Spaced Out – Sci-Fi Books for Book Clubs

Well, I’d planned on doing a piece on sci-fi books for book clubs anyway in November, so seeing it as a topic for the first Top Ten Tuesday of the month was pretty much perfect. If your book club likes science fiction, or would like to test the waters, here are some must read books. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of the Broke and Bookish.

I Robot science fiction books for book clubs

Transcendental science fiction books for book clubs

The Six science fiction books for book clubs

The Martian Review (Book) science fiction books for book clubs

just one damned thing after another science fiction books for book clubs

Beyond Cloud Nine science fiction books for book clubs

RedShirts science fiction books for book clubs

Tau Zero science fiction books for book clubs

Spaced Out – Sci-Fi Books for Book Clubs

  1. I, Robot – It’s a classic for a reason. I, Robot is a collection of short stories showing the possible evolution of robotics over a certain period of time. The stories are all tied together through the premise of interviewing one of the first robotic psychologists. It’s thought-provoking and imaginative, but dryly written and completely lacking in frills. I loved it, others did not. From the ever green topic of artificial intelligence to the foreseen development of robots versus actual development thus far, there are plenty of things to discuss.
  2. Transcendental – This is another great read. If you’re looking for a sharp plot or something, you probably won’t care for it. However, if you’re looking for a book that reignites your passion for the unknown and the possibilities of space, you will love Transcendental’s alien profiles. It enchanted me, and whether it’s talking about the realistic-ness of the alien profiles or the holding of non-human characters to human mindsets, there are lots to talk about.
  3. The Six – Terminally ill kids are given the chance to live forever in a robot body, but they have to do something first. Namely, save the world. This is a book that deals with a difficult topic. No one wants to think about dying from a terminal illness, let alone kids dying. It lends itself to discussions on survival, on the human quest for immortality, and how human you are once you are no longer recognizably human.
  4. The Martian – Mark Watney has to survive for 18th months on Mars, on feces fertilized potatoes and intelligence. This is a ‘near future’ sci-fi that seems completely believable because of that. It would be easy to talk about the different types of science fiction, the possibility of living on Mars, the unusual appeal of the sarcastic nerd character, etc.
  5. Just One Damned Thing After Another – St. Mary’s witnesses historical events in contemporary time. Don’t you dare call it time travel. This is a book with fantastic characters who you can’t help but adore. Need discussion points? The rarity of female characters being leads in science fiction books. The interacting with history without actually changing history – and the consequences if you do. Historical events you’d like to witness, and so on.
  6. Beyond Cloud Nine – A female fighter pilot who would give anything to become the first person to travel FTL uncovers a conspiracy that could change the world. Talk about diverse main characters, to begin with. But also take time to discuss the atypical depiction of a character with a drug addiction. And yet again, the rare depiction of a female lead in science fiction.
  7. Redshirts – An ensign becomes aware that not all on the spaceship is what it appears to be. In fact, every mission seems to follow certain rules. Some people seem basically immortal. Something strange is going on. I’d suggest: The pros and cons to breaking the fourth wall. The uniqueness of the plot. Also, how did the codas (if applicable) change your feelings on the book?
  8. Tau Zero – Loved by some, hated by others, Tau Zero tells the tale of a group of humans cast completely out of time when a problem with their spaceship accelerates them to impossible speeds. It’s easy to spend time talking about the soap opera-like portions of the book contrasted with the science. How the human mind deals with isolation that’s crushing. The will to survive in seemingly impossible situations.

Feel free to leave your links, or just let me know of any other suggestions!


14 thoughts on “Spaced Out – Sci-Fi Books for Book Clubs

  1. I belonged to the Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club, one of those “negative option” set-ups, back in the late 1960s. So I tried to remember what books I actually got from them. Turns out I can’t remember many: Lloyd Biggle, Jr., “Watchers of the Dark;” James Blish and Norman L. Knight, “A Torrent of Faces;” L. P. Davies, “Psychogeist;” Fred Hoyle, “October the First is Too Late;” D. F. Jones, “Colossus;” and Robert Silverberg, “The Time Hoppers.” While Blish, Silverbger, and sometimes Hoyle are still remembered, these were not their most famous works by far. On the other hand, “Colossus” is about the only thing D.F. Jones is remembered for, and the only book to be made into a movie. So, some perspective for whatever list one puts together today.

  2. I love the Martian and Redshirts! But I’m a long time Star Trek fan, so the humor in Redshirts was obvious.
    By the way, if you want to read more SF with female leads I have six on my own list. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8.

  3. The Martian is awesome. I read Positronic Man by Asimov which was really good.
    I could do with picking your brains (pain free!) if you have any good suggestions for my sci fi month – obviously the above – but which in particular. I’m not a really big sci fi reader but I do want to read more. Which would you recommend?
    Lynn 😀

  4. I have “Just One Damned Thing After Another” out from the library right now – hope I get to it. I also bought a copy of “The Martian” and since everyone seems to enjoy it, I figure I will too, but I’ve been reading so many review books I can’t seem to get to others!

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