Interior of a spaceship with a metallic robot looking at a hologram of a human. Text: National Science Fiction Day

It’s National Science Fiction Day!

(Image by Enrique from Pixabay)

Just as residents of San Francisco warn “Don’t call it Frisco,” I have it on good authority that true science fiction fans insist “Don’t call it sci-fi.”

The first science fiction I remember being enthralled by was the original Star Trek TV show (1966-1969). Later, with the advent of cable television, I discovered Alien Nation (1989-1990). Both shows used the science fiction setting to explore complex social and political ideas. Both shows were ahead of their time. Star Trek lasted three seasons, Alien Nation only one; however, both series were resurrected in later films, and Star Trek gave rise to several sequels.

Over the past several years I’ve appreciated books that use science fiction elements to explore human experience, particularly in the areas of memory and the possibility of alternate lives. Here are some I’ve read and recommend:

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Time and Again by Jack Finney

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Dark Matter and Recursion by Blake Crouch

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

Tell Me an Ending by Jo Harkin

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

The Possibilities by Yael Goldstein-Love

The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey

The New One by Evie Green

© 2024 by Mary Daniels Brown

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