Science fiction is a genre with many classic titles that have endured the test of time. But as new technologies emerge and culture changes, the genre continues to evolve. Here are some newer releases that are natural follow ups to classics, whether you are a die-hard fan or a new sci-fi reader.
There are many sub-genres within science fiction, and the lines between them are somewhat blurry. “Soft” sci-fi is generally considered to be stories that have explored social sciences like anthropology or psychology, rather than the “harder” sciences of chemistry, physics, or astronomy. “Soft” might also be applied to stories that feature anything impossible or improbable, too. And then there’s “space opera” which is fantasy set in space, where the setting may be futuristic, but the emphasis on the technological or scientific advancements is less integral to the story. We’ve taken a well-known example from each sub-genre and paired it with a newer or lesser known release for readers to try.
Soft Science Fiction
Dune by Frank Herbert and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer are both set in dangerous, mysterious worlds are explored by newcomers, while shadowy schemes play out beneath them. Like the enigmatic environmental themes and political machinations of Dune? Try Annihilation.
Hard Science Fiction
Readers who loved Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke might enjoy Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. The destiny of mankind unravels in both of these scientifically-beefed-up thrillers. Are you unsure how to feel about humanity being transformed by powerful alien forces? Try the best-selling Chinese science fiction novel of all time, The Three Body Problem.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is an entry point into sci-fi for many readers. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is a great book to check out next! In both novels, there’s more at stake than it seems as characters are faced with decisions of great consequence. Personal sentiments underpin drama across the stars.
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