This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is all about books set in a particular place. Due to my recently conceived obsession with space-set stories, here’s a list of some of my favourite interplanetary tales.
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
One of my favourite books of the last year (maybe ever?); Illuminae was the book which made me seek out more books set in space, with its high-speed chases and AI villain. I really don’t know if I can wait until October for Gemina.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This is one of my dad’s favourite books and he lent me his copy to read when I was a teenager; I swiftly wolfed down the whole series and have reread them a couple of times since, finding them just as hilarious each time. Marvin the depressed robot and the Vogons with their terrible poetry are highlights.
The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling
This YA space fantasy came out earlier this year and is well-worth a read; it has a really interesting premise in which a whole society exists on a spacecraft, having taken on a mission generations ago, meaning the younger residents have never seen life off the ship.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This has a distinctly Hitchhiker’s-esque air in terms of humour, with a crew consisting of both humans and aliens on a mission across the galaxy. I did wish there had actually been a proper ending, but I’ll be picking up the next book in the series to see what happens next.
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
An intriguing novel about another planet, populated by the descendants of a crew from Earth who crashed there. It’s slow to start with, but the exploration of a strange planet makes this an interesting read.
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
I love this author; his books are hilarious and the kids I teach have enjoyed studying both this and Millions. Cosmic is about a primary school boy who accidentally goes into space when his height means he’s mistaken for a grown-up. It’s both silly and touching; FCB’s trademark.
Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
This graphic novel focuses on AI and features further exciting whizzing through space. I really enjoyed the artwork as well as the story; I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment.
This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger
If you weren’t a teenage girl in the 1990s, you might not have heard of Paula Danziger, in which case I feel deeply sorry for you. Just writing her name makes me want to reread all her books (they are very short, so I might). This one is about a teenage girl who is forced to move to the moon with her family. Of all Danziger’s brilliant books, this was always my favourite.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This and its follow-up, This Shattered World, are both excellent space-set romances; These Broken Stars is my favourite of the two because it’s more space-oriented and, obviously, because of the relationship between Tarver and Lilac, both of whom I love . I’ve not yet read the third in the series, Their Fractured Light, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
Winnie in Space by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul
My daughter is a big fan of Winnie and her bemused cat, Wilbur; in this one, Winnie magics a spaceship which is inconveniently eaten by space rabbits.
Honourable mentions go to the section of Max Brooks’ World War Z which is set on the international space station (the best bit in an extraordinary book), Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day and Marcus Sedgwick’s If Only In My Dreams, a contribution to the UKYA anthology I’ll Be Home for Christmas, all of which are awesome representations of space in literature.
If you have any space-set recommendations for me, I would love to see them in the comments.