New sci-fi and science reads for October 2019

Welcome back to my monthly look at what’s new in the world of sci-fi and science books. There’s a lot being published this month, and it was tough to narrow it down. But here goes…

An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space by Bob McDonald
The host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks presents an entertaining look at space exploration: past, present, and future. It tackles all those burning questions about alien life, black holes, and the size of the galaxy. Sounds like a perfect read for space enthusiasts.

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux
A bioengineer-turned-janitor finds herself on a salvage mission where the crew of the ship has been infected by a parasitic alien. This sounds like an interesting sci-fi thriller–perhaps veering towards horror.

Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow
This collection of original short stories features many well-known current authors such as Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Canada Reads finalist Madeline Ashby. Alex Tas at thequilltolive has helpfully compiled a detailed review.

Human Compatible by Stuart Russell
Can we successfully–and peacefully–co-exist with robots? Leading AI researcher Stuart Russell considers this question. This has been longlisted for the 2019 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year award.

Salvation Lost by Peter F. Hamilton
Sneaking in at the end of the month (Oct 29), we have book 2 in Peter F. Hamilton’s Salvation Sequence. I’ve found his recent writing a bit patchy, but this series has received some excellent reviews and promises great world-building, lots of twists, and plenty of action.

For Small Creatures Such as We by Sasha Sagan
Something a bit different to finish on. Reflections on how an atheist viewpoint doesn’t have to preclude meaning, ritual, and tradition, and how science and the natural world provide all the wonder we need. Written by the daughter of Carl Sagan, one of my science heroes.

Will any of these make it to your TBR list? Let me know! Happy reading!

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