Science Fiction

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Welcome to /c/ScienceFiction

December book club canceled. Short stories instead!

We are a community for discussing all things Science Fiction. We want this to be a place for members to discuss and share everything they love about Science Fiction, whether that be books, movies, TV shows and more. Please feel free to take part and help our community grow.

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Lemmy World Rules

founded 1 year ago

As you may have read earlier, I've taken a break. Today, I'm ready to relaunch SFSS in a new direction. I don't feel like publishing Western stories anymore, so I'm looking elsewhere.

I started with Vietnam, a country I'm particularly fond of (I spent the best year of my life there), but the SF scene there is almost non-existent and the few stories I've read aren't very good.

With the help of a Polish friend, the next few weeks will be devoted to finding good untranslated Polish stories.

Finally, if you yourself are fluent in an Eastern language and would like to collaborate with me, please don't hesitate to contact me: [email protected]

NB: any other suggestions/comments are welcome.


Sci fi inspired linocut print about brick of life, exobiology and cosmology.


I read a lot of Harlan Ellison (worked on The Outer Limits, 80's Twilight Zone, Babylon 5), and I was wondering what people thought of this quote from him:

[S]cience fiction is the only 100% hopeful fiction. That is to say, inherent in the form is, "There will be a tomorrow". If you read a science fiction story, it says, "This will happen tomorrow". Now that’s very positive, that’s very pragmatic, "We’ll be here tomorrow. We may be unhappy, we may be all living like maggots, but we’ll be here." So that means it’s 100% positive.

Ellison has even said that his short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is optimistic, because in the climax, there is still room for self-sacrifice and defiance to authority.

I guess it comes down to whether you think a bleak future is better than no future at all.

Shameless plug for my work if you like Ellison or want to learn more:


This is an interesting list. It's missing some of the true great classics, like Frankenstein, and it has a number of unusual, less well known titles, but there's a lot to like on it. There's certainly a lot for people to disagree about, but it may well have your less often cited favorites, too. What do you think?

submitted 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago) by wjrii to c/sciencefiction

...maybe a little too on the nose with channeling Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey, there's some truly problematic stuff with the native Medusans that goes all but uncommented upon, there's some reactionary politics that may just be de rigeur for 20th century military sci-fi (I don't know... would be happy to be educated), and the characterizations are almost beside the point, I guess.

On the plus side, the world-building is starting out pretty meticulous in a satisfying way (except for Manticoran dates, which is there for good in-universe reasons, but Weber seems to be using it to be the one ongoing reminder that this the distant future and not exactly England in Space), there's a nice hyper-competence problem-solving ship's crew vibe that will feel familiar to Star Trek fans, and the descriptions of actual shipboard action are very engrossing. Stylistically, there's nothing to write home about, but it's clear prose and allowing for the aforementioned weak characterizations, there's nothing egregious either.

I am cautiously optimistic going forward, and if you had the budget (or could get an animated series greenlit), it seems to me that the universe and Honor herself could be spruced up and modernized into a really compelling space opera franchise that would be well-paced for TV.


I'm starting Scar in season 2, and the recap scenes show Starbuck in uniform requesting to lead a rescue, and both Adama and Roslyn rejecting her. Roslyn "appreciates what shes trying to do". I don't remember when this happened, and can't figure out which episode it possibly could have, between the initial trip, Pegasus, and Roslyn getting ill? Can someone please help me out?

submitted 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) by I_Fart_Glitter to c/sciencefiction

I’ve been really enjoying John Scalzi’s catalog- Started with Starter Villain (delightful!), The Kaiju Preservation Society (Sweet..), Lock In + Head On (fun who-done-its), The Android’s Dream (clever, enjoyable read), Agent to the Stars (funny, creative, pretty good).

I’m half way through the first book of Old Man’s War and it’s depressing AF. I don’t see how it’s going to get any more light hearted, given the subject matter. All the aliens are enemies, more battle scenes than anything else, graphic descriptions of war injuries and deaths.. I’m not really compelled to keep going. Can anyone vouch for it being worth it to continue?

Edit: I'm realizing that "better" isn't a good descriptor. I guess what I mean is "Will there be fewer graphic descriptions of injuries and death; as well as general despair on the part of the MC." It is a "good" book by all metrics except "feel-goodiness" and "Not making me queasy at descriptions of faces being blown apart." I'd come to expect a light and clever romp from John Scalzi, and from everyone's replies, he is more varied in his styles than I'd previously been aware.

