In the past, my reading habits have been really varied. I’d pick up anything from Memoir to YA to Literary Fiction to Science Fiction. In the last year or so, I suppose I’ve gotten bored with stuff set in the real world because I just don’t have the same desire to read Historical Fiction or books about rich, white people anymore (Literary Fiction definitely gets old after awhile).
Looking at my Goodreads Reading Challenge now is like peeking into another world. It mostly contains graphic novels about superheroes, fantasy series set in Asia, and books set in space. In the past, I probably would have felt embarrassed about this (latent feelings of reader inferiority thanks to a degree in English), but I don’t care anymore. I love Science Fiction and Superheroes, and I don’t have enough time anymore to read books just so that I can feel good about sharing what I’m reading with strangers.
Since it’s Sci-Fi Month, I thought it was about time that I rounded-up my ten favorite Science Fiction books of all time. I probably couldn’t have made this list two years ago (thanks to not reading enough genre fiction), but now, I actually had to pick and choose what I was going to include. Hopefully, by next year, I’ll even have a “Part Two” to add.
My Favorite Science Fiction Books
- To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis ~ This is the first “adult” Science Fiction novel I ever read. At the time, it felt like it was written for me because it combined fantastical elements with a 19th Century British setting. I adored it and read it a bunch of times throughout high school. Reading it as an adult, it’s different (a lot of the political and social commentary went right over my head as a kid), but I still really enjoy its wackiness and fun.
- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ Technically, Doomsday Book is the first novel in Connie Willis’ time travel series, but I didn’t read it until LONG after To Say Nothing of the Dog. I was sold into trying it because I’d heard there was a swoony romance between the lead female character and a priest. The romance is basically non-existence in reality, but the story about the plague and survival was very good anyway. (Sadly, the other books in this Oxford Time Travel series are not so great. I haven’t even finished the last one.)
- Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey ~ Vomit zombies for the win! Corey’s novel mixes two of my favorite things: Space Horror and Noir Detectives. Basically, it’s like if Alien had a facehugger baby with The Maltese Falcon. I cannot wait to see the television adaptation of this book series. Of course, that means it’s about time I had a reread of The (entire) Expanse.
- Hunter’s Run by George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, & Daniel Abraham ~ Serious Question: Should I read Game of Thrones? I’ve loved some of George R. R. Martin’s science fiction (especially said Hunter’s Run) so I feel like I really should try to give GoT a chance. Not sure I can handle all the names/characters though. What I love about Hunter’s Run is that it’s a slightly terrifying, Scifi thriller. Epic fantasies are so much more difficult to get through than books with foreboding aliens.
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle ~ My first ever Science Fiction love! (That’s all I’m going to say for now. I keep gushing about this series. I really need to write a proper post about it soon.)
- Jack Glass by Adam Roberts ~ I don’t know what it is about Scifi Mysteries, but I certainly do love them. This time the Mystery-end is more a Golden Age Agatha Christie than fedora-wearing Humphrey Bogart. It’s still great though–especially since there’s an added bonus of brutal prison escapes and weird romance.
- Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow ~ Disney + Science Fiction = Perfection. I was super invested in Doctorow’s novel–like so invested I was practically in tears when I thought the hero would fail.If that’s not a sign of a favorite read, I don’t know what is.
- Armada by Ernest Cline ~ I know this isn’t a super popular novel, but I loved its 80s references and The Last Starfighter-esque story. I should mention that I’ve been obsessed with movies from the 1980s for years. This book, needless-to-say, was perfect for me. Okay, Other Serious Question: Should I read Ready Player One? (I already know the answer to this one. It’s going to be a Steven Spielberg movie. I have no choice.)
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ~ If you’re into British humor, Hitchhiker’s Guide is so enjoyable. There’s bad alien poetry, depressed robots, and the answer to life, the universe and everything. Oh wow, it’s time for another reread, isn’t it?
- Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson ~ Robots. Robots. More robots. Have I said I love robots? Also, this was *almost* a Steven Spielberg movie so it’s not surprisingly that I like it. I’m not usually one for novels that are basically short story collections, but this one worked for me.
What are your favorite Science Fiction novels? Have you ever had someone make you feel bad for reading genre fiction?