Category: Science Fiction

Top Picks: 5 Stellar Sci-Fi and Fantastical Fantasy Picks

Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.

Today, we’ll be recommending five Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels that you have to get on board reading or else you might be unprepared to deal with technological villains, menacing zombies, or the horrors of a tyrannical government.

 

 

5-Testaments by Margret Atwood

 

Margaret Atwood

Image Via Encylopedia Britannica

 

How could we forget about Margret Atwood? A total boss, she’s the woman behind this Tweet.

 

Queen of Twitter

THIS IS HOW YOU TWEET J K / Image Via Reddit

 

And she’s brought us a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Testaments.

 

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by [Atwood, Margaret]

Image Via Amazon

 

Set fifteen years after the events of the previous book, the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but the lives of three different women are about to converge.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women come together thanks to a third voice belonging to a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

Released September 10th, this book has made headway and continues to stay in the public consciousness. Read it now!…Or be left behind.

 

 

4-Treason of Thorns by Laura E Weymouth

 

Laura E Weymouth

Image Via Goodreads

 

Laura E Weymouth’s debut YA fantasy, The Light Between Worlds, was published to critical acclaim on October 23, 2018 and this year she’s given us another September 10th release: A Treason of Thorns.

 

A Treason of Thorns by [Weymouth, Laura E.]
Image Via Amazon

We follow Violet Sterling, a woman who once lived in the Burleigh House. One of the six great houses in England, Burleigh’s magic kept both the countryside and Violet happy until one fateful day when Violet’s father destroyed everything.

Seven years later, Violet has lived in exile with an overwhelming desire to return home. Now she must return home, grief-stricken, her very soul tearing itself apart, telling her that soon the magic that once made her so happy now threatens to destroy the countryside.

Gripping and utterly unique, we agree with Kirkus Reviews when they summed up this book with one word: “Spellbinding”.

 

3-A Trick of Light by Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield

 

Stan lee and Kat Rosenfield

Image Via Variety

 

Stan “The Man” Lee needs no introduction. You know him, you’ve seen him, he lives on in all our hearts, but before he passed on he teamed up with supremely talented Kat Rosenfield, author of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. Together, they’ve given us this wonderful book.

 

A Trick of Light: Stan Lee's Alliances (Stan Lee’s Alliances) by [Lee, Stan, Rosenfield, Kat]
Image Via Amazon

The first installment in the Alliances series, A Trick of Light follows Nia, a 17-year-old genius hacker. Lonely beyond belief, Nia spends her days in a hologram classroom to learn everything about the world, a place she is forever separately from.

Then one day, everything changes. First, nerdy Cameron gets struck by lightning while filming a new video for his Youtube channel. Waking up in a hospital, he realizes that he has changed and he is able to connect to every electronic device.

From here, he soon meets Nia in an online game and they quickly become friends. But then they cross paths with OPTIC who wants their skill set for their own evil plans. Can they stop him and the galactic threat they poses?

Want to read this exciting, gripping, gut-punching story? It came out September 17th and has exceeded our expectations so much we here at Bookstr have to smile and say, “Excelsior!” to Stan and Kat.

 

 

2-The Bone House by Emily Lloyd Jones

 

Emily Lloyd Jones

Image Via Twitter

 

Author of The Hearts We Sold and Murder on the Disoriented Express, Emily Lloyd Jones brought us a new release last September 24th.

 

The Bone Houses by [Lloyd-Jones, Emily]

Image Via Amazon

 

Since the death of their parents, seventeen-year-old Aderyn “Ryn” and her siblings have been scraping by as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren. But things get hairy when she learns first hand that sometimes the dead don’t always stay dead.

Legend says that these risen corpses, known as “bone houses”, are the result of a decades-old curse, but when Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity.

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, to search for buried secrets, but some things are meant to stay buried.

Kirkus Reivews, as well us at Bookstr, promises that this is “[a] stand-alone dark fantasy that readers will want to sink their teeth into”

 

1-There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

 

Katy Rose Pool

Image Via Twitter

 

This Katy Rose Pool’s debut novel, and thank heavens she’s got more in store for us!

 

There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness Book 1) by [Pool, Katy Rose]

Image Via Amazon

 

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity using their visions of the future. Then, a hundred years ago, they vanished. But they left behind one final prophecy, foretelling of an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction.

Now five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.

A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.

A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.

A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.

And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

In the words of Kirkus Reviews, this September 24th release is “[a] well-crafted, surprising, and gripping start to a new trilogy.”

 

 

 

Featured Images Via Nerd Daily, The Independent, and Amazon

7 Star Wars Memes I Have a Good Feeling About

Star Wars may have started well before memes became our primary means of communication, but that hasn’t led to it’s neglect. Besides, with the prequels providing basically endless fuel, and some new screenshots from the sequels, we’ve got fertile ground for a rich meme harvest.

 

Please Never Describe Me

Image via Dorkly

Besides being spectacularly shady, this is relatable. Not because my father was flammable, in so far as I know, but because we all know at least one person who can’t describe people to save their lives. Ironically, my dad is this way. He once described someone to me who he expected me to locate by saying that they had dark hair and maybe a tattoo. Maybe a tattoo? Anyone might have a tattoo. And what’s Luke supposed to do, put out a classified craigslist add looking for anyone flamable? Alright, I know it’s not canon, but it really should be.

 

It’s True And You Should Say It

Featured Image via Tumblr

He committed war crimes! He was a really bad person! Just wanting to peace out and live in the swamp is an incredibly understandable impulse, and I don’t think anyone questioned Yoda’s choices, but the prequels just HAD to explain, didn’t they? Plus, puppet Yoda was good. He was weird, sure, and I wouldn’t want him sitting on MY shoulders, but he was clearly a friend. CGI is an abomination. He looks like he’s going to glitch out of the screen and clip through my body, killing me instantly. Then he’ll probably do something weird like harvest my fingernails. No thanks.

 

#darthbinks

Image via Quickmeme

Alright, alright, before you @me, I don’t actually think Jar Jar Binks is a sith lord. The guy couldn’t do even one thing. Who would recruit him? But when I bring up the theory, people get so mad! Sure, the prequels are awful (still don’t @me! It’s objective fact! I hate sand!), but the meta is outrageous. That’s why most of these memes are from the prequels. There’s really just an infinite number of things to unpack. The Darth Binks theory is great because it doesn’t make the prequels any better. They’re still ridiculous, convoluted, and poorly written (for starters). Nothing changes. Just… Jar Jar’s a sith. It makes you think.

 

The Chosen One

Image via Star Wars 7

God I love Luke, but he was just the densest, most useless chosen one on his planet or any other. Right at his face! You think you’d have these problems with Leia? I’m still mad my girl didn’t ever get to use her powers for violence, though the space walk was obviously amazing. Whose idea was this? They’re like, look, we have two Skywalkers, either could fulfill the prophecy. One is a polished diplomat spy with the guts to lie to Darth Vader’s face and the courage to keep going after her planet explodes. The other is the slowest, most confused farm boy you’ve ever seen. The choice is easy!

 

Since Someone Found Everything Else

Image via Killing Time

Seriously, they should be able to just slap it back on there. And when’s Rey going to lose a hand? At this point it’s just a rite of passage. I stan Rey hard, but if she doesn’t lose a hand, is she really even a Star Wars lead? Then again, maybe it’s just a Skywalker thing. Either way, can we talk about how everything that got lost in the first three movies is just around now? How did Maz get Luke’s lightsaber? How did Kylo get Vader’s helmet? Don’t ask questions! I mean, the Star Wars movies have always had so many plot holes, but these are weirdly back to back. She might as well have his hand too.

 

The Man is Swish

 
Image via Memedroid

Look, I like prequel Obi Wan. We all like prequel Obi Wan. I’m just saying that prequel Obi Wan and original Obi-wan are two entirely different people. Original Obi Wan is not without humor, but he’s ultimately a serious, dedicated man. Prequel Obi Wan is sassy, impulsive, and has a dedication to fashion no number of years or friend murders could dull. Look at this man! You’re telling me he was just hanging out on Tatooine, in the hills, without a drop of hair gel? That whole planet couldn’t contain this swagger. No hate, but they’re entirely different people.

 

The Real Reason Anakin Turned

Image via Memedroid

It’s not exactly a hot take, but the Jedi Order was messed up. I mean, for people with so many rules, they had approximately zero morals. Let’s tell people not to love anyone and then expect them to have compassion! Let’s break the Geneva Convention! Seriously, for such a supposedly great civilization, they were about 0% civilized. If he hadn’t murdered all those kids and become a space fascist, Anakin just would have been right. Honestly… down with the Jedi, and good for Luke burning all their manuals. You can be stabby without being authoritarian and colonialist and repressive. Get it together.

Featured Image via Youtube

Sarah J. Maas Fans: This Queer Sci-Fi Story Explores What Humanity Really Means

Sarah J. Maas fans, take note: there’s a new fantasy queen about to take over your reading life. Award-winning screenplay and short story writer Nina Varela’s debut novel Crier’s War is an Own Voices fantasy epic that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first page. It has been described by Booklist as “Rife with mystery, romantic tension, and political intrigue… perfect for readers craving queer fantasy with dense worldbuilding.”

 

 

From debut author Nina Varela comes the first book in an Own Voices, richly imagined epic fantasy duology about an impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution.

