The Best Science Fiction Books of 2018-2019

Gone World

The past few years have been an excellent time for science fiction, and I’ve been sifting through the best to help you find a book that will bring imaginative and futuristic literature into your reading list. Here are five worthy picks here with which you cannot go wrong, including a sequel to a modern classic. There are space operas, alternate histories, first-contact stories and pretty much anything a sci-fi fanatic could hope for.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Nebula Award-winning The Calculating Starsis a fascinating alternate history of life after a meteorite fell to earth in 1952, causing massive damage. We follow a number of women who are tasked with picking up the pieces and protecting Earth. Elma York in particular is determined to become the first female astronaut no matter what stands in her way.

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

A description like “Inception meets True Detective” should be enough to pique any science fiction fan’s curiosity. The book follows a woman who is a member of the elite Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Set in the 1990s, Shannon Moss is trying to solve the mystery of a grisly murder of a Navy SEAL’s family and is flung into possible versions of the future to try and find answers. This 2018 novel by Tom Sweterlitsch is truly unlike anything else out there in the genre right now.

Semiosis by Sue Burke

This is Sue Burke’s first novel and it’s one hell of a debut—a first-contact story about humanity meeting an alien race and trying to coexist with it on a planet that they’re attempting to colonize. It’s the first part of a two-book series—and the second novel, Interference, is out this fall. This is a duology worth following as Semiosiswas a finalist for several prizes for science fiction novels.

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Ancient terraformers have awoken something … troubling, and engaging in a strange alliance is the only key to survival. This book’s award-winning predecessor, Children of Time, is a new-era sci-fi classic, and Adrian Tchaikovsky’s newly released sequel is well worth a read. If you’re a fan of the genre, chances are that you already have read the first book in this series.

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

Ancestral Night marks the beginning of a new space-opera series from the Hugo Award-winning Elizabeth Bear, one that follows a pair of salvage operators in search of lost relics. They discover something about an alien race that has long been thought extinct to kick off this thrilling new series, which will end up spanning a number of books, so it’s best to get started now, before the summer reading season is over.