Reviewed Fiction Books alphabetically by title

See also Fiction Books listed alphabetically by author

 

  • 2312, by Kim Stanley Robinson (2012). A master at world-building leads us to experience everyday life in a fully functioning spacefaring civilization.
  • Across the Universe Trilogy, by Beth Revis (2011-2013). New York Times bestselling series that young adult and young-at-heart space enthusiasts will enjoy for the psychological and sociological themes involved in sending humans to colonize another world.
  • Ark (2011) and Flood (2010), by Stephen Baxter. The Earth’s oceans experience unprecedented rising, causing massive disasters. A few visionaries devise methods to save humanity.
  • Arkwright, by Allen Steele (2016). The Arkwright foundation sends a robotic ship with frozen human gametes to an exoplanet twenty-two light years from Earth.
  • The Astronaut Farmer, directed by Michael Polish (DVD, 2007). A solid story-telling movie about a man building a rocket, not just for himself or his dream, but to show his children the heights they can achieve.
  • The Attempt (The Martian Manifesto Book One), by Bob Lee (2014). A near future SF action novel about mankind’s attempts to colonize Mars and discover alien life.
  • Beltrunner, by Sean O’Brien (2017). A hard science fiction adventure yarn that will appeal to those who enjoy a blend of technology and action.
  • Beyond the Sun, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt (2013). Anthology of 18 stories on the theme of space settlement and travel beyond the Solar System.
  • The Cassini Code (Galahad Series Book 3), by Dom Testa (2010). An enjoyable episode in the continuing saga of the teen crew of the Galahad on their way through space to find a new home for humanity.
  • Challenger Park, by Stephen Harrigan (2006). A timeless story of a man and woman struggling to find love, take care of their families and friends, and fulfill their lifelong dreams as astronauts.
  • Children of God, by Mary Doria Russell (1999). This sequel to The Sparrow clarifies background events that resulted in the loss of original crew and delves into the longer-term consequences of human actions on an alien world.
  • The Comet’s Curse (Galahad Series Book 1), by Dom Testa (2005). A decent introduction to a scientifically-accurate teen space opera that gets more interesting with each book.
  • Crisis on Stardust Station, by John Taloni (2012). A combination of science fiction involving space solar power and fantasy involving intelligent cats.
  • Dark Eden (2012) and Mother of Eden (2015), by Chris Beckett. The descendants of two astronauts, trapped in an oasis on a freezing rogue planet, try to survive while awaiting rescue from a dimly remembered Earth.
  • Darkship Revenge, by Sarah Hoyt (2017). Set in an Earth and solar system six centuries in the future, a shoot-’em-up space opera with with underlying currents as to why societies explore space.
  • The Earth-Mars Chronicles Vol. 2: Home for Humanity, by Gerald W. Driggers (2014). In the near future, the nations of the world combine their efforts to colonize Mars.
  • Earthseed, by Pamela Sargent (1983/2006). The engaging story of a group of teenagers being prepared to become the first human colonists of an exosolar planet.
  • Earth Unaware (The First Formic War), by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (2012). An Ender’s Game prequel about the first alien invasion, with plausible views of how people will live and work in space.
  • Energized, by Edward M. Lerner (2012). Hard science fiction about constructing a solar power satellite, with accurate and plausible science underpinning.
  • The Engines of God, by Jack McDevitt (1995). First in a series of novels about solving the puzzles of interstellar archeology.
  • Europa’s Lost Expedition, by Michael Carroll (2016). Carroll’s thoughtful storytelling extrapolated from real science turns Jupiter’s moon Europa into a real place for the reader.
  • Fire with Fire, by Charles E. Gannon (2013). An intelligent science fiction adventure, mystery, and spy novel all rolled into one.
  • Flood (2010) and Ark (2011), by Stephen Baxter. The Earth’s oceans experience unprecedented rising, causing massive disasters. A few visionaries devise methods to save humanity.
  • Forbidden Cargo, by Rebecca K. Rowe (2006). An exciting page-turner that smashes the cyberpunk mold with realistic portrayals of colonies on Mars and the Moon.
  • Foreigner, by C. J. Cherryh (2004 10th anniversary edition). The first of nine novels that can help prepare us for the profound cultural change that space development will bring to our future.
  • Gradisil, by Adam Roberts (2007). Covers three generations involved in the migration to space, nation building, and the intrigue of politics.