Perfect for fans of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse as well as Game of Thrones and Westworld.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

 

Images Via garage26 and HarperCollins

 

I know. Before you ask, here’s the preorder link. And though you definitely don’t need any more convincing after reading that enticing blurb, I’m just going to keep going, because I am EXCITED about this book.

Though LGBTQAI+ representation has undoubtedly become more common in recent years, it is still super exciting to see this representation manifesting in new and different ways, across all types of fiction. This is something Varela is passionate about, telling blog Book Bratz that “Homophobia doesn’t exist in the world of Crier’s War; Crier and Ayla never experience any suffering or oppression because of their sexualities; but I am queer and I live on Earth and some of my world bled through. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think there’s a certain part of Crier’s story—separate from the romance—that will resonate with queer people.”

And the School Library Journal agrees, noting that Crier’s War is “A lush #OwnVoices fantasy debut with science fiction elements and LGBTQIA+ representation.” (Sidenote: they also call it “perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass.” Didn’t I say this! Maas fans, I see you.)

But seriously, Crier’s War is already causing a stir, with Kirkus Reviews gushing that “Dizzying political machinations intertwine with a burgeoning romance. The plot zooms ahead with nail-biting tension. A fresh, suspenseful take on the robot apocalypse'” and Tara Sim, author of the Timekeeper Trilogy calling it “a beautiful poem of a book.” And if you know anything about Nina Varela, it really comes as no surprise that she should have written something so beautiful and revolutionary.

Don’t miss your chance to catch Nina Varela IRL at the following locations next month!

  • Saturday, October 5th, The Ripped Bodice with Audrey Coulthurst, Los Angeles, CA
  • Saturday, October 12th, Tattered Cover with Casey McQuiston, Denver, CO
  • Friday, October 18th, Books Inc. Opera Plaza with Tara Sim, San Francisco, CA

And find her online on her website ninavarela.com, Twitter, and Instagram!

Don’t Storm Area 51! Read 5 and 1 Books About It!

While the creator of the event has cancelled storming Area 51 and is encouraging people not to take this joke too far, he did note that, “I sparked a movement while I was bored at 2 a.m.”

And a movement it is. It’s such a movement that people not only plan to run to the base, but a documentary about the raid is ready to film and the U.S. Air Force has released an official warning telling visitors to stay away from Area 51.

With the event coming this September 20th, the world will be watching. To prepare, here are 5 and 1 books you have to read before you watch people try to run across miles of blazing hot desert just to get teargassed in the face!

 

 

BEHOLD here are the five books that make up the five IN AREA FIFTY-ONE

 

1-Area 51 (Image of Aviation) by Peter W Merlin

 

Image Via Dreamlandresort

 

Peter W Merlin is an aerospace historian who has been researching the history of Area 51 since 1984 and is a founding member of the X-Hunters Aerospace Archeology Team. His Amazon description reads: “He has appeared in documentary television programs for Discovery Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic, and others, including Modern Marvels, Mystery Hunters, Inside Area 51, Return to Area 51, Atomic Journeys, Area 51 Declassified, and The Truth Behind Area 51”.

 

Area 51 (Image of Aviation)

Image Via Amazon

 

Published in 2011, this inexpensive coffee table picture book promises “declassified photographs [that] provide a rare glimpse into the true nature of America’s most famous secret base”. Inside its pages, the book focuses on the test flights and the development of the various planes inside Area 51, showcasing what the government wants us to see.

An interesting look-through, but it raises more questions than answers. However, sometimes the questions are more interesting than the answers, so don’t use this book as an excuse to Naruto run.

 

Image result for naruto run gif

Don’t be these people | Image via Gyfcat

 

2-Mystery At Area 51 by Carole Marsh

Carole Marsh

Image Via Alchetron

 

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Carole Marsh is a professional writer, photographer, and Founder/CEO of Gallopade International Inc as well as the founder and owner of Marsha Media. Thankfully, she’s taken time out of her busy schedule to bring us this April 1st, 2011 release. April 1st, I hear you cry, but let me assure you, hypothetical person, that this book is no joke!

This is Area 51…For kids! An educational book filled with history, geography, culture and cliffhanger chapters, this book will have the kids begging for more! And that’s a good thing because this mystery includes SAT words, educational facts, fun and humor, a scavenger hunt and activities.

But what’s the story? I hear you ask. Well, hypothetical person, let me tell it to you…

 

The Mystery at Area 51 (Real Kids! Real Places! Book 44) by [Marsh, Carole]

Image Via AMazon

 

Christina, Grant, Mimi, and Papa visit Papa’s good friend who lives on a cattle ranch in Nevada. Riding on the Mystery Girl, the group lands on a small airstrip near Area 51 and soon learn that the rancher and his wife have been losing their cattle. Can they solve the mystery of the missing cattle? Are these alien abductions? Is the government involved? Are they stealing cattle to feed to their alien overlords?

This book will keep you guessing so much you’ll have to run through it, instead of checking up on the run to Area 51.

 

 

 

3-The Entirety of the Area 51 Series by Bob Mayer

 

Bob Mayer's Area 51 Series

Image Via AudioBookBay

 

The King of Area 51, Bob Mayer has written twelve novels about it since 1997. He’s written other fiction, a lot of it in fact, but his Area 51 series is a series where you can pick one book, any book, and you can’t go wrong.

My personal favorites are Area 51: Excalibur, about how the mythical Excalibur has the power to unlock a galactic power beyond what anyone—human or alien—has ever seen and becomes the middle of a space race and Area 51: Nosferatu, about a halfbreed whose lived around since the time of the ancient Egyptians whose now out on a search for a piece of alien technology known as the Holy Grail.

 

Area 51

Image Via Amazon

 

If you want to know where all this awesome-sauce starts in, this recipe of insanity began with Area 51, which is about in Area 51. More specifically it’s about how a team of scientists must fend off a greedy general who wants to activate an the interstellar drive from an alien motherhsip being housed in Area 51.

Things become even crazier when Dr. Hans Von Seeckt, an elderly ex-Nazi scientist and original member of the Area 51 research team, joins up with the president’s science adviser, Dr. Lisa Duncan, and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte to tell the public the truth about Area 51.

Meanwhile, a brilliant archaeologist, Professor Nabinger, discovers a message on runes found in ancient Egypt that, you guessed it, connects to the aliens in Area 51.

I love this series.

 

4-Escape from Area 51: The X + Y Files by Wayne Kerr

 

Wayne A D Kerr

Image Via Amazon

 

Wayne Kerr has been around. From Biggar, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he was born and raised, to spending twenty years living in the USA, he is now back in Canada at his wonderful home in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. A published author best known for his Black Swann Investigation series, Wayne Kerr now has a new goal: “to get more young people off the internet and into a good book“.

Thus we have the X + Y Files series, and I’m here to present you his book: Escape from Area 51.

 

Escape From Area 51 (The X + Y Files) by [Kerr, Wayne]

Image Via Amazon

 

UFO obsessed Xander Bookman takes a trip near Area 51 when he starts hearing a voice from a creature calling itself I-pod. Is this an alien in desperate need of help to escape the most secure site on the planet?

Thus, Xander joins with his friend Yzzie on their most daring adventure yet: break into and escape Area 51 alive.

A science fiction novel mixed with adventure, mystery, and the paranormal, with a dash of fun, this novel is one for all ages, especially those who love the adventures of Mulder and Scully.

 

Image result for mulder and scully gif

image via Giphy

 

5-Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

 

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

Image Via Amazon

 

Released in 2011, this piece of investigative journalism is based on interviews with scientists and engineers who worked in Area 51 and, addressing any UFO-enthusiast’s dream, it speaks about the Roswell UFO incident and what went down.

 

Joseph Stalin

Yes, that is Joseph Stalin |  Image Via Daily Express

 

Sadly, it doesn’t confirm our beliefs about aliens but instead addresses the Roswell UFO incident and dismisses the alien story. Instead, it suggests that Joseph Stalin was inspired by the hysteria following Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama War of the Worlds and wished to create the hysteria again by crashing a UFO into the United States.

He recruited Josef Mengele, The Angel of Death who was obsessed with twins during the Holocaust, was recruited by the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to produce “grotesque, child-size aviators” to pilot a small aircraft and create the hysteria.

 

Roswell on a map

Image Via Conspiracies.net

 

But thing went wrong when the aircraft crashed and the incident was hushed up by Americans.

Jacobsen writes that the bodies found at the crash site were deformed children with large heads and abnormally shaped oversize eyes. “They were neither aliens nor consenting airmen, but human guinea pigs”, she claims.

That’s depressing. Maybe it’s completely wrong, seeing as all of Jacobsen’s sources are anonymous, but perhaps the truth isn’t as interesting as we think it is.

You never know what might be happening in there, but I have an idea that sensational writer Joshua Lark might or might not have given me.

 

AND BEHOLD THE ONE of AREA FIFTY-ONE

 

 

1-Anal Sex at Area 51 (Gay Paranormal Military Erotica) by Josh Lark

 

Anal Sex at Area 51 (Gay Paranormal Military Erotica) by [Lark, Josh]

Image Via Amazon

 

What more can I say? There’s an extraterrestrial sex dungeon, a psychic spaceship and a room full of shapeshifting alien penises?

 

Marvel

Image Via Twitter

 

Think Tony Stark has been in any of those rooms?

 

 

Featured Image Via Reddit