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Books and Reading: Science Fiction for Year 8

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Science Fiction Books for Middle School Boys

Did you know...?

Science Fiction stories contain one or more of the following elements:

  • SpeculationThe speculative question "what if?" is the starting point for all science fiction. Many scholars list Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" as one of the first science fiction books. Shelley's book gave an answer to the question of what would happen if a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, used electricity to reanimate a corpse. Other science fiction stories answer questions about what would happen if first contact with aliens occurred or if humans achieved faster-than-light space travel.

     
  • Science Impact Science fiction frequently includes stories about the impact of scientific or technological change on people. For example, H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" explored the consequences of building a machine that could carry its occupant far into the future. The "Star Trek" television shows and films portray a future "Federation of Planets" that couldn't "boldly go" anywhere without the warp drive that allows the Enterprise to travel between the stars.

     
  • SettingScience fiction stories often take place in the future or in alternate universes. The "Star Wars" films, for example, contain many futuristic elements, even though they feature events that happened "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." If they are set closer to the present day, they include scientific speculation that differs from ordinary daily life -- as in "The Running Man" book and film, which tell the story of a cop framed for a crime he didn't commit who must survive a deadly TV game show.
    (http://classroom.synonym.com/three-elements-science-fiction-literature-2241.html)

Science Fiction Pinterest Board

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Types of Science Fiction books

'What’s that up there? Is it a bird? Is it superman drying his red underpants?  
No, it’s a fleet of gigantic alien tripods! It’s alien ships the size of Texas, with force-fields
and giant lasers and hundreds of drones, but without decent firewalls!
'

- Veronica Sicoe

The White Mountains

Long ago, the Tripods--huge, three-legged machines--descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods' power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives. 
But for a brief time in each person's life--in childhood--he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end--unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists.

- Goodreads

 

 

The 5th Wave

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.
Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
 

 - Goodreads

 

Arrival

Luke is having a rough year. When his parents split up, his mum drags him to Phoenix, a brand-new town in the middle of nowhere.
But Phoenix is no ordinary town. There are no cars, no phones and no internet. Luke thinks this is as weird as it gets.
Then he discovers that someone is plotting to wipe out the human race. Phoenix is suddenly the safest and most dangerous place on earth.
And the clock is already ticking.
There are 100 days until the end of the world.

 - Goodreads

 

Ender's Game

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.

 - Goodreads

 

'Although not strictly scifi, this is a branch of the speculative fiction tree that frequently converges with the ‘social science fiction’, ‘time travel’ and ‘parallel worlds’ subgenres of science fiction.  Alternate history stories are set in a world in which history has taken a different course. Often, a single event is identified as the beginning of this change; the assassination of Hitler, for example.'

- scifi ideas.com

 

Leviathan

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.  

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.  

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

 - Goodreads

 

 

The Amulet of Samarkand

Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny." 

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy's only saving grace is the master's wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.

 

Northern Lights/The Golden Compass

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

 

Temeraire

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. 
Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

 

 

'Apocalyptic, holocaust and post-apocalyptic stories focus on the end of the world, or the world just after "the end." In Niven and Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer society is wiped out by a comet and must rebuild; in Nevil Shute's On the Beach, humanity is destroyed by a nuclear holocaust; in Stephen King's The Stand, humanity must cope with the aftermath of a devastating plague.'

Marg Gilks and Moira Allen

 

The Rule of Three

One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen year old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon, as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends, he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters. 

- Goodreads

The Day of the Triffids

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.
But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.

- Goodreads

The Girl Who Owned a City

A DEADLY VIRUS KILLED EVERY ADULT ON EARTH, LEAVING ONLY US KIDS BEHIND. 
My parents are gone, so I'm responsible for my little brother Todd. I have to make sure we stay alive. Many kids are sick or starving, and fierce gangs are stealing and destroying everything they find. Lots of people have given up, but here on Grand Avenue, some of us are surviving, because of me.
I figured out how to give the kids on Grand Avenue food, homes, and protection against the gangs. But Tom Logan and his army are determined to take away what we've built and rule the streets themselves. How long can we keep fighting them off? We need to find another place for us to live safely.
A strong place, a secret place.
In a world like this, someone has to take charge.

