My Favourite Sci-fi
Here’s a list of some of my most treasured Sci-fi reads inspired by a Read Outside the Box post on Alison Can Read. In no particular order:
A Long Long Sleep – Anna Sheehan
Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose– hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire– is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes– or be left without any future at all.
A Long Long Sleep was the debut novel of Anna Sheehan in 2011. I adored this YA story – it made my top 5 reads of the year. A poignant tale of a young girl whose childhood was rather different – she’s been in stasis for 62 years. A marvelous, inventive and moving novel.
Blade Dancer – S. L. Viehl
Jory Rask is a professional shockball player. The fastest runback in the game, she is loved across Terra. But Jory Rask has a secret that she’s lived with for twenty-four years. In a xenophobic world that despises aliens, she is not quite human…
Blade Dancer is set in the StarDoc universe but the story is not part of the main series. It’s the tale of a half-human Jory Rask who’s exiled from Earth when her dual heritage is discovered. Blade Dancer is a great story – Jory is a really stong lead, her supporting cast are well drawn and the plot is surprising and intriguing. My copy of Blade Dancer is a hard-back which is pretty handy considering how often I reread this story.
Enders Game – Orson Scott Card (Enders Saga #1)
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Ender’s Game sat in my TBR pile for quite a few years. I’d seen this novel on so many best of lists that I’d purchased a copy but just never got round to reading it. News of the forth coming movie inspired me to dig it out. An excellent story. Ender is a great character and this one is a real page turner.
Silent Blade & Silver Shark – Ilona Andrews (Kinsmen #1 & #2)
Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder. On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport–in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask. Kill the man who ruined her life.
Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen–and skills with a blade–won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control–his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?
It’s almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment. And when she’s sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade’s worth of pain-in a single, brutal dose of reality. Warning: Contains a heroine who excels in moving targets, a hero who can’t get into her pants fast enough, and implant-enhanced sex (no, not that kind of implant..).
Born on a planet locked in a long war, Claire is a psycher, a woman with the ability to attack minds and infiltrate a biological computer network where psychers battle to the death. But when the war abruptly ends, Claire must hide her psycher’s ability to survive. She is deported to a new planet, a vivid beautiful place, where she meets Venturo Escana, a powerful psycher, whose presence overwhelms both her mind and her body.
She thought she had left war and death behind, but now she must fight for her new life and this battle might just cost her everything…
I’ll admit – I’m a huge Ilona Andrews fan girl. I’m including both stories set in the Kisman world because they are short novellas and I love them both and simply can’t choose my favourite. The Andrews excel at world building and I love the world and characters in these stories. Just to note that I think these are are only available as ebooks.
On Basilisk Station – David Weber (Honor Harrington #1)
Honor Harrington in trouble: Having made him look the fool, she’s been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her. Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship’s humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station. The aborigines of the system’s only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens. Parliament isn’t sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling, the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called “Republic” of Haven is Up to Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn’t work to police the entire star system. But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They’ve made her mad…
On Basilisk Station is the first novel in the Honor Harrington series – at this stage there are 14 novels in the main series and several associated series. The Honorverse even has it’s own wiki entry. The Honor Harrington novels are space opera navy/military books. A really enjoyable action packed series – not perfect by any means but I loved them anyway.
Shards of Honor – Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan Saga #1)
Cordelia Naismith, Betan Survey Captain, was expecting the unexpected: hexapods, floating creatures, odd parasites… She was not, however, expecting to find hostile humans on an uninhabited planet. And she wasn’t really expecting to fall in love with a 40-plus barbarian known to cosmopolitan galactics as the Butcher of Komarr. Will Mother ever understand? And can such an odd beast as love survive an interplanetary war?
Another story that the first of a rather long but amazing series. Shards of Honor and its sequel Barrayar are prequels to the Miles Vorkosigan series – it features his parents. I really enjoyed the two main characters Cordelia and Aral who rather inconviently fall in love in the middle of a war.