Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is: Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes X Genre so I chose Science Fiction because it’s one of my favourite genres to read.
Most of these books are pretty generic recommendations but oh well…
All images and book titles take you to Goodreads.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I got into an argument with one of my peers at university over this book. He claimed that it was a Gothic novel and wasn’t a science fiction novel. I told him that it was both. He then proceeded to tell me that nothing in the book resembles science fact in anyway so I basically gave him a science lesson about how electricity can bring someone to life (i.e. WITH A DEFIBRILLATOR). Anyways, I’m pretty passionate about this book being classified as a science fiction novel because Mary Shelley changed the way in which we read science fiction.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick is one of my favourite science fiction writers ever. I just love his work so much. I feel like not many people have read Androids by most people have seen the film Blade Runner (I haven’t) which is based on this wonderful book. If you haven’t read it then I suggest you do because it’s a wonderful piece of writing and it’s one of my favourite books.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is my favourite of Wells’ stories. I just prefer it over the others that I’ve read. Most of his books would be suitable for a book club who loves science fiction though. I have written about this book in some of my other TTT posts including my Favourite Utopian and Dystopian Books. It’s just a spectacular novella which explores the possible future of the human race based on the 19th century British class system. Our class system in the UK is very similar even today and that makes the book feel incredibly relevant to me.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
This is another book that I have written about before on my blog. I love Ursula K. Le Guin and everyone else should too. I like recommending The Left Hand of Darkness because it’s the first novel I read by her and I think that it’s a great introduction to her writing style and her choice of themes and topics. It’s a bit weird, as all science fiction novels should be, but don’t let any weirdness put you off because it really is a fantastic story.
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
I am Legend is a wonderful novella and I think that it’s the perfect length for a book club because it’s relatively short (so everyone can read it) but there’s so much to talk about within it. The 2007 Will Smith film does not do it justice, especially the ending, so even if you’ve seen that film you should still read the book. I’d never class it as a vampire novel even though some people do. To me it’s more of a zombie novel but that’s always up for debate. It was a really influential book for the zombie horror genre though.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I didn’t like this novel when I first read it but I do now. It’s another weird book but it’s a wonderful dystopian science fiction novel. I still haven’t seen the film but I’ve heard that it’s excellent. The book is mainly about the indoctrination of children and childhood innocence but it does have many scientific elements, specifically genetic science, so while some critics disagree on the genre I do think that it qualifies as science fiction.
Embassytown by China Miéville
This is perhaps the only one of China Miéville’s books that can easily be classified as science fiction because the others are more fantasy based but they’re all a bit weird. However, this one is set in space so therefore it’s science fiction because it portrays alien races and planets other than Earth. I love this novel so much and I always try to encourage people to read China Miéville’s work because it’s amazing and different. I think that this would make a great addition to any book club TBR.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Like with Never Let Me Go, I didn’t like Brave New World when I first read it. I blame this on high expectations and my love of 1984. However, I re-read it earlier this year and fell in love with it. I also talked about it in another TTT post: my Favourite Utopian and Dystopian Books. I always used to think that this book was less realistic than 1984 and perhaps it still is because I live in the UK but as more US states legalise the use of marijuana I can completely see how Huxley imagined that the universally-endorsed consumption drugs would come to fruition.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Most people have read The Hunger Games but I still thought that a book club would enjoy reading it and talking about it. On the surface it’s just a YA romance novel set in a dystopian world but it really can be classified as science fiction. I even had to study it on a science fiction module at undergrad (my old fashioned teacher was not impressed by this decision) and after studying it I realised why it can be considered science ficiton. It takes the concept of reality TV astep further and since we already love watching people force themselves to do stupid, dangerous and ridiculous tasks (see: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Running Wild with Bear Grylls) then I don’t think it’s too much of a leap that one day we could be watching something like the Hunger Games on TV.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This book is a post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction novel and James Dashner really knows how to overlap his sub genres. It’s no secret that I love this book and it’s sequels, I’ve written about them many times before and I’ve reviewed them. The Maze Runner would be a great read for any book club as it’s fast paced and full of action. I read it very quickly, I think it took me a few hours, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even enjoyed the slang that the gladers use which some people find off putting. I haven’t read either of the prequels yet but they’re both on my TBR.