- Goodreads

'Fiction relating to the science of cybernetics, which views nature as a series of interconnecting mechanical systems. Specifically, cyberpunk deals with the link between biology and computer technology, and explores humanity’s changing relationship with computer systems. Virtual reality, prosthetics, cyborgs and internet fraud are all part of the cyberpunk niche, and usually go hand-in-hand with social decline.'

- SciFi Lists.com

 

  Feed

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

                                                          - Goodreads

 

 

  Little Brother

Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: "M1k3y" will take down the DHS himself.

                                                          - Goodreads

 

  The Disappeared

In a future where children are segregated into institutions that range from comfortable 'Learning Communities' to prison-like 'Local Academies', 17-year-old Jackson is an academic high flyer, living in a top Learning Community and destined for a position in the Leadership. But when he is sent with his best friend Wilson to deliver a package to a factory block, the two boys are attacked leaving Jackson badly beaten and Wilson dead. Confused and upset, Jackson returns to his Learning Community only to be dismissed by his teachers who claim not to know him. Sent to an Academy, Jackson finds himself immersed in a world that couldn't be further removed than the one he's used to.

                 - Goodreads

 

 

 

  The Fifth Element

Every five thousand years, a door opens between the dimensions. In one dimension lies the universe and all of its multitude of varied life forms.  In another exists an element made not of earth, air, fire or water, but of an anti-energy, anti-life. This "thing", this darkness, waits patiently at the threshold of the universe for an opportunity to extinguish all life and all light.  Every five thousand years, the universe needs a hero, and in New York City of the 23rd Century, a good hero is hard to find.  The Fifth Element, a timeless story about love and survival, heroes and villains, good and evil, set in a strangely familiar yet intoxicatingly different 23rd Century. The film stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Milla Jovovich. The Fifth Element is written directed by Luc Besson, the visually innovative director of La Femme Nikita and The Professional.

                                                          - Goodreads

 

 

  Johnny Mnemonic

Johnny is a courier. He carries other people's memories, millions of them, downloaded into his brain… Working out of Beijing, he is hired to carry a package to the States. The hundreds of gigabytes stashed in his head are far beyond his capacity, but as long as he gets downloaded quickly they won't do him any permanent harm.  But headaches are the least of Johnny's problems. The Americans aren't the only ones who want the data. The Yakuza are after Johnny too. Not all of him, though. All they need is his cryogenically frozen head…

                 - Goodreads

 

 

 

  Nylon Angel

The Tert - a toxic strip of humanity outside the city limits - is no longer big enough for bodyguard Parrish Plessis and her sadistic boss, Jamon Mondo. So with Mondo's dingoboys on her tail, Parrish cuts a deal with a rival gang lord to steal some files that could send Mondo to death row. At the same time, she's sheltering a suspect in the murder of news-girl Razz Retribution. In a networld run by the media, the truth isn't relevant. It's bad for ratings, which is why Parrish finds herself tagged for the murder - and up to her tricked-out leather tank top in trouble.

- Goodreads

'Jules Verne used this term to categorize his works, long before the term ‘science fiction’ was coined. It means “extraordinary voyages” and says as much about the exploratory format of his stories as it does about the fantastical ideas they contained. Today, the term may be attached to works that are directly inspired by Verne, or which follow the same format and imbue the same spirit of adventure.'

 

  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

French naturalist Dr. Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge-and his methods coldly efficient.

                 - Goodreads

 

 

  Gulliver's Travels

First published in 1726, this classic work of satire presents a world gone haywire, where humans, despite their pomposity and grandiose illusions, are no better than weak and helpless fools. Lemuel Gulliver's journeys take him to Lilliput, a country whose inhabitants are no more than six inches tall; to Brobdingnag, a land of giants; to Laputa, a flying island inhabited by absent-minded people; and to the land of Houyhnhnms, where horselike creatures rule with intelligence and courtesy over repulsive humanlike Yahoos. One of literature's lasting legacies, Swift's trenchant cautionary tale is a witty, allegorical depiction of people at their worst; yet it may also be read as an enchanting, playful children's story with universal appeal.

