If you liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline…

…then try one of these other books!

Feed / M.T. Anderson

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

 

Ender’s Game / Orson Scott Card

Six-year-old Ender Wiggin and his fellow students at Battle School are being tested and trained to determine whether they possess the abilities to remake the world — if the world survives an all-out war with an alien enemy.

 

Little Brother / Cory Doctorow

Computer hacker Marcus spends most of his time outwitting school surveillance, until the day that San Francisco is bombed by terrorists — and he and his friends are arrested and brutally interrogated for days. When they release Marcus, the authorities threaten to come for him again if he breathes a word about his ordeal; meanwhile, America has become a police state where everyone is suspect. For Marcus, the only option left is to take down the power-crazed Department of Homeland Security with an underground online revolution.

Neuromancer / William Gibson

The Matrix unfolds like neon origami beneath clusters and constellations of data. Constructs, AIs, live here. Somewhere, concealed by ice, Neuromancer is evolving. As entropy goes into reverse, Molly’s surgical implants broadcast trouble from the ferro-concrete geodesic of the Sprawl. Maelcum, Rastafarian in space, is her best hope of rescue. But she and Case, computer cowboy, are busy stealing data from the almighty Megacorps. If the Megacorps do not get them both, perhaps Case will fall prey to the cheap treachery of Linda Lee, someone as lost as himself.

Arena / Holly Jennings

A first woman captain of a team of gaming warriors participating in the world’s most elite competition discovers that the real and virtual worlds of the Virtual Gaming League are built around dangerous secrets

 

Insignia / S.J. Kincaid

Tom, a fourteen-year-old genius at virtual reality games, is recruited by the United States Military to begin training at the Pentagon Spire as a Combatant in World War III, controlling the mechanized drones that do the actual fighting off-planet.

 

The Impossible Fortress / Jason Rekulak

A 14-year-old boy pretends to seduce a girl to steal a copy of Playboy before discovering that she is his computer-loving soul mate against a backdrop of late-1980s teen pop-culture trends.

 

Daemon / Daniel Suarez

In a near-future run by thousands of autonomous computer programs, a dormant program activates after a legendary game designer’s premature death and launches a sinister effort to dismantle society and enforce a new world order.

 

Artemis / Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara grew up in Artemis , the only city on the moon. She’s a young, misanthropic, underachieving genius who side-hustles as a smuggler. One day, she takes on a job that proves too dangerous and finds herself wrapped up in murder and an interplanetary struggle for control over a new technology worth billions.

Press Start to Play / Daniel H. Wilson

Collects twenty-six short fiction stories that explore what video games can be from authors that include Holly Black, Chris Kluwe, and T.C. Boyle.

 

Magicians Impossible by Brad Abraham

Reviewed by Judy (Library Patron)

Fast paced debut science fiction/fantasy novel that will delight fans of Jim Butcher’s Dreseden Files series and Mission Impossible movies.
Filled with magic, complex characters and plot twists in every chapter, readers will find it difficult to put it down until the very last page.
I am looking forward to the next installment.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC ABRAHAM)

The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Reviewed by Judy B (Library Staff)

Ms. Chambers debut sci fi novel is full of complex characters & alien cultures, lots of space adventures and detailed culinary practices. She writes with an up beat voice and offers vivid descriptions that makes the reader want more and more.
I am immediately going to read her second book in the series, “A Closed and Common Orbit”.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

Weekly Book List: Week 42 (Science Fiction)

The Water Knife / Paolo Bacigalupi

Severe water shortages across the American Southwest fuel cutthroat competition between independent city-states for scarce resources. On one end of the spectrum is Las Vegas, a lush, high-tech “arcology” of fountains and gardens; on the other is Phoenix, devastated by drought yet inundated with refugees from bone-dry Texas. Against this vividly rendered backdrop, a diverse cast of characters do what they must to survive. (FIC BACIGALUPI)

Power Surge / Ben Bova

Dr. Jake Ross, the science advisor to a newly elected freshman senator, must figure out how Washington really works when his comprehensive energy plan runs afoul of special interests, cynical bureaucrats, and a powerful U.S. senator. (FIC BOVA)

 

The Machine Awakes / Adam Christopher

“A far future space opera set in the universe of Burning Dark. In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders–a machine race capable of tearing planets apart–the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track. (FIC CHRISTOPHER)

The Book of Strange New Things / Michael Faber

Called to perform missionary work on a world light years away where the natives are fascinated by the concepts he introduces, man of faith Peter Leigh finds his beliefs tested when he learns of natural disasters that are tearing Earth apart. (FIC FABER)

 

