Rinn Reads is hosting Science Fiction month which has all sorts of awesome posts! Yesterday she listed Favorite Science Fiction Novels.
Here’s my list. I love to read series and this will reflect that. I also read a lot of comics which have at least a little SF in them, depending of course how you define science fiction, as opposed to fantasy. Also, my favorite SF sub-genre is space opera which is quite often seen in comics, especially in superhero comics, which I read a lot. I also sometimes read comics made from SF TV-shows. Oh, I read for characters and for the setting. I usually don’t terribly mind plots which don’t make any sense if I’m having fun with the characters. I know that others prefer plots over characters, though.
1, The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is one of my favorite series ever, in any genre. It’s been often call soft SF probably because Bujold’s SF gadgets aren’t weapons but more often based on human biology, such as artificial wombs (and because Bujold isn’t a man).
The main character Miles Vorkosigan was born to a culture which praises physical and military prowess. However, Miles is disabled and tries his best to replace his lack of physical prowess with enthusiasm and forward momentum. The series has also a lot of very interesting minor characters. The series is set over a thousand years in the future and doesn’t have aliens.
I recommend starting with the prequel books which have been collected into the omnibus ”Cordelia’s Honor”. The other omnibuses: ”Young Miles”, ”Miles, Mystery and Mayhem”, ”Miles Errant”, and ”Miles in Love”.
2, The Diving universe series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
This is just as entertaining as Bujold’s series but feels quite different. The first book is written in first person and all of the current four books are based on Rusch’s novellas. This is also a series without aliens and set thousands of years in the future.
The main character is a woman who is paranoid and a loner. We don’t know her real name but she’s called Boss by the other characters. She dives old space ships much in the same way that some sea divers dive into old wrecked ships. The other books have more viewpoint characters.
The first book is ”Diving into the Wreck” followed by ”City of Ruins”, ”Boneyards”, and ”Skirmishes”.
3, The Retrieval Artist series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
I also love Rusch’s older SF series. Unlike the Diving universe books, this one is set in our solar system and not so far into the future. It has aliens which are very much alien creatures biologically and culturally. Also, the books always have several POV characters, in fact more than I can usually stand but this time I don’t mind because I don’t have any trouble separating them from each other. Sometimes minor characters in earlier books become POV characters in the later books.
Two POV characters remain the same: Miles Flint and Nicole DeRicci. In the first book ”the Disappeared” they are cops in the Armstrong Dome which is a domed city on the Moon (yep, I got this book pretty much as soon as I read that piece of info). They have to get involved in a case where humans are fleeing justice from alien cultures.
4, The Chanur series by C. J. Cherryh
This series is written from the POV of aliens. In fact, in the first book ”Pride of Chanur” there’s only one human character and he isn’t a POV character. The main character is Pyanfar Chanur who is the captain of the merchant space ship the Pride of Chanur. She’s a member of an alien race called the hani. They look like lions and their culture is also based on lion behavior (males stay at home and rule while females do all the work).
5, Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez
This a comical SF/superhero standalone book. Mollusk is from Neptune which means that he’s not a humanoid. He needs an exoskeleton to move around but he’s a genius, like many of his species. Unfortunately, he bores easily. His hobbies include inventing new technology and conquering worlds. Yup, he’s an evil genius similar to Megamind.
6, The Edda of Burdens trilogy by Elizabeth Bear
This is an apocalyptic series rooted in the Norse mythology. The first book ”All the Windwracked Stars” is set after Ragnarok. Muire, the smallest and the least of the waelcyrge (the valkyries), is still alive because she ran away in the middle of the fighting. A couple of other characters from the Norse mythology are also alive: a valkyrie steed and Fenris, the wolf. However, humans have survived and have built a city where Muire and Fenris are drawn. The second book ”By the Mountain Bound” happens before the first one and we get to see the valkyries and the einheriar before Ragnarok. The third book ”The Sea Thy Mistress” continues the story from the first book.
7, To Say Nothing of the Dog or How We Found the Bishop’s Bird stump at Last by Connie Willis
This is also a humor book about Willis’ time traveling historians. It’s written in first person. The current time is in the future where Oxford university has a time travel program which has been taken over by Lady Shrapnell who is trying to restore a cathedral to its former glory. Ned is suffering from severe time lag after a lot of time jumps and is sent to the Victorian era to recover.
8, Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
I really enjoyed the structure of the first book, and most of the narrators as well. Eight people are traveling to a planet which is usually forbidden to strangers and on the way, they each tell his or her story.
9, Authority comics by Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, and Paul Neary.
The Authority is a team of superheroes who regularly deal with threats from space or alternate universes and also depose political tyrants in their own world. Gorgeous art which almost looks like a movie.
10, X-Men comics especially written by Chris Claremont
X-Men has a lot of science fiction elements, including the Watcher who lives on the dark side of the Moon and the various alien empires, such as the Kree, the Skrull, and the Shi’Ar. But one of my favorite SF story lines is the first appearance of the Brood which is collected in the Essential X-Men vol 4. Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon has also a space adventure story line which I enjoyed and would have loved if Emma hadn’t been a part of the lineup.