April 01st, 2014 marked the release date of Alex Hughes’ third entry into her acclaimed Mindspace Investigation Series. Her novel’s protagonist finds himself drawn back into the headquarters of the dangerous and powerful Guild as he investigates the death of an old flame’s Uncle.
As a part of her “Marked” blog tour, Alex graciously stopped by to share ten science fiction novels that shaped her as a writer and person.
(In no particular order. There are, of course, many more books besides.)
- The Ship Who Searched by McCaffrey and Lackey. This is the book that made me want to become an author. I think I’ve read it fifty times over the years. The main character has faced an unimaginable transformation and yet goes out to find adventure and her dreams anyway.
- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (also, Starship Troopers). Heinlein is the father of character-driven modern science fiction, and I love how he plays with society and gender. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has some thick language in the POV, but bear with it. His computer character is one of my favorites in the field, and the moon’s social structure is deeply interesting.
- Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro. Written by a real physicist, the technology in this book blew my mind. It’s not the easiest thing to get through in the text (in fact, they made her move the explanations to the appendix in subsequent books), but it’s well worth the effort. Amazing science on every level, including a hyperdrive that operates in imaginary space, as in the space defined by the number i.
- Catspaw by Joan D. Vinge. Cyberpunk awesomeness, this is one of the primary inspirations for Clean.
- StarDoc by S.L. Viehl. A plethora of aliens and a really interesting medical story, this space opera has a strong main character you’ll love.
- Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh. Nobody makes aliens feel alien the way that Cherryh does—this is one of the best sociological science fiction books ever written, IMHO. Start with the second section of the book that opens in the garden.
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I’m not a huge fan of Card’s work otherwise, but this book changed my life as a young teen. I connected with Ender so deeply, and the choices that he made broke my heart and steadied me, all at the same time.
- Alien Taste by Wen Spencer. One of the first books I’d ever read with a near-future first-person narrator. This main character has a unique gift that makes it all come alive.
- Sphere by Michael Crichton (also, Timeline). Crichton has always been one of the best near-future science fiction writers in our day. These two are some of my favorites, and they show how a little bit of science and some well-done research can make a story come alive.
- Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (also, the one in the same series about the mathematician). Lee & Miller do one of the coolest alien cultures out there, and the adventure and relationships are very fun. One of the best space opera authors you probably haven’t read.
I want to thank Alex for stopping by and sharing with us some of the great work that has inspired her.
Check out my review of Clean!