Chat Between Chapters: Genre: Sci-fi

June 7, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 34


 Let’s talk about all things sci-fi. What are some of your favorite sci-fi books? Or do you shy away from the genre?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I struggle with the sci-fi genre because many of the books I’ve read have been lengthy and sometimes overly detailed to the point of dragging on for too long. Sci-fi translates very well to the screen though, and I enjoy watching movies in the genre. My Dad loves to read sci-fi so I find it strange that I tend to struggle with it. Recently one of my book clubs read The Martian, and everyone loved it – well, I thought it was only alright. I tend to find my mind wandering and a little bit of boredom sets in when the books go on a bit too much. I did really enjoy Ender’s Game, despite the extra stuff that I didn’t think was necessary, but by the 3rd book in that series I gave up. I’m definitely open to suggestions for some good sci-fis that don’t drag.

Rose review avatar Rose:

This is a genre that I usually do not pick up on my own. The only way I read Sci-Fi is if someone forces it upon me. I will sometimes even ENJOY reading the book, but I will not generally agree to reading Sci-Fi without a fight. About as Sci-Fi as I get is paranormal ish aliens… yep. That is about it. And even then, those aliens tend to be just like humans… like The Host by Stephenie Meyer… that is Sci-Fi, no? ha


I’m going to guess that out of Julie, Rose, and I, I’m probably the only one who regularly reads science fiction. I can see why a lot of readers a turned off by science fiction, though. Lots of characters and places with names that are difficult to remember. Many of the books are long. And even longer when you start into a series. And there are definitely some bad science fiction books out there, like any genre. But there are also some excellent ones. I read science fiction because I like to believe that we are not alone. And reading, or even watching, science fiction strengthens that belief. As a kid, I was reading Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Madeleine L’Engle. Then I moved on to Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clark, and Michael Crichton. Now, it’s Douglas Adams, David Weber’s Honorverse, John Scalzi, and Ernest Cline. If you haven’t yet, don’t be afraid to try some science fiction. And I really loved The Martian.

Note: Some posts may contain affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase a product, we will receive a small commission for the sale at no additional cost to you. Chapter Break is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Subscribe to Chapter Break posts.

Never miss a post on Chapter Break. Subscribe today for all the bookish awesome in your inbox.

Join 17,599 other subscribers

34 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Genre: Sci-fi”

  1. Brenda @DailyMayo

    I was raised on science fiction, so it’s one of my favorite genres although I don’t read as much now. I love the classics written before science exploration was a thing (like HG Wells). Douglas Adams is a must, as is the Ender’s Game series, the 2001 series, and I love anything by Isaac Asmov. These days, I tend to prefer science fiction in short story format. The stories explore an interesting idea, but aren’t long enough to drag on. I am Legend is an interesting blend of science fiction and horror.
    Brenda @DailyMayo recently posted…Awesome Book Gifts (That Are Really For You): Lit Lovers Link Party

    • Julie

      Ooh HG Wells is a great example, I should try more of his stuff (I only read Time Machine). I also only read one Douglas Adams but really should get more since Hitchhiker’s Guide was awesome. Good idea on the short story format, you’re right that it helps get a fun story across without being overwhelming.

  2. Sue at Book By Book

    I like certain kinds of sci fi a lot. Not so much the classic stuff – aliens, spaceships, etc.

    Love the series that began with Ender’s Game (OK, that does involve aliens and spaceships!) and my son and I are also loving Orson Scott Card’s latest series that began with Pathfinder (YA).

    I like dystopian and post-apocalyptic books.

    And I LOVE any book with a time travel plot – my favorite!! My favorite book of all time is Replay by Ken Grimwood:

    Great discussion!


    2015 Big Book Summer Challenge
    Sue at Book By Book recently posted…It’s Monday 6/15! What Are You Reading?

    • Julie

      I think Jim Butcher is fantasy/urban fantasy. But I can definitely see how the genres can get confused and shelved odd at bookstores.

    • Julie

      ooh I really enjoyed the Hitchhiker’s Guide book, that’s a great one. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  3. Daniela Ark

    I like books with some Sci-fi elements but set in a familiar environment (Earth or earth-like worlds. E.g. Marked, Sarah Fine)with human like characters like Rsoe said.

    I agree with Julie a sci-fi book can be overly detailed and dragging especially if it is a 100% alien world and characters because the author has to build this new world.
    Daniela Ark recently posted…Writing checklist: Six Writing Communities to check out

    • Julie

      There’s definitely an art to world building in an engaging way so readers will enjoy the experience.

  4. Kaitlin Michelle

    I too find Sci Fi books too overly detailed, so that I get bored and move on. I also have trouble with books when all the names of the people and places are weird words that I don’t know and then I can’t keep up with who is who. Definitely not my favorite genre. I did read 5th Wave by Rick Yancy it was pretty good, and it is probably the most sci fi thing I have read in a very long time.
    Kaitlin Michelle recently posted…Misdirected by Ali Berman

    • Julie

      The weird names and words is definitely something that turns me off as well. I find this a problem in high fantasy in addition to “traditional” sci-fi.

  5. Stefani

    Sci fi is still a no no for me. I’ve read only a few books in the genre and the ones I read were…meeeh. Great discussion ladies!

  6. Berls

    The only “sci-fi” I read regularly is dystopian, but that hardly counts in my mind. I tend to veer away from aliens in general too. But when I do stumble into sci-fi I seem to end up really liking it – I do go for more human like aliens like you Rose. The Host and Alienated are the only alien books I can think of I’ve read and they’re very like humans. Fun post ladies 🙂
    Berls recently posted…My “Official” #RT15 Fun

    • Julie

      I read a lot of dystopia, and I guess I wasn’t thinking of it as being part of the sci-fi genre.

      • Lynn

        I think there is a very blurry line between sci if and fantasy. And dystopia is right on the line.

  7. Nish

    I love science fiction, it used to be a staple read, though of late I haven’t read too many. I must get to The Martian sometime soon.

    Btw, have you read Asimov’s The Foundation, and Robot series of books, they were the ones that totally got me into sci-fi.
    Nish recently posted…Mailbox Mondays: June Book Haul

  8. Ramona

    I need to read The Martian. My dad is also into sci-fi :))) Lynn’s list fits mine almost to a T, including the timeline, lol. I also grew up on a H.G. Wells & Jules Verne healthy diet! I love the genre because it forces my brain to flex more 🙂
    Ramona recently posted…Five Character Development Mistakes

    • Lynn

      yes, exactly, Ramona. Using my brain, even while I escape is always a plus. And have you watched the new Martian trailer? Maybe that will push you over the edge to read it. And the audio book won an award (if you are into audio books). You have til November!

    • Julie

      I guess I wasn’t thinking Jules Verne as sci-fi. I absolutely loved Journey to the Center of the Earth but that was more fantasy to me.

  9. Terri M., the Director

    I LOVE sci-fi. I love sci-fi with heart! 🙂 Some of my favorites.

    Traveler by Dennis W. Green (I’m hosting a giveaway right now!)
    First Sun by Tara Tolly
    A Tangle of Fates by Leslie Ann More
    Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. (Butterman Travel #1) by P. K. Hrezo
    Zenn Scarlett (Zenn Scarlett #1) by Christian Schoon

    And Julie, I don’t like long complicated sci-fi books either. I don’t like long complicated books in general. 🙂 Ender’s Game was okay, but I’m not sold on it like my husband is. Too military for me.
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Scenic Sundays 37: Travel and Jack Kerouac

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge