November 02, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Sci-Fi Stories: Do You Read Them? Futuristic? Machine? Space Opera? Sci-Fi Romance?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings in order to discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging (and some slightly more personal matters throw in for good measure). While Heidi is on an extended hiatus, there are five of us who are hosting it and providing the questions. The current team is composed of Berls at Because Reading Is Better Than Real LifeJen at That's What I'm Talking AboutKaren at For What It's WorthLinda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Roberta at Offbeat YA. This week's question is...


👽 🪐 Happy sci-fi month! 🧬 🤖

Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres, along with others that seem at odds with it, like Afterlife and Supernatural (yeah, I'm a multifaceted person 😁). I've never read a space opera yet (not sure it's my thing), and of course I try to stay away from sci-fi romance, because that's how I'm wired - no smoochies in my books LOL. On the other end of the spectrum, almost anything goes (though I can't recall having read any hard sci-fi. I guess soft sci-fi is much more fun 😉).

Today I'm bringing you a series of 7 recommendations for sci-fi books - my favourite I've read so far (5 and 4.5 stars). All titles link to my reviews. Enjoy!


Adrian Tchaikovsky: One Day All This Will Be Yours (novella - 2021) (Adult)
"Nobody remembers how the Causality War started. Really, there’s no-one to remember, and nothing for them to remember if there were; that’s sort of the point. We were time warriors, and we broke time."
Pros: Complex, clever, perversely funny. Packs a lot of surprises for a book so short, and even manages to pose a serious question despite reading like a politically incorrect romp.
Will appeal to: Time-travel aficionados who aren't afraid to dip their toes into dark humour.

Christopher Pike: The Season of Passage (1992 - reissued 2011) (Adult)
"A manned expedition to Mars...the mystery of the missing group that had gone before her. The dead group. But were they simply dead? Or something else?"
Pros: Riveting mix of genres full of tension build-up. Engaging main characters.
Will appeal to: Those who like creepy and weird stuff...and don't care about accuracy.

Robin Wasserman: Cold Awakening series (2008) -> Frozen | Shattered | Torn (YA)
"Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her - but it also changed her, forever....She's not the same person she used to be. Maybe she's not even a person at all."
Pros: Not overly original premise brought to excellence. Strong, imaginative world-building. Well crafted, emotion-conveying prose.
Will appeal to: Those who aren't afraid to think and speculate. Those who can appreciate a gutsy ending.


Kali Wallace: Dead Space (2021) (Adult)
"...(When) her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine...catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester's worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space."
Pros: Tight, adventurous, diverse, surprisingly moving in places, socially relevant.
Will appeal to: Those who like speculative fiction with a heart and a social conscience.

Karen Healey: When We Wake duology (2013) -> When We Wake | While We Run (YA)
Book 1: "Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?"
Book 2: "Abdi Taalib thought he was moving to Australia for a music scholarship. But after meeting the beautiful and brazen Tegan Oglietti, his world was turned upside down...the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia's cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust - and, when they uncover startling new details about the program, they realize that thousands of lives may be in their hands."
Pros: (Book 1) -> Strong characters with distinctive voices. Lots of (intersectional) diversity. On-point social/environmental commentary perfectly integrated into the story. Fast pace. | (Book 2) -> Strong, mostly diverse characters with distinctive voices, often dealing with moral dilemmas and hard decisions to make. Never a dull moment, even when the pace gets slower.
Will appeal to: Readers who care about the state our world is in. Readers who like a thrilling yet romantic adventure. Beatles fans.

Mary E. Pearson: Jenna Fox Chronicles series (2008) -> The Adoration of Jenna Fox | The Fox Inheritance | Fox Forever (YA)
Book 1: "She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident?"
Book 2: "Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other - Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld...Two-hundred-and-sixty years later...Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox."
Book 3: "After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life... Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance - and into Raine’s life."
Pros: (Book 1) -> Deep, imaginative take on what it means to be human. | (Book 2) -> Unique premise. A main character you can relate to. Feelings and action packed together. Creative futuristic speculations. An unforgettable non-human, more-than-human sidekick. | (Book 3) -> Part adventure, part romance, part coming-of-age story - you get a bit of everything here.
Will appeal to: Sci-fi lovers who don't need a post-apocalyptic scenario. Fans of ethical speculations.
(Please note: I rated the first two installments 4.5 stars, but I was less fond of the third one, which I found to be a bit too romance-y and cliche - hence my 3.5 star rating).

Alison Goodman: Singing the Dogstar Blues (1998) (YA)
"Joss is a rebel, and a student of time travel at the prestigious Centre for Neo-Historical Studies. This year, for the first time, the Centre has an alien student: Mavkel...Then Mavkel gets sick. Joss quickly realizes that...the only way she can help Mavkel is by breaking the Centre's strictest rules - and that means going back in time to change history."
Pros: Full-fleshed, snarky, deliciously flawed, resourceful heroine. Adorable co-protagonist. Unconventional friendship. Lots of humour. Tackles themes of identity and gender/sexuality without making them "issues".
Will appeal to: Sci-fi fans 😉. Non sci-fi fans too, if they like humour, unusual pairings and coming-of-age stories.

