Welcome to the 21st century! Science fiction isn’t just about white people anymore, and thank goodness. How plausible is a homogeneous universe? Authors like Nisi Shawl, Maggie Shen, and Omar El Akkad all add some much-needed diversity to sci-fi leading casts. Here are a few books that will shake up your homogeneous reading list.
American War by Omar El Akkad
In 2074, a new American Civil War breaks out. Sarat find herself in a camp for displaced persons, her father gone, her future uncertain. That makes her a perfect candidate for recruitment, by one side or another.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
A homegrown genius from a backwater African village finally gets her chance: she’s going to study hyper-advanced math at a university on a faraway planet. But when her ship is hijacked by an enemy alien en route, she’ll need more than just intellect to save herself!
Devil’s Wake by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes
When the apocalypse comes, it’ll be weirder than anything fiction imagined. Sure, there are zombies, as well as more dangerous hordes of starving and desperate survivors, but there’s more. There’s a school bus and a vast no-man’s-land. Ultimately, against all odds, there’s love.
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
What would have happened if someone had brought steam technology to the Congo just prior to Belgium’s colonization of that area? This book explores the possibility of a steam-powered African state, technologically matched to European invaders and capable of holding its borders.
An Excess Male by Maggie Shen
In a population where the one-child policy has run amok, men vastly outnumber women. As a result, women may take more than one husband…to an extent. When Wei-guo has an opportunity to become a third husband, he leaps at it, suddenly finding the acceptance and connection that he’s craved all his life. But one mistake might put all of that in jeopardy.
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
The Ynaa won’t say why they’re here. For five years, their ship has hovered over Water Island in the Carribbean, coexisting peacably with humans most of the time but reacting to any display of aggression with excessive force. When they kill a child, the showdown that everyone’s dreading becomes inevitable.
How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
Time travel is a terrible idea. People who attempt it always make things worse for themselves. Charles Yu’s mom, for example, is stuck in a short time loop where all she can ever do, for the rest of time, is make dinner. That leaves his dad, who may still be out there somewhere. Guided by a book written by his own future self, Charles sets out to find him.
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Disgraced warriors unite in this sweeping space opera. Kel Charis, breaker of the rules of war, needs to redeem herself fast. Her mission: retake a critical, unassailable fortress before her heretical enemy takes down the forces of order itself. To accomplish this, Kel’s going to have to employ someone even worse than herself: an undead tactician known mostly for slaughtering his own army.
The Prey of Gods by Nicki Drayden
The old gods are washed up, and new ones must take their places. These are gods of machines, gods of computers, and gods of AI. But nobody likes to be supplanted, and as a new goddess rises, an old one determines to dig in and maintain her power, even if that means sacrificing her followers.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
When the laws of physics go haywire, scientists worldwide succumb to despair. Reality isn’t what we thought…or is it? Daring to question the evidence of their very eyes, a few of Earth’s greatest minds unravel clues that may point to something more sinister.