Afrofuturism is not just “the future with black people in it.” Its stories tend to focus on black identity, African mythology, and alternate histories involving the African Diaspora (the movement of people from Africa due to slavery).
As one of the most popular franchises in movie and TV history, Star Trek is not lacking for extensive and thoughtful source material.
As of November 2019, approximately 850 novels, short story anthologies, novelizations, and omnibus editions have been published.
Star Trek books are often ignored (sometimes rightly so) by review sites like Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if a certain book sounds like your cup of Earl Grey tea (hot).
The excellent books of The Expanse series are full of mystery, space battles, a strange alien material, and interplanetary politics. If you’ve burned through them (like I have) and want more, here are some books that might help scratch that itch.
If you haven’t read The Expanse, you’re in luck: you have lots of books in your future.
- Leviathan Wakes
- Caliban’s War
- Abaddon’s Gate
- Cibola Burn
- Nemesis Games
- Babylon’s Ashes
- Persepolis Rising
- Tiamat’s Wrath
It takes a deft hand to combine advanced technology and magic in a way that isn’t embarrassingly silly. These books do exactly that, or something close enough to earn a place on this list.
The word “terraforming” was first coined by Jack Williamson in a science-fiction short story (“Collision Orbit”) published during 1942 in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. Deliberately altering an entire planet’s atmosphere and environment would be, of course, the largest engineering achievement in the history of humankind, but science fiction excels at looking at such impossibly bold ambitions.
Sometimes, you’re just in a Dune mood, whether that means palace intrigue, epic quests, scheming villains, hostile planets, tough native populations, or wild aliens.
There’s a special, deep satisfaction when a great science fiction book becomes a great movie.
Most artificial intelligence in books is very similar to human intelligence, but with perfect memory and incredibly fast speed of thought. My guess is that, in reality, true artificial intelligence will feel completely alien to us. If that happens, then the first contact with an alien intelligence will happen with an alien we’ve created.
Dystopian fiction is making us scared. Stop writing it!
Or, we’re writing it because we’re already scared, so we should probably write more.
The future, like the present, can be both wonderful and terrifying.
If you find yourself drawn to dystopian stories, ask yourself, “Why?” Is it because the future looks bleak? Or does a truly fresh start sound pretty good?
It’s okay if the answer is both. Feeling strongly about two or more completely contradictory things is deeply human (annoying, but human).
I’m a big fan of the Star Wars universe, but I haven’t been drawn in by many of the latest movies or TV shows (except The Mandalorian, of course. Wow, that’s fun). But books give another entry into that universe.
There are almost four hundred Star Wars books out there, covering a wide range of quality, from exceptional, to just embarrassing. There are also two timelines: the Canon books are the ones Disney has decided “really” happened in the Star Wars universe, and the Legends books, which are the majority of the older stories, written before Disney bought Lucasfilm.
I suggest you ignore whether something is Canon or Legends or not and just enjoy a good story in a great universe.