NPR kicked off their summer reader poll results with the question at the heart of science fiction and fantasy: “what if?” They’ve pulled together a bang up-to-date list of “Your 50 Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade” which reads like a who’s who of my book shelf and bedside reading pile. I … Continue reading Summer reader poll: 50 fave SFF books 2011-2021
TLDR: I tore through Project Hail Mary, the latest scifi thriller from Andy Weir (author of The Martian and Artemis), turning the final page a couple of hours before we were treated to a blood supermoon. As with The Martian and Artemis, Andy Weir has infused Project Hail Mary with mystery, scientific curiosity, humour, and … Continue reading Project Hail Mary and a total eclipse of the Moon
TLDR: Robot hacks itself and watches soap operas, but the inconvenient humans keep endangering themselves. This science fiction series by Martha Wells is the most heartwarming, humane, and hilarious treatment of artificial intelligence I have come across. The prickly and sarcastic Security Unit – which secretly refers to itself as Murderbot – has hacked the … Continue reading The Murderbot Diaries
Andrew Hunter Murray’s post-apocalyptic thriller is set in a world where Earth’s spin has ground to a halt, leaving half the world suffering eternal frozen darkness, and the other half burning in constant sunlight. When the world stops turning, Britain lands somewhere between the two extremes – a habitable zone where it’s perpetually mid-morning. The … Continue reading The Last Day
The Fifth Season is the first in the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. It’s been on my reading pile for years – I mean, you can hardly ignore a trilogy that wins the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, can you? And wow, this book did not disappoint. I can’t … Continue reading The Fifth Season
In this collection, Marie Hodgkinson has brought together 13 fantastic short stories from Kiwi authors, the first in an annual anthology series. I loved the variety of speculative fiction on display here, stories set in worlds both fantastical and familiar – some eerily so. Stories touching on topics that feel particularly close to home in … Continue reading Year’s Best Aotearoa NZ SFF Vol 1
Emma Newman’s Planetfall and Temi Oh’s Do You Dream of Terra-Two? both consider what happens when a small segment of humanity leaves a dying Earth to explore and establish colonies on distant planets. They contemplate the unique impacts on the human mind of isolation, the abyss of space, and living in close quarters with a … Continue reading Planetfall and Do You Dream of Terra-Two?
Alastair Reynolds’ Revenger series is set in the far future where humanity has colonised worlds built from the debris of our solar system’s planets. The story follows two sisters who sign on with a crew of space-faring treasure hunters in order to bring in the coin their family needs to stave off bankruptcy. Their crew … Continue reading Revenger and Shadow Captain