What makes for good science fiction? That depends on who you ask. Some may say that good worldbuilding is the key. Others prefer stories with greater emphasis on character development or exciting, exotic action scenes. All are valid opinions, but they miss what lies at the heart of many a sci-fi classic: fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of difference. Science fiction is a time-honored way of dealing with base human emotions. These seven thrillers dive deep into the more terrifying aspects of science fiction and suspense, forcing readers to confront their own fears and biases.
N. K. Jemisin
Bestselling, award-winning author N.K. Jemisin introduces readers to numerous fantastical worlds in How Long 'til Black Future Month. The book begins in the city of Um-Helat, a utopian society that has learned to protect its law-abiding citizens by any means necessary. From there, we travel to a post-Katrina New Orleans haunted by malevolent supernatural beings, and we watch as faeries use promises of a future better than what a racist society can offer to lure young Black people away. These short stories will chill readers while also making them think about the all-too-real issues—racism, inequality, injustice—that they explore.
Without warning, humans start giving birth to a lower form of primate. As people panic, society, too, starts to regress and even collapse. Frightening rumors run rampant, including one about the government rounding up and registering all pregnant women. And Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who is four months pregnant, is caught in the middle of it all. With her adoptive parents missing and the world crumbling around her, Cedar must rely on her own courage and determination to keep herself and her unborn child safe.
After rendering Earth uninhabitable, humanity flees to the stars. They find a new home planet that is already terraformed, beautiful in every way, and waiting just for them — or so their hubris leads them to believe. The colonizers soon find themselves in a battle for dominance with another race that is equally certain of its right to live on this gorgeous, deadly world. How far will the colonizers go? And is saving their dying species worth the price? This award-winning psychological thriller can be read on its own, but there is also a sequel, Children of Ruin, available.
The first in a new series, Dread Nation follows the zombie-slaying adventures of Jane McKeene. After the American Civil War ground to a halt in the wake of a zombie invasion, Black girls like Jane were trained to protect the wealthy from this new menace. Danger stalks Jane at every turn, preventing her from rejoining her family in Kentucky and leading the life she truly wants. And when people in Baltimore County start going missing, Jane's dream of a quiet life seems further away than ever...
Four years after Mal's mysterious disappearance on Bodmin Moor, she returns just as mysteriously. As Mal's friends rejoice, questions swirl, and a suspicious government closes in. Meanwhile, Dr. Kay Amal Khan, a theoretical physicist, realizes that Mal isn't the only being to appear where she shouldn't. Widening rifts in spacetime threaten to open a doorway to another universe, and the creatures preparing to use that door may threaten life as we know it. Author Adrian Tchaikovsky, who also wrote Children of Time, once again delivers an electrifying exploration of the intersection between science fiction and fear
“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. A mind-bending rollercoaster ride, Dark Matter tells the story of a man lost between parallel universes and trying to find his way home. Any fan of thrillers will find this pulse-racing science fiction more than adequately satiates their need for page-turning action.
Luke Elliot Arnold
Fetch Phillips doesn't work for just anyone. Only Sunder City's magical residents, who suffered the most after magic disappeared from the city, can make use of his private investigation services. But he doesn't work this way out of the goodness of his heart: he himself is responsible for the loss of magic and the misery it brought. In this brand-new sequel to the award-winning The Last Smile in Sunder City, Fetch continues his quest for redemption, one assignment at a time. Dead Man in a Ditch is a noir mystery with a magical (or rather, magic-less) twist.
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