It's always great to settle down with a good book - but nothing really beats getting buried deep in the pages of a new read while you're on vacation, or simply outside enjoying the sunshine. That's why we've compiled some of the best books we know and love into our very own RebelsMarket summer reading series.
Last week was fantastic fantasy - but this week it's all about SciFi. Check out the following Science Fiction books that should totally make your summer reading list:
Looking for the next book to transport you to another dimension? Hoping to escape daily life for a few hours and spend them.somewhere exciting... like space? Tuck some science fiction in your bag this summer and any trip will be more exciting in minutes! These recommendations cover classics of the genre, fan favorites, and several very recent (and very exciting) books by new authors. Enjoy!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This is the novel that’s being passed from book club to book club in sci-fi circles everywhere - Becky Chamber’s debut novel hit the shelves with massive appeal. With beautifully constructed characters and a storyline that keeps you guessing, it's no wonder this book has received such wide acclaim. The first book in a series, we can’t wait to read the rest!
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
Is short fiction more your style? This collection carries readers through a world laid waste by unexplainable crime to a dark cyberpunk fairytale about product placement, and keeps you guessing along the way with each story. The author's backstory is as interesting as her fiction; James Tiptree Jr. was Mary Sheldon's pen name, and she used the name to conceal her identity (in particular, her gender) from publishers and readers alike.
Synners by Pat Cadigan
The internet. Food porn. Hackers. Viruses. It’s hard to believe Pat Cadigan isn’t actually a time traveler with the way she nailed modern digital living back in 1991 with Synners! This book explores the dark side of a premise we see everywhere in science fiction - the brain that can interface directly with technology. Cadigan asks us to imagine what would happen if your mind is jacked into a computer… that had a virus? This central idea is the backdrop for the novel, a story that has brilliant gutterpunk runaways, rebellious desk jockeys working for the corporate machine, and artists ready to make history all on the hunt for answers (and even for their lives). If you like Synners there’s more where that came from, including Cadigan’s collection of short stories Patterns.
The Dispossessed By Ursula K. LeGuin
Source: Pages of Hackney
Ursula K. LeGuin could have filled this list all on her own, but this summer we’re recommending The Dispossessed. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, PEN/Malamud, and National Book Award, Le Guin is a household name in the world of science fiction and fantasy, and The Dispossessed is a great place to start reading through her catalog this summer. Through the eyes of lead character Shevek, Le Guin brings the worlds of Anarres and Urras to life as civilizations long separated and questions everything about the way they live to how they view one another. If you believe the world could be a better place, or a much, much worse one, then the speculative side of sci-fi is for you!
Neuromancer by William Gibson
A cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer is an immersive quick read that plunges you into William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy. Part caper and part crime novel, the storyline takes readers through the gritty underworld, the offices of a major mega-corporation, high-class entertainment, and even a space yacht. Gibson’s cyberpunk work introduced terms like ‘cyberspace’ and concepts like the ‘meat space’ that we use in common parlance today. One of the seminal cyberpunk novels of the time, Neuromancer is a perfect way to try out the genre!
The Martian by Andy Weir
The movie was good, but the book was even better! Science fiction for fans of hard sci-fi and problem-solving, this novel manages to describe challenge after challenge of space travel while still giving the red planet plenty of heart. Hard science fiction focuses on the science side of the story, think more Apollo 13 and less Star Wars. The story of how this novel came to be is nearly as good as the story itself! Andy Weir is a life-long space program enthusiast and began writing the story a little at a time as blog posts. His fans began to demand a novel, he got a publisher, finished the book, Matt Damon got involved, and the rest is history!
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Source: SF Reviews
Alfred Bester’s first novel (and one of his only two novels - The Stars My Destination is also brilliant) this story is perfect for folks who love detective stories as much as they love exploring a sci-fi world - in this case, a world where telepathy is so commonplace you can judge your dates by how well they can hear your thoughts. Bester is famous for his vivid imagery, so if you want to see a beautifully bizarre New York and enjoy pages of text that dazzle your eyes (really, you have to see the telepathy passages to believe them) then this is the book for you!
What science fiction books would you add to this list? Tell us all about why readers will love them in the comments below!
Title Image courtesy: Darren Beyer