My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Best Stand Alone Modern Sci-Fi (Book Recs—More Recs and Seconds Needed)

What is the stand alone science fiction book (or short story) written AFTER 1980? Come join our conversation.

Remember there are no more polls. These days instead of a grudge match, we just have a conversation about some good books. ANY book can end up on our list with even as much as a single nomination. The only thing I do even remotely like "ranking" is to put the books in order by number of "seconds." 

I'm doing a week that is pretty extra on the nanny front, so we might have to do some jazz hands by the end of the week, but I'm still trying to hit all of our update goals and stick the landing.

However, we do have a book rec conversation going on RIGHT NOW, and you haven't already, please don't forget to pop over to the original page to drop that nomination, see what has been nominated already, second (all) those you agree with, and brush up on the rules (there are a FEW after all). 

Keep in mind, as there have been some charming A/V media adaptations (and a few terrible ones), that this is a poll about BOOKS. If you loved Jurassic Park The Lost World when it was scientifically inaccurate CGI dinosaurs running around eating people, but found Michael Crichton's 1995 technothriller to be a dry read that was nothing like the moview, you should nominate something else. 

Again, please remember to go to the original page to drop your nomination (and familiarize yourself with the rules if you haven't yet). If you put it anywhere else (including a Facebook comment on this post) it will not be counted.

Thank you all for joining in our Book Rec Conversation. I've really loved reading all your comments about the books you treasure and why.


  1. Hmm. Post-1980 is hard, since that does exclude a lot... I guess I'd nominate Atwood's "Oryx and Crake", Asimov and Silverberg's "The Positronic Man", and Card's "Ender's Game". (Some of these have sequels, but they work well as stand-alone novels too.)

  2. The parable of the sower. By Octavia Butler.

  3. Arthur C. Clarke's "The Songs of Distant Earth" for me. A book that you would *never* expect a man more associated with clinical, sterile writing to come out with, his only foray into the realm of space opera, a love letter to Sri Lanka (more so than The Fountains of Paradise), a book with layers of complexity that reveal themselves when you read between the lines of what characters say or witness. All in a book 240 pages deep.

  4. C.S. Friedman’s This Alien Shore for me. I’d consider it stand alone as the next book didn’t come out for over 20 years. It has everything, colonists guilds, completely developed societies. And what makes it all work is neurodivergence, you can’t fly the ships through space without them.and it addresses the work arounds, costs, and joys of those non neurotypical gifts in a way nothing else does.