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Staff Picks - Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Favorites

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All items shelved alphabetically in the science fiction section unless otherwise noted.

Foundation                 
by Issac Asimov
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

The Windup Girl                                             
by Paolo Bacigalupi                 
Living in a future where food is scarce, Anderson Lake tries to find ways to exploit this need, as he comes into conflict with Jaidee, an official of the Environmental Ministry, and encounters Emiko, an engineered windup girl who has been discarded by her creator.

Matter                                                             
by Iain Banks                           
In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For 1 man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the 1- maybe 2 - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under threat of treachery & murder. For their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

The Shining Girls (MYSTERY)     
by Lauren Beukes                     
The sole survivor of a time-traveling serial killer who began his murder spree in Depression-era Chicago tries to hunt him down in 1989 along with help from an ex-homicide reporter in this new novel from the author of Moxyland.

 The Terranauts (FICTION)
by T. C. Boyle
Sealed inside a glass enclosure designed as a prototype for a possible off-Earth colony, eight Terranauts in the 1990s Arizona desert test their skills in five biome environments that they must protect from skeptics who would sabotage the mission.

Fledgling                                              
by Octavia Butler                                           
Shori is an young amnesiac girl whose alarming needs and abilities lead her to a startling discovery: she is in fact a 53-year-old genetically modified vampire. The only survivor of a vicious attack, Shori must now struggle to learn who would want to destroy her.

Ender’s Game                         
by Orson Scott Card
The world's most talented children are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war Child-hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.

Ready Player One                                             
by Ernest Cline                                               
Immersing himself in a mid-21st-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's super-wealthy creator, who has promised that the winner will be his heir.

A Scanner Darkly                     
by Philip K Dick
Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down.

Eifelheim                                   
by Michael Flynn                                           
Tom, a modern-day historian, and his girlfriend Sharon, a theoretical physicist, search for the truth about the 1349 disappearance of the small German town of Eifelheim as the Black Death strengthens its grip on medieval Europe, unaware that Father Deitrich, the village priest in 1348, became the first contact between humankind and a mysterious alien race.

Idoru                                                               
by William Gibson                                         
The author of such "cyberpunk" novels as the award-winning Neuromancer presents a story set in twenty-first-century Tokyo, where a singer pursues a beautiful media superstar--called an idoru--who does not really exist.

New Charity Blues                
by Camille Griep
Only two communities have survived a deadly plague, but the water controlled by one of the communities, New Charity, threatens the existence of the other and it is up to Cressyda to make the water available to all without risking a violent rebellion.

Forever Peace                                                             
by Joe W. Haldeman                                     
In 2043, the war is still raging on and life on Earth is slowly coming to an end, but when Julian and his lover, Dr. Amelia Harding, make a great scientific discovery, they quickly devise a plan to end the destruction by stopping the indestructible war machines once and for all.

Stranger in a Strange Land                 
by Robert A. Heinlein
It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who has returned to Earth in early adulthood after being raised by Martians on the planet Mars. The novel explores his interaction with—and the eventual transformation of—Earth culture.

Dune                           
by Frank Herbert
Far in the future, two powerful families are locked in a bitter feud. On a planet where water is a rare commodity every drop is worth a fortune.

River of Gods             
by McDonald Ian                     
As Mother India approaches her centenary (2047), nine people are going about their business — a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj — the waif, the mind-reader, the prophet — when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden. 

Never Let Me Go                                           
by Kazuo Ishiguro
From the Booker Prize-winning author, comes a morally courageous book about what it means to be human. Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Children of Men (FICTION)
by P D James
In 2021, with the human race becoming extinct because of the infertility of all males, Oxford historian Theodore Faron is drawn into the schemes of an unlikely group of revolutionaries out to save society 

On Such A Full Sea (FICTION)       
by Chang-Rae Lee                                         
In a class-divided future America where urban neighborhoods function as labor colonies for elite charter villages, Fan, a female fish-tank diver, embarks on what becomes a legendary quest to find the man she loves in a region overcome by anarchic forces.  

