As I noted in my last post, I’m on a reading roll. I’ve gone through at least a half-dozen books in the last two or three weeks. Interestingly, many of them have been science fiction.
I’m not a complete science fiction newb, but over the years my interests have mostly been drawn to fantasy and its many sub-genres, so this current kick has been a bit of a surprise. It started with a gift from my dad: QUARTER SHARE by Nathan Lowell.
My dad is a former Navy pilot and a huge military history nerd, so it’s no surprise that he enjoys military or space science fiction. But I was amazed at how much I enjoyed QUARTER SHARE and The Solar Clipper series. They’re not shoot ’em up action novels, and they’re not heavy military science fiction. They’re actually kind of quiet, but something about the protagonist, Ishmael, pulls you into the lifestyle as it might be onboard a merchant space vessel. Over the course of six books, you follow Ishmael as he moves up the ranks, from a quarter share galley worker, to the owner of his own merchant vessel. I tore through the series within a couple of weeks. [Side note: I was really disappointed at the “end” of the series, but I have it on good authority that OWNER’S SHARE isn’t the last book in the series, which makes it all better, at least for me.]
Anyway, QUARTER SHARE started my current sci-fi binge back in March. Since then, I’ve read several more recommendation-worthy science fiction novels. Here are the highlights:
CINDER, by Marissa Meyer: a futuristic steampunk retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg, a second-class citizen, and the best mechanic in the city of New Beijing. When the prince drops off his personal android for repair, Cinder becomes privy to dangerous political secrets. Meanwhile, an epidemic plague rages through the city, taking the life of Cinder’s youngest step-sister. Blaming Cinder for her death, the step-mother volunteers Cinder as a test subject for the latest round of failed vaccines. The tests reveal a dark secret, and Cinder must unravel the truth of her past in order to save the future.
I also read the sequel, SCARLET, but the remaining books in the series are on my TBR list.
THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir: an astronaut is accidentally abandoned on Mars. This is the story of how he survives. Written mostly in log form, I didn’t think I was going to like this one, but my husband convinced me to buy it anyway. It’s a total page-turner. Even if you don’t like science fiction, you have to read this. Trust me.
TERMS OF ENLISTMENT, by Marko Kloos: Andrew is a poor kid from a welfare tenement on Earth, who joins the service to get a few good meals, and maybe get off Earth. After making it through boot camp, Andrew becomes a member of the privileged one percent who fight for the North American Commonwealth. After a short and bloody three months in the Territorial Army, Andrew transfers to the Fleet, where the easy life gets even more dangerous.
The sequel, LINES OF DEPARTURE, continues the story through his re-enlistment. These books are pretty heavy on the military side of science fiction, but I think the author does a good job of keeping it simple enough for civilians to understand. I loved the action and, yes, there are aliens. I’m now anxiously awaiting the third book in the series. I hate waiting.
So there you have it, my current science fiction reading recommendations. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Any recommendations for my TBR list?