Back in March, we hosted the very first Reading With Hippos Special Event, the Middlemarch in March Challenge. I was so excited when a few brave readers joined me in tackling George Eliot's classic work, and probably never would have made it to the last page without their support. Nothing keeps you accountable like announcing your intentions on the Internet.

I enjoyed our foray into highbrow classic literature, but for our next Challenge I want to try something different. So today, I proudly introduce to you...

With the help of my husband Adam (who's much better acquainted with the genre than I am), I've put together a list of 12 science fiction books. My goal is to read one a week starting the first week of June and wrapping up by the end of August.

We've chosen books published from 1959 all the way up to this very month. The list includes books that are considered sci-fi classics, as well as titles that are a bit more idiosyncratic. Ever the feminist, I managed to include three books written by women. I'll be reading the books in order of publication, beginning with the earliest, in order to get a feel for the evolution of the genre over time.

The titles are:

Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Dune by Frank Herbert

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Natural History by Justina Robson

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Bees by Laline Paull

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Adam will also be getting in on the fun! Having read the majority of the books on my list already, he's put together his own bonus list of 5 books that he will be writing guest posts on throughout the summer months.

Adam's List:

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Maybe you've never tried sci-fi because the genre puts you in mind of geeks with pocket protectors and closets full of Star Trek costumes. Now is the time to disabuse yourself of that notion! Science fiction (and other genres, for that matter) can be edgy and provocative, not to mention well-written. If you're already a seasoned sci-fi fan, consider joining us in rereading some of your favorites or trying out a couple on the list that you haven't read before.

Remember, we're not big on rules around here. You can participate in this Challenge in any way you like—by reading just one book on the list, going nuts with all 17, or anywhere in the middle. Our only goal is to read and discuss some awesome books. There will be absolutely no tests or quizzes, and I promise you won't have to wear glasses or a retainer (but if you do, that's cool).

I must admit we had a really hard time paring the list down. There are many more good books out there that we could easily have included, but we had to keep the total number within a reasonable range. If you're outraged that your favorite sci-fi selection didn't make our list, make your case in the comments section and I'll consider it for future events.

So, who's with me? Are you willing to make this a Summer of Sci-Fi? Let me know if you're in, and which specific titles have caught your eye. Comments are open below, or you can always get in touch on Facebook or Goodreads.

Posted
AuthorTaryn Pierson