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Friday, April 30, 2021

Best Stand Alone Modern Sci Fi (Book Recommendation Results)

The results are IN!

Our book rec conversation about stand alone science fiction (written after 1980) came up with a decent list for your TBR lists. From Brin and Russell to Asimov, these are the favorites of many. 

I'm just going to drop this list and run. I have to get all my tax documents to my accountant in the next two days (all my crowdfunding and side gigs make my taxes way too hard to do on my own). This is why my "heavy" posts were at the beginning of the week this week. I will get our Master List updated this weekend (but you can go look and see what the results will look like, as well as check out our previous Book Rec convos). Plus, don't forget to go back to the original conversation to see what people said about the books they loved.

One small note. A LOT of people recommended books that weren't stand alone. I didn't take those nominations, and they aren't on this list. I won't finger wag too much here about following directions except to say that if you submit your writing to a venue, you're going to want to follow THEIR submission guidelines to the letter. Here, I will simply say to hold on to these great book recommendations. I'll be coming back around in time to do the best single book in a series.


Earth, D. Brin (2)

Snow Crash, N. Stephenson

Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, S. R. Delany.

China Mountain Zhang, M. F. McHugh

House of the Scorpion, N. Farmer

Silently and Very Fast, C. M. Valente

Sudden, Broken, and Unexpected, S. Popkes

The Positronic Man, I. Asimov and R. Silverberg

Story of Your Life, T. Chiang


Six Wakes, M. Lafferty 

The Gone World, T. Sweterlitsch


  1. Ahem. I LOVE The Sparrow by MD Russell, but it isn't a standalone. There's a sequel, Children of God.

    1. I thought I had checked all of these.

    2. Easily fixed. Plus I'm going to go "off script" and gather these offerings together for our next list.

  2. I have discovered another standalone that is AMAZING!! You all must read it immediately! It's _Jane, Unlimited_ by Kristin Cashore (she wrote the inimitable Graceling series). I'm not quite done with Jane, but I'm dragging it out because I don't want it to end! It's a book with 5 endings, but not like "Choose your Own Adventure" - no, more that you need all these endings to really understand what is going on... I don't even know how to describe them or the experience of reading them. Just that it's lovely! So, I'm totally taking advantage of being an early commenter and suggesting this book, too :)