New sci-fi and science reads for May 2021

This month’s big release is courtesy of a Mr. Weir – you might have heard of him. But there’s plenty of other new sci-fi and science to keep us entertained and informed too. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer by Steven Johnson
An overview of the medical innovations that have allowed us to double our life expectancy in just 100 years – a staggering statistic. Topics include antibiotics, anti-famine interventions, and a very timely chapter on vaccines. Look out for an upcoming BBC/PBS show based on the book, with the author as co-presenter.

Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future edited by Gideon Lichfield
Part of the Twelve Tomorrows series, this anthology offers a refreshingly hopeful vision of a future society where science and technology are used to create positive change. Includes stories by Madeline Ashby and Corey Doctorow.

Into the Deep: An Explorer’s Life by Robert Ballard & Christopher Drew
Oceanographer and marine biologist Ballard is best known as the man who discovered the wreck of the Titanic. His autobiography offers a revealing look at this and his other underwater discoveries such as the Bismarck, as well as reflecting on personal challenges and tragedies in his life.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Andy Weir is back with his trademark mix of humor and science. His hero wakes with no memory as the lone survivor of a space mission gone wrong. And all he has to do is figure out how to save humanity! A sure-fire winner if you enjoyed The Martian.

Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut by Nicholas Schmidle
Will space tourism become a reality? Richard Branson and his intrepid team of test pilots and engineers at Virgin Galactic are doing their best to make it happen. Schmidle chronicles the highs and lows of the journey so far, as well as weaving in the story of his father, a former fighter pilot.

Immunity Index by Sue Burke
The author of Semiosis is back with a near-future, science-based tale that was written pre-Covid but focuses on a pandemic in a US that’s grappling with some familiar issues. Add genetics and cloning to the mix and you have what’s sure to be an intriguing and thought-provoking story.

NASA Space Shuttle: 40th Anniversary by Piers Bizony
A lavish photo history of the shuttle program alongside commentary from a former NASA chief historian Roger Launius. A treat for all space fans.

Will any of these make it to your ereader or bookshelf? Do you have others to recommend? Let me know in the comments. Until next month, take care!

Need to catch up?
New reads for April
New reads for March

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