Well, that's it for now. Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to participate in the meme on a regular or semi-regular basis, and get emailed the prompt list? Just head over here and fill in Jen's form! (Of course, you can jump in anytime you like - you are under no obligation to actually do all the posts, or even most of them, just because you signed up, and you can remove yourself from the list at any time). And if you're interested in participating in a more casual manner, or only in commenting, here is the TMST prompt list for the month of November:

  • November 9th: Do you use reading subscriptions (e.g., Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, etc)? Why/why not?
  • November 16th: Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?
  • November 23rd: Gratitude. What books/authors/narrators/bloggers are you most thankful for this year?
  • November 30th: Book cover love: share some book covers that you loved in 2021

I'll be back on November 16th, since reading subscriptions are of no use for me - the only ebooks I read (on my PC) are the free/ACSM ones that I receive for review (I don't have an ereader, and for security reasons, I only use my debit/credit card for payroll credit purposes, not to make purchases or subscribe to stuff).

Now tell me something...are you a sci-fi fan? what's your favourite subgenre? any recs?


  1. I often say sci-fi is one of my favorite genre but I haven't read one lately. There are just too many overlaps into other genres, it's not easy to define whether a book is entirely scifi or sci-fi soft as you said here.

    Your recommendations are a good variety but somehow, I don't seem to have any particular interest in them. I'm a mood reader so what won't appeal to me today, might tomorrow.

    I seen to have watched a lot of sci-fi shows and movies though, like Star Trek, Star Wars, The Iron Giant, maybe I like my sci-fi in a visual form instead? I realized just now I don't even have a single favorite sci-fi book to recommend, so I suppose I haven't read any good sci-fi. Is 'Journey to the center of earth' by Jules Verne sci-fi? That's the only book I can think of to recommend.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. IT's funny, because you write lots of stories about planets and spaceships, so one would think you like sci-fi a lot - but as you said, maybe you prefer sci-fi in a visual form (so maybe one day I'll succeed in getting you interested in Doctor Who 😉).

    2. I'm going to butt in (sorry!!) and say IMO I think Journey to the Center of the Earth could be considered SF. Especially since I think dinosaurs or at least fantastical creatures appear and the whole concept itself of an inner world is a time- honored SF trope (see Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar novels, etc).

      Not a surprise I imagine that I like such tropes :)

    3. Ha, not at all! 😉 And of course Journey has a place among sci-fi novels, though maybe it would be considered sci-fantasy these days (the label didn't exist yet at the time).

  2. Season of Passage is still on my list! As you know, sci-fi isn't really my genre, but Pike can get away with just about anything.

  3. I can read some like cyborgs and such. It's not the usual genre I read though.

  4. Space Opera is really as close as I get to sci-fi these days (and even if the authors try to pretend it's not space opera, it is)

    1. Why would they pretend? This book marketing thing is so confusing LOL.

  5. I prefer soft SF too, I think. And oh my gosh I'm reading Dead Space right now and LOVING it. Who knew I needed a murder mystery in space so much in my life????

    "and we broke time." That alone is enough to make me want to read it. i love that idea. Of time travelers breaking the timestream from tampering/ whatever.

    The PEarson books sound fabulous too. and the idea of downloading consciousness.

    I feel like we're in a golden age of SF right now.

    1. I'm SO happy you're reading DS and loving it 😭. I hope I prompted you to do it, if a little 😉. Looking forward to your thoughts!

      "We broke time" has to be one of the most fascinating premises EVER. And the book lives up to it, though in a different way than I expected.

      "I feel like we're in a golden age of SF right now."
      We are!

    2. I finshed Dead Space tonight and LOVED it.

    3. Open ending, but amazing! Plus she really makes you care won't say because someone might come across the spoiler while reading this comment, but let's say...Hester's helper LOL.

    4. YES! I can think of two individuals who I wanted MORE of. I even felt for Neeta...

    5. Wallace has a way of making you feel for her characters! They're really fleshed out.

  6. I am also more a fan of soft sci-fi. I think sci-fi and fantasy can go great together though!

    The Jenna Fox Chronicles have really pretty covers, and I like thought-provoking books and the whole what it means to be human question, so I'm intrigued by those. Also kind of curious about the alien one.

    I've been considering trying more time travel books lately, and I see you have a few of those on this list!

    1. "I think sci-fi and fantasy can go great together though!"
      Absolutely! I've loved a few sci-fantasy books in the past, so maybe I'll do a rec post for them too one day!

      Oooh, time travel is my kryptonite 😁. I know you've read Unhappenings and I hope you'll write a review, because I'm really curious about your thoughts!

  7. I really need to read this Pearson series. I loved her Remnant Chronicles series!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Jenna Fox Chronicles was a successful series back when I started blogging - I think it was Pearson's debut, but one couldn't tell at all!

  8. Thanks for tossing in some recommendations. I don't mind sci-fi romance, I can handle the smooches. LOL.

  9. These all sound like such good books. And Science Fiction is an awesome genre, while I haven't read many books that are in that genre, I have seen some TV shows that are. (Mainly Star Trek and Doctor Who).

    1. Ah, I love DW - though I'm not a fan of the turn it's taken lately, with all the retconning...🤬 😭

  10. I love sci-fi too! I have gotten into it a lot more in the past few years, and I have been absolutely loving it! Dead Space is on my must-read list, and I have copies of Jenna Fox and When We Wake, so I am glad to see them here too!

    1. You are one of my few blogging friends who read sci-fi! And wow, you have copies of Jenna Fox and When We Wake from way back? Regardless, they're still relevant - they didn't get old one bit.


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