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Sci-Fi for People Who Don't Like Sci-Fi


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Recommended by Amy, one of our adult reference librarians.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

To Say Nothing of the Dog

by Connie Willis
1150905.jpg Its the near future and scientists have discovered the secrets of time travel. Historians, like the main character Ned Henry, have a fabulous opportunity to be jumpers and travel back to any set time. Ned is sent back to find the bishops bird stump from the Victorian era, but another co-jumper has made a cardinal error; she brings back a cat from the past to the present and has subsequently changed history. Ned has to jump back to 1888, not only to search for the hideous piece of art to please his slave driver boss, but to right the wrongs of messing with history. This book was so funny that I actually laughed out loud in several parts. It reads much more like a humorous fiction novel than sci fi.

Keeping It Real

by Justina Robson
1409447.jpg The year is 2021 and a quantum bomb explosion has changed earth forever, providing humans with the capability to communicate and coexist with elves, demons, fairies and other mythical beings. Special government agent Lila Black, who herself is half human and half machine, has been assigned to protect the wildly famous and rather difficult singer Zal of the famous No-Shows rock and roll band. Lila and Zal, an elf raised by demons, have many wild adventures while trying to thwart other evil creatures and bring him to safety. Elves who are tired of the Tolkien stereotypes, nuclear powered robotic appendages and rock and rollwho knew sci fi could be so much fun?

Enders Game

by Orson Scott Card
1059835.jpg Ender is a six-year-old genius who is taken by the government from his family and placed directly into Battle School. Using his brilliance, Ender moves up the ranks, surprising the ever watchful school administrators. Ender thinks that he is fighting the evil alien Buggers on simulated computer games, but the truth is that Ender is the savior of the universe, even if he doesnt realize it. Reading this book was fascinating to me, partly because Card developed his characters so well and made Enders world so plausible, but also because he wrote it in 1985 and had such a brilliant vision of the future.

Old Mans War

by John Scalzi
1344855.jpg In the near future, the earth is getting crowded and the possibility of living on other planets is possible. Possible, that is, if you want to share space with the other alien inhabitants who arent as friendly as humans would like them to be. John Perry, feeling old and useless as a 75-year-old widower, joins the army and enters the realm of interstellar life. He receives a new body, a new lease on life, and new friends. He also receives a lesson in the brutalities of military life fighting aliens. This excellent book features well developed characters and fantastic descriptions of a plausible future.

Shards of Honor

by Lois McMaster Bujold
shardsof.jpg This is Lois McMaster Bujolds first book in the Vorkosigan Saga, featuring a solar system of fascinating planets and their inhabitants, and the incorrigible but loveable Miles Vorkosigan. However, before Miles was to exist, his mother, Cordelia Naismith, and his father, Aral Vorkosigan, had to meet while stranded on a newly discovered planet while on separate military missions and fall in love. I liked this series, not only because I felt that the characters were fun, quirky and believable, but I actually understood Bujolds descriptions of interplanetary travel and military warfare.