             - Goodreads

  The Land that Time Forgot

Hidden behind towering, impassable cliffs, Caspak will not easily give up its secrets. Unique and terrible animals and peoples inhabit the island. Dinosaurs terrorize tropical jungles to the south, while menacing winged humanoids dwell in cities on a large island in the north. Caught between these threats are scattered groups of human beings. Despite their differences, however, Caspak’s animals and peoples are all connected in a mysterious and marvelous way.

                 - Amazon

'Frankenstein. Vampires. Demons. All scientifically explained, of course.'

- Veronica Sicoe

 

Frankenstein

  At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of    science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein.  Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation    and life and bestowing animation upon  lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon  bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and    loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous  revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 

Peeps

 A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and  partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman  named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal's life. Cal was infected by a parasite that has  a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he's    infected the girlfriends he's had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls  Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down before  they can create more of their kind. . . . 

 Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that  are fast becoming his trademark, Scott  Westerfeld's novel is an utterly original take on an  archetype of horror.

  - Amazon

 

 

I am Legend

 Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth... but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and  child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is  the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself  in his home and prays for the dawn. 
 How long can one man survive like this?

            - Goodreads
 

'Science fiction with a distinctly military theme. Characters are usually members of a military organization, and the plot will generally revolve around a war and/or military conflict. Duty, honor, heroism and other military clichés are par for the course.'

- SciFi Lists.com


 

Terms of Enlistment

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to two  thousand calories of badly flavored soy every day:  You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.  With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the    armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled  galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

 - Goodreads


 

 

 

The Forvever War

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand—despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy that they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through military ranks. Pvt. Mandella is willing to do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries.

 - Goodreads


 

 

  Embedded

HE'D DO ANYTHING TO GET A STORY. When journalist Lex Falk gets himself chipped into the brain of a combat soldier, he thinks he has the ultimate scoop - a report from the forbidden front line of a distant planetary war, live to the    living rooms of Earth. When the soldier is killed, however, Lex has to take over the body and somehow get himself back to safety once more... broadcasting all the way.
   Heart-stopping combat science fiction from the million-selling Warhammer 40,000 author.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 


 

  Ender's Game

Aerospace tycoon Gordon Elliot Lee cannot stand idly by while a mysterious alien presence from Delta Pavonis bears down upon mankind's only home. Shut out from NASA and military support, Gordon is forced to go it alone, to sow the seeds for an entirely new sort of planetary defense: a space-based naval force. 
Joined by Nathan Kelley -- a bloodied naval warrior, scarred by his own actions in the waters off North Korea -- and Kris Munoz -- an avant garde scientific genius with more ideas than sense -- these three will scour the very edges of fringe science and engineering to attempt development of Earth's first space navy in time to oppose the Deltan invasion. 
 - Goodreads

 

 


 

 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx

The Spartan-II program has gone public. Tales of super-soldiers fending off thousands of Covenant attacks have become the stuff of legend. 
But just how many Spartans are left?
While the Master Chief defends a besieged Earth, and the myriad factions of the Covenant continue their crusade to eliminate humanity, an ultrasecret cell of the Office of Naval Intelligence known as "Section Three" devises a plan to buy the UNSC vital time. They're going to need hundreds of willing soldiers, though . . . and one more Spartan to get the job done.
The planet Onyx is virtually abandoned and the perfect place to set this new plan in motion. But when the Master Chief destroys Halo, something is triggered deep within Onyx: Ancient Forerunner technology stirs, and fleets of UNSC and Covenant race to claim it to change the course of the Human-Covenant War.
But this reawakened and ancient force may have plans of its own  . . . 

              - Goodreads


  Hunting Party

Heris Serrano--formerly a commander in the Regular Space Service--must take whatever job she can get after her resignation under a cloud. What she can get is the captaincy of a rich old lady's space yacht...a rich old horsewoman, who has little liking for the military, and whose spoiled nephew Ronnie (and his equally spoiled friends) have been foisted on her after his folly embarrassed the family. Lady Cecelia's only apparent interest is horses--she intends to go fox hunting on the private pleasure planet of a friend of hers, Lord Thornbuckle. But events conspire to make it far more than a fox hunt.

