What a year 2020 has been, and it’s not even over. Unjustified deaths, violent protests, a goddamn pandemic… perhaps some science fiction will provide a much-needed distraction. Either that, or their bleaker reality would make ours seem easier to live with. Happy reading!
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Oh to get a dollar every time the theme of memory is approached in this genre. In this epidemic, instead of physical degradation, the diseased are plagued with memories of a life they’ve never lived. Which naturally leads to frightening consequences, but take away the thrill (which is aplenty) and you’ll uncover a very human story with elements usually missing in most depictions of an alternate world.
The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez
A captain of a spaceship, a scientist and a mute alien boy; except that it delves a lot deeper. The complex interweaving of different points of view flows like an episodic TV series, expanding on the impact time has on us all. And did we mention queer and racial representation sans stereotypes? Superlative writing for a debut novel, though the ending is contestably divisive.
Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer
While set in the universe of Borne, the story of the three amorphous characters runs as a separate narrative. You follow Grayson, Moss and Chen journey across a hostile space as indefinite as themselves, often wondering what or who the blue fox is. Like other VanderMeer books, this reads like a dream—in that it’s an abstract meld of concepts. Forget reading for leisure; you’ll need a great deal of concentrated imagination to get through this one.
How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe
If anything, the perfect definition of sci-fi because it’s actual science, presented in a fictitious way. As the title states, discover the most complicated way to take a selfie, or the ideal type of field to make an emergency plane landing (spoiler: it’s not sunflowers). The humorous opposite to the author’s highly popular What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions may seem daft, but is chock full of proper physics and real- life case studies—and stick figure doodles!
All titles are available at Kinokuniya.