Do I Enjoy Adult Science Fiction?

There are some genres that I just don't give a chance like adult sci-fi. I recently looked at all my well-liked and loved books and a lot of them were YA sci-fi specifically dystopian. The dystopian craze in YA was during the start of my own journey of really getting into reading. So why have I never gotten into adult sci-fi? There's really no reason so I decided to give them a shot and see if I was missing out on a great genre or if it was just not for me.

Dystopia - Robots/Androids - Human Development

Humanity stands on the brink. Again.

Surviving the Syndrome meant genetically modifying almost every person on the planet. But norms and gems are different. Gems may have the superpowers that once made them valuable commodities, but they also have more than their share of the damaged, the violent and the psychotic.

After a century of servitude, freedom has come at last for the gems, and not everyone’s happy about it. The gemtechs want to turn them back into property. The godgangs want them dead. The norm majority is scared and suspicious, and doesn’t know what it wants.

Eli Walker is the scientist charged with deciding whether gems are truly human, and as extremists on both sides raise the stakes, the conflict descends into violence. He’s running out of time, and with advanced prototypes on the loose, not everyone is who or what they seem. Torn between the intrigues of ruthless executive Zavcka Klist and brilliant, dysmorphic gem leader Aryel Morningstar, Eli finds himself searching for a truth that might stop a war.

I was desperately excited to read this book. I was looking up the subgenres of science fiction in order to research and find varied forms of science fiction I think I might like. Worlds Without End led me to Gemsigns in the Human Development category. There's something about the premise that clicked with me and of course, the cover is so beautiful. It's also a dystopian where gems, genetically engineered humans, have gotten their freedom but it's tentative. I had a feeling I was going to like this book, but I was wrong. I absolutely loved it.

What a great start, right? This was written with such care. The main leader for the gems is Aryel who has a disfigured body and is highly intelligent. I felt so smart reading this book. I think what it brought out in me the most was the need for a challenge. I love fast-paced YA so much but this was like a breath of fresh air.

What I am surprised I liked so much was the conflict between the corporation, the gems, and the religious group. The religious group were radicals who saw gems as inferior. Since I am Catholic, I do get annoyed with books that basically say all religion is bad and that is the point of their book. But the way this was written I had no problem with this conflict. There wasn't a lesson in all this to say all religion is bad. There sure was a wonderful plot and twist that I absolutely was so happy with though. Some people might have problems with what might be considered anti-Christianity moments but honestly, I didn't see it that way. I think it was done very well.

I'm ecstatic that I discovered this book. I'm planning on continuing on with the series soon because it was just so fantastic. One of my top reads of the year and I would have never tried it if it weren't for this experiment I set up for myself.

Robots/Androids - Space Exploration - Aritificial Intelligence

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
I've known of All Systems Red since it first came out but I never thought science fiction was my thing so I never committed to reading it. I'm glad I didn't because now I have a bunch of books in the series I don't have to wait for. Like Gemsigns, this had a slower-paced and reflective feel to it. I think it's something I was craving at the time because it's not something I get in the books I read. There is more depth to this story than I usually read. 

I loved "Murderbot." I listened to the audiobook of All Systems Red and when the narrator spoke on how he would turn away from the scientists when they looked at him or that they were his favorite humans I just melted. He's basically a socially awkward robot that doesn't feel great about himself especially with the whole he murdered a bunch of people on another mission thing. He has a conscience and is deeply reflective. Another ending I absolutely loved. I look forward to continuing this series as well.

Space Exploration - Colonization - Dying Earth

In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves.

Ariadne is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does.

Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home.
Needless to say by that point I thought adult science fiction was my new favorite genre. However, although To Be Taught, If Fortunate had that slow-paced, intelligent, and reflective vibe to it that the others have had so far, I ended up DNF'ing it. There was a melancholy to the story that I wasn't expecting. Ariadne goes on this mission and when she comes back to Earth it's like I think decades or a hundred years later. She knows she won't come back for that long and that she won't see her family ever again but she still goes. I'm not looking for depressing books right now. Not like that. Losing your family. I put a stop to reading it before it made me too sad to continue on with my experiment.

Space Opera

The Battle of Serenity Valley was the turning point that led the Independents to their defeat at the hands of the Alliance. Yet the Browncoats had held the valley for weeks against all odds, before being ordered to lay down their arms. Command stated they refused to send in airpower because the ground war was "too hot." But the soldiers who were there insist that was not true...

While picking up a new cargo on Persephone, Captain Malcolm Reynolds is kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats who suspect him of sabotaging the Independents during the war. As the rest of the crew struggle to locate him, Mal is placed on trial for his life, fighting compelling evidence that someone did indeed betray them to the Alliance all those years ago. As old comrades and old rivals crawl out of the woodwork, Mal must prove his innocence, but his captors are desperate and destitute, and will settle for nothing less than the culprit's blood. 
I loved Firefly when I watched it years and years ago. I actually didn't remember a lot of the story until I decided to watch a few episodes before listening to this book. Big Damn Hero was such a nostalgic read. I loved being able to experience more of the fun crew of the Persephone. I really should read more TV/book adaptions because it's such a nice way to get more of my favorite characters.

I will say that this was slower paced than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be a fast-paced adventure story. They did go on an adventure but it was more medium-paced than anything. It featured an interesting backstory arc to Mal which I liked learning about. I mainly enjoyed this because it had characters I liked so much so any excuse to read or listen in this case about them I was happy with it. It felt very homey to me. I would like to continue the series. I would like it to be more fast-paced but I think I'll enjoy the series no matter what. It was just a nice, comfort filling story to listen to.

What I Didn't Get To

I didn't get to Spin or The Martian. I didn't get to Spin because although the Goodreads summary is vague, the one on the flap of the book basically tells me everything. There's also a cult in there and that's not my thing. I didn't get to The Martian because I think I read/listened to too many sci-fi at once. I do want to read it eventually though. I read the first line and it's already sounding funny. 


So what did I learn? I learned that I love adult science fiction. And why wouldn't I? I used to love YA sci-fi years back. There was even a series called the Zack Files that I read in elementary that had elements of sci-fi in their storylines. I don't think I was ready to give adult science fiction a real try until I started seeing some reviews of some popular sci-fi books that I gt excited for the genre again.I actually recently read a YA sci-fi for work and I ended up absolutely loving it. It's called Aurora Rising if you were wondering.

Based on the subgenres of the books I read and enjoyed I like: Dystopia, Robots/Androids, Human Development, Space Exploration, Artificial Intelligence, and Space Operas. I might not like all books in these subgenres but it's a jumping-off point for me. I clearly enjoy a large group of friends going on missions together, slow-paced reflective reads, visiting new planets/space stations and/or being in space, evil corporations or governments, and loveable socially-awkward robots. So I will be looking for more of that in my future.

Do you enjoy adult science fiction? Have you read any of these books?
And the most needed question of all - do you have any recommendations for me?


  1. It's always fun finding a new genre to enjoy! The Martian was a great read!

  2. Mary Robinette Kowel has a series about humans having to go to space after a meteor hits Earth in the 1950s. It is very good.


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