 - Goodreads

 


 

 

 

'Fiction concerning travel to parallel universes, in which the world is slightly different from our own. The theory of parallel universes states that there are an infinite number of these alternate worlds. The traditional way to visit them is via a wormhole (or ‘Einstein-Rosen bridge’).'

- scifi ideas.com

 

Interworld

When Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award winner Michael Reaves teamed up, they created the bestselling YA novel InterWorld. 
InterWorld tells the story of Joey Harker, a very average kid who discovers that his world is only one of a trillion alternate earths. Some of these earths are ruled by magic. Some are ruled by science. All are at war. 
Joey teams up with alternate versions of himself from an array of these worlds. Together, the army of Joeys must battle evil magicians Lord Dogknife and Lady Indigo to keep the balance of power between all the earths stable. 

 - Goodreads

 

 

The Long Earth

Normally, when there was nothing to do, he listened to the silence.
The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable.... This was the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chess piece knight. This wasn't Joshua's world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn't have a world; he had all of them.
All of the Long Earth.

- Goodreads

 

 

'Fiction in which the science of robotics is a central theme, typically relating to work of Isaac Asimov
and the ideas advanced in his 
Robot stories.'

- SciFi Lists.com

 

  I Robot

The three laws of Robotics: 
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. 


With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. 

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

 - Goodreads

 

 

  The Darwin Elevator

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 

 

  Robopocalypse

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. 

In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

 - Goodreads

 

 

  The Robots of Dawn

A millennium into the future two advances have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Detective Elijah Baley is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent. For in a case of political intrigue and love between woman and robot gone tragically wrong, there's more at stake than simple justice. This time Baley's career, his life, and Earth's right to pioneer the Galaxy lie in the delicate balance.

 - Goodreads

 

 

  The Warded Man

As darkness falls, demon corelings rise — multitudes and giants, from fire, wood, and rock, hungry for human flesh. After centuries, humans dwindle, protective wards forgotten. Three young survivors of demon attacks, Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, dare to fight back.

 - Goodreads

 - Douglas Adams

'Light or humorous science fiction may occur within any of these subgenres, or often spoof a subgenre. Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy is one of the best-known examples of humorous science fiction.'

- Marg Gilks and Moira Allen

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

 Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is  plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-  work actor.  Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The  Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker  can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-  armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend  (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time  zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former  graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. 

- Goodreads

The Eyre Affair

 Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is  a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously.  England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem,  militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable  offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary  detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane  Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and  enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

 - Goodreads

 

Howl's Moving Castle

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire  of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an  old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a  bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she  discovers that there's far more to Howl - and herself - than first meets the eye.

- Goodreads

'A combination of science-fiction and fantasy, sometimes disparaged by both. Don’t ask me why. I think it’s pretty neat. What’s not to love about a fantasy novel with mighty kings and dragons, sword and sorcery, and fair maidens on white mares, wearing hypodermic implants that allow them to scan their suitors and chat with AIs in orbit around other worlds?'

- Veronica Sicoe

Dragonflight

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise, and take back her stolen birthright. 
 But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. 

- Goodreads

 

Northern Lights/ The Golden Compass

 Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at  Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome  uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including  photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city  suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves  Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the  attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it  seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger,  bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are  disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible  experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's  inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

 - Goodreads

 

A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.  

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a down draft and  blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

 Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space? 

 - Goodreads

 

'Fascination meets goose bumps in an explosion of awesomeness. Combine an uncanny setting with the heart-stopping thrills of horror fiction, and you won’t be able to put the book down.'

- Veronica Sicoe

 

Zom-B

 Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its  victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting  and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is  challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As  Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at  the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-  count is guaranteed!"

 - Goodreads

 

 

Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde 

 

In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that   unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.

