With summer fast approaching many of us will have more time and energy for reading. I am always looking for good books to dive into and, once I find a book that I love, I want to share it with everyone.
I don’t always read science fiction, but it is definitely on of my favorite genres. Recently, I have been on a Sci-fi kick and these three books are some of my all-time favorites.
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is a serious page turner. I don’t think I have finished a book this quickly since The Da Vinci Code. The novel’s story is told by Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who has been left for dead after an accident on a mission to Mars.
The Martian is hard science fiction–where emphasis is placed on realism. It takes place in the near-future in which technology is slightly improved over current knowledge. There are no hoverboards in this story. In fact, much of the story is spent trying to retro-fit older technology. Remember that scene from Apollo 13 where the NASA scientists have to “put a square peg in a round hole” to fix the oxygen system? This whole novel feels like a spiritual reboot of that challenge.
What really holds the novel together, though, is the sarcastic wit of Watney. His descriptions of issues and frequent jokes about his own demise make you want to root for him. It won’t take long before you are really invested in seeing just how long Watney can survive on the Red Planet.
Good for…people who enjoyed Apollo 13, like science fiction thrillers, or play Kerbal Space Program.
Avoid if…you might be intimidated by pages of technical and/or scientific jargon.
Wool by Hugh Howey
The story of how Wool came to be is almost as good as the novel. Howey wrote the first section of Wool as its own novella during lunch breaks and at night while working in a bookstore. He published the first portion of the story on Amazon’s Kindle network, and then he waited…
A few readers downloaded the book and left positive reviews. A few more downloaded the book based on those reviews. Next thing Howey knew, his story was blowing up! Howey released future segments of the story serially and they were also received well. Wool is an omnibus of the first 5 stories.
Each story in Wool flows into the next naturally. This is not a collection of short stories, but a carefully crafted story of a apocalyptic world.
At an unknown date in the future, all that remains of humanity survives in a single underground silo. Wool is the story of people living in the enormous underground silo. Expect twist after twist in a world that is more than it seems.
Good for…fans of post-apocalyptic worlds where things are not necessarily what they seem.
Avoid if…the even the idea of reading about an underground silo might make you feel claustrophobic.
World War Z by Max Brooks
After the Brad Pitt’s film adaptation flopped at the box office, people’s interest in World War Z definitely waned. But, as a sign in my school says, “Never Judge a Book By Its Movie!”
World War Z is a phenomenal book. The type of book that can be enjoyed even by those not interested in zombies. You don’t have to watch The Walking Dead to appreciate World War Z.
The challenge of any disaster/apocalypse story is to balance the telling of the global struggle while still developing characters. Brooks’ solution is to tell the story as an oral history.
Through a collection of interviews with characters from all over the world, Brooks slowly unveils what happened when a Zombie epidemic began and spread. His interviewees have serious personality and provide color commentary. The book feels more like an investigation of geo-politics than a horror flick. You won’t be able to put the book down.
Good for…people who like zombie stories but are always frustrated that those stories don’t take themselves more seriously.
Avoid if…you hate enjoying yourself!