To me these 4 Novellas are an ideal spot to start getting into Science Fiction. For one because they are short, you do not have to get invested for 500 pages to decide, if you’ll like it or not. But also, because they are quite different from one another and offer a good sense of what SciFi can be.
All Systems Red is the first Novella of a serie by Martha Wells. Here, we begin with an androids journey to discover itself mixed with an adventure of this bot into difficult situations trying to keep the group of humans alive, it has been asigned to.
The bot is a SecUnit, calling themself Murderbot, that has hacked its own governor module, but decides to stay on the job. When a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and Murderbot to get to the truth.
This book is #1 published in 2017 and the series continues till today. #7 has just been published in November 2023. The book and the serie has won several of all the Science Fiction awards, Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award for example. To check out more about the serie and the authors go to Martha Wells website.
A psalm for the Wild-Built in comparison is more of a quiet walk. You follow the monk sibling Dex on their way out of the city where they meet a robot. Robots haven’t been seen in centuries – not since the robots gained self-awareness, laid down their tools and wandered off into the wilderness.With the arrival of this robot, it honors the old promise of checking in. So the robot and the monk are getting to know one another on their journey, which is built around the question, what it is that people actually need, in a world where everyone seems to have everything.
This book is 1 of 2 (so far) and to was very much cozy & queer SciFi. Read more about by the author here. Early 2024 both books will be published in german.
„Dies ist mein letztes Lied“ has been published in 2023 and so far only in german, so this paragraph is gonna be in german too.
Die Novelle eine Reise durch verschiedene Orte im Universum, immer an der Musik entlang. Die Erlebnisse, die die Hauptfigur Qui dabei macht, entfalten sich entlang von Kunst und ihren Grenzen, entlang an Hoffnung und Hilfslosigkeit, vorbei am Zuhören und hin zum Finden einer eigenen Melodie. Lena Richter gelingt es, aktuelle politische Fragen in eine Reise durchs Weltall einzubinden und so viel Raum für Emotionen zu bieten. Als Debutnovelle ein schöner Einstieg in die längere Textform.
While these first three books are all set in very far futures from ours, Little Eyes could happen right now or at least very soon. And in a way that is part of the tension and horror, this book brings. A bit like Black Mirrors meets Furby.
„Little Eyes“ is a visionary novel about our interconnected world, about the collision of horror and humanity. The ‘Kentukis’ look harmless enough and contain cameras which allow someone on the other side of the planet to access moments of another person’s life. Changing perspectives through out the book allow the story to play through different out comes all over the world simultaneously. And leave you probably fascinated and horrified by the end of it.
The author is originally from Buenos Aires, now lives in Berlin. The book has been translated from spanish into english and german.
I hope this motivates you to give it a try. Let me know what you thought about them, if you end up reading one or more of these books.