Science Fiction Reviews
Pure by Julianna Baggott
The first of a trilogy, Julianna Baggott's dystopic Pure occurs after The Detonations, when bombings caused the fusing of objects to survivors' bodies and those who escaped this grizzly fate are the Pures, who live safely in the Dome.
Blueprints of the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot
Ryan Boudinot’s Blueprints of the Afterlife is often hilarious, sometimes disturbing, and frequently challenging. While thematically mature, Blueprints of the Afterlife is a laugh riot of a book. There are miniature software development monks, a giant celestial head, a marauding sentient glacier rampaging across North America, and a life-size...
11/22/63 by Stephen King
What if you could go back in time? Back to a November day in Dallas in 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy - that's the goal of English teacher Jake Epping, the protagonist in Stephen King's time travel novel, 11/22/63.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ernest Cline's Ready Player One takes place in 2045 on a dystopic Earth where an entire sub culture of 1980s geek pop culture aficionados has emerged to chase after the ultimate lottery ticket hidden in the virtual world.
The Curfew by Jesse Ball
In Jesse Ball's The Curfew, William, an epitaphorist employed by the dystopic city of C. carries on with his daughter, Molly. They're good citizens, keeping their heads down until an old acquaintance who claims knowledge of what became his wife, moves William to action, after dark, during the curfew.
Embassytown by China Mieville
China Mieville's Embassytown takes place in a distant future in which humans have colonized a planet that is already home to the Ariekei, whose language only a few altered humans can speak and which the very presence of the human colonists changes.
Zero History by William Gibson
The final novel in William Gibson's Bigend trilogy, Zero History, begins much like its predecessors (Pattern Recognition and Spook Country), with the various machinations and desires of Blue Ant and the man at its helm. Hubertus Bigend, "an overly wealthy, dangerously curious fiddler with the world's hidden architectures," once again coerces Hollis Henry, former bass player for the 1990's cult band The Curfew, into his employ.
How to Live Safely in Science Fictional Universe
Part Douglas Adams and part Mark Leyner, Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in Science Fictional Universe is frequently quite funny - he describes...
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the dystopic landscape of Panem, a post-apocalyptic nation culled from the ashes of North America sometime in an unspecified future, an autocratic state government annually reinforce their dominance over the outlying districts with the Hunger Games, reality television for a post-apocalyptic age in which 24 youths, two boys and two girls from...
The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
In 'The Dream of Perpetual Motion,' Harold Winslow, a greeting card writer imprisoned aboard a zeppelin perpetually circling the globe, sets down his life's story, a story intricately entwined with those of millionaire-inventor Prospero Taligent and his daughter, Miranda.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
If you are at all disposed to dystopian and decidedly satirical coming-of-age steampunk, with a healthy dose of Monty Pythonesque laughs, you may skip to the end of the review where I recommend buying this book immediately.
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood's latest explores environmental and Biblical themes. The plot follows a religious group called the Gardeners who are waiting for what their scripture calls the Waterless Flood.
Generation A by Douglas Coupland
A near future in which bees have been extinct for years opens with what is then an extraordinary occurance: five seemingly random individuals - in Iowa, Ontario, Paris, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka - are each stung by a bee.
And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
Arthur Dent, Trillian, and those froody Betelgeusian cousins Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox have returned along with the rest of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' in the sixth installment of the series.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Far in the future on the planet Arbre, scientists and mathematicians are monastically cloistered apart from the religious sects and ugly consumerism of the outside society.
The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson
In the bleak future of "The Stone Gods," the unchecked consumption of fossil fuels has finally run its course. Global Warming is no longer a disputed phenomenon or a point for political positioning. It's time for a new planet.
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Toby Barlow's free verse novel takes the werewolf myth to L.A., where werewolves form packs and vie for power.
Spook Country by William Gibson
In William Gibson's follow-up to Pattern Recognition virtual art and international espionage collide.
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
William Gibson is often referred to as the father of cyberpunk, a science fiction sub-genre that he "created" with his seminal work, "Neuromancer," in 1984. In "Pattern Recognition," he departs significantly to render a world set the present.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy traces the progress of a father and son through a postapocalyptic landscape in what is perhaps the author's most powerful novel to date.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Ten years later , many first person accounts were cobbled together to form this Oral history of the Zombie war...
The Wave by Walter Mosley
A science fiction / psychological thriller in which the hero is caught in a war between a secret government security agency and an alien presence infecting our world.
The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
Like a film written to be a summer blockbuster, supposed first-time novelist John Twelve Hawks' The Traveler has something for everyone...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
A fleet of alien spaceships blows up Arthur Dent's planet setting him off upon a hectic and hysterically funny adventure that includes torturously bad poetry, a depressed robot, and the two-headed President of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox himself.
Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven
Larry Niven blends awe-inspiring science with non-stop action and fun in this the fourth installment of his award-winning "Ringworld" saga.
Bride of the Fat White Vampire by Andrew Fox
Who is kidnapping and dismembering the fetching young vampiresses of the High Krewe of Vlad Tepes? Who is draining the blood of black preachers and dumping their bodies in the French Quarterlagoons? Andrew Fox's "Fat White Vampire Blues" introduced Jules Duchon, the fat, white, taxi-driving vampire of the New Orleans night. "Bride of the Fat White Vampire" finds Jules embroiled in mystery upon mystery, wrapped snugly in Fox's humor of the absurd and the undead.
Fat White Vampire Blues by Andrew Fox
In Andrew Fox's first novel Fat White Vampire Blues, he has created an Ignatius Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces) of the undead and as in John Kennedy Toole's famous novel, Fox takes full advantage of the exotic and eccentric nature of New Orleans. Jules laments the decaying of his beloved city into a combination crack ghetto and homogenized strip mall.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s new novel, Oryx and Crake, is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.
Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow
Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, a secret society bound together by a sleep schedule. Around the world, those who wake and sleep on East Coast time find common cause with one another, cooperating, conspiring, to help each other out. Or perhaps not. Cory Doctorow's second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe, is nothing if not misleading.
Falling Out of Cars by Jeff Noon
The world is contemporary Britain, or nearly so-a virus has been let loose that interferes with its victims' ability to interpret symbolic representations: words drift away on pages, street signs lose their iconic meanings, photographs blur beyond recognition, and mirrors have become a gateway to madness.
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
The planet is run by huge American corporations; the government has been marginalized to such an extent that it is unable to quell the war stirring between rival corporate loyalty programs; and elementary schools are sponsored by the likes of Mattel and McDonalds.
The Amadeus Net by Mark Rayner
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart walks into the sex change clinic, determined to have his “sprouter” snipped off. So begins The Amadeus Net, a satirical novel set in the year 2028.
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Star Trek fans familiar with the expendability of the red-shirted security crew members who always accompanied the featured characters down to the planet but never came back will love John Scalzi's Redshirts, a novel that takes this premise and spins it up a few new levels.
Virtual Light by William Gibson
Virtual Light, the first book in William Gibson's Bridge Trilogy, finds an out-of-work cop on the run with a Bridge-dwelling bicycle messenger who has pickpocketed the wrong pair of sunglasses.