Bookbag's Science Fiction Picks

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Who doesn't love immersing themselves in another world? The best sci-fi books have a grand scope, that involves the reader and inspires fantastic thoughts. They can make us look at our own lives with fresh eyes, or they can be rip-roaring adventures with robots and aliens. There's something here for everyone. Why not tell us about your favourites? We're always looking for new reviewers, so if you'd like to review a classic sci-fi novel and join our team, please get in touch.


Being by Kevin Brooks

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Frighteningly good writing, a tense plot, existential questions and vivid emotions make this Blade Runner themed book a five star volume, not to be missed. Full review...

Halting State by Charles Stross

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Some time in the near future the virtual world and Edinburgh reality collide with some serious collateral damage. It won’t appeal to everyone – a very specific sense of humour is required – along with the ability to accept you won’t necessarily understand a fair chunk of what you’re reading. It’s still funny. Full review...

The Reliquary Ring by Cherith Baldry

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A masterly combination of fantasy, science fiction, alternate history and politics. The lead characters are beautifully and subtly drawn. The relationships between them, especially that of the genic Gabriel and his master Leonardo, are complex and bitter sweet. The characters as a whole have that illusive but essential quality of being recognisable, their actions and reactions always believable. Full review...

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

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Part of the Millennium SF Masterworks series, I Am Legend is the inspiration for many subsequent books and films. It's a groundbreaking novel and a must read for any fans of the genre, despite some superficial characterisation among the minor cast. Full review...

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

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Gateway, by Frederik Pohl, is very much in the grand tradition of 'hard SF'. Whereas much of what gets put in the science-fiction section of bookshops is actually little more than fantasy with lasers instead of swords, Gateway is part of the Arthur C Clarke, Bradbury and Asimov school that seeks to extrapolate fantastic worlds from real current science, and examines how science and technology could affect the peoples of those worlds. Full review...

The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod

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A near-future catastrophe novel that is tense, well-drawn and sneakily, sneakily clever. The muted SF elements and subtle opinionating give the book a number of levels and made a patsy of this reader right up to the very last pages. Highly recommended. Full review...

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

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World War Terminus is over, and Earth is in ruins. While most people have emigrated to Mars, some continue to live their lives on Earth while radioactivity slowly impairs their brain and reproductive function. Upon emigrating to Mars, all citizens were given a highly sophisticated android servant, and now six have escaped from captivity and fled to Earth, killing all in their path. Rick Deckard is the bounty hunter commissioned to track down and destroy these androids, almost indiscernible from humans, in return for a fee. Full review...

The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers

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This future-noir styled thriller features a returning hero with a troubling world collapsing round his shoulders. Trying to get revenge on the people who made him the very cause is harder than he thinks, in this lively and pacy action read, which we recommend. Full review...

The Pesthouse by Jim Crace

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A book about a future American dystopia that is surprisingly gentle, kind and optimistic if unlikely. Lovers of language will find Jim Crace addictive, but his prose poem style may prove a stumbling block for some. Full review...

The Algebraist by Iain M Banks

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A grand sweep of a novel, exciting, tantalising and engaging for a reader who makes an effort to try and work out what's going on. The vision is truly massive, the politics complicated, the science totally implausible, the human characters believable and engaging, and the social set-ups suitably varied; while the main alien race of the Dwellers are something else altogether. Full review...

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