Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Sunday Salon is Outta This World... 3 Scifi Novels to Take You Away... from Earth

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! AND The Sunday Post (which is hosted by Kim at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer)! It is a gloomy, rainy day here in Connecticut. I can't complain because the amount of rain we're getting is NOTHING in comparison to the devastation that Hurricane Harvey left in Texas. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected... If you'd like to donate in any way, there are plenty of organizations, just remember to do your homework and make sure that most of your donation is going directly to the people you want to help. Charity Navigator is one site that is suppose to investigate charities and rate them accordingly, AND also shows you the percentage of your donation actually going towards help. Don't forget the animals in all this too! Animal rescue sites in the area are out in full force rescueing pets left behind.

In the book world, I rarely read scifi. It's not that I avoid it, it's just that it's not my genre of choice. BUT, every once in a while I'll come across something that really interests me and I'll become completely absorbed. What exactly is Science Fiction? In an article entitled, How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future in Smithsonian magazine, Eileen Gunn says, "the task of science fiction is not to predict the future. Rather, it contemplates possible futures." Sometimes referred to as speculative fiction, science fiction gives us stories of possibilities. Worlds very different than ours and possible technology that seems bizzare to us. Maybe it's this "bizzarness" that turns people away from science fiction, but there are many people who love it and so you will never want for this genre.

If you want to try some science fiction... 
Here are 3 books that I think will be Outta This World...

Artemis by Andy Weir... An irresistible new near-future thriller--a heist story set on the moon. Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I loved Martian by Andy Weir, because I loved Andy Weir's writing. I can't wait to sink my teeth into some more of his writing! This story sounds so interesting! And there is so much "thinking" going into even the title. (Artemis is the Greek Goddess of the Moon) There is a great post about the book, as well as a YouTube video of Andy Weir talking about his new book at Artemis will arrive on bookstore shelves November 14th thanks to Crown Publishing.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon... Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.

Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human.

When the autopsy of Matilda's sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother's suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother's footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for it. 

Another book that seems to break what some may consider the "standard" scifi story, with what seems to be a kickass female protagonist (something I personally love in a story). A little mystery, some drama, and a girl that can think on her feet... From Akashic Books, publishing date of Oct. 3rd!

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland... When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money. Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why. And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.

As soon as I opened the book and read the first page, I was hooked. I love time travel stories and this is exactly that! And it seems that Melisand Stokes is a bit snarky, which I like. This is a long one though, coming in at over 750 pages. I've got my bookmark in this one now. Published by William Morrow this past June, so it's available at your local bookstore!

Question: Do You Read Science Fiction? If not, why not?

Weekly Recap...
Monday's post was Memoir Monday highlighting Witness Tree by Lynda V. Mapes
Friday's post was First Lines Friday highlighting one of today's recommended books! Go take a peek!

Look for my review of The Lying Game by Ruth Ware in the next week or so. Great book! One of those satisfying reads. I'm almost done with Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer, which is such a good book. It's a memoir and just brings back so many memories of growing up in the 60's and 70's. I also have a bookmark in The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō. I actually have the "normal" version of this book, but found this in the Manga section of the bookstore and had to get it. I like Manga anyway (even though I am a picky manga reader), but I just loved that the "lessons" of the book were "illustrated". And it's kinda funny that this was still in what I consider the "kids" section (even though Manga is not just for kids, I am usually the only adult looking through the stacks).

That about does it for today. Hope you found something interesting here! Remember to stop by during the week to catch Memoir Monday, which highlights Memoirs and nonfiction, and First Lines Friday, which opens to the first lines of a book and see's if the author can hook you right from the start.

Happy reading... Suzanne

1 comment:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I used to read nothing but sci fi. Then, after I read everything good (or so it seemed) I stopped. And I've almost never read any more. I feel certain there is more out there but now I don't know the good from the bad.

FSB Media Book Blogger Directory
my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
First To Read
Reviews Published
Professional Reader
Challenge Participant