Need some suggestions for your holiday reads? I have you covered. Let’s celebrate summer with this stash of stupendous summer sci-fi and science picks!
Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth
Science communicator and horror movie fan Nesseth dissects our enduring fascination with horror. Analyzing classics such as The Exorcist as well as more modern examples of the genre, she looks at the psychology and physiology of fear and why so many of us insist on subjecting ourselves to this experience repeatedly! Fun fact: Nesseth works as a staff scientist at my local science center Science North!
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo
An intriguing premise for this near-future sci-fi thriller. Journalist Jamie Vega is one of “The Sleepness,” a group of people who, following a pandemic, have lost their ability to sleep. But in Jamie’s case, it was self-inflicted through illegal biohacking. After his boss dies, and Jamie becomes a murder suspect, the consequences of his decision start to unravel as he discovers the dangerous truth behind Sleeplessness.
How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going by Vaclav Smil
An objective assessment of energy, food production, and the environment. Smil looks at the prognosis for our future on this planet and our ability, or lack of, to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. An important reality check from an author who has previously been named as one of the top 100 global thinkers.
Aurora by David Koepp
Acclaimed screenwriter Koepp brings us this dystopian sci-fi thriller that’s earning him comparisons with Michael Crichton, as well as a Netflix adaptation. A solar storm, loss of power worldwide, and complicated family relationships in the American midwest. How will they survive and who will survive?
The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us by Steve Brusatte
Picking up where The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs left off, Brusatte’s epic effort traces the history of mammals over a staggering 325-million year period, helping to bring alive the many species that have become extinct during that time, and reminding us that we and the other surviving mammals we share our planet with are just a tiny sub-section of this historically diverse group of creatures.
The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, best known for her Lady Astronaut series, brings us something different this time around: a space murder mystery with a 30s noir feel, set on a cruise liner between Earth and Mars. Should be a fun read! And if you’re in the mood for more light-hearted sci-fi with a vintage feel, you might also enjoy my short story A Place In the Sun. 🙂
Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death by Nick Lane
Described by Brian Clegg as “probably the best book on biology (and more specifically bio-chemistry) that I’ve ever read,” Lane takes a detour from genetics into metabolism and the Krebs cycle, studying its role in aging and death as well as the origins of life. A detailed, well-explained look at a complex topic.
Kwelengsen Dawn: Logan’s World book 2 by David M. Kelly
Excuse the blatant self-promotion, but I’m very pleased to include my latest release in this round-up. Kwelengsen Dawn is another action-packed sci-fi thriller, continuing the story of Logan Twofeathers, who originally appeared in the Joe Ballen books. This one is full of surprises and shocks, and with one more installment to come, it’s definitely time to get in on the action! Find out more and read an excerpt here.
Before the Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe and What Lies Beyond by Laura Mersini-Houghton
What was there before the Big Bang, and what exists beyond the edge of the Universe? These are huge questions we might all have speculated on during an idle moment, and theoretical physicist Mersini-Houghton is working to provide us with answers. Delve into the mind-bending world of string theory and the multiverse as well as the author’s background in Albania and her path toward a career in science. This one looks like a choice read!
The Nova Incident by Dan Moren
If you like your sci-fi layered with espionage, treason, and twists, book 3 of the Intergalactic Cold War series is a must-read. After a bomb attack on a Commonwealth city, agent Simon Kovalic and his team must investigate, uncovering plenty of secrets and bringing loyalties into question. Definitely a series to discover!
The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy by Moiya McTier
An autobiography of the Milky Way? Yes! Astrophysicist and folklorist McTier treats us to an entertaining and engaging take on our home galaxy, from its origins, thirteen billion years ago, through to its tempestuous astronomical relationships with black holes and stars. A fun read on a fascinating topic.
That’s all for now. Wishing you a Happy Canada Day and a fantastic summer, with lots of reading time!