August 2018: Sci-Fi picks

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Explore the galaxy or alternative realities by reading or listening to one of these books.  


Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel
Description: An ode to George Orwell's "1984" told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.
Call Number: FIC Mur
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Elan Mastai
Description: "You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed, because it wasn't necessary. Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and--maybe, just maybe--his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom's search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future--our future--is supposed to be. "-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: LP FIC Mas
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Mar 6, 2017
Ernest Cline, Wil Wheaton
Description: "It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom--if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer. At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy. A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. But what Zack's seeing is all too real. And his skills--as well as those of millions of gamers across the world--are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too... familiar?"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Cli
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Kim Stanley Robinson
Description: "Generations after leaving earth, a starship draws near to the planet that may serve as a new home world for those on board. But the journey has brought unexpected changes and their best laid plans may not be enough to survive. "-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Rob
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Nnedi Okorafor
Description: Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself--but first she has to make it there, alive.
Call Number: FIC Oko
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Blake Crouch
Description: One night after an evening out, Jason Dessen, forty-year-old physics professor living with his wife and son in Chicago, is kidnapped at gunpoint by a masked man, driven to an abandoned industrial site and injected with a powerful drug. As he wakes, a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend." But this life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife; his son was never born; and he's not an ordinary college professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something impossible. Is it this world or the other that's the dream? How can he possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could have imagined--one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. --adapted from FantasticFiction.
Call Number: LP FIC Cro
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Anne McCaffrey
Description: One of the author's early Dragonrider adventures, set on the planet Pern, where deadly "thread" falls from the sky and puts all living creatures at risk. The symbiotic relationship of dragon and rider is the planet's only hope for survival. Dragonflight is the story of Lessa, the last of the noble bloodline of Ruatha Hold. The dragonriders rescue her from servitude while searching for likely candidates to impress the new dragon queen. Lessa is successful at imprinting Ramoth, the new queen, which makes her the leader of the Weyr and the mate of F'lar. As rider of the bronze dragon Mnementh, he is most suitable to lead the on-going struggle against the dreaded thread.
Call Number: YA FIC McC
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 30, 2017
Frank Herbert
Description: This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium. Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting.
Call Number: FIC Her
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison
Description: A tale of the child-hero Ender Wiggin, who must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.
Call Number: FIC Car
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
James S. A. Corey
Description: When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo--something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough. But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she's determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect--including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he's to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed. From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands. But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker's X-wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire's reign of darkness forever.
Call Number: FIC Cor
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Jack L Chalker
Call Number: FIC Cha
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Ursula K. Le Guin
Call Number: FIC Le G
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
John Scalzi
Description: "Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, and one percent find themselves "locked in"--fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. In the United States, that's 1.7 million people "locked in." Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, "The Agora." The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can "ride" these people and use their bodies as if they were their own"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Sca
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
William Gibson
Description: Case, a nerve-damaged data thief, is recruited by a new employer for a last-chance run against a powerful artificial intelligence.
Call Number: FIC Gib
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Yoon Ha Lee
Description: Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris's career isn't the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. Cheris's best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao--because she might be his next victim.
Call Number: FIC Lee
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Margaret Atwood, Campbell Scott
Description: As the story opens, the narrator, who calls himself Snowman, is sleeping in a tree, wearing a dirty old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beautiful and beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. In a world in which science-based corporations have recently taken mankind on an uncontrolled genetic-engineering ride, he now searches for supplies in a wasteland. Insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the Pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is Snowman left with nothing but his bizarre memories -- alone except for the more-than-perfect, green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster? He explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes -- into his own past and back to Crake's high-tech bubble dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.
Call Number: FIC Atw
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
David Weber
Description: A master sergeant prowling the back country of the Balkans and a firearms instructor and former Marine find themselves at the center of a growing network of resistance against an invading force of alien, carnivorous Shongari intent on annihilating the human race.
Call Number: FIC Web
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Octavia E Butler
Description: Forced to flee an America where anarchy and violence have completely taken over, empath Lauren Olamina--who can feel the pain of others and is crippled by it--becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a new faith christened "Earthseed."
Call Number: FIC But
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Isaac Asimov
Description: When young Hari Seldon arrives on Trantor, he is unaware of the perilous politics that are brewing. After he presents his paper on psychohistory, he becomes the most wanted man in the Empire.
Call Number: FIC Asi
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Nancy Kress
Call Number: FIC Kre
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Alan Dean Foster
Description: The Quozl knew they'd love the third planet from the sun. But it never occurred to them that anyone lived there.
Call Number: FIC Fos
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Neal Stephenson
Description: Five thousand years later after a catastrophic event rendered the Earth a ticking time bomb, the progeny of a handful of outer space explorers--seven distinct races now three billion strong--embark on yet another audacious journey: to return to Earth.
Call Number: FIC Ste
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Paolo Bacigalupi
Description: In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
Call Number: YA FIC Bac
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Michael Crichton
Description: The gripping story of a group of American scientists sent to the ocean floor to investigate an alien ship, only to confront a terrifying discovery that defies imagination.
Call Number: FIC Cri
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Emily St. John Mandel, Kirsten Potter, Random House Audio Publishing
Description: One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production. Jeevan Chaudhary, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside as life disintegrates outside.
