Happy Space Exploration Day! Today commemorates the July 20th anniversary of the first humans to land on the Moon’s surface. In celebration, I have put together a list of novels about exploring the far reaches of space. Hope you find something to enjoy!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: In this haunting, reflective novel, a Jesuit priest discovers an alien civilization that raises questions about humanity and his faith.
Providence by Max Barry: An action-packed sci-fi thriller following a four-person crew aboard Earth’s first warship as they prepare to defend the planet from hostile aliens.
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente: A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth in the Metagalactic Grand Prix music contest in this fast-paced, offbeat humorous story.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini: In this compelling, suspenseful tale, a space voyager discovers an alien artifact that transforms her life and threatens the human race.
The Weight of Stars by Kayla Ancrum: An engaging, bittersweet novel following the growing relationship between a girl who dreams of traveling across the stars and another girl whose mother volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson: Set in the near future, this exciting and fresh read follows three travelers to the moon who discover that it is a very deadly place.
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin: A lyrical, atmospheric tale following a physicist from the anarchist moon Anarres as he risks his life by traveling to the mother planet Urras in hopes of dissolving the hatred that exists between them.
The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord: In this atmospheric, lyrical tale, Rafi, a student at a school for super-human psychic abilities, travels the universe with an intergalactic sports team.
Bowl of Heaven by Gregory Benford: A bowl shaped structure in space leads to hostile alien counters and startling revelations about humanity in this fast-paced, suspenseful story.
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers: As Ariadne and her team traverse time and space to ecologically survey four habitable worlds, Earth goes through profound shifts that the team is forced to confront in this compelling, thought-provoking novel.
Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine: Following Arabella as she disguises herself as a boy and sneaks on a vessel to Mars, this is an action-packed, steampunk, swashbuckling adventure in space.
Nightflyers & Other Stories by George R.R. Martin: A thrilling collection of science fiction stories including Nightflyers which follows nine misfits on a journey to the boundaries of the known universe.
Marsbound by Joe W. Haldeman: After venturing out alone into the Martian landscape, Carmen has an accident and is rescued by a mysterious alien being in this fast-paced, dramatic story.
Artemis Awakening by Jane. M Lindskold: After an interstellar war shattered the Empire, Artemis became a lost civilization. Now, an archaeologist rediscovers the planet after a crash landing in this fast-paced, suspenseful story.
Do you Dream of Terra Two? By Temi Oh: In this complex, character-driven novel, a team of six teens and three veteran astronauts set out on a mission to set up a planet for colonization, but find space is deadlier than they imagined.
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds: Dr. Daniel Sylveste seeks answers about a civilization annihilated nine hundred thousand years ago in this bleak, menacing tale.
Persephone Station by Stina Leicht: An engaging space western following a group of mercenaries hired to defend the indigenous inhabitants of the planet Persephone from a seedy corporation who wants to exploit the planet.
The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler: Jo, a cadet pilot in a band of space pioneers, finds her efforts to start over in a new home derailed by a secret that threatens everything the pioneers have worked for in this suspenseful, action-packed tale.
Do you have a favorite novel about space exploration? What’s your favorite science fiction trope? Let me know in the comments!