  • The Helios Conspiracy, by Jim DeFelice (2012). A political thriller using space solar power as a backdrop for international industrial espionage.
  • How to Live on Mars, by Robert Zubrin (2008). Everything you need to know to achieve Great Wealth and Fame on Mars.
  • Hurricane Moon, by Alexis Glynn Latner (2007). The hopes and dreams of humanity ride with ten thousand colonists frozen in a ship sent to settle an extra-solar planet.
  • Impact, by Douglas Preston (2010). Not a disaster novel but a clever story focused on a mysterious meteorite impact.
  • The January Dancer, by Michael Flynn (2008). An exquisitely written story of human competition in a galaxy-spanning civilization.
  • Journey Between Worlds, by Sylvia Engdahl (2006 updated reprint). A down-to-Earth young woman is forced to choose between the life she had planned for herself and a very different one presented to her on Mars.
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey (2011). This novel of human expansion into the solar system provided the basis for the TV series The Expanse.
  • Leviathans of Jupiter, by Ben Bova (2011). Descriptions of life in the atmosphere of Jupiter are superbly creative and showcase the imaginative talents of the author.
  • Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier, edited by Jonathan Strahan (2011). A recommended anthology of a dozen stories about living on the new frontier of Mars.
  • Lightcraft Flight Handbook LTI-20, by Leik Myrabo and John S. Lewis (2009). A 2025 flight handbook for the LTI-20, a spacecraft powered by beams from space solar power stations.
  • Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1985). Probably the first novel to describe realistically the effects of a comet striking the planet Earth.
  • Lunar Descent, by Allen Steele (1991). A fun story with sex, drugs, and rock and roll on the Moon.
  • The Mars Imperative: Book One of the Imperative Chronicles, by Mark Terence Chapman (2nd Ed 2014). Combines the detail and technical accuracy of Robinson with the human idealism of Heinlein and the action of Pournelle.
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir (2014). Hard science fiction thriller about an astronaut stranded on Mars and struggling to survive. Now a major motion picture starring Matt Damon. Another review of this book.
  • Mission to Methone, by Les Johnson (2018). A prospecting mission finds an asteroid that turns out to be an ancient alien spacecraft.
  • Mission: Tomorrow: New Stories of the Future of Space Exploration, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt (2015). The theme is near-term space travel in this anthology of 19 short science fiction stories. All are good reads.
  • Moon Beam, by Travis S. Taylor and Jody Lynn Nuy (2017). Reminiscent of Heinlein’s young adult novels, where teen Barbara Winton achieves her dream of working on the Moon.
  • Mother of Eden (2015) and Dark Eden (2012), by Chris Beckett. The descendants of two astronauts, trapped in an oasis on a freezing rogue planet, try to survive while awaiting rescue from a dimly remembered Earth.
  • New Earth, by Ben Bova (2013). A fascinating journey to find a new world that addresses major questions about the existence of alien life.
  • The Obligation, by Stephen Wolfe (2012). A Congressional staffer embarks on a philosophical dialogue on why we should settle space.
  • The Odyssey Series: 2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001, by Arthur C. Clarke (1968-1996). The great saga of 2001 was expanded into three sequels.
  • Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi (2006 reprint). Well crafted story with a believable and likeable character, creative scientific ideas, and enough action to keep the plot moving.
  • On the Shores of Titan’s Farthest Sea: A Scientific Novel, by Michael Carroll (2015). A murder mystery set on a realistic Titan in a new line of hard-science-based novels from Springer Publishing.
  • On the Steel Breeze, by Alastair Reynolds (2013). A thousand years in the future, mankind is making its way out into the universe on massive generation ships.
  • Pillar to the Sky, by Bob Lee (2014). When Congress refuses to fund NASA for the creation of a space elevator, an entrepreneur steps in.
  • Poseidon’s Wake, by Alastair Reynolds (2016). A cryptic interstellar message leads to a journey into the farthest reaches of space.
  • Powersat, by Ben Bova (2006 mass market paperback). Follow astronaut turned businessman Dan Randolph as he tries to put Earth’s first production solar power satellite (SPS) into operation.
