In 2018, a lot of science fiction writers got weird. They gave us happiness machines, time-traveling detectives, dragons, deadly intergalactic singing contests, a superhero whose power is math, and disappearing shadows. Good stuff.
LGBTQ people will pilot spaceships, colonize planets, battle aliens, invent warp engines, and discover all sorts of intergalactic weirdness. So of course there should be great science fiction stories about them.
In the list below, some books focus on sexual identities as a major theme, while others just have a gay character or two. I won’t usually spell out which books are which, because that has the chance of spoiling a plot point, and I’d hate for that to happen.
If any technology has the best chance of making the world unrecognizable in the next century, it’s genetic engineering. It’s fun to imagine flying cars and spaceships, but we could just as easily end up with migratory buildings and Be a New Species Day in elementary schools.
I get excited by a good book, and sometimes read more quickly than I should. Audiobooks slow me down to a more humane pace, allowing me to really spend time in the words of a book instead of blasting through it. Listening to an audiobook can give me a surprisingly deeper reading experience than, well, reading. I’m not ever giving up paper books, but I’m impressed at the depth of the experience of a really well-done audiobook.
Starting in the fifties, there were tons of books about the colonization of space. Humans went everywhere, and no amount of alien weirdness stopped us.
There are a few recent colonization stories, but the majority of modern science fiction focuses on dystopian societies and post-apocalyptic wastelands.
Maybe this is a coincidence, or maybe as a species, we’re a lot less optimistic than we used to be. Continue reading
Sometimes, at the end of a long day (or even a short one), I want to be thrown into the middle of a bunch of exploding weirdness and not have to think too hard. Or, if a book is going to make me think when I’m tired, it better be sneaky about it, and do it while I’m having a lot of fun.
One of my favorite moments in any science fiction book or movie is when someone in a spaceship stands up, points at the viewscreen, and says, “What the hell is that?!”
I’m an absolute sucker for stories where hapless humans stumble across mysterious alien megastructures cruising their way through space.
Most young adult science fiction books are set in weird dystopias and involve awkward, doomed romances. Based on what I remember from high school, this is completely appropriate.
Horror seems like a strange thing to enjoy reading: why would you want to be terrified while mental images of grotesque bloodshed are burned into your head? What’s wrong with you?
Of course, nothing’s wrong with you. One of the jobs of fiction is to give us clues on how to survive, and seeing how characters defeat horrific beasts gives us hope in fighting our own monsters.