I'd been half hoping this would all resolve into a lovely, heartwarming story about how the universe was saved by a race of benevolent, highly intelligent cats who tricked everyone into getting along. I tried to go further this morning and am, for now going to set it aside after another scene with an exploding face.

Thanks to all who replied!

submitted 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) by [email protected] to c/sciencefiction

Honestly I don't know the authors or books, but I know that the the Storiybundles are usually not bad.

The Universe of Adventure Sci-Fi Bundle - Curated by independent authors John Wilker & Dave Walsh: When it comes to science fiction, there are a lot of different flavors. Through the ages, science fiction has been many things to a great many people. It’s never been just one thing. Just one type of story. There's sci-fi that's quiet and contemplative, sci-fi that sticks to our understanding of modern science, then there's sci-fi that spans different galaxies and times, or even sci-fi that warps our understanding of reality.

For $5:

  • Ghost Pirate Gambit by Jessie Kwak
  • Broken Ascension by Dave Walsh
  • Constelis Voss 1 by K. Leigh
  • Convergence by C. Gockel

For 20 $:

  • Ptolemy Lane 1-3 by Cameron Cooper
  • Devon Island Mars Colony by Si Clarke
  • Psycho Electric by Randolph Lalonde
  • Shifting Reality by Patty Jansen
  • League of Independent Operatives - Books 1-3 by Kate Sheeran Swed
  • The Big Sigma Collection Vol. 1 - Enhanced by Joseph R. Lallo
  • Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee
  • Space Rogues 1-2 & Grand Human Empire 1-2 by John Wilker
  • Carl Sagan’s Hunt,

Archive link:


Below are books I've read over the last year, with notes about on what I thought of them. I started this list just to remind me what the books were about and if I thought they were worth reading. As the year went on, my notes became a little more substantial. The list was for me, but I thought I'd share in case it's useful to anyone. I recognize that it's very subjective.

Project Hail Mary, Weir Don't want to describe it even a little because spoilers would spoil; it's a book you should read without knowing anything. It's really good.

Fall, Stephenson Billionaire scanned into a digital world, and the people around him in the real world. Interesting and thought-provoking.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman Little boy stumbles upon old magic and an old evil. Really good.

The Ultimate Earth, Williamson Children on the moon are the latest in a long series of clones watching over the facility there, generations after the earth has all but forgotten them. A historian visits them.

The first four Discworld books, Pratchett Silly fun - disc-shaped world that sits atop four elephants that stand on a giant turtle riding through space. Each book is in the world, but separate stories with mostly separate characters. Lots of magic, lots of humor.

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, Resnick Long after humans are extinct, a group of alien archeologists uncover the origins and stories of mankind through the stories told by artifacts found in Olduvai gorge. Very unusual.

A Memory Called Empire, Martine Galactic empire space opera. Ambassador from a large space station to the central planet of the empire has an old copy of her predecessor implanted in her head - a technology user for generations by the station people but not known to the empire. She wants to solve the mystery of her predecessor's death. Character-driven discs opera.

A Desolation Called Peace, Martine Sequel to prior. Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass help the empire confront an alien that. Good.

The first six Murderbot Diaries books, Wells Security unit - sort of a cyborg combination of a robot and cloned human tissue - has hacked the part that forces it to comply. It mostly wants to watch soap operas, but finds itself rescuing humans. Surprisingly funny and heartwarming. Mostly novellas, so quick reads.

The Kingston Cycle trilogy, Polk Edwardian setting where magic is real but people are put in institutions for it if discovered. Each book from the vantage point of a different person, the first a psychologist who uses his powers to help his patients and seeks to discover why a witch was murdered. First is best, but all are good.

Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword & Ancillary Mercy (imperial radch trilogy), Leckie From the perspective of a warship AI dealing with a galactic empire. Feels like it could have been an inspiration for murderbot. Good.

Annihilation, Vandermeer A biologist is a member of a team trying to figure out what's happening in an area where investigative teams generally don't return from. Strangely paced, like a Lovecraft story. Wouldn't recommend to everyone. Very weird.

Gideon the Ninth, Muir Girl raised by necromancers sent to protect the head of her world as they try to unlock the secrets of an old world. Surprised by how much I liked it.

