Here are your recommendations from the Virtual Bookseller. The list opens with a bunch of really smart, well-done sci fi and fantasy. Then there are a couple of YA titles, some science and nature books that take really interesting perspectives on our human interaction with the world, and, finally, a non-fiction graphic novel that chronicles events in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sci-Fi/space with a fascinating central culture and lots of political intrigue, and interesting gender dynamics (the central culture only uses female pronouns, which factors into cross-cultural challenges.).
Exceptional sci-fi short stories with heart. He's, it's trending now, but this has been one of my favorite recommendations for the past ten years. (Alexander)
A delightful classic road trip novel, set in deep space. A ship that drills through wormholes takes on a new clerk -- and introduces her to the wonders of the outer universe. (Firefly fan? That, but solidly feminist, with a diverse cast of humans and aliens.)
Rooted in Russian folklore, this is the stunning and beautiful story of Vasya, a young girl who does everything she can to protect her family when danger encroaches. One of my favorite books of the season.
A complex, meaty, original fantasy to dig your fingers into.
When Shori wakes she is lost and suffering from major brain trauma. As she recovers, the memories that surface tell an incredible story: though Shori appears to be a child, she is actually a 53-year-old member of a vampiric race called Ina. Now Shori must wade headfirst into murky Ina politics and decide who to trust, for one thing is certain: one of her Ina brethren is responsible for the slaughter that left her helpless and stripped of memory. Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Octavia Butler's last novel is engrossing, lush and terribly unsettling.
When Essun discovers that her husband has killed their son because of his frightening power, she quests across a vast crumbling continent in search of him. Jemisin imagines a world in which the continued survival of civilization rests on the forced labor of "oregenes," humans with the power to control earthquakes. Dark, terrifying, brilliantly creative, THE FIFTH SEASON is an unsettling analogue of our own world.
A mix of science, history, and nature, this a thoughtful, almost spiritual, look at how we move through the world.
So much more of our planet is covered by salt water it should be called Ocean, not Earth. By far the biota of the sea is greater than of land yet much remains unknown about life under the waves. In a book that’s a delight to read Montgomery introduces us to the remarkable octopus, not the monster of the deep to be feared, but a wondrously intelligent, fascinating creature with real personality.
What would happen to the world if humans were to vanish into thin air? How long would our bridges survive? Would our nuclear reactors collapse? What creatures would thrive, and which would disappear? Alan Weisman's well-researched thought experiment is creative, illuminating, and ultimately hopeful.
Travel/Journalism/Social issues/Graphic novel -- cartoonist tours Iraq & Afghanistan with a journalist and a veteran of the invasions