5 top science fiction novelties of 2018

No. 5: Six Awakenings by Mer Lafferty

At first glance, the novel “Six Awakenings” seems like a hermetic detective in a fantastic setting. The crew of the spacecraft, heading with the colonists sleeping in suspended animation to a distant world, consists of six clones, which during the flight must more than once grow old, die and transfer their minds to new bodies. Instead, they immediately wake up after death, devoid of memories of the years spent on the ship, and their previous bodies leave no doubt that they were killed. And that means that at least one of the six is ​​a criminal. Starting to delve into themselves and comrades, the heroes soon find out that each of them has decent skeletons hidden in closets.

Mer Lafferty really turned out to be a very tense and intriguing detective with a non-trivial riddle and interesting characters. But besides this, the novel offers a very curious look at the future, in which, thanks to the transfer of consciousness into new bodies, a person can defeat death. In the numerous flashbacks, Lafferty shows with frightening persuasiveness the potential social, legal, criminal, cultural, economic and religious consequences of the advent of such technology.

No. 4: The Gambit of the Nine-Tailed Fox by Yun Ha Lee

Creating a truly original and distinctive fantasy world is not an easy task, but Yun Ha Li maths brilliantly dealt with it in his debut novel, for which the author received the "Locus" award. In the Gambit of the Nine-Tailed Fox universe, futuristic technology in the space Empire, which includes many systems and planets, depends on ... whether people follow the official calendar. There is no serious scientific justification behind the world and the technologies described in the novel. Rather, they personify the famous rule of Arthur Clark, which states that "Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Having created an unusual world and the laws in it, Yun Ha Li describes in great detail and excitingly fantastic combat operations and tactical tricks. The author and the main characters brilliantly succeeded - the girl-officer, who receives an almost impossible mission, and the consciousness of the genius commander of the past who went down in history as the greatest criminal “loaded” into her brain.

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No. 3: “Alien Land” Oleg Divov

Oleg Divov can be safely attributed to the number of the most multifaceted domestic science fiction writers. On his account there is fiction of the near sight, and horrors, and dystopia, and fantasy, and space opera. And the lion's share of Divov’s works was awarded prestigious prizes - on his account are numerous “Roscons”, “Filigree” and “Star Bridges”. We dare to assume that Oleg’s new novel, “Alien Land”, will allow him to once again replenish this solid collection.

With corporate identity and irony, Oleg Divov tells the story of a world that is inhabited by natives who are very similar to people. They are significantly behind humanity in terms of technological progress, but they are alien to all slyness. But for the protagonist, Russian diplomat Andrei Rusakov, it has long been second nature. And it depends on his words and actions what future awaits the "Earth-two", to which earthly states are drawing greedy hands.

No. 2: "Eternal Life of Death" by Liu Qixin

As Neil Gaiman said, when in China they decided to figure out why advanced technologies are created in the West, they found out that experts from the most innovative companies grew up on science fiction. What can not be said about most Chinese experts. However, there is at least one world-class science fiction writer in the Celestial Empire - with his trilogy “In Memory of the Past of the Earth”, Liu Qysin has won the hearts of readers around the world, including in Russia.

On the pages of the novel “The Problem of Three Bodies”, the author offered a very non-trivial view on the subject of the collision of humanity with an alien mind. In the part of the cycle called “Dark Forest”, the conflict reached its climax and denouement. Finally, in the final novel of the trilogy, readers received a story grandiose in scope and intensity. It covers several eras, talks about the attempts of mankind to find its place in the universe and the greatest difficulties that await on this path.

No. 1: Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the most titled science fiction writers of our time, multiple winner of the Nebula, Hugo and Locus awards in our area is best known for the Martian trilogy. On its pages, the author very plausibly and meticulously depicted a possible scenario of the colonization of the Red Planet and potential problems - scientific, social, cultural - that humanity might encounter.

In Aurora, Robinson again addresses the topic of the colonization of other worlds, but this time we are talking about a world that lies outside the solar system and requires a ship of generations to get to it. As the author himself says, he turns to classic sci-fi ideas and tries to reflect them in his novels as reliably as possible from the point of view of modern science. And Kim Stanley Robinson really brilliantly and extremely convincingly show the difficulties that the crew of the generation ship and the colonists who have reached a world that was by no means hospitable.

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