  • Project Mars: A Technical Tale, by Wernher von Braun (2006). An enthralling tale of the first human journey to Mars, written in the late 1940s, which attempts to communicate its feasibility with existing technology.
  • Proxima, by Stephen Baxter (2013). This tale of the settlement of Proxima Centauri is a marvel of SF world building.
  • Public Loneliness: Yuri Gagarin’s Circumlunar Flight, by Gerald Brennan (2014). A “what if” alternative history exploring what might have been, in striking and fascinating detail.
  • The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi (2011). Thoughtful fare set in a floating city hovering over Mars.
  • Red Lightning, by John Varley (2007). A typical Martian teen, traveling to Earth to rescue his grandmother after a devastating tsunami, gets caught in interplanetary intrigue.
  • Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson (1993). A great science fiction epic that succeeds on a variety of levels, including technology, environment, and characterization. It is no wonder that the Mars Society has made its flag red, green, and blue in honor of Robinson’s books.
  • Red Planet Blues, by Robert J. Sawyer (2013). Intrigue, murder and action abounds as a private detective works a case in the only colony on Mars.
  • Red Thunder, by John Varley (2004). A race to Mars in the vein of Heinlein’s classic juvenile novels that fired up interest in space travel a half century ago.
  • Rescue Mode, by Ben Bova and Les Johnson (2014). Detailed and realistic story of the first human mission to Mars getting hit by a meteroid.
  • Return to Luna, edited by Eric L. Reynolds (2008). An anthology of the winning entries in the 2008 short story contest (sponsored by NSS and Hadley Rille Books) describing settlements on the Moon.
  • Rolling Thunder, by John Varley (2007). Envisions a Solar System that is thoroughly inhabited by humanity, with outposts as far out as Sedna.
  • Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Michael Brotherton (2017). An anthology of (hard) science fiction written by scientists in the fields of physics, astronomy, genetics and others.
  • Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson (2015). Humans avoid extinction in this long, detailed, epic, grand, near-Earth space adventure.
  • The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell (1997). The first of two novels that combine remarkable characterization and depictions of an alien society with a serious and respectful treatment of religion.
  • Species Imperative (series), by Julie E. Czerneda (2004-2007). How far will humans go in order to survive? Author Julie Czerneda addresses such ethical issues in the series: Survival, Migration, and Regeneration.
  • Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson (2005). Hugo-award winning story of three young friends who search for a viable future for themselves and a human race that must settle space or face extinction.
  • Star Racers: Win the Race. Save Your Planet, by Martin Felando (2016). In the year 3834, Earth and Mars find themselves in deep trouble with three powerful factions fighting for control of the inner solar system.
  • Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon, edited by James and Gregory Benford (2013). Collection of articles and science fiction stories about achieving interstellar travel, which inspired the 100-Year Starship Symposium.
  • The Swarm: The Second Formic War (Volume 1), by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (2016). Ender’s Game prequel that provides a credible future vision of humanity’s expansion throughout the solar system.
  • Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion, edited by Paul Levinson and Michael Waltemathe (2016). An anthology of non-fiction and science fiction exploring various perspectives on space and spirituality.
  • Trajectories, edited by Dave Creek (2016). An anthology of science fiction ranging from near-Earth, near-future adventures to far flung aliens battling in other galaxies.
  • Variable Star, by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson (2006). Robinson, a modern science fiction author and fan of Robert A. Heinlein, writes a “lost” novel based on 7 pages of notes by the Old Man himself.
  • Walking on the Sea of Clouds, by Gray Rinehart (2017). A hard science fiction novel, gritty and realistic, about the first commercial colony on the Moon.
  • The Web of Titan (Galahad Series Book 2), by Dom Testa (2006). Nicely weaves the personal stories of the characters with the actions involved in solving a mystery and averting a threat to the ship.
  • Zero Phase: Apollo 13 on the Moon, by Gerald Brennan (2015). A “what if” alternative history exploring what might have been, in striking and fascinating detail.

 

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