood for some jungle fiction, and that’s something Crichton seems to do very well.  The blurb describes it as a survival horror type story where nature battles technology.  I think typing that just bumped it up the TBR.

Recommended Reading:

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The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal – This was one of my favorite books last year, and covered so many topics from prejudice and racism, to sexism, and mental illness.  This is about a woman who dreams of being an astronaut, and has the ability and talent to be one, but is held back at every turn, by men who think women shouldn’t do “a man’s job”.

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New Moon by Ian McDonald – Described as “Game of Thrones in space,” that description isn’t too far off.  The Five Dragons of Luna, (that is, the five families that control almost everything on the moon) are warring over territory and new markets and politics.  The only thing they all agree on, is that nobody wants Earth interfering in Moon business.  This series is such a treasure for me, even if the books themselves can be difficult at times.  I wish it was getting a little more recognition in the SF realm!

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The Moon and the Other by John Kessel – This is another on that I wish was more widely read.  It’s a slower paced story, not as exciting or as flashy as New Moon (above) but a novel with a little more depth, that gives plenty of food for thought.  It’s about a matriarchal colony on the moon, fighting for independence among a sea of other more traditionally run colonies (not strictly patriarchal, but certainly not matriarchal).

Are you planning on reading anything for SF month?

Leave a link to your T10T posts below so I can see what you are using for bookmarks.  It’s gotta be petter than the crumpled post-it note currently holding my page!

25 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Science Fiction Reads

  1. I did see quite a few episodes of the television adaptation of The Strain, but I have to admit I wasn’t terribly impressed. The story seemed to lack focus, and I was stunned just how long it took the city to figure out something seriously wrong was going on. It’s weird because I know it’s not because I dislike Guillermo del Toro; The Shape of Water was my favorite film of 2017 (and watching Lady Bird fans lose their marbles over its victory was equal parts hilarious and sad).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am enjoying Gamechanger! I’m still trying to figure out a lot of the world building, it’s hard to tell what’s “real” and what’s VR.

      Micro was a posthumous release, so it’s co-written by Richard Preston- but I like his stuff too, so I’m pretty excited.

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    • Oh I hope you do! I really adored the Kessel book and the author seems like a nice guy. He left a comment on my GoodReads review not long after I posted it saying how nice the review was and that he usually tries to avoid reading reviews at all but wanted to thank me. I understand why authors avoid reviews (I think I would have to, if I ever became an author) but it’s also nice to know that our reviews are helpful or appreciated once in awhile.

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  2. …I hope Dead Astronauts gets better! I want more from the world of Borne, but that really doesn’t sound like something I would want either.
    I hope you like Ninefox Gambit, though I don’t think there’s anything about family in it? Political intrigue, definitely, but it’s mostly a siege story. And I had never heard of Gamechanger, but that’s a really interesting premise.
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohh- maybe I misunderstood then! I am participating in a challenge this year called Heptarchate vs 7 Kingdoms, so I assumed the various Houses (or groups? I can’t remember how they are labeled!) were families, but maybe it was just politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh it’s about the factions! People can go to academies (basically dangerous space university) to join them if they want certain specific jobs or positions, or just decide not to and live an ordinary life. And that’s an interesting challenge, I had never heard of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a very broad challenge. You pick a side and read books related to the motto, theme, or sigil of the house. I need to update mine because I haven’t done it in awhile… lol

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      • Haha- I love it when an author can make me think, but I think I like it when the questions are more philosophical/debate type questions instead of: what the heck is happening in this book right now?! You should definitely try it. Do not let me put you off.

        Also- have you read Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning? It might be a good fit for you. It’s a little weird (not VanderMeer levels but still) but it definitely makes you think! I don’t recommend it often, even though I talk about it a lot, but it might be a good fit for you if you want something that forces you to think hard about the book.

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  3. Pingback: Month in Review: November 2019 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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