Every morning that I wake up and realize that, yes, the Trump administration is still in power and this hasn't all been some kind of cruel nightmare, I can't help but wonder: When are we moving to Mars already? While life on another planet is still only a fictional possibility rather than a realistic one, these new science fiction books about space travel will let you pretend like moving to space is an option.
One of the best things about the science fiction genre is its capacity for complexity, creativity, and imagination. From action-packed space operas to dystopian alternate futures to robot fiction, sci-fi has the power to transport readers to another time, another place, and another world entirely. It's the kind of genre that lets you unplug from the real world and instead enter a wholly new, fully-fleshed out universe where the only limitation is that of your own imagination.
To me, the best kinds of science fiction books are the ones that bring readers aboard a ship and into the deep, vast expanse of space. They're brimming with adventure, overflowing with action, but, most importantly, full of endless possibility. They may not be an actual ticket to the outer planets of the solar system, but they're a pretty good next-best thing. When you're flying through space, hopping from galaxy to galaxy at light speed, its easy to forget about the problems right here on the home planet. At least, for a little while.
If you need a break from your Earthly worries, check out one of these nine new science fiction novels about space travel. Who knows, maybe there's a planet out there
'Radiate' by C.A. Higgins
Hit the skies again in the third installment of C.A. Higgins's The Lightless Trilogy, a suspenseful and exciting sci-fi adventure. In Radiate, Althea and Ananke, now a sentient artificial intelligence with the power of a god, travel the galaxy in search of the advanced space ship's "father," Mathew, the man responsible for creating the code that gave her life. Meanwhile, Matthew is on a journey of his own, but soon enough, their paths will collide in one brilliant burst of light. A beautiful and bold story about what it means to be alive, Radiate will take you to the corners of space you've never even dreamed of going and beyond.
'The Stars Are Legion' by Kameron Hurley
Take an journey to the outer rim of the universe with award-winning author Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion, an epic space adventure starring one unforgettable heroine. In a sci-fi reality where humanity is pushed off of the dying planets and onto a fleet of decaying world-ships known as the Legion, one girl has the power of salvation: she can board one of the ships capable of breaking away from all the rest. But When Zan is forced to pick sides in the war for control and survival, she must decide who she can trust, and who she can believe in. An electrifying work of science fiction, The Stars Are Legion will pull you out of this world and drop among the stars.
'Infinity Engine' by Neal Asher
The final installment of the Transformation series, Neal Asher's Infinity Engine is another out-of-this-world adventure staring the unforgettable rogue AI, Penny Royal. The power struggle for control over Factory Station 101, the war factory that produced Penny Royal, continues to heat up in this third novel, and aliens, humans, and AI's are all attempting to come out on top. Things get even more complicated when an ancient alien with unknown motivations boards the ship, throwing the already tense situation into further upheaval. An action-packed conclusion to a thrilling series, Infinity Engine will take you to the edge of a black hole and back, but don't be surprised if you leave a part of yourself behind.
'Vanguard' by Jack Campbell
Return to the world of of Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet novels in his latest installment, Vanguard. A prequel to the author's beloved bestselling series and the first in the Genesis Fleet series, this newest book chronicles the founding of the Alliance, including the lives and sacrifices of the men and women who gave up everything to create it. An imaginative and in-depth novel that spans time and space, Vanguard will make you want to explore the vast possibilities the universe has to offer.
'Defy the Stars' by Claudia Gray
Starring a bad ass heroine so inspiring you'll want to sign up to fight in the interstellar war in her name, Defy the Stars is an imaginative and exciting journey through space. When Noemi, a teen soldier, finds herself stranded on an abandoned enemy spaceship following a disastrous battle, she soon learns she is not alone. Abel, a complex AI with complex human-like emotions, is there waiting in the darkness to kill her, but his programming instead forces him to serve her instead. With his reluctant help, will Noemi be able to save the universe, or will Abel's humanity stop her from winning the war? You'll have to take a journey to the stars to find out.
'The Wanderers' by Meg Howrey
If you've dreamed of being an astronaut but never quite made it to NASA, Meg Howrey's latest novel is the next best thing. In The Wanderers, three brilliant individuals train for the mission of a lifetime as they prepare to be the first humans on Mars. But as their seventeen month stimulation begins to feel too real, the astronauts begin to realize that the complications they face on Earth won't stay behind when they're launched into the sky. While this book may take place on this planet, it's story is so out of this world, it will make you feel like you're living among the stars.
'Empress of a Thousand Skies' by Rhoda Belleza
A sweeping novel that is as beautiful as it is diverse, Rhoda Belleza's Empress of a Thousand Skies plucks readers off of Earth and drops them among the stars for a dazzling adventure unlike any other. On the Eve on her coronation, Rhee can taste the power and, more importantly, revenge she's been waiting her whole life training to achieve, but a deadly attack changes everything. When Aly, a war refugee and famous star of the DroneVision show, is blamed for the princess's murder, he must team up with the girl he's accused of killing to uncover the truth behind the violence that threatens the safety of the entire galaxy. A phenomenally stunning debut, Empress of a Thousand Skies kicks off what is sure to be an outstanding series that is out of this world.
'Mars One' by Jonathan Maberry
Prepare for the mission of a lifetime alongside Tristan and his family, the first humans tasked with colonizing another planet, in Jonathan Maberry's YA space adventure, Mars One. Trained since the age of 12 to be the first mission to leave Earth and settle among the stars, Tristan is now 16 and the time has come to leave his home planet and say goodbye to everything he loves, including Izzy. But when the world learns there is another ship already en route to Mars, a terrorist group steps in and begins to threaten the project and the future of Tristan and his family. Is taking the trip to space really worth it, or is Earth the only place they can stay safe? You'll have to read Mars One an find out for yourself.