Don't panic. Instead, grab your towel and join ordinary Brit Arthur Dent as he is swept off on a madcap intergalactic journey on the day that Earth has been scheduled for demolition. One of the funniest books ever written, full stop.
Genly Ai, a Terran agent of an interplanetary consortium, is the first envoy to a world on the brink of developing interplanetary travel: Gethen, a planet where it is always winter and the people have no gender. Isolated and caught up in a messy political situation, Genly must come to rely on the native he had least trusted -- but learns to love and understand. A timeless story of communication and connection, written in Le Guin's inimitable prose.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Call Number: FIC WEI
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson
Call Number: YA FIC EME
It is Earth year 2213--but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we have prepared for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home. Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity's survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed. Or so he thinks.
The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold
Call Number: YA FIC ARN
When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and love in a world gone dark.
Twists on Reality
Some Sci Fi has spaceships, and some Fantasy has Hobbits, but these books just subtly twist reality as we know it.
Margaret Atwood's feminist classic imagines a future where religious extremism has taken over the United States and women have become men's chattel. As searing as it was when first published in the 1980s.
Thom Creed is not your average teenager. For one thing, he's the son of an infamous disgraced ex-superhero, and he is beginning to come to terms with his own superpowers. For another, he's gay. This book is a fresh take on the superhero genre, with uncliched characters and a compelling, suspenseful plot.
Dana Franklin, a young African-American woman living in 1970s California, finds herself being repeatedly called back through time -- to a slave plantation in the antebellum South. Butler is best known for her science fiction, but this fantastical story about race, history, and slavery's terrible legacy may be her best work.
In an alternate 1950s where England has fallen under Nazi control, teenage Standish Treadwell's strangely colored eyes and dyslexia make him an outcast. When Standish meets the Moon Man, he begins to unravel a conspiracy that could change the course of history.
9-year-old Rose Edelstein discovers that she can taste emotion when she bites into a slice of lemon cake and is overwhelmed to discover her mother's hidden despair. This unusual and beautiful novel will stay with you for a long time.
A love story between a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to unpredictably travel through time and the young woman who has known him for her entire life. A touching story with great characters.
Gaiman's writing is always rich and imaginative, and this book is no exception. In a world where gods gain their strength from the belief of their followers, America is a melting pot of different deities -- most of whom find that they are being left behind, and are reluctant to cede the ground to the new gods of technology. Mythology for the modern day.
A magical coming of age story, which reimagines classic fairy tale stories as it tells the story of David, a 12-year-old boy struggling with his mother's death and his father's remarriage. A fascinating journey.
Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that's just a prelude . . . Hades' real target is the beloved Jane Eyre, and it's not long before he plucks her from the pages of Bronte's novel.
Graceling is the first book set in Cashore's popular fantasy world, where people born with special abilities are feared and mistrusted. One such "graceling", Katsa, a girl whose special skill lies in killing, forms a secret organization to help the people who are being mistreated in the Seven Kingdoms.
T.H. White's definitive telling of the story of King Arthur and his knights is, simply, one of the best fantasy novels ever. Writing in the years leading up to World War II, White uses these familiar stories to reflect on universal questions of power and justice in an uncertain world. Mythic figures like Lancelot, Guenever, and Merlin become sympathetic, nuanced characters you will remember for a long time.
Rachel Hartman's award-winning novel spins a magical story about a fantasy land called Goredd, where humans and dragons live in uneasy peace. Hartman's dragons are unlike any you've ever read about before, and her main character Seraphina, a gifted musician, is unforgettable. Hartman published a sequel, Shadow Scale, this year that beautifully concludes the story.
Not what you'd expect from the musical! Maguire tells the classic story of Oz from the perspective of its most maligned resident, the Wicked Witch of the West. A sharp, funny send-up of fantasy conventions with real emotional weight.