Call Number: FIC Man
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 21, 2017
P. D James
Description: It is 2025, and the human race faces imminent extinction. Since 1994, not a single child has been born on earth. Now, a pervasive lethargy blankets the world. Anarchy reigns in the prisons; immigrants are enslaved; renegades terrorize the land.
Call Number: LP FIC Jam
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Pittacus Lore, Neil Kaplan, Devon Sorvari, Almarie Guerra
Description: For years the Garde have fought the Mogadorians in secret. Now all of that has changed. The invasion has begun. If the Garde can't find a way to stop the Mogs, humanity will suffer the same fate as the Lorien: annihilation.
Call Number: YA FIC Lor
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Douglas Adams
Description: Arthur Dent, a refugee from the late planet Earth and his pal from the planet Betelgeuse, Ford Prefect, thumb their way thru comic misadventures throughout the Universe.
Call Number: FIC Ada
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 25, 2018
Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
Description: 1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? 2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive--some say mad, others allege dangerous--scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever. The "stepper" enables a person using it to step sideways into another America, another wherever that person happened to be, another Earth. And if the person using it keeps on stepping, they keep on entering even more Earths. This is the Long Earth. And the further away a stepper travels, the stranger -- and sometimes more dangerous -- the Earths become.
Call Number: FIC Pra
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 17, 2017
Margaret Weis
Call Number: FIC Wei
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Andy Weir
Description: "Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old 'human error' are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?" --from publisher's web site.
Call Number: LP FIC Wei
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
James Goss, Douglas Adams
Description: The hugely powerful Key to Time has been split into six segments, all of which have been disguised and hidden throughout time and space. Now the even more powerful White Guardian wants the Doctor to find the pieces. With the first segment successfully retrieved, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 trace the second segment of the Key to the planet Calufrax. But when they arrive at exactly the right point in space, they find themselves on exactly the wrong planet - Zanak. Ruled by the mysterious 'Captain', Zanak is a happy and prosperous planet. Mostly. If the mines run out of valuable minerals and gems then the Captain merely announces a New Golden Age and they fill up again. It's an economic miracle - so obviously something's very wrong ...
Call Number: FIC Gos
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland
Description: "Boston, present day. A young man from a shadowy government agency shows up at an Ivy League university and offers an eminent professor a lot of money to study a trove of recently discovered old documents. The only condition: the professor must sign an NDA that would preclude him from publishing his findings, should they be significant. The professor refuses and tells the young man to get lost. On his way out, he bumps into a young woman--a low-on-the-totem-pole adjunct faculty member who's more than happy to sign the NDA and earn a few bucks. The documents, if authentic, are earth-shaking: they prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for much of human history. But its effectiveness began to wane around the time of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment; it stopped working altogether in 1851 at the time of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London. It's not entirely clear why, but it appears that something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic. And so the shadowy government agency--the Department of Diachronic Operations, or DODO--gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that is shielded from whatever it is that interferes with magic and thus send Diachronic Operatives back in time to meddle with history."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Ste
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Scott Westerfeld
Call Number: FIC Wes
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
Cixin Liu, Luke Daniels
Description: Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.
Call Number: FIC Liu
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 24, 2018
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1q84
Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel
FIC Mur
Prelude To Foundation
Isaac Asimov
FIC Asi
All Our Wrong Todays [Large Print]
Elan Mastai
LP FIC Mas
Probability Moon
Nancy Kress
FIC Kre
Armada [Audiobook]
Ernest Cline, Wil Wheaton
FIC Cli
Quozl
Alan Dean Foster
FIC Fos
Aurora
Kim Stanley Robinson
FIC Rob
Seveneves
Neal Stephenson
FIC Ste
Binti
Nnedi Okorafor
FIC Oko
Ship Breaker
Paolo Bacigalupi
YA FIC Bac
Dark Matter [Large Print]
Blake Crouch
LP FIC Cro
Sphere
Michael Crichton
FIC Cri
Dragonflight
Anne McCaffrey
YA FIC McC
Station Eleven [Audiobook]
Emily St. John Mandel, Kirsten Potter, Random House Audio Publishing
FIC Man
Dune
Frank Herbert
FIC Her
The Children Of Men [Large Print]
P. D James
LP FIC Jam
Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison
FIC Car
The Fate Of Ten
Pittacus Lore, Neil Kaplan, Devon Sorvari, Almarie Guerra
YA FIC Lor
Honor Among Thieves
James S. A. Corey
FIC Cor
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Douglas Adams
FIC Ada
Kaspar's Box
Jack L Chalker
FIC Cha
The Long Earth
Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
FIC Pra
Left Hand Of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin
FIC Le G
The Lost King
Margaret Weis
FIC Wei
Lock In
John Scalzi
FIC Sca
The Martian [Large Print]
Andy Weir
LP FIC Wei
Neuromancer
William Gibson
FIC Gib
The Pirate Planet
James Goss, Douglas Adams
FIC Gos
Ninefox Gambit
Yoon Ha Lee
FIC Lee
The Rise And Fall Of D.O.D.O. : A Novel
Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland
FIC Ste
Oryx And Crake
Margaret Atwood, Campbell Scott
FIC Atw
The Risen Empire
Scott Westerfeld
FIC Wes
Out Of The Dark
David Weber
FIC Web
The Three-Body Problem
Cixin Liu, Luke Daniels
FIC Liu
Parable Of The Sower
Octavia E Butler
FIC But