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Year 9: Science Fiction

Science fiction

Science Fiction Definitions

Science Fiction 
Science Fiction features natural science and technologies that do not exist in real life at the time of the book's writing (but perhaps could in the future, eg interstellar travel, advanced robots, flying cars, and alien beings and societies). That is, Science Fiction explores what is possible (even if at the current time highly improbable). It deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or involves a scientific factor as an essential orienting component. 

Science Fiction can be utopian or dystopian, apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic, can reveal an alternate history,can be pure science fiction, supernatural fiction or superhero fiction. Science Fiction  is often rooted in the truth - in real Science that can be researched and then made into a fiction text. Some possible short story topics could investigate spacecraft, nuclear disasters, pandemics like ebola, cyborgs, and many more.

Differences between Science Fiction and Fantasy
Fantasy 
explores the absolutely impossible, and involves elements like Magic, Other worlds (not real), Universal themes like good vs evil or the power of love, Heroism, Fantastic objects, Speaking animals, and Special character types eg fairies, ogres, dragons, witches, zombies or vampires.

Science Fiction usually revolves around the introduction of a disruptive technology that completely reorders the world. Note that some stories such as Star Wars and Superman are mixtures of SF AND Fantasy.

Differences between Science Fiction and Dystopian Science Fiction
Dystopian Science Fiction 
is a subset of Science Fiction. It features a repressive, controlling and dysfunctional  society set a little way into the future of our world here on Earth, often following an apocalyptic event eg nuclear war, asteroid impact, or plague. Governments of these societies reveal a total absence of individual freedoms and there is  constant warfare  and/or violence. Dystopian stories are often meant to warn us about what might happen on our world in the not-too-far-distant future.

Topics for Science Fiction Short Stories

General Themes

  • Alien invasion, superhumans, military conflicts (including the end of the world), apocalypses or world-wide disasters (eg nuclear holocausts or nuclear electromagnetic pulses where all electronic equipment is destroyed), machine rule by artificial intelligence, cyber / space warfare, end of the universe / end of humanity

Beings (Characters)

  • Artificial intelligences (androids, robots, cyborgs), shapeshifters, dinosaurs, space pirates, mad scientists, absent-minded professors, golem, aliens, alien invasion, mutants, parasites, UFOs

Body and Mind Alterations

  • Cloning, bio-implants, organ transplantation, genetic engineering, teleportation

Habitats (Settings)

  • Artificial worlds, alien zoos, floating cities, space colonisation and stations, underground cities, asteroids hitting earth, giant floods, pandemics

Political Themes

  • Dystopian governments (totalitarian), racism, slavery, bioethics, eco-terrorism, bio-terrorism, mind control, eugenics (policies and beliefs trying to improve the human race), Utopian governments (perfect worlds)

Technologies

  • Artificial intelligence, robots, sci-fi weapons, other weird or dangerous or disastrous inventions.

Travel

  • Space exploration and colonisation, time travel, teleportation, earth’s centre, bottom of the ocean

Examples of Science Fiction short stories

Here are 3 excellent examples of short Science Fiction short stories, from 'Shavings - A Collection of Short Short Stories', edited by Richard Baines, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2007.

Examination Day  /  The Aliens  /  Not Yet the End

Here are another 3 excellent examples of short Science Fiction short stories from popular Australian science fiction writer Brian Caswell, from 'Story Weavers', edited by Sandra Bernhardt, Macmillan Press, South Yarra, 2006

Red  /  Beyond the Walls  /  Dream of Stars

Science Fiction Recommended Reading List

Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card

 

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military's purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power.  Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails. (from Good Reads - 5 copies available). 

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. Wade finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

The Maze Runner 

James Dashner

Some teenagers ("The Gladers") are left in a strange place called "The Glade". Beyond its walls lie an ever-changing maze, with its horrifying creatures. Every month a newcomer joins the Gladers, sent by a lift with all past memories wiped out. The ultimate goal of the remaining Gladers is to find a way out. To do so, runners venture out into the maze to map it in an attempt to find a pattern that would lead them to find an exit. When Thomas, an extra-curious newcomer, arrives at the Glade and ventures into the maze, unusual things begin to happen (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 5 copies).

I am Number Four (The Lorien Legacies series)

Pittacus Lore

 

In Book 1 ‘I am Number Four’, in rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien. (Mid-Fic; 5 copies).

The Fifth Wave series

Rick Yancey

16-year-old Cassie Sullivan is trying to survive a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion; now it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and Cassie runs from Them. They are the beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see, who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. while trying to save her five-year-old brother Sam from a training camp that was created by the Others (the aliens). (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

The Martian

Andy Weir

Mark is the first man to walk on Mars, but after a dust storm he finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi young readers’ version; Sen Fic Sci—Fi; 2 copies).

