Andy Weir took the world to a scary, thrilling and page-turning reality with his novel The Martian. As a science fiction classic, it is hard to imagine that there could be any other book that could excite you as much. Well, we’re here with good news: a book list to keep your adrenaline-rushing, sci-fi train going if you couldn’t put down The Martian. Feel free to thank us later; you’ll be lost in space with these books for a while.
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson
Only a few more years into the future, Mars is about to become the new planet for mankind to conquer. Colonizing the red planet doesn’t come easy, though. As changes are being made to the planet, there are some who will fight back and try to keep Mars from ever being changed. It might be hard to imagine this happening in 2026, but Robinson sure does make it believable with his exploratory novel.
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien
Ann Burden is a survivor of a nuclear war. She is alone and self-contained in the countryside. The only person to talk to is herself, and the only person she must worry about surviving is, also, herself. That is until a stranger shows up in a radiation suit. Ann nurses this man back to health after discovering he has bathed in a pool of radioactive water. However, she might discover that her loneliness was better than being with the wrong company.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. Cline really plays on the idea of escaping the real world by putting his character Wade Watts into a virtual one. OASIS is a virtual utopia and it contains puzzles hidden all over the confinement of the digital world. Whoever can unlock these puzzles are promised power and fortune. Wade has devoted his life to uncovering these puzzles, but when he stumbles upon the first clue … the race is on. Surviving means winning—and winning means there’s little chance to survive.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The 1980s was a great decade for science fiction books. The success of Star Wars and Star Trek helped pave the way for the genre. In Ender’s Game, humans are attacked by aliens and struggle to compete in skill and reflexes. They decide to start a school to find the most gifted children to be future military leaders. Enter Ender. His decision-making skills and strategic military choices make him a top student in their virtual training. The twist in this story will leave you reeling.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
If aliens attacked the planet, would you welcome them and offer them a helping hand or fight against them? Liu sets this revolutionary text, coincidentally, against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution. As signals are sent to make contact, an alien civilization decides to invade Earth—because why not? As the earth is split into different sides, humanity and civilization is looked at through a different perspective and scope.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
If you loved Weir’s The Martian, you’ll love his next one. The only thing Ryland Grace knows is that he has been asleep for a very, very long time and is millions of miles from home. Oh—and there are two corpses to keep him company. As Ryland’s memory starts to slowly come back, he realizes that he is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission. If he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. He must figure out the impossible scientific mystery that faces him and save civilization by himself. Or does he?
The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
Europa, Jupiter’s moon, is the new hope for humanity, and Leo and Naomi have the human race resting on their shoulders. There are only six slots to go on the International Space Mission, and out of twenty-two of the world’s brightest teenagers, things are bound to get competitive. Leo and Naomi find an unexpected friend in each other and they’ll need that friendship as the weight of the world, the stars, and their lives start to become their destiny.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Four decorated veterans of the 20th-century space race and six teenagers, trained from pretty much birth, are sent to find a nearby solar system. It will take them 23 years to reach. 23 years with no rescue possible. 23 years with no one but each other. What could go wrong? That was more of a rhetorical question because you have to know something will go wrong.
The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
Gyre Price lied her way onto the expedition, but she only wanted to follow the trail of her mother. While she thought she knew what she was getting herself into, she was sorely unprepared for Em. Their relationship is strained and complicated and doesn’t make the expedition any less difficult. In this exploratory novel of space and relationships, Gyre must face more than the dangerous, unknown terrain. She must also face the ghosts that live in her head and in her past if she has any means of surviving.
Machinehood by S.B. Divya
The future holds a lot of hope in the unknown, I mean that is what science fiction is, right? Hope in the unknown realms we have yet to explore. Divya takes a deep dive into 2095 and writes a thrilling novel about the question: if we won’t see machines as humans, will we instead see humans as machines? In 2095, humanity relies on daily pills to protect against, well, everything. All that changes when Welga Ramirez, an executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, watches her client being killed by The Machinehood. A new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders and seems to be part human, part machine. Their terrorism ensues panic amongst humanity. Welga must go back into cahoots with the government that betrayed her in order to take down the Machinehood. But who are they, and what do they really want?