Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I read a lot of backlist books. Sure, I can jump on the ‘ooh, shiny’ bandwagon as well as anyone, but I always come back to older books. I’d guess that’s probably because I read a lot of books that aren’t ‘popular’ and even when they were new, weren’t the ‘newest, hottest thing.’

So, that being said, I decided that, because I’m participating in Sci-Fi Month, that I’d make this list all about the backlisted sci-fi books. Yay! (Warning: This list may not be as old backlisted as I’d like, because I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, but I’ve been trying to spread my wings. And, honestly, it’s difficult to find older sci-fi that appeals to me.)

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Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep–and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing–and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .

Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe’s journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.

Dreamer by Steven Harper

It is through first contact with an alien species that humanity learns of the Dream. It is a plane of mental existence where people are able to communicate with one another by their thoughts alone — over distances of thousands of light-years. To ensure that future generations will have this ability, human genetic engineering produces newborns capable of finding and navigating the Dream.

They became known as the Silent.

Rust is just one planet among many in the Empire of Human Unity. It’s nothing special, nothing unusual . . . except for the fact that it is home to an unknown boy who may be the most powerful Silent ever born — a Silent with the ability to possess the bodies of others against their will. This mysterious child may be causing tremors within the Dream itself.

For now, only the Children of Irfan know about him. A monastic-like order of the Silent, the Children protect their members even as they barter their services with the governments and corporations that control known space. But power like that cannot be hidden, and soon every Silent in the universe will know about the boy — and every government will be willing to go to war to control him.

And if the Children of Irfan cannot find him first, the Dream itself may be shattered…

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Young Avenger: Sidekicks by Allen Heinberg & Jim Cheung

(Yes, I consider superheroes sci-fi.)

In the wake of Avengers Disassembled, a mysterious new group of teen super heroes appears. But who are they? Where did they come from? And what right do they have to call themselves the Young Avengers?

Collecting: Young Avengers 1-6

Claws and Starships by M.C.A. Hogarth

When the results of Earth’s genetic experiments fled for their makers, they took their own name as they left humanity behind; centuries later, the Pelted have spread into a multi-world alliance of cultures and languages, cribbed from Terra or created whole-cloth. Claws and Starships collects six stories of the Pelted, ranging from the humor of a xenoanthropologist on the wrong side of mythology to more serious works considering the implications of genetic engineering in a far-future classroom seeded with the children of those laboratories. Come stamp your passport and visit the worlds of the Pelted Alliance in all their variety!

Includes the novella “A Distant Sun,” and the short stories “Rosettes and Ribbons” (Best in Show anthology), “The Elements of Freedom,” “Tears” (Pawprints), “Pantheon,” and “Butterfly”.

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The Silvered by Tanya Huff

(It’s tagged as steampunk and I spy a dirigable, so it totally counts!)

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…

Villains Don’t Date Heroes by Mia Archer

Night Terror. The greatest villain Starlight City has ever known. The greatest supervillain the world has ever seen. She rules her city with an iron fist, and there are no new worlds to conquer.

Needless to say life is pretty damn boring.

All that changes when she decides to shake things up by robbing a bank the old fashioned way and runs into the city’s newest hero: Fialux. Flying Fialux. Invulnerable Fialux. Super strong Fialux. Beautiful Fialux?

Night Terror has a new archenemy who might just be able to defeat her, but even more terrifying are the confusing feelings this upstart heroine has ignited. She doesn’t like heroes like that. She definitely doesn’t like girls like that. Right? Only she can’t deny the flutter she feels whenever she thinks of Starlight City’s newest heroine!

The line between hate and love is a razor’s edge that the world’s greatest villainess will have to walk if she wants to hold onto that title!

Villains Don’t Date Heroes! is a lesbian scifi romance novel that explores the world of villains, antiheroes, and heroes in a whole new way!

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Into the Divide by Sandra Bard

Nullands: Sections of a series of planets sealed off by an energy barrier, called the Divide, filled with danger, where technology does not work.

Tarn is part of the Death Squad, a criminal given a second chance by agreeing to risk his life over and over again in the Nullands. His latest mission is the kind he usually avoids: babysit an inexperience lab tech while they hunt down the dangerous creature that escaped a research lab.

Calvin is the lab tech given the unenviable task of hunting down the creature that escaped his lab, after it killed his friend and five others. An assignment he mostly landed for refusing to sleep with his boss, he knows damn good and well he’s being sent to die. What he doesn’t expect is Tarn, or how far he’s willing to go to survive.

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

(A little confused, as this could pass for sci-fi or fantasy, but… well.)

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, stealth and reconnaissance expert with a lizard’s scales and snake’s eyes, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn’t enough: he needs an escape, and he’ll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.

But instead of ending a man’s life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

They join forces with Evelyn’s family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there’s Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole’s few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.

Separately they’d never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole’s eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn’t above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating… and holding Regan’s memories hostage until he gets his way.

Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…

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Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith

Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, “the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. “Las Anclas” now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

Love for the Cold-Blooded: or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

 

So, what backlisted books do you want to read? Have you read any of these? Do you usually read a lot of backlist books, or no? (Not to beg for recommendations, but I totally am, but if you know of any sci-fi that could fit in with these, do let me know!)

Posted in TTT

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Backlist Sci-Fi Books I Want to Read

  1. I’ve had trouble finding older SF that appeals to me too, so I can relate. Young Avengers has me curious- looks fun- and I’ve heard good things about Tanya Huff. Great list!

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    1. Yay, so it’s not just me. Love hearing that. I’ve read some of the new Young Avengers – and it was fun – but now I’d like to see their formation and early stuff. And I will say lots of good things about Tanya Huff. Especially her sci-fi series. The urban fantasy one is okay, which considering urban fantasy is really not my thing is kind of complementary too. But, yes, her sci-fi series.

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