I was doing my daily check of Goodreads today and they say it is Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week. I don’t know if anybody else is calling it Sci-Fi & Fantasy week, but I’ll play along. For this summer reading list, I’ve selected books from our collection that fit the bill. I’m including a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, young adult and adult, modern and classic. Hopefully we have something that sounds good to you, but if we don’t, you can try a local public library or we can try to borrow specific titles for you if you are a Kirkwood student or employee.
I’ve read some of the newer titles so I think my goal now is to pick up something older. Maybe Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Have you read that one? Do you have a favorite from the list? Another all time favorite sci-fi or fantasy?
Posted by Julie – one of your Kirkwood Librarians!
Click the title for a catalog link for more information and to see if the book is currently available for checkout.
The books are listed in publication order from newest to oldest.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, Call Number: Popular Books ISH Tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?
Ring Shout, or Hunting Ku Kluxes in the End Times by P. Djeli Clark, Call Number: Popular Books CLA A dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, Call Number: Popular Books IFU Young Adult Fantasy Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy? Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
The City We Became by N. K. Jemison, Call Number: Popular Books JEM Urban Fantasy Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city. Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.
The Loop by Ben Oliver, Call Number: Popular Books OLI Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian Life inside The Loop-the futuristic death row for teens under eighteen-is one long repetitive purgatory. But when news of the encroaching chaos in the outside world reaches the inmates and disorder begins to strike, the prison becomes the least of their worries.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Call Number: Popular Books ROA The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. Black Sun has been described as a deeply Indigenous and deeply queer epic fantasy.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab, Call Number: Popular Books SCH France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Call Number: Popular Books COA Hist orical Fiction Fantasy Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her — but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.
Recursion by Blake Crouch, Call Number: Popular Books CRO Memory makes reality. That’s what NYC cop Barry Sutton is learning, as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. A relentless pageturner and an intricate science-fiction puzzlebox about time, identity, and memory,
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, Call Number: Popular Books FAI Young Adult Fantasy Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell, Call Number: Popular Books SER A Zambian debut novel that follows three generations of three families, telling the story of a nation, and of the grand sweep of time. On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. Here begins the story of a small African nation, told by a swarm-like chorus that calls itself man’s greatest nemesis.
Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter, Call Number: Popular Books BAX Sequel to War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of Wells’ book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat. He is right. Massacre of Mankind was published in 2017, War of the Worlds in 1897
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, Damian Duffy, & John Jennings, Call Number: Available as an ebook to those with a current k# Dana, a young black writer, can’t explain how she is transported across time and space to a plantation in Maryland. But she does quickly understand why: to deal with the troubles of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder–and her progenitor. Her survival, her very existence, depends on it. This searing graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction classic is a powerfully moving, unflinching look at the violent disturbing effects of slavery on the people it chained together, both black and white–and made kindred in the deepest sense of the word. The graphic novel was published in 2017, the original work in 1979.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, Call Number: Popular Books STE What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Call Number: 823.914 A211h Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together, this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jule Verne, Call Number: 843.8 V531tw When an unidentified “monster” threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his unflappable assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace. After months of fruitless searching, they finally grapple with their quarry, but Aronnax, Conseil, and the brash Canadian harpooner Ned Land are thrown overboard in the attack, only to find that the “monster” is actually a futuristic submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by a shadowy, mystical, preternaturally imposing man who calls himself Captain Nemo.