Sci-Fi Stories in Space: A Reading List

human division john scalziThis round of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by The Human Division by John Scalzi.

Following the events of The Last Colony, John Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human race.

The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance—an alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn’t obvious or easy.

Against such possibilities, managing the survival of the Colonial Union won’t be easy, either. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning…and a brilliant “B Team,” centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson, that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.


You needn’t be an X-Files fan to know humans are fascinated by the idea that we’re not alone in this great big universe. We love stories about people who boldly go where no man has gone before, and we’re thrilled and terrified in equal measure by stories about visitors from other planets. Aliens, you guys! We can’t resist them. Science fiction is filled with tales about defending the human race here on Earth and extending our reach elsewhere.

We asked you to share your favorite Sci-Fi stories about going into space or protecting the Earth from outer-space visitors.  Here’s what you came up with:

A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Old Man’s War and Red Shirts  by John Scalzi

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey

The Telling by Ursula K. LeGuin

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

 The Vorkosigan series by Lois Bujold

The Brain/Brawn series and Planet Pirates series by Anne McCaffrey

2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Light and Virconium by M. John Harrison

The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Out of the Silent Planet trilogy by C.S. Lewis

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

The Stars My Desitnation by Alfred Bester

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Culture series by Iain M. Banks


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