The Leviathan Trilogy

Scott Westerfeld

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, England and France have perfected the techniques of species fabrication, resulting in a glorious age of Edwardian biotechnology. Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure.(Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

The Lab 

Jack Heath

Sixteen-year-old agent Six of Hearts is the first human to be grown from designer DNA. He can run faster, jump higher and react more quickly than anyone else. Six escaped from his creators, a sinister underground organisation called the Lab, when he was a baby. Now, he works for the Deck, a group of vigilantes who are trying to protect the Code – the moral values set down before the world descended into anarchy. When the Deck begins investigating the Lab, Six walks a tightrope between his two worlds, trying to keep his origins a secret. Then he meets Kyntax, a boy with the same DNA...This science-fiction thriller fhas all the requisite spy elements of gadgets and makeovers, high-octane chases, explosive fight scenes and a plot that leaves you guessing right till the end!

The Phoenix Files series (Arrival)

Chris Morphew

In Book 1, ‘Arrival’, Luke is dragged by his mum to Phoenix, but Phoenix is strange. There are no cars, no phones and no internet. Someone in Phoenix is plotting to wipe out the human race. And the clock is already ticking. There are one hundred days until the end of the world, and it's down to Luke and his two friends to save the day. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 2

I am Legend

Richard Matheson

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth... but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?

Superhuman series

Michael Carroll

4,000 years ago the world’s first super human walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attack, and the ability to read minds, this immortal being used his power to conquer and enslave nations. Now plans are in motion that will transport this super human to the present, where he’ll usher in a new age of tyranny unlike anything the world has ever seen. Determined to stand against them, using powers they’ve only just begun to master, is a ragtag group of young heroes. For them this first test may be their greatest. . .and last. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

 

The Eye of Minds (Mortality Decline series)

James Dashner

Book 1, 'The Eye of Minds', features a story set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond everyone’s wildest dreams . . . and everyone’s worst nightmares. For Michael and the other gamers, the VirtNet can make the wildest fantasies become real. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Who wants to play by the rules anyway? But some rules were made for a reason. One gamer has been taking people hostage inside the VirtNet with horrific consequences. The government needs Michael to track down the rogue gamer, but the risk is enormous and the line between game and reality could be blurred forever. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Halo series

Eric Nyland

In Book 1, ‘The Fall of Reach’, the bloody Human-Covenant War rages and the fate of humankind may rest with one warrior; the lone SPARTAN survivor of another legendary battle. At the Office of Naval Intelligence, Dr. Catherine Halsey has been hard at work on a top secret program that could bring an end to all this conflict... and it starts with seventy-five children, among them a six year old boy named John. Halsey never guessed that this little boy would become humanity's final hope against a vast alien force hell-bent on wiping them out. This is the story of John, Spartan-117…the Master Chief, and of the battles that brought humanity face to face with its possible extinction. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Daniel X series

James Patterson and Michel Ledwidge

In Book 1, ‘The Dangerous Days of Daniel X’, having seen the brutal murder of his parents unfolded before him, Daniel has been forced to make his own way in a dark and unforgiving world with a heavy task handed to him. Daniel's father was an alien hunter, working his way through a fearsome 'wanted' list of aliens intent on seeking control and wreaking devastation. Daniel inherits the list from his father, and his secret abilities - like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses - have helped him survive.  His ultimate aim is to exact revenge against number 1 on his list: his parents' murderer. But first he must target the others: each more sinister and gruesome than the last. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Virals series

Kathy Reichs

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

 

Time Riders series

Alex Scarrow

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912; Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010; Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand ...’ But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

The C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy (Invasion)

John S. Lewis

In Book 1, ‘Invasion: a C.H.A.O.S Novel’ Colt McAlister was having the summer of his life. He spent his days surfing and his nights playing guitar on the beach with friends. He even met a girl and got his first car. But everything changes when his parents are killed in a freak accident. He's forced to leave his old life behind and move to Arizona with his grandfather. Colt finds out his mother, an investigative reporter, was going to expose a secret mind-control program run by one of the world's largest biotech companies. Vowing to uncover the truth, Colt gets drawn into a secret world of aliens, shapeshifters, flying motorcycles, and invisible getaways. (SF Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Earthfall series (The Battle Starts Here)

Mark Walden

In Book 1, 'The Battle Starts Here', Sam wakes to see strange vessels gathered in the skies around London. As he stares up, people stream past, walking silently towards the enormous ships which emit a persistent noise he seems immune to. Six months later, Sam is absolutely alone. In his underground bunker he has food and water for a couple of days. He has no choice but to venture above. Spotted by a flying drone, Sam escapes, but not before the drone slashes him with a barbed tendril but then the drone is shot down in a hail of machine gun fire. In five minutes Sam learns two things: he is not alone; the drone injury should have killed him instantly - yet he is still alive. The battle for Earth is about to begin. (Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

