My favorite topics in Science Fiction

Sci-Fi November 2016

Once you take a closer look at Science Fiction you’ll realize how many sub-genres and different topics there are. Reading many Science Fiction books in a row never gets boring because of the wide variety of available topics, each coming with a completely different kind of story. These are some of my favorite topics to read about.

Artifical Intelligence

This is the topic I love the most, especially when the A.I. becomes the central part of the story and goes rogue. A.I.s causing trouble is always fun to read about and I’m always looking for more books like the ones listed below.

  • THE SCORPION RULES by Erin Bow
    Probably my favorite A.I. ever. I loved it so much that I would say it was my favorite “character” from the book.
  • ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
    Another A.I. that felt almost like a real person and was so much fun to read about when it was wreaking havoc.
  • ZER0ES by Chuck Wendig
    Zer0es had an interesting new twist on the whole A.I. topic and I’m curious where he takes it next with the series.
  • DAEMON by Daniel Suarez
    Another A.I. causing trouble, trouble that was almost too slow in its progress for my liking but still a great book.

Powers

There are all kinds of books out there about people with powers, but I love the ones the most that have a scientific explanation for them. Almost like “hey, could get these powers too”, even though it’s just fantasy after all.

  • VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab
    One of my absolute favorites! Friends turn enemies, bad VS. worse, what’s not to like!
  • STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson
    People with powers who have the funniest weaknesses + hilarious metaphors
  • LEXICON by Max Berry
    People having the abilities to influence others with words, control their thoughts. It’s all kinds of amazing.
  • BLACKOUT by Robison Wells
    Very X-Men like and I liked the “government wants to catch and control them” aspect of the story because it’s the most realistic scenario.

Virtual Reality

I love reading about virtual realities because some of them don’t seem so far off and might just be available in a similar fashion.

  • INSIGNIA by S.J. Kincaid
    World War Three fought by virtual-reality warriors. This series is AMAZING and has great and hilarious characters.
  • READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
    THE virtual reality book of all virtual reality books. 
  • BRAIN JACK by Brian Falkner
    What if your mind gets hacked while you’re linked into the system? A great scifi thriller.

Alien races

I don’t know what it is about aliens, but I love reading about them, mostly those that want to destroy us but I also like when authors make up completely new species.

  • SAGA by Brian Vaughan,Fiona Staples
    This comic is one of my favorites. If you’re looking for diversity, read this one!
  • THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey
    Aliens doing a pretty damn good job at taking over the world. Love Yancey’s twist on such a “standard” topic. 
  • THE HOST by Stephanie Meyer
    Another alien invasion. Not really my favorite but I liked it.

Epic Inventions

What I love about Science Fiction is something that pretty much all books have: awesome inventions. Not just epics like time travel and space travel, but also smaller gadgets that make the every day life easier. 

  • CINDER by Marissa Meyer
    Cyborg, Androids, Spaceships. What’s not to like. Best retelling ever!
  • BZRK by Michael Grant
    Nanobots that could take care of a tumor sounds awesome at first but this series turns dark FAST and I absolutely love it.
  • THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells
    I really like H.G. Wells classics and The Time Machine is one of my favorites.

Space Travel / other Planets

I much prefer books that aren’t set on our usual earth, so discovering new worlds on different planets or even only on a spaceship is something I love to read about. Can “space pirate books” become the next big trend please?

  • THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
    BEST book set on another planet ever! This man is basically counting down his last few days to live and is hilarious while trying to survive.
  • RED RISING by Pierce Brown
    Red Rising is more like Science Fantasy. A dystopia set on Mars with a higher body count than pages I would say. 
  • THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness
    FAVORITE SERIES EVER about people who can hear other people’s thoughts and a manipulative asshole who wants to take over. Just read it, okay
  • ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis
    People are living on a giant spaceship, on their way to another planet. I loved reading about all these problems that arise from that.

Parallel/Alternate Realities

I find it really fascinating to think about what our world would be like when you change certain events, so obviously parallel or alternate realities are a favorite topic of mine too.

  • THE FLIGHT OF THE SILVERS by Daniel Price
    The best book about a parallel world that I have ever read. It’s not just about that, but the characters also gain some epic powers. It’s all kinds of amazing, really.
  • THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith
    A really dark story about an alternate world that is an interesting take on the topic of dealing with a dramatic event.
  • MY FAVORITE BAND DOES NOT EXIST by Robert T. Jeschonek 
    More fantasy actually but I wanted to mention it anyway because it’s awesome. It’s hard to describe because it’s so twisted but it’s basically about a guy who thinks that he exists only in the pages of a novel and then entering the reality of that novel.

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  • I always forget about the INSIGNIA series, I’ve been wanting to start it months ago but never put it on my Amazon wish list so that I always got other books instead :D

    Also this post is another reminder that I finally need to read THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO but I’m actually planning to make this my Christmas holidays read this year. I’m not sure if it’s a good choice for the season but I always like reading big books over the holidays (like I did with GoT or the Mistborn series), so it’s going to be the CHAOS WALKING series this Christmas :)

    And based on your preferences I think maybe you might enjoy reading THE FOREVER WATCH by David Ramirez because it combines a lot of things that you like: 1) The story is set on a giant space ship, 2) there are cool gadgets, 3) people have special powers, 4) there’s artificial intelligence in it, 5) the female MC is a hacker and 6) there’s also a serial killer ;) It’s sometimes a bit difficult to read because all the science and technology stuff is quite detailed, but I really enjoyed it and I think it’s a clever and interesting SciFi thriller.

  • I love the powers that have scientific explanations as well! And Saga is the best because we get to actually see all the different alien races. I get so absorbed by the art. And, I agree about The Host not being the best ever, but I did really like the concepts about the different planets and alien races Wanderer interacted with. That was neat.

  • Great list! So many good ones that I have put on my to-read list. I love reading about the science behind “powers” as well – it makes the powers instantly more believable. Also, I love reading about alien races!! Especially if the authors explore radically different perspectives about things. I’m reading A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet right now and Becky Chambers is really impressing me with her creative cast of very very diverse sapients.

  • I didn’t love Zer0es, but I did enjoy it – it was definitely a fun read. I need to finish my review of it for next week actually…

    Lexicon was an AMAZING read and a total surprise. I received a copy from Hodder, and it just worked for me on so many levels :)

    I’ve just added a load of these to my shelf, thanks :D

  • I love Vicious and I can’t wait to pick up Steelheart.
    Cinder is the best! I love reading about inventions and how they make life easier. Sometimes it makes me wish we were already at that stage, haha.

  • I haven’t read Vicious, but I’ve read A Darker Shade of Magic and really enjoyed it! I didn’t enjoy Cinder that much though because it was too predictable. But it was a unique retelling, so I’m definitely reading Scarlet. And I have The Knife of Never Letting Go but haven’t been in a mood to read it… Great list!<3

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