            - Goodreads

 

 

 

Coraline


  When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house,  strangely  similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. The food is better  than at home,  and the toy box is filled with fluttering wind-up angels and dinosaur skulls that  crawl and rattle  their teeth.

 But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little  girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and  all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

 - Goodreads

 

 

Jurassic Park

 

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong...and science proves a dangerous toy.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Call of Cthulhu

 

One of the feature stories of the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” is a harrowing tale of the weakness of the human mind when confronted by powers and intelligences  from beyond our world.

 - Goodreads

 

'Space Opera is one of the more confusing and ill-defined terms that the genre has to offer. It typically refers to long-running science fiction series with continuing story arcs. These are usually set in space (or involve travel between two or more planets), have a large number of recurring characters and focus on large-scale (or “epic”) fictional events, such as galactic wars. Recurring themes in Space Opera include politics, imperilaism, colonialsim, war, space exploration, heroism and rebellion.'

- SciFi Lists.com

 

  Pandora's Star

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some four hundred light-years in diameter, contains more than six hundred worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over one thousand light-years away, a star... vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.

 - Goodreads

 

  Cryoburn

Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 

  Becoming Human

In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.
Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.

 - Goodreads

  Icarus Hunt

Jordan McKell has a problem with authority. Unfortunately for him, the iron-fisted authority of the powerful Patthaaunutth controls virtually every aspect of galactic shipping. In order to survive, Jordan ekes out a living dabbling in interstellar smuggling for outlaw concerns that represent the last vestiges of free trade in the galaxy. So when Jordan and his partner, Ixil--an alien with two ferret-like "outhunters" linked to his neural system--are hired by a mysterious gentleman to fly a ship and its special cargo to Earth, they jump at the job.
Caution has never been one of Jordan's strong suits. But this time he may have taken on more than even he can handle. The ship, Icarus, turns out to be a ramshackle hulk, the ragtag crew literally picked up off the street, and the cargo so secret, it's sealed in a special container that takes up most of the cramped and ill-designed ship. As if that weren't bad enough, it looks like the authorities already suspect something is afoot, there's a saboteur aboard, and the Icarus appears to be shaking apart at the seams.

 - Goodreads

  Revelation Space

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him. Because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason , and if that reason is uncovered, the universe, and reality itself, could be irrecoverably altered.

 - Goodreads

'Steampunk merges the science fiction genre with alternate history and the design aesthetic of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. It is a literary genre, a style of dress and an artistic movement all rolled into one.  

The basic idea behind steampunk is the introduction of modern (or futuristic) concepts and technologies into an earlier setting, or vice versa. It focuses largely on ‘the age of steam’ and the perceived inventiveness of industrial engineers. In a steampunk timeline, for example, computers may have been invented several centuries earlier and used alongside, or even powered by, steam engines.'

- SciFi Lists.com

 

  Mortal Engines

"It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea."  The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and adored famous archaeologist, and his lovely daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes toward his heart, saved by the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice. Racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

 - Goodreads

  The Golden Compass

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

 - Goodreads

 

  Leviathan

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.  Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.  With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

                 - Goodreads  

 

 

 

 

  Boneshaker

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.
But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.
Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.
His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

 - Goodreads

 

 

 

 

'Time Travel was popularized by H.G. Wells with The Time Machine (1888), though Edward Page Mitchell wrote "The Clock that Went Backwards" seven years before that. Characters travel to the past or future, or are visited by travelers from either end of the spectrum. Topics range from "Let's go see what the Pleistocene looked like," to issues of paradox (what if you traveled to the past and killed your own grandfather?) and "tampering" (could stepping on a butterfly in the Paleolithic profoundly alter the entire future?). A variant of this sub-genre is the "alternate universes" theme, in which each change in the time-stream spins off a new universe.'

Marg Gilks and Moira Allen

 

The Time Machine

“I’ve had a most amazing time....”
So begins the Time Travelers' astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

- Goodreads

 

Time Riders

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.
Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand ...’
But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

Goodreads

 

 

The Restaurant at the end of the Universe

Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability, and desperately in search of a place to eat.  Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.  Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be! 

Goodreads

 

All Our Yesterdays

What would you change?
Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Goodreads

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