 

Dystopian Science Fiction Recommended Reading List

Retrospect: The Beginning  

Tim Harris   

 

A fast-paced dystopian fiction novel set in Brisbane 15 years into the future, written by our very own Mr Harris. The plot delves into a number of key societal issues, giving the story a strong dose of reality. The consequences of humans trying to play GOD through Science and Technology exploitation are explored, as well as the quest for eternal life, and the power of 'Big Brother'. The protagonist is  15-year old  Noah, and the story unwinds through his conversational narration. As the plot unwinds, we discover the antagonist (Setag) has systematically hijacked an entire population using his manipulation of the Technological age. Through his cruel dictatorship, he obliterates anyone who stands in his way. Children also disappear in large numbers, leading those surviving on a mission to uncover the 'truth'. This leads to a number of shattering discoveries and sends the story to the University of Queensland Campus itself.   (from Trove - 100 copies available).

Hunger Games series

Suzanne Collins
 

Book 1, 'Hunger Games' features a post-apocalyptic North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control of its 12 poorer districts through an annual televised survival competition.  As a continuing punishment, and reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory. 16-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she volunteers to take her younger sister's place (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 6 copies).

Divergent series

Virginia Roth

In Book 1, 'Divergent', 16-year old Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian Chicago world, where society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 6 copies).

Gone

Michael Grant

Book 1, 'Gone', features a story is centred on the fictional Southern Californian town of Perdido Beach, in which every human aged 15 and older vanishes. The town and surrounding areas become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier, with many of its inhabitants developing supernatural powers. The books follow the exploits of the protagonist, Sam Temple, as he battles antagonists Caine Soren and Drake Merwin, as well as a mysterious, malevolent creature, known as the Darkness.

Tomorrow, When the War Began

John Marsden

 

In Book 1, 'Tomorrow When the War Began', World War III becomes an unstoppable reality in this action-packed adventure. When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight. (from Book Depository - 20 copies available).

The Enemy

Charlie Higson

When the sickness came, every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under 14 remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begins its quest across London, where all through the city the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive? (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 5 copies).

 

Unwind

Neal Shusterman

 

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them. Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their 18th birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, 18 seems far, far away. In Unwind, award-winning author Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive. (from Storyman - 5 copies available). 

The Giver

Lois Lowry

 

It is the perfect future Utopian world. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in The Community wants for anything. Everyone is provided for. Each Family Unit is entitled to one female and male child. Each member of The Community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders, and they never make a mistake.  Jonas, a sensitive 12-year-old boy, had never thought there was anything wrong with his Community, until one day when he is selected as the Receiver of Memory at The Ceremony, his life is never the same. Jonas discovers that The Community is not as perfect as it seems. Although they appear to have everything, they are missing something of great importance. It is up to Jonas, with the help of the Giver, to find what long ago had been lost. And so Jonas embarks on an adventure to save the world as he knows it. (from Book Lore - 5 copies available).

Legend

Marie Lu

 

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, 15-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, 15-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (from Good Reads - 5 copies available).

Little Brother

Corey Doctorow

 

Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only 17 years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems. But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: "M1k3y" will take down the DHS himself. (from Good Reads - 5 copies available).

The Sky So Heavy 

Claire Zorn

 

A dystopian novel set in Sydney’s Blue Mountains in the present day. For 17-year old Fin, it’s just like any other day – racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class and trying to remain cool in front of Lucy, the most sophisticated girl in his universe. Only it’s not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated. When Fin wakes up the next morning, it’s dark, bitterly cold and snow is falling. There’s no internet, no phone, no TV, no power and no parents. Nothing Fin’s learnt in school could have prepared him for this. With his parents missing and dwindling food and water supplies, Fin and his younger brother, Max, must find a way to survive in a nuclear winter … all on their own, and try to reach the supposed safety of the city and their mother's protection. (from Good Reads - 5 copies available).

The Enemy

Charlie Higson

 

The Enemy is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic, white-knuckle tale of teenage survival in the face of unimaginable horror. The action takes place in London, and when the sickness came, every parent, police officer, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry, and have turned into something akin to voracious, cannibalistic zombies, decomposing, brainless creatures with a ravenous appetite for flesh.  Only children under 16 remain, and they're fighting to survive, constantly in danger of being eaten by boil-infested grown-ups. These monsters roam the streets looking for children to kill. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive? (From TeenReads - 5 copies available)

The Knife of Never Letting  Go (Chaos Walking series)

Patrick Ness

In Book 1, 'The Knife of Never Letting Go', Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. An unflinching novel about fear, flight and the terrifying path of self-discovery that won won both the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. (from Amazon - 5 copies available).