Lightless / C.A. Higgins

A female engineer, Althea, fights for her life when her small spacecraft is invaded by two mysterious terrorists on a dark mission, one of whom is a revolutionary harboring deep secrets. (FIC HIGGINS)

 

The Witch of Hebron / James Howard Kunstler

In a post-oil America with no electricity, no Internet, dwindling resources, and little civic order, the residents of the small town of Union Grove, New York, must deal with roving bandits and a sinister cult that threatens to shatter the hamlet’s stability. (FIC KUNSTLER)

 

Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel

An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before a cataclysmic event changes the future of everyone on Earth. What will be valued and what will be discarded? Will art have a place in a world that has lost so much? What will make life worth living? (FIC MANDEL)

 

The Curse of Jacob Tracy / Holly Messinger

Developing an overwhelming ability to see ghosts after nearly dying on the battlefield at Antietam, Civil War veteran Jacob Tracy accepts a job helping a wealthy Englishwoman retrieve a dead friend’s legacy in exchange for helping him control his powers. (FIC MESSINGER)

 

The Last Centurion / John Ringo

In the wake of dual catastrophes that strike Earth in the second decade of the twenty-first century–a mini ice age and a devastating plague–an American Army officer becomes caught up in the desperate struggle to rebuild the world. (FIC RINGO)

 

Positive / David Wellington 

Nineteen-year-old Finn is part of the so-called second generation, born after a zombie outbreak claimed 99% of the U.S. population. He lives in a Manhattan whose 50,000 inhabitants have been zombie-free for the past 15 years. When his mother’s latent zombie-virus infection is triggered, Finn is tattooed with the symbol indicating that he is a potential carrier. That status exiles him from the city, but the expected next step—transport to a government medical center for “positives ”—is thwarted when his escort is murdered. Finn struggles to survive in a world where humans are as much a threat as the walking dead. (FIC WELLINGTON)

Rogue One (2016)

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

I am not a Star Wars aficionado. But I think my husband slipped something into our marriage vows about “through sickness, health, and all Star Wars sequels and prequels and spin-offs…” So I am obligated, as a dutiful wife, to view Star Wars movies on a fairly regular basis. Not that I mind. As a whole, the Star Wars series is pretty engaging in terms of plot and certifiably awesome in terms of effects and other movie-making magic.

Rogue One is probably the weakest link in the Star Wars chain, but that’s what it is–a link. This film fills in the story immediately before the action of Episode IV (the first-first Star Wars movie, for those of you who don’t know). It follows young heroine Jyn Erso in her mission to get the plans for the Death Star (and its fatal flaw) into the hands of the Rebel Alliance.

If you’re a Star Wars person, of course you will have seen Rogue One and appreciated its value as an addition to the world of Star Wars stories. But as a standalone film it is not very good. The pace is plodding, and the battle sequence at the end is too little too late to make up for the lack of earlier action. The characters are underdeveloped, even by Star Wars standards. On more than one occasion, I found myself whispering things like, “Why can’t Forest Whitaker breathe?” and “Who is the not-blind Asian guy?” Apparently a lot of my questions can be answered by someone who knows the entire Star Wars universe–books, animated series, etc.–and I had one of those someones on hand, but if you don’t you will be left to wonder.

Felicity Jones is excellent as flinty Jyn Erso, although I wish she had better lines to say. The dialogue is so earnest it hurts, with none of the humor the other films have to lighten the mood. And I completely disagree with the casting of her comrade-in-arms Cassian Andor. Not for a moment did I believe that sweet little Diego Luna was a hardened Rebel spy, and his accent made him difficult to understand at times. I was, however, wowed when certain iconic Star Wars characters appeared, looking as young as ever. You can always count on Lucasfilm for some excellent effects.

Bottom line: Rogue One only works if you are watching it as a companion to other Star Wars films. If you are just looking for Friday-night entertainment, watch Return of the Jedi again.

Located in DVDs (DVD STAR WARS)

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

space

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

This is the story of a 12-year-old boy who gets caught up in solving a murder mystery. Oh, yeah…and he lives on the moon. While the premise may seem (literally) far-fetched, this tale is surprisingly (not literally) down-to-earth.

Dash Gibson lives with his family on a lunar space station as part of the Moon Base Alpha program to begin colonization on the moon. The well-researched setting offers an intriguing layer to the mystery, as the close-knit colony of people is extremely limited in number and comings and goings are practically nonexistent.

The pacing is stellar, as is the middle school humor (we learn a lot about space toilets), and I think Gibbs especially excels at making the reader feel right at home in space. Overall, Space Case is a family-friendly whodunit that I highly recommend.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC GIBBS)

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