Friday, May 28, 2010

Guy Friday-- Science Fiction

There are so many dystopian science fiction books that have come out lately that things are not quite as bad for middle school boys who want to move beyond Star Wars novelizations, but there is still a lack of FUN science fiction. You know, aliens, laser battles and robots that clean your room. Obviously, society has moved far beyond The Jetsons and My Favorite Martin, and our view of "the future" is now pretty grim. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, we all thought that by the year 2000 we would all have hover cars, wardrobes full of spandex jumpsuits, and phones that could transmit pictures. Oh, wait-- we have that last one. Thank goodness the jumpsuits didn't come to pass!

Science Fiction
Seconds before Earth is demolished, two friends begin hitchhiking through space to try to discover all of life's mysteries and along the way they meet an assortment of characters.
Auseon, Andrew. Alienated
Gene and Vince try to become famous and popular by publishing a free tabloid about real aliens, which lands them in the middle of an intergalactic conflict, as well.
Bachorz, Pam. Candor
Oscar Banks has been secretly sabotaging the subliminal messages that program the behavior of the residents of Candor, Florida, until his attraction to a rebellious new girl threatens to expose his subterfuge.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451
In this world books are for burning and the fireman enjoys his job until he meets a girl, and another world, in which people think for themselves and read books.
Butts, Nancy. The Door in the Lake
After vanishing during a camping trip, a 12 year old boy reappears 2 years later showing no signs of having aged and carrying memories of a strange light in the sky.
Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game (series)
Aliens have attacked Earth and almost destroyed the human species. To win the next encounter, the government has taken to breeding training military geniuses in the arts of war.
Carroll, Michael. The Awakening. (series)
Ten years after the disappearance of superhumans--both heroes and villains— Danny and Colin begin to develop super powers, making them the object of much unwanted attention.
Christopher, John. THE WHITE MOUNTAINS (Series)
A boy makes a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture human beings and make them into servants.
Clarke, Arthur C. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Series)
When a monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old and is releasing a powerful signal aimed at Saturn.
Clements, Andrew. Things Not Seen
When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.
Cole, Stephen. Z. Rex. (series)
From New Mexico, to Scotland, Adam Adlar must elude police while being hunted by a dinosaur from a virtual reality game invented by his father, who is missing.
Colfer, Eoin. The Supernaturalists.
Cosmo Hill escapes from an abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures, and together they determine the nature and purpose of the swarming blue Parasites that are invisible to most humans.
Collins, Susanne. Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.
Coville, Bruce
Aliens Ate My Homework—Rod is surprised when a spaceship lands in his science project and reveals five tiny aliens, who ask his help in apprehending an interstellar criminal.
Eason, Althea. Hungry.
Deborah develops a crush on her best friend Willy, but she is not happy when her alien parents tell her she must eat him for dinner.
Daley, Michael. Shaghaied to the Moon
Desperate to become a space pilot like his mother, despite his father's opposition, Stewart meets an old spacer who offers him the chance to learn AstroNav during a flight to the moon in the year 2065--and reveals some family secrets along the way.
Goldman, E.M.The Night Room
A group of students use a computer program which simulates their 10th high school reunion and get an unsettling look at their futures.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found.
When two adopted children learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces.
Hobbs, Will. Go Big or Go Home.
Brady and his cousin Quinn love extreme sports, but nothing could prepare them for the aftermath of Brady's close encounter with a meteorite after it crashes into his Black Hills, South Dakota, bedroom.
Hughes, Monica. Invitation to the game
Unemployed after high school in a highly robotic society, Lisse and seven friends resign themselves to boredom until the Government invites them to play The Game.
Jinks, Catherine. Living Hell
When his spaceship turns into a living organism, Cheney leads the hundreds of inhabitants in a fight for survival while machines turn on them, treating all humans as parasites.
Klass, David. Stuck on Earth.
On a secret mission to evaluate whether the human race should be annihilated, a space alien inhabits the body of a bullied fourteen-year-old boy.
Lasky, Kathryn. Star Split
In 3038, 13 year old Darci uncovers an underground movement to save the human race from genetic enhancement technology.
Logue, Mary.Dancing with an alien
A teenage boy from outer space travels to earth on a mission to help save his planet, and ultimately he falls in love, causing his mission to fail.
