Let’s be honest, depending on where you live, you might well be cooped up at home this summer due to various COVID-19 restrictions that have been put in place. Regardless of how you feel about reading, we can assure you of this: it’s a much better use of your time than binge-watching shows on Netflix. Even if sci-fi isn’t your usual genre, you might find that you enjoy some of the books on this list. Without further ado, here are the eight sci-fi books you simply HAVE to read over the summer.
Murder Bot Diaries: Fugitive Telemetry.
The android, affectionately named Murderbot, discovers a dead body on Preservation Station. It knows it has to assist station security in identifying the body, the cause of death and the motive behind the murder.
In its own words, “No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.”
Unfortunately… this involves interacting with the humans, something Murderbot isn’t very fond of.
This particular adventure can be read independently, though it’s part of a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning series called the Murderbot Diaries.
The Fall of Koli (Rampant Trilogy book #3) MR Carey
This book is the third in the Rampant Trilogy series from the author of The Girl With All the Gifts. It’s set in a future where nature has turned against us, and it’s coming back to haunt those who survived.
We get the inside scoop on what happens as Koli’s journey draws to a close.
You can find book one here and book two here.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Raylan Grace wakes up in a stasis pod in the middle of space, without any memory of who he is or why he’s there to begin with. As he searches for answers to his questions, he discovers two dead astronauts onboard with him.
As his memory begins to return, he realises that he might be humanity’s last hope because an unknown being has begun siphoning the sun’s energy after settling in the solar system.
He remembers that he was once a prominent scientist with rather unusual views on what extra-terrestrial life looked like. He was sent to Tau Ceti to find a potential solution to the problem.
Project Hail Mary is written by none other than Andy Weir, widely known for his science thriller The Martian.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built.
Several centuries have passed since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness, put aside their tools and walked as a group into the wilderness, never to be seen again. They’re widely regarded as a myth and an urban legend now.
This changes on the fateful day where a tea monk is met by an unknown robot who asks the question, “What do you need?” The story becomes more interesting as we learn that the robot can return until the question is answered. Of course, the answer differs depending on who you ask…
As Publisher’s Weekly so eloquently put it, “Written with all of Chambers’ characteristic nuance and careful thought, this is a cozy, wholesome meditation on the nature of consciousness and its place in the natural world. Fans of gentle, smart, and hopeful science fiction will delight in this promising series starter.”
The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw
Set in the future, Maya and a few cybernetic thieves are recovering from a mission that went south on plant Dimmuborgir, resulting in the loss of one of their friends.
They’ve come together to find out what went wrong and to get their friend back. It won’t be easy; after all, they’re up against an advanced artificial intelligence with one aim: keeping humans from controlling the universe.
Did we mention there was also a fleet of sentient warships, and they had to overcome their divisions and trauma?
Questland by Carrie Vaughn
The story starts when tech billionaire Harris Lang reaches out to Dr Addie Cox, a literature professor, with a unique task. Dr Cox needs to lead a team of mercenaries to his private island in the Pacific Ocean, where tourists living in his resort experience what it’s like to live in a fantasy.
Things go downhill once a park employee, who also happens to be Dr Cox’s ex, goes rogue and erects a force field around the island. Though she’s struggling with her troubled past, Dr Cox needs to work together with the soldiers to regain control of the resort, before it’s too late.
An ex-army medic, Ten Low is a convict who’s living at the edge of the universe. Despite trying to run from her memories of interstellar war and the various crimes she’s committed, trouble is always hot on her heels. Through her feelings of guilt, she helps a teenage girl escape from the wreck of a spaceship. Ten soon realises that the girl is none other than Gabriella Ortiz, a decorated Army General from the opposing side of the war to Ten.
Things really get interesting when Ten learns that the crash wasn’t an accident, it was an assassination attempt on Ortiz. Despite their differences, the two agree to work together to smuggle the General off-world. Of course, there’ll be no shortage of challenges along the way, from the moon’s lawless wastes, military hit squads, bandits and the one-eyed leader of an all-female road gang. This pales in comparison to what’s lurking in the dark: the truth of who Ten really is and what she’s running from.
Glow is an all-controlling nano-tech drug that can live through multiple hosts, with the ability to copy, edit and paste the memories and personas of each new victim from previous victims.
The story revolves around the lives of three different people, each with their own difficulties: Rex suffers from multiple voices in his head and is addicted to Glow, Ellayna struggles with paranoia and Jett, an unstoppable robotic assassin, struggles with his purpose of creation.
They’re all linked through Glow. Rex, however, has an uncanny ability to resist Glow and might be the only one who can stop it from taking over the world.