Inspired by Hannah at I have thoughts on books, I’ve decided to take part in #SciFiMonth, which runs from 1 to 30 November. The details are here, but as far as I can tell, there are no rules other than to read as much SF as possible! Reading more SF is one of my ongoing challenges to myself, and I’m also keen to read more SF writers of colour. While the challenge itself takes a broad definition of what counts as ‘science fiction’, I’ll be targeting SF proper rather than speculative fiction, simply because I already read a lot of the latter.
I managed to eliminate my physical/Kindle TBR pile in October (barring proofs that aren’t published until 2020) so I have a lot of leeway as to what to read, but this will fluctuate depending on library availability/cost. Some of my ideas are as follows:
Books That I Already Own
I’m currently reading Nina Allan’s The Race; presenting four interlinked novella-length stories, I’m hoping it has the same potential for surprising connections as her wonderful The Rift. I found two more SF books at my local charity shop. Nicola Griffiths’ debut novel, Ammonite, follows an anthropologist who travels to a planet under quarantine after a viral outbreak and discovers a native population that seems to be entirely female; it comes with praise from Ursula Le Guin, and I’ve been interested in Griffiths’ writing since reading her more recent historical novel, Hild. I also picked up the fifth book in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Nemesis Games; I loved the first three books in this series but got totally bogged down in the digressions of the fourth, Cibola Burns, a couple of years ago, so didn’t read on. This entry seems to take us back to the original cast, which is a relief. Finally, I’m planning to re-read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which needs no introduction; this also feeds into my long-neglected re-read project.
Random SF From My Goodreads TBR List
Who knows why I added some of these in the first place, but they look like good choices to expand my horizons! Kim Stanley Robinson is a SF great, but I haven’t read anything by him; hopefully Aurora is a good place to start. Alexander Weinstein’s collection of short stories, Children of the New World, promises stories of virtual reality set in a near future. Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade uses a similar premise to Joe Haldemann’s The Forever War, but hopefully won’t be as misogynistic and homophobic as that older novel. Finally, I’m intrigued by the hype around Sylvain Neuvel’s The Test, which is about an Iranian man sitting a futuristic version of the British citizenship test.
Authors I Found In A People’s Future Of The United States
A People’s Future Of The United States disappointed me as a collection, but introduced me to some promising new authors. I loved Daniel H. Wilson’s entry, so am keen to try his Robopocalypse, which seems to start with quite a familiar premise about robots taking over the world but hopefully goes to some interesting places. Charles Yu’s short story collection, Sorry Please Thank You, looks exciting, as does G. Willow Wilson’s novel Alif The Unseen. Malka Older’s story was easily one of the most imaginative in A People’s Future, so I’m keen to read her debut novel, Infomocracy, which is about a political experiment based on powerful information technology.
Towards the Speculative Side
I don’t really get on with high fantasy, so N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season didn’t grip me sufficiently to make me want to read the rest of the trilogy, but I admire her as a writer and am looking forward to her collection of fantasy/SF short stories, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? Callum has convinced me to try Rory Power’s horror-SF debut, The Wilder Girls. I loved Cynan Jones’s The Dig and The Shore, so his climate change novel Stillicide sounds good to me. Finally, after hearing Naomi Booth speak at the Durham Book Festival, I can’t wait to read her eco-horror Sealed.
I obviously won’t be able to read all of these, so do let me know if there are any you particularly recommend or advise against! And is anyone else interested in taking part in #SciFiMonth?