Five noteworthy science fiction books so far in 2016

We’ve covered five horror books you should check out. Now let’s pop over to the science fiction side of the aisle. Here are five sci-fi books that have come out so far this year that people are buzzing about.

1. Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel

science fiction booksThis story of an international quest for robot parts has an interesting, typically twenty-teens origin story: it started out as a self-published work that eventually caught the eye of a Big Five publisher once the book already had a movie deal. The big publishers have found a new risk-aversion strategy . . . publishing books that have already been published. In any case, it’s great to see an indie author make good here.

2. Infomocracy, by Malka Older

science fiction booksHmm, a “sci-fi thriller with election-year chills” — I am trying so damn hard here not to link to a certain other book that would also fit that description. Nobody likes a self-promoter. OK . . . I resisted. Anyway, Infomocracy sounds like an interesting take on the politics of the future. The author, making her debut, apparently graces the story with many details based on her own academic and international aid experience.

3. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold

science fiction booksListen, I’m a couple of books behind in Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan, so please — no spoilers! I know I’m on dangerous ground here even to bring it up; I’m hoping to get to this latest book in the series soon enough. I just wanted to be sure that Bujold’s long-running saga is on your radar. Previous books have mixed science fiction, mystery, adventure, and romance brilliantly. I expect no less from this latest.

4. Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer

science fiction booksAnother debut author just like in items 1 and 2 on this list, Palmer has received high praise from Boing Boing for this novel (first in a series) about life in the 25th century, where religion is a banned topic and humans affiliate based on beliefs or hobbies rather than geography (this latter idea is actually the foundation of Older’s book, above). Some reviewers call this book dense and challenging as a caution to the reader.

5. The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria, by Carlos Hernandez

science fiction booksI met Hernandez in February at Boskone, where he made great contributions to, among other things, a panel on “nifty narrative tricks.” Our fourth debut author on this list gives us a short-story collection that Publishers Weekly called witty and insightful. I’m looking forward to checking Quantum Santeria out after I’ve waded through the remaining four hundred pages of Seveneves.

So, what else belongs on this list? Let me know!

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Author: Jeffrey M Deck

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