25.8.15

Top Ten Tuesday (4): Space 101

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and LOVE to see other top ten lists!
So this week's TTT is Top Ten Books You'd Teach in X Class. And since I love science fiction (especially space), I thought I should probably do something in that field. So welcome to Space 101, I will be your professor for this course and I have a lot to teach you! 
--

To introduce you to this course, I am going to start you guys off easy with the first in The Ender's Quintet entitled:
ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card

This one can be read as a standalone so it is good to wet your feet with before you dive right in. I think if you want to see aliens and space with a good plot, this is the one for you. It is kind of a staple in science fiction (especially when it comes to dealing with space) so I think it is important to see where is semi-started before you start going off into something deeper. 
Summary:
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. 

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

--
The rest of the books in this series are:
Side note: reading them as "Ender's Quintet" is not reading the novels in publication order. There are a total of sixteen books in the Enderverse and they can be read in publication order. There are three separate series that all follow the events that first occur in Ender's Game.
--
Once we finish with this book, we will be moving on to something that is still a classic, but has a little bit more about good vs evil, the first in The Time Quintet entitled:

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle

This one can be read as a standalone, but why would you do that when the rest of the series (and it's spin-off) are so good! Honestly, if someone asked me what got me into reading science fiction novels, I would have to tell them this book. And I highly recommend it as an "after-Ender's-Game-but-before-the-rest" novel. 
Summary:
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
--
The rest of the books in this series are:
Side Note: There is a spin-off of this series called "O'Keefe Family" that meets up with the rest of the story in An Acceptable Time. It is not necessary to read these books to understand An Acceptable Time.
--
Next up is one that takes place in Space and on Earth to help transition you from Earth to full out Space. It is the first book in The Hundred series entitled:
The 100 by Kass Morgan

There is a TV show that follows some of this story line, but I honestly really enjoy the book series. You will hear mixed reviews about this one, but I say give it a chance to see how you feel about it. I love everything about this one and it has a nice mix of on Earth and in Space drama.
Summary:
NO ONE HAS SET FOOT ON EARTH IN CENTURIES - UNTIL NOW.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life... or it could be a suicide mission.

Clark was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. Wells, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves - but will she ever forgive him? Reckless Bellamy fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.
--
The rest in the trilogy are:
--
Another one that has the divide between Earth and Space, but has a bit more emphasis on space than The Hundred series is:
Feed by M.T. Anderson

It is a standalone and a really quick read, which is a bonus. I remember reading this one for the first time and being like "Wow. This has changed everything." So I really recommend this one.
Summary:
Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
 
--
Now to get into the real space travel with the Sky Chasers series, starting with:
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

This one has a little bit of everything: romance, religion, revolution. It is an absolute must read and I loved this series a lot.
Summary:
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.
--
The rest of the series includes:
--
The next series on my list is just SO GOOD. It is a step-up from the Ender's Quintet, in my opinion, which is why it is featured later on in the list. The Dune Chronicles is my choice and the first book is entitled:
Dune by Frank Herbert

This one was just mind blowing. The world building is incredible and I loved every second of it. The series does decline a bit as it goes along, but I still recommend it.
Summary:
Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the 'spice' melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.
--
The rest of the series is completed as follows:
Side Note: The series then spins off into three other series, Prelude to Dune, Legends of Dune, and Heroes of Dune. There are multiple ways that this series can be read.
--
Next up is one of my new favourite space series and I cannot imagine this list without it. The Earth & Sky series starts with:
Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe

First of all, Canadian author. Second of all, aliens. Thirdly, space! It is the trifecta of my favourite things. I seriously cannot say enough about how much I love this series and I definitely recommend it if you want to read books about space.
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.
--
The rest of the series is:
--
The eighth book (well, I have been doing a lot of series so it is definitely more than book eighth, but ...) is another Quintet, but this one is called A Trilogy of Five and the first one is called:

This is one of my favourites and while it isn't the best book ever written, it still has so many good moments that it is too hard to pass up on this list. 
Summary:
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
--
The rest of the series includes:
Side Note: There is a sixth book in the series but it was not written by Adams.
--
The next book is one that I read for an actual university class (which was kind of surprising) but it quickly became on of my favourites. It is entitled:
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

I absolutely love this book and think if you read no other on this list, you should at least attempt this one.
Summary:
Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. Including a new Foreword by the author and a fascinating new introduction by Stephen Baxter, this special edition is an essential addition to every SF reader's collection.On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong. Horribly wrong.
--
The last book on this list is a space military and while I am not an avid fan of space military, I think this one is worth it.  It is a duology and the first one is called:
Poor Man's Fight by Elliott Kay

I really enjoyed it but you really got to be in the mood for this one.
Summary:
"This test completes your compulsory education. Congratulations! You have graduated high school. Your financial obligation is 67,879 credits. Please visit our loan officer as you exit."

Tanner Malone never bought into military myths of honor and glory. He never wanted to wear a uniform or medals. Yet when family upheaval brings his otherwise stellar performance in school to a disastrous end, Tanner's plans for university lie in ruins. Facing homelessness and a mountain of debt, Tanner enlists in his home planet's tiny navy.

It’s a hell of a time to sign up. Vicious pirates stalk the space lanes, claiming to fight an oppressive economic system even as they shed innocent blood. Civil war looms beyond the borders of Tanner’s home star system of Archangel. Corporate security fleets are nowhere to be found when trouble arises.

In response, Archangel begins ambitious military expansion. Basic training becomes six months of daily bare knuckle brawls, demanding cross-training and constant stress. Brutal as it is, Tanner will need the preparation. The pirates grow more audacious with every attack. As if that’s not enough, Tanner is assigned to a small ship whose disgruntled crew has no patience for cerebral new recruits, and they’re on the front lines of all of Archangel’s woes.

Tanner soon learns there is only one way to deal with his bullying comrades, their ruthless foes and the unforgiving void of space, and that’s to get up close and personal.
--
The next book is entitled: Rich Man's War
--

And that's it! 
Which of these books looks most interesting to you? What other books would you include on this list? Let me know in the comments below! Lots of love and happy reading xx

6 comments:

  1. I LOVE books about space, but I've only actually read The 100 off your list—and I hated it. I've been meaning to get to the Hitchhiker's series, A Wrinkle in Time and Ender's Game for ages but I haven't read. I'd add These Broken Stars to this list, that's a great space/survival story :)

    My list

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list!
    I've never really thought of A Wrinkle in Time as science / space fiction but it certainly fits the bill.
    I actually recently took a look at a bunch of A Wrinkle in Time covers - some really great ones out there!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love L'Engle's Time series - so glad you included it!! Have you read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy? It's one of my husband's favorites. My TTT

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great list! I don't read very many space-themed books, but I love A Wrinkle in Time!

    My TTT: http://thespellboundreader.blogspot.com/2015/08/top-ten-tuesday-characters-101.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your theme, books on space don't get much publicity. I love The Hitchhikers Guide and I will definitely be getting a copy of A Wrinkle In Time to read soon too :-) Happy TTT!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really love you for making this list because my knowledge in science fiction is pathetic and I really need more recs in that genre. I'll check out all these books! Thank you!:)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I cherish each and every comment. If you leave me a link to your blog, I will do my best to comment back!