The Spare Man, Kowal The Thin Man in space - murder mystery on a space-going cruise ship. Not very deep, but enjoyable.

Piranesi, Clark Man Who lives in a world that is entirely a castle with endless halls and rooms, populated by just one other person, trying to understand his world. Interesting.

All Clear, Willis Sequel to Blackout - historians from Oxford in 2060 use time travel to see events surrounding WWII in person, but something is wrong. Not as light as some of her books, but very good.

Blind Lake, Wilson Reporters visiting a facility that uses incomprehensible AI-written systems to view life on a planet 50 light years away get caught in a lockdown that separates the people of the facility from the rest of the world. Very interesting.

Nettle and Bone, Kingfisher Fantasy - princess is sent to a convent, and eventually sets out to kill a powerful man who deserves it. Very enjoyable, and manages to be fun while also being dark.

Harrow the Ninth Sequel to Gideon the Ninth. First half is very confusing. Not an easy book to read, but well crafted and interesting.

WWW: Wake, Sawyer Blind teenage girl gets a computerized implant to restore her sight and ends up connected to a budding consciousness in webspace. Neat idea and an easy read but some parts felt unrealistic or cheesy.

The Graveyard Book, Gaiman Boy is raised in a graveyard by ghosts, protected by something else. Maybe written for teens, but wonderful regardless.

The Three Body Problem, Liu Strange things are happening in the scientific community in China. Interesting premise and an unusual book, but some things felt very unrealistic.

Saturn’s Children, Stross Humans built conscious robots to explore and develop the solar system, but they long outlast the now-extinct human race. Intrigue as one such robot gets in over her head.

The Anomaly, Le Tellier A plane from Paris to New York takes off in March and lands after severe turbulence. Then the same plane, with the same people, lands again in June. Thought provoking with well drawn characters.

The Daughter of Dr. Moreau, Moreno-Garcia Same/similar setting as The Island of, but focused on the daughter of the doctor as he conducts his experiments and his patron grows dissatisfied. Enjoyable.

Leviathan Wakes, Corey First book of The Expanse series. A war starting between people of earth, people who settled Mars, and people who settled the asteroid belt and stations. A missing person, and something strange happening. Really good.

Caliban’s War, Corey Second Expanse book. A protomolecule-based monster/soldier kills a bunch of other soldiers and everyone thinks some other government is responsible. Also very good.

Halting State, Stross A bank robbery inside an online game gets the attention of the cops - and a lot of other people. Written in 2007, set in 2017. Very interesting, even just for its take on technology.

Glasshouse, Stross In a distant future with ubiquitous wormhole technology, a man recovers from self-chosen radical memory deletion and joins a 30+ year experiment, but things aren't what they seem.

System Collapse, Wells 7th of the Murderbot Diaries. Starting basically where the 6th book ends, what to do with the colonists on the alien-infected planet, and what a rival company is trying to do.


The Cloud Roads, Wells Fantasy about a loaner who can shape shift into a sort of dragon and doesn't know that he is. Enjoyable.

Passage, Willis A psychologist studying people who have had near death experiences joins a research project where they're induced, trying to figure out what they're for, what they mean. Good, but like a lot of Connie Willis books, there are too many people missing each other and too many misunderstandings. Still, very touching.

Gods of Risk, Corey Book 2.7 of The Expanse (novella). Bobby's nephew gets caught up in making drugs. Very short. Good.

Sundiver, Brin Written in 1980, the first of the Uplift series. Set in a time when humans have found there are many other intelligent, space-fairing beings in the galaxy, but nearly all were “uplifted" by another race. Everyone debates whether humans were uplifted and then abandoned by some unknown race, or are a very rare case of natural evolution. All this is the backdrop, or the fabric, of a story about the discovery of life in the sun.

Transition State, Leckie Set in the same universe as the Imperial Radch trilogy, with a couple minor characters from that as minor characters here. A guy is found abandoned on a ship as a baby, raised by adoptive parents, but is always strange (including urges to dissect people that he never acts on). Who he actually is might shake the empire, including the treaty that keeps aliens from destroying humans. Really good.

The Serpent Sea, Wells Second book of the Raksura series. The tribe (blanking on the word used internally) relocate to their ancestry home, a special giant tree, but it's dying because its seed was stolen. They go looking for it and get into trouble. Good.