The Telling                                                       
by Ursula K. Le Guin
An observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, Sutty is assigned to a new world in which a ruthless monolithic Corporation, has outlawed ancient beliefs and customs. As Sutty journeys deep into the countryside and mountains, she discovers the Telling, the old faith of the Akans, a banned religion that teaches her about the meaning of existence.

Sleeping Giants                     
by Sylvain Neuvel
Years after waking up dozens of feet below the ground on the palm of what seems to be a mysterious giant metal hand, a top-level physicist leads a team of people to discover the nature of the hand, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity.

The Moon Maze Game                       
by Larry Niven
Professional bodyguard Scotty Griffin accepts the prestigious job of shepherding Prince Ali Kikaya, heir to the throne of a small, troubled African nation, to the Moon, where he and a select group of invitees plan to participate in an exclusive live-action role-playing game based on the worlds created in H.G. Wells's fiction—the first of its kind on Luna. The game turns deadly when real-world fanatics invade, turn the gamers into hostages, and raise the stakes to life or death 

Vurt                                                     
by Jeff Noon                             
In the world of the not-too-distant future, Scribble embarks on a perilous odyssey into the virtual underworld to rescue his beloved sister, Desdemona, from the drug-induced dream state in which she has become trapped.

New York 2140                                                           
by Kim Stanley Robinson                               
As New York City of the twenty-second century is submerged under rising waters, the residents rapidly adapt until the thriving metropolis becomes a vibrant, though permanently changed, canal region of island skyscrapers.

2312                             
by Kim Stanley Robinson
The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future. 

Contact                       
by Carl Sagan
Astrophysicist Dr. Rebecca Blake deciphers a message from outer space and finds that the message contains directions for the construction of a complicated machine that appears to be a kind of highly advanced vehicle, with seats for five human beings. This leads her team of scientists on a journey that takes them through space and back

Super Sad True Love Story (FICTION)
by Gary Shteyngart
In a novel set in the near future, when a beautiful, yet cruel woman that Lenny Abramov met in Italy says she is coming to stay with him in New York, even the tanks and soldiers stationed in the city and the ongoing war with Venezuela can't get him down. By the best-selling author of Absurdistan.

Diamond Age                                     
by Neal Stephenson
Set in 21st century Shanghai, this novel of the cyber-future follows Nell, a street urchin, after she stumbles on a very powerful interactive device that has the power to decode and reprogram her entire life.

Seveneves                 
by Neal Stephenson
When a catastrophic event dooms the planet, nations around the world band together to devise an ambitious survival plan in outer space 5,000 years before their progeny organize an audacious return.

Snowcrash                   
by Neal Stephenson
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Weaving contemporary imagery with Sumerian myths and virtual reality, this fast-paced novel of life in the near-future information age offers a hip vision of what's right around the corner in cyberspace.

Blindsight   
by Peter Watts
An odd assortment of diplomats--including a linguist with a multiple personality disorder, a biologist spliced to machinery, a pacifist warrior, and a vampire--journey to the far edges of the solar system to seek out a mysterious alien presence that may or may not want to meet with them and that may or may not be friendly toward Earth.

The Martian (FICTION)                   
by Andy Weir                                       
Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways. A first novel.

Robopocalypse                       
by Daniel Wilson
In the not-too-distant future, a sentient computer program escapes from a research facility and initiates a bloody robot revolt against humankind. Dr. Nicholas Wasserman knew his sentient computer program Archos' nearly infinite processing power rendered it too dangerous to exist outside the controlled environment of his research facility. But despite his efforts to contain it, Archos proves way too smart even for Dr. Wasserman. 

Alif the Unseen (FICTION)
by G. Willow Wilson
Forced underground when his ex-lover's new fiancé breaches his computer, putting him and his clients in jeopardy, young Arab-Indian hacker Alif discovers the secret book of the jinn and uses its insights to enable life-threatening developments in information technology.