The Road to Winter

Mark Smith

 

Since a deadly virus and the violence that followed wiped out his parents and most of his community, Finn has lived alone on the rugged coast with only his loyal dog Rowdy for company.He has stayed alive for two winters—hunting and fishing and trading food, and keeping out of sight of the Wilders, an armed and dangerous gang that controls the north, led by a ruthless man named Ramage.But Finn’s isolation is shattered when a girl runs onto the beach. Rose is a Siley—an asylum seeker—and she has escaped from Ramage, who had enslaved her and her younger sister, Kas. Rose is desperate, sick, and needs Finn’s help. Kas is still missing somewhere out in the bush.And Ramage wants the girls back—at any cost. From Good Reads - 5 copies available).

The Leviathan Trilogy

Scott Westerfeld

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, England and France have perfected the techniques of species fabrication, resulting in a glorious age of Edwardian biotechnology. Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure.(Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Monument 14

Emmy Laybourne

A post-apocalyptic novel where 14 kids are stranded inside a superstore after a freak hailstorm crashes their bus. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There's junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol ...and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want. But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead. The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they'll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they've created inside from self-destructing too? (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society. Sephy is a Cross -- a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought -- a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a relationship builds between Sephy and Callum -- one that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together? (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

Bzrk series 

Michael Grant

An action-adventure with a dystopian twist (eg Hunger Games). Set in the near future, BZRK is the story of a war for control of the human mind.  Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, conjoined twins and owners of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, have a goal:  to turn the world into their vision of utopia using nanobots.  No wars, no conflict, no hunger.  And no free will.  Opposing them is a guerrilla group of teens, code name BZRK, who are fighting to protect the right to be messed up, to be human, using a DNA-based bot.  The battleground is the human brain.  And there are no stalemates here:  It’s victory . . . or madness.f(Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

Quarantine series (The Loners)

Lex Thomas

In Book 1, ‘The Loners’, after an explosion at their high school, a virus deadly to adults infects all students, and the school is put under a military quarantine. With the teachers gone, brothers David and Will and the other students soon break into violent gangs based on their high-school social cliques that fight each other for survival and the hope of escaping their quarantine. (Mid-Fic Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Classics in Science Fiction - Recommended Reading List

Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

'Frankensteintells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

 

A novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

Lord of the Flies

William Golding

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.” (From Good Reads - 10 copies available).

1984

George Orwell

The novel is set in an imaginary future world that is dominated by three perpetually warring totalitarian police states. The book's hero, Winston Smith, is a minor party functionary in one of these states. His longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government. Smith has a love affair with a like-minded woman, but they are both arrested by the Thought Police. The ensuing imprisonment, torture, and re-education of Smith are intended not merely to break him physically or make him submit but to root out his independent mental existence and his spiritual dignity. (SF Classics; 5 copies).

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress. Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present. (SF Classics; 3 copies).

I, Robot series (2 versions)

a) by Micky Zucker Reichert (adapted from Isaac Asimov's novel)

b) Isaac Asimov original 

Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. The future of the human race is to be inevitably linked with its most brilliant creation. But there are some who do not want the future to arrive.... Intelligent and driven, Dr. Susan Calvin is beginning her residency in psychiatry at Manhattan Hasbro teaching hospital, where a select group of patients is receiving the latest in diagnostic advancements--nanotechnology ... But what no one knows is that a technology that promised to improve life is now under control of those who seek to spread only death (MF & SF Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

Foundation Trilogy

Isaac Asimov

For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. (SF Sci-Fi; 2 copies).

Doctor Who

From a variety of authors, as it was originally a TV show

A British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The program depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord—a space and time-travelling humanoid alien. He explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship.

The Day of the Triffids

John Wyndham

Bill Masen, in hospital, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city, but to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, the blind must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realisation. (SF Dystopian; 2 copies).

Planet of the Apes

Pierre Boulle

In the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what appears to be a planet just like Earth, with lush forests, a temperate climate, and breathable air. But while it appears to be a paradise, nothing is what it seems. They soon discover the terrifying truth: On this world humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters. One man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all the while wondering: Will he become the saviour of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation? In a shocking climax Boulle delivers the answer in a masterpiece of adventure, satire, and suspense. (SF Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

An island off Costa Rica will soon be the world's most ambitious theme park--a dinosaur preserve after a visionary billionaire’s biotechnology company has created a technique to clone dinosaurs, supposedly incapable of breeding. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow 15 different species of dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power. (SF Sci-Fi; 1 copy).

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. This is the classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, and a prophetic account of Western civilisation’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. (SF Sci-Fi; 3 copies).