The Book of Strange New Things
Peter is a man of God who is called to embark on an important mission—though it’s one that takes him light years away from his beloved wife, Bea. Peter accepts the position as resident pastor on a faraway planet, urged by USIC, the space station’s governing body, to reach out to the native population and convert them to Christianity. He becomes increasingly involved in the challenges of his new tasks, but when word comes from Bea about the horrific calamities affecting earth (typhoons and earthquakes among them), he is cleaved in two, torn between his commitment to his job and to God and his all-consuming devotion to his wife. A thought-provoking love story set in a galaxy far, far away.
The Heart Goes Last
Margaret Atwood is often cited as one of the world’s most beloved science fiction writers, and for good reason. Her latest novel centers on a married couple forced to live in their car due to unemployment. When they make a deal with the devil—or The Positron Project—accepting a roof over their heads in exchange for a month-long stint in the Positron prison system, it will change both of their lives irrevocably. This unique dystopian world is full of surprises and humor, proving that the depths of Atwood’s insatiable imagination know no bounds.
Ready Player One (Movie Tie-In)
All of the hype surrounding Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation of “Ready Player One” is completely without hyperbole. This virtual space opera packs enough adventure, plot twists, and ’80s references to keep any self-proclaimed gamer entertained.
The Secrets of Blood and Bone
Fans of Deborah Harkness will love this exquisite follow-up to “The Secrets of Life and Death,” the first book in Rebecca Alexander’s series. “The Secrets of Blood and Bone” is another supernatural thriller that weaves the occult together with history. Jackdaw Hammond is on the run, hoping to find solace in an old, rundown house, but the family next-door harbors dark secrets, ones that won’t let Jack rest. To break the spell she’s under, Jackdaw must dig into the secrets of sixteenth-century occultist Edward Kelley. Spellbinding, scary and suspenseful, this novel will be finished before the new year.
Emily St. John Mandel
Set fifteen years after a global pandemic completely dismantles the world as we know it, “Station Eleven” strips away much that readers have come to expect from post-apocalyptic fiction. Instead, author Emily St John Mandel explores the buoyancy of the human spirit by weaving through several interconnected character points-of-view, both post and pre-outbreak. Lyrical, transportive, and truly unique, this is a must-read book for lovers of sophisticated science fiction.
‘Tis the season…to shop for everyone on your list. And, we may be biased, but we think the best gifts to give—and receive—are books!
Read It Forward is making your holiday shopping a cinch this year. We’ve curated seven different gift guides chock full of books that will thrill everyone you know: the foodie in the family, the creative thinker, the fiction devotee, the adventurous spirit, the former class clown, the ultimate fan (of podcasts, history, rock ‘n roll…you name it) and the sci-fi lover who’s already purchased their movie tickets for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens. All you have to do is swing by your local independent bookstore and shop ’til you drop.
The Science Fiction fan is eager to get to know new worlds—whether those worlds are set on faraway planets, or on this one after a devastating cyberattack or apocalypse—the stories about them are absorbing and transportive. These ten picks are wildly different but engage their reader fully, allowing them to travel to far-away galaxies, engage in violent combat, wander through the parched desert, do hard time in a prison or outrun a blood-thirsty supernatural entity without ever leaving their couch. Once they finish the last page and remember where they are, they’ll thank you, we promise.
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Curated by the Read It Forward editorial team, illustration by Jane Mount of Ideal Bookshelf.