Abaddon’s Gate, Corey Book 3 of The Expanse series. Rocinante crew gets hired to take a documentary crew to the ring made by the Venus protomolecule. All the other governments are sending ships too. Julie's sister Clarissa plots revenge for her father.

Hominids, Sawyer In an alternate universe, a neanderthal quantum physicist doing an experiment ends up marooned in our universe. A weird little bit of religion in the middle, but pretty interesting overall and fun to read about the speculative modern neanderthal society.

The Time Ships, Baxter Authorized sequel to “The Time Machine," by H.G. Wells. It's strange, in a way, because I of course read Wells’ work in the modern era, though it was written in 1914. Part of the charm was reading his notions of time and his commentary on class divides from this time a hundred years later, when the author has no knowledge of what happened in the intervening century. Baxter’s sequel is written from this modern era, but from the perspective of the same protagonist. Many of the advances in the sciences are captured, but it feels oddly artificial to have them observed by our early 1900s hero. Still, it's a very ambitious book, with a very broad scope, and much more commentary on the nature of man. Well worth reading.

Beggars in Spain, Kress People gene modified to no longer require sleep basically become a separate race of people. Lots of commentary on socialism, community, charity, racism, individuality, and more. Very thought provoking.

Humans, Sawyer Sequel to Hominids. A love story and a commentary on our world as seen through the eyes of a different version. Also more on the neanderthal version of it. As an ex Catholic, having a main character be matter of factly Catholic feels weird. Enjoyable sequel though.

Blindsight, Watts Strange first contact story with an enigmatic alien and a spectrum of technology-modified humans. A lot of it is an exploration of what it means to have consciousness or intelligence, and of how we're affected by language and communication. Not sure I'd call it enjoyable, but very interesting. Not a fluff piece by any means.

Startide Rising, Brin Sequel to Sundiver, set a couple hundred years later. A ship crewed by humans and dolphins has found something that could have major ramifications for the galactic races, so they're all fighting each other to get the earthlings. Very good, has aged well. Side note: I'm certain I read it when it came out in paperback, but I didn't remember it at all.

The Churn, Corey Book 3.5 of the Expanse series, a novella. Back story of Amos in Baltimore. It would have been a very different experience reading if I hadn't seen the series version - it couldn't disguise a main character because you actually see them. Semi-avoiding spoilers.

Leech, Ennes A doctor, one of many that share a group mind due to a parasite, finds its predecessor killed by a different type of parasite. Very strange, pretty dark. Thought provoking.

The Siren Depths, Wells Third book of the Raksura series. Moon’s birth court wants him back, against his will, and there's a danger facing everyone. Just as good as the prior books.

Starter Villain, Scalzi Down on his luck young man inherits his uncle's villain business. Quick, fun read. Funny!

The Host, Meyer Alien possession told from the POV of the compassionate alien. It turns out that I'm a little bit of a book snob because, as I opened the book on my Kindle and saw the blurb about it being by the author of the Twilight series (sparkly vampires), I almost abandoned it. I decided to at least start it and… I didn't hate it. The SF aspects of the story are actually pretty interesting and thought provoking. Given my understanding that Meyer is basically a romance novelist, I was surprised that the part I connected with the least well was the romance part - it's described as way overly physical (this body loves that person or could never love that other person).

Provenance, Leckie In the Imperial Radch series. Daughter in a scheming family tries a scheme of her own and gets mixed up in issues that span worlds and races. Interesting. Feels like a side story, which I guess it is.

Nona the Ninth, Muir Third of the Locked Tomb series, following Harrow the Ninth. I loved the first book, didn't love the second (challenging, interesting, not sure it was enjoyable), and liked this one better. Ending needed to be reread a couple times - confusing - but overall an interesting book.

Perdido Street Station, Meiville Elements of SF and fantasy. Set in a Victorian world (future earth, or maybe an alternate one) populated by humans and many races of aliens, some more alien than others, a scientist is hired by a bird person to give him back fight after his wings were removed as a punishment by his people. While working the problem, the scientist releases something truly horrible. It's a really evocative world and story, well imagined and well told. It brings up a lot of sadness, horror, and pity for its characters that didn't really stop, so not exactly a fun read. Long, but good.

