For the final Top Five Tuesday of March, Bionic Book Worm has asked us to let her know: what are your favorite books set in space? As a long time fan of space opera, this topic is near and dear to my heart, so I’m happy to share my favorites, and I’m looking forward to seeing your own recommendations as well!
THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers
I have to start any list of books in space with one of my absolute favorite reads of the last few years. LONG WAY checks many of my favorite boxes including found family, world-building, and an excellent ensemble cast. It follows the crew of a spaceship whose been contracted to lay the markers for a new hyperspace lane, meaning they have to fly all the way out to the edge of the galaxy the “long way,” getting into all kinds of adventures along the way.
BEHIND THE THRONE by K.B. Wagers
Hail Bristol has easily become one of my favorite heroines in the bookverse. A princess of a significant galactic empire, Hail was fairly low in the chain of succession, and chose to run away as a teenager and live a life as a smuggler and gun-runner. But when a series of assassinations leaves Hail next in line to the throne, she finds herself summoned home after being away for twenty years. Hail has to re-acclimate herself to life at court and discover who is behind the assassinations, using her own special brand of diplomacy learned from her time running around the criminal underworld.
SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
This book occupies a weird place on my list. It was a tough read that I struggled to get through and only got three stars from me, but I KNOW that there are those out there who will love it. SEVENEVES is a tale of the end of the world; some unknown event has caused the moon to shatter, and the resulting debris will rain down on the earth in two years. The story is told in three parts: the months of realizing the disaster that’s coming and the responses to it, the actual days of the disaster, and what communities have formed in space and on land hundreds of years in the future. There are a ton of fascinating story concepts and hypotheticals in this book, but is swamped by an impressive amount of hard sci-fi discussion of apogees and orbits.
EXIT STRATEGY by Martha Wells
I love all of THE MURDERBOT DIARIES, but I wanted to give a shout out to the final book in the novella quartet. The series is such a perfectly executed character arc, and EXIT STRATEGY brings everything home, both narratively and emotionally. Murderbot has been wrestling with figuring out what it wants in life, and how it feels about humans and relationships, and this final book allows it to take a final stand against those who have been chasing it and its friends.
SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson
Any Brandon Sanderson book is an auto-add to my TBR, and this one did not disappoint. Spensa is a sixteen-year-old girl living in a colony with the last remnants of human civilization. All she wants is to be a starfighter pilot like her father – a father she believes has been mistakenly charged with cowardice in the battle that claimed his life. Spensa has to overcome a society that reviles her for her father’s supposed actions, and even after she makes the pilot academy, there are those who are determined to make sure she never flies a real ship. So when Spensa stumbles across an unusual crashed fighter ship, she decides to fix it up to make sure that one day she will be able to get into the sky.
What are YOUR favorite books in space? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!