With my almost obsessive amount of reading lately, I have been doing a lot of genre hopping. My go-to’s lately have been either Sci Fi or Canadian authors or both.
I wanted to discuss three sci fi books that I’ve read this year: Little Brother, The Darwin Elevator, and Oryx and Crake.
Little Brother immediately gave off a Ready, Player One vibe, and I was in love from the first pages.
Although there is a teenage protagonist, it didn’t have a YA vibe (not that there is anything wrong with that!). This book is set in the near future and strongly plays off the post 911 paranoia and willingness to give up personal freedoms. It talks about friendships, liberty, and a government over-stepping its bounds.That latter drum was played a little to loud at times, but it was still an incredibly good read.
The Darwin Elevator is by a local-to-me writer- who happens to be the friend of one my friends.
It is an action adventure book filled with intrigue, with sci fi more as a backdrop. Maybe that misrepresents things. There are aliens, many space scenes, and it is a post-apocalyptic world. Did I mention the un-dead? Okay, maybe not un-dead, but zombie-like living creatures. Okay, it is solidly in the sci fi category. What really drew me in, though, was the action, which is probably why that is what sticks out most for me. I think it successfully crosses many genres. I loved it!
Oryx and Crake happens to be both sci fi and Canadian.
I first heard about this book on Canada Reads, a wonderful CBC contest I first discovered three years ago. I’ve been introduced to so many wonderful authors over the years thanks to it. This year Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood was nominated. That is the second book in the series that begins with Oryx and Crake. I knew I had to pick it up.
What a scarily realistic world Atwood is able to portray. It takes place on Earth, relatively near future. It is a cautionary tale of science gone awry, yet it isn’t. How is that for a non-spoiler? It is the most sci fi-ish of the three books (although Atwood prefers the term “speculative fiction”), or maybe it is simply more of a dystopian future than the others,which is saying a lot when competing against a police state and a zombie-like world!
What I look for in any book is for there to be some kind of a hook that keeps me turning pages. These three definitely had it.
Anyone else have a sci fi book to recommend? (I figure anyone who made it to the end of this post enjoys the genre!) or What features make a good book in your judgement?