The Burning World by J.G. Ballard

Title: The Burning World (The Drought)

Author: J.G. Ballard

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 1964

There are no clouds in the sky, no rain, rivers and lakes are slowly but inexorably drying up. Earth’s population has been forced to move towards the ocean in search of water.

In this arid world, Dr Charles Ransom needs to find a way – and a place – to survive.

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A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

Title: A History of What Comes Next

Series: Take Them to the Stars #1

Author: Sylvain Neuvel

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2021

Sarah and Mia are the ninety-nine, tasked to help human progress along and take them to the stars before it’s too late. That’s the reason why Mia is infiltrating Nazi Germany in order to lure scientist and engineers to leave the country and continue their research in a safer place.

But someone has been after Mia and her family since the beginning of time, trying to hinder their mission and forcing them to move countless times – or be stopped for good.

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The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Title: The Stars My Destination

Author: Alfred Bester

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 1955

Gulliver Foyle is lost in space and sleeping the days away in the hope of being rescued – or waiting for his supplies to finally run out.
When a spaceship comes closer to the relic he’s clinging to and ignores his cry for help, he swears he will find a way to go back to Earth and get revenge on all the people aboard.

But his investigations lead to the discovery that something else was drifting with him in space, and it could be worth an interplanetary war.

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Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Title: Winter’s Orbit

Author: Everina Maxwell

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2021

Kiem is a prince of Iskat, so far down the line of succession that his most important jobs are appearing at charity events and keeping out of trouble – not necessarily in this order.
Jainan is a count of Thea, previously married to prince Taam and recently widowed, and he needs to tie a new connection to the crown quickly in order to sedate the unrest on his own planet and secure the alliance with Iskat.

But when it comes to light that Taam’s death might not have been an accident, the newly married couple has to join forces to face the imperial court, a possible murder, and their growing feelings for one another.

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Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Title: Remote Control

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2021

In Sankofa’s years on the road, she’d learned that people were complicated. They wore masks and guises to protect or hide their real selves. They reinvented themselves. They destroyed themselves. They built on themselves.

The day Fatima forgot her name, everyone in her town died a mysterious death. Since then she’s been known with the name Sankofa, a name that doesn’t mean anything to anyone but her.
Everywhere she goes, death follows; it’s not by chance that rumours say death adopted her. Followed by her fox companion, she walks on, searching for the one thing that started it all, in the hopes of understanding what happened to her and all the people she loved.

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The Seep by Chana Porter

Title: The Seep

Author: Chana Porter

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2020

It’s been twenty years since the alien entity called the Seep infiltrated human society. In the Seep everyone and everything is connected: no more capitalism, wars, diseases, even death. The Seep allows everyone to be who and what they want to be: it just wants humanity to be happy and content.

Trina was happy as well, until the day her wife Deeba started dreaming of being a baby again, and finally decided to move on to this new existence without her. Heartbroken, Trina embarks in an unexpected quest, a desperate attempt to overcome her grief and find a new purpose in life.

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The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Title: The Drowned World

Author: J.G. Ballard

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 1962

Soon it would be too hot.

Global warming has messed up the planet’s equilibrium. In less than a century, the polar caps have melted, most of the planet is engulfed in violent rains, and man’s largest cities lay at the bottom of huge lagoons, with the top floors of skyscrapers lining their edges. Gigantic tropical plants litter the few strands of silt and ground still above the waterline, while reptiles are reclaiming the planet for themselves.

Dr Robert Kerans is a biologist working with a team to analyse and categorise the changes, but the quiet peace of the submerged cities seems to call to him, and strange dreams afflict everyone who spends too long in the lagoons.

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The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

Title: The New Wilderness

Author: Diane Cook

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2020

What she wouldn’t have given for her mother.

Agnes is slowly wasting away in the smog and pollution of the City. Her lungs are giving up, and in order to save her, her mother Bea accepts a chance to enter the Wilderness State, the last swath of protected land away from the City. A group of twenty people will live there as hunter gatherers, in a last attempt to prove that men can live with nature without destroying it.
But while Agnes gets better and becomes a wild child, Bea longs for the comforts of the City and their previous life. Living in the Wilderness State is hard, the Rangers seem to have fun pushing them around and making sure they don’t stay too long in any given place, and still expect them to fill out their paperwork diligently and without complaint.
When the Administration changes, though, a feeling of uncertainty enters the group. Will they be allowed to stay, or forced to leave?

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Stories of your life and others by Ted Chiang

Title: Stories of Your Life and Others

Author: Ted Chiang

Genre: Science Fiction, Anthology

Year: 2002

Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of eight short stories by author Ted Chiang. The stories are mostly science fiction, with one or two instances that verge more on the fantasy side. I’ll try to talk about each of the stories without getting into too many details, even though I’d love to discuss them further.

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