The Watchmen, Moore Graphic novel about masked heroes being popular, then outlawed, then being systematically eliminated. Gritty, odd. It deals a lot with what constitutes the greater good and what compromises are reasonable.

How to live safely in a science fictional universe, Yu A time machine repair technician, hiding from life, tries to find his father who disappeared ten years prior, after almost inventing time travel. Amusing, short, quick read.

The City & The City, Mieville A murder victim is found in a European city that shares geography with another city. The cities aren't separated by physical borders, they overlay and are separated by more of a psychic border, and crossing from one to the other that way, breaching, is a serious crime. The detective investigating the murder uncovers things that could shake the fabric of both cities, and he has to work with a detective in the sister city to solve the crime. Very unusual and imaginative premise. Very compelling story.

The Sirens of Titan, Vonnegut It's Vonnegut, so it's hard to know where to start. The richest man in the world tries to avoid a life that's predicted for him. It doesn't go the way he envisioned either way. Lots of commentary on morality, friendship, religion, love. Not flattering commentary on any of those things.

Neptune's Brood, Stross Set in the same universe as Saturn’s Children. A banker/historian chasing down old debts finds much more than she bargained for and gets many factions out for her blood, including her mother. Lots of good speculation on a galactic society without FTL travel, composed of people who are fabricated, not Born.

The Scar, Meiville Following Perdido Street Station, but not in the city and with different characters. A translator fleeing the city gets pulled into a series of unfolding conflicts while she tries to find a way home, or at least to save it. Lots of layers, and commentary on trust and manipulation.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Chambers A clerk running away from family on Mars signs onto a ship that builds wormholes, and gets a new family in the process. After recently reading books by Meiville, Vonnegut, and others, this was a more hopeful, loving story. The explanation for why all the aliens look like various earth species felt kind of thin, but it's a good story with strong relationships.

Children of Time, Tchaikovsky A project to uplift monkeys on a terraformed world, at the peak of human civilization, is sabotaged by people who don't think humans should play god. There follows a human civil war that nearly destroys civilization. A couple thousand years later, an ark ship of human remnants leaving an uninhabitable earth is heading towards that terraformed planet. This is a great book, with lots to say on intelligence, the nature of people, and both the fragility and heartiness of life.


Scifiinterfaces analyzes the speculative technology in sci-fi movies and TV shows for fun and erudition.


Approaching the Unknown, Mark Elijah Rosenberg's film about an astronaut whose Mars journey does not go according to plan, combines old school non-CGI specia...


A lone astronaut on an endurance mission is forced to cope with an intrusive force which threatens to derail the operation. During the space race of the 1960's,…

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by [email protected] to c/sciencefiction

In the Dune universe, when a laser weapons hits a shield, both are destroyed in a nuclear explosion reaction.

So instead of building nuclear weapons, wouldn’t it be easier to tie a timer and a “parachute” to a laser gun and drop it from orbit onto your enemy’s city?


...but its robot designs were well ahead of the curve for the time.

sffjazz top 100 (
submitted 2 months ago by [email protected] to c/sciencefiction

I've always loved this list of sci-fi books. The 2000s web design compells me.

A while ago I tried to read the ones I hadn't. It was a lovely tour. My biggest surprise was enjoying Childhood's End.


I recently finished Perdido Street Station, and one minor thing that bothered me is how many of the other races were either a humanoid version of earth life (cactus person, bird person) or a literal combination of a human and something (head of a bug, body of a person). That just seems so fantastically unlikely that I wonder if any of the other books in that setting explain it. Like, is it a future earth and the races are results of generic modification in some prior era?

I liked the book pretty well, through it's not exactly uplifting. Thought provoking though.

Daring Utopia Future Fiction? (self.sciencefiction)
submitted 3 months ago by hashferret to c/sciencefiction

I've been loving my hard scifi recently. But I feel like it's begun to demonstrate how much easier it is to imagine all the ways things could go wrong. If fiction is how we lay an outline for the future, I wonder if anyone can recommend some more uplifting stories to me? Rather than a cautionary tale I would appreciate a story with a setting where the author dares to risk being wrong about what's right for us. Naturally this may simply be the setting for a somewhat unrelated story, but I'm curious what sorts of literature comes to mind that falls into this category.

submitted 3 months ago by ikidd to c/sciencefiction

Thank you for the great work, Vernor. You'll be missed.

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