S1E17 Summer Reading 2021 – Corrected

A montage of seven science fiction and fantasy book covers

David and Ken once again find themselves ignoring linear time to bring you a show FROM THE FUTURE!!! On this epsiode of Lair of Secrets, they discuss their respective summer reading lists for 2021.

Ken’s Summer Reading List

Ken is going to be spending a lot of time reading away from home, as he finally backpacking in Philmont and heads to Lake Champlain for his family’s annual vacation.

  • Watership Down
    • by Richard Adams
    • An epic book about rabbits escaping the destruction of their warren and their attempt to find a new home.
  • Boundless (The Lost Fleet: Outlands Book 1)
    • by Jack Campbell
    • Campbell returns to his Lost Fleet universe on June 15. This time around, Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary has to survive the peace he brought about by saving the Alliance. His own government – which spawned a malevolent Artificial Intelligence fleet in the last series – fears Geary. Confronted by evidence of their own misdoings, they dispatch Geary on a dangerous expeditionary mission to the frontier while they “debate” what to do.  
  • Ancestral Night (White Space, Book 1) 
    • by Elizabeth Bear
    • From the book blurb: “Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law…usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels.”
  • The Trumps of Doom (Chronicles of Amber, Book 6)
    • by Roger Zelazny, read by Wil Wheaton ((audio book on Audible)
    • The further adventures of the royal family of Amber, who rule the multiverse from the one true city and the one true reality. This book kicks off a second series of five novels in which we meet Merwyn, the son of Corwin, the protagonist of the first five books.
  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)
    • by Martha Wells
    • From the book blurb: “On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid ― a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.”
  • Leviathan Falls (Book 9 of the Expanse)
    • by James S.A. Corey
    • The final book in The Expanse series. And Ken would totally have read it this summer … but it’s coming out in November 2021.

David’s Summer Reading List

  • The Fifth Season
    • N.K. Jemmison (audio book on Audible)
    • This is the way the world ends…for the last time.
    • From the book blurb: “It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.”
  • Fuzzy Nation
    • by John Scalzi (audio book on Audible read by Wil Wheaton)
    • From the book cblurb: “In John Scalzi’s re-imagining of H. Beam