Hopeful Science Fiction

Staff PicksWoodridge Library

Hopeful Science Fiction

The last several years, science fiction has been very dark. Post-Apocalyptic fiction is big. Either the world has been destroyed, and we're all trying to survive in a wasteland, or terrible people have formed a totalitarianism government that lies to us and keeps us down.

Now in real life, we’re all socially isolating because a virus. I thought it might be nice to read some hopeful science fiction -- something that shows us doing good things, rather than trying to survive terrible ones.

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
This is the story of binary worlds, two worlds orbiting each other. Or maybe it’s a planet and its moon. Anyway, the inhabitants of these worlds don’t interact much. One is full of war, hunger, political bickering, and a massive wealth gap. The other was settled by utopian anarchists who believe in mutually beneficial cooperation. This is the story of a physicist who works to reunite the two worlds.

Contact by Carl Sagan
Yes, it’s written by that Carl Sagan. This is the story of mankind’s first contact with an advanced civilization out in the stars. Plans from beyond our solar system are received and decoded. A giant machine is constructed, and a group of five people are chosen to see where the machine takes them and who or what is at the other end of their journey.

The Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
Earth is overpopulated and suffering from ecological disaster. If our species is to survive, we have to spread out. Mars is chosen for terraforming, and potential relocation of the species. Change, as we know, doesn't come easy or without conflict. The books in this trilogy are named after the color change the planet goes through during the terraforming process: first Red, then Green, then Blue.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Humanity wants to join the galactic civilization. The only other option is to be declared non-sentient and destroyed. In order to join we must compete in a talent contest in space. You don't have to win, you just can't come in last. Our
representative? A washed up glam rock band. Apparently this book was written on a dare -- specifically, a dare to write a science fiction and Eurovision mix up.

Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds
Over a century in the future, crime, war and poverty are a thing of the past, and the moon and Mars have been settled. Africa is the world’s economic and technological power. When a businesswoman from a powerful family dies, awkward secrets are brought to light on the moon…secrets that could change everything and bring this utopia crashing down.