Lynch, Chris. Cyberia. (series)
In a future, a veterinarian is putting computer chips in animals who creatures choose Zane, who understands their speech, to save them and bring them to a technology-free safety zone.
Mackel, Kathy. Alien in a bottle
With the help of a classmate and an assortment of aliens from outer space, Sean tries to convince his parents to let him pursue his dream of becoming a glass blower.
Malley, Gemma. The Declaration.(series)
In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and children are illegal, an obedient "Surplus", discovers that her birth parents are trying to find her.
Meyer, Stephenie. The Host.
Melanie, whose mind has been taken over by an alien, convinces the alien to search for her lost lover, who fled the extraterrestrial invasion.
McKissack, Patricia. Clone Codes
On the run , Leanna learns amazing truths about herself and her family as she is forced to consider the value of freedom and what it really means to be human .
Nelson, O.T. The Girl who owned a city
When a plague sweeps over the earth killing everyone except children under twelve, ten-year-old Lisa organizes a group to rebuild a new way of life.
Pearson, Mary. The Adoration of Jenna Fox.
A girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence.
Reeve, Philip. Mortal Engines.(series)
Tom has many dangerous adventures after being pushed off London by Thaddeus Valentine, a historian who is trying to resurrect an ancient atomic weapon.
Pratchett, Terry. Only You Can Save Mankind.(Series)
Johnny endures tensions between his parents and plays a computer game called Only You Can Save Mankind, in which he is increasingly drawn into the reality of the alien.
Reismand, Michael. Simon Bloom, Gravity Keeper (Series)
Sixth-grader Simon Bloom finds a book that enables him to control the laws of physics; but when two thugs come after him, he needs the formulas in the book to save himself.
O'Brien, Robert C. Z FOR ZACHARIAH
Seemingly the only person left alive after a war, a young girl is relieved to see a man arrive into her valley until she realizes that he is a tyrant and she must somehow escape.
Paton Walsh, Jill. The Green Book
As their small stock of essential supplies dwindles, a group of refugees from earth struggle to make their strange new planet provide life's necessities.
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life as we Knew It.
Through journal entries Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
Schanback, Mindy. Princess From Another Planet.
Fourteen-year-old Gracie Quicksilver escapes her impoverished life by impersonating her rich cousin, until a series of events convinces her that her mother's delusions about being the deposed queen of a distant planet just might be true.
Shusterman, Neal. Dark Side of Nowhere
Jason faces an identity crisis after discovering that he is the son of aliens who stayed on earth following a botched invasion mission.
Shusterman, Neal. Unwind.
Three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape from a society that salvages body parts from children ages thirteen to eighteen.
Teague, Mark. The Doom Machine.
When a spaceship lands in a small town, Jack and Isadora form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing a space travel machine.
Waugh, Sylvia. Space Race
When he learns that he and his father must soon leave Earth, eleven-year-old Thomas Derwent is upset, but a terrible accident that separates the two of them makes Thomas's situation much worse. Also, Earthborn and Who Goes Home?
Werlin, Nancy. Double Helix
Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.
Weyn, Susanne. The BarCode Tattoo
Kayla is ostracized at school because she refused to get the required tattooed bar code and now she and her family must run to avoid the dangers threats against them.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies.
Tally is faced with a difficult choice when her new friend Shay decides to risk life on the outside rather than submit to the forced operation that turns sixteen year old girls into gorgeous beauties, and realizes that there is a whole new side to the pretty world that she doesn't like.
Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.


  1. Thank you for posting this list! I still think there's a lack of YA/MG scifi (especially my favorite kind, the traveling in space with alien adventure type) but it's nice to see there's more than I thought!

    I have not read these yet, but some other scifi book folks keep recommending to me are THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY by Adam Rex, MIKE STELLAR: NERVES OF STEEL by K.A. Holt, THE COMET'S CURSE by Dom Testa, and THE DOOM MACHINE by Mark Teague. I'm also a big fan of Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, which hovers on a sort of scifi/fantasy line (there are robots, aliens and trips off-planet as well as Irish myths and legends and other more fantastical elements)

  2. Yes, in the '60's and '70's we imagined we'd live like the Jetsons with hover cars and everything but never in our wildest dreams did we imagine 500 channels on TV, whole movies on little round discs (that you could watch in a car), gas at almost $3 a gallon, the Berlin Wall a distant memeory, or a blcak man as president.