In the dream-like Annihilation, a section of the Californian coast has turned so weird that it’s now called Area X. This happened thirty years ago, and no one on the outside knows why everyone inside Area X died, why there are weird structures inside, or why there’s a border you can’t get through except through one invisible entrance. Is it a slow alien invasion, a mass hallucination, or something else?
Victor Schmud: Total Expert is a fun, mildly bonkers series for young readers (ages 7-10) by Jim Benton, the guy who created the Franny K. Stein series. Victor plows through the world with an unfettered imagination, an unshakeable confidence, and a comes-and-goes hold on reality.
The future is filled with serious girl power, if the best science fiction books of 2017 have anything to say about it.
Interacting with aliens is always tricky, but when you’ve got a whole new world to worry about, things get much more complicated, whether you’re colonizing, invading, or just visiting.
Maybe true utopias are possible, but most science fiction writers suspect that living in perfect peace and harmony will require giving up some vital part of being human. Is it worth it?
We haven’t figured out our morality when it comes to human clones. Should we make them or ban them? Should clones be treated like “normal” humans? How do we raise them? How does one deal with an illegal clone, or does the idea of being an illegal human even make sense?
I think author David Wong has invented “trailerpunk”—intelligent, funny, but low-income and low-achieving people save the world in all his books. In his latest, the near-future Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, a young woman with a horrible cat is forced to fend off a deeply psychotic and wildly enhanced billionaire cyborg.
Sure, all kinds of weirdness and wonder may exist within our solar system, but the feeling of actually traveling out among the stars is something special.
The Girl With All the Gifts is a wonderful book, which is odd praise for a story about zombies. But it’s surprisingly thoughtful, and at times, even tender, all while managing to be a fast-paced thriller. Every day I looked forward to reading it.
In a post-apocalyptic England, Melanie, along with other children, is imprisoned in a windowless bunker. They are all strapped down and muzzled whenever they leave their cells. No adult is allowed to touch them under any circumstances. Given who these children are, these are reasonable precautions. Then the installation is attacked, and Melanie is freed along with several adults, some who want her alive, some who want her dead, and others who want her dissected.
Recommendation: Buy it. This is fun, original writing with solid characters and an intense, powerful ride.
Some great books never get the public love we think they deserve. The books below are what I consider the best science fiction out there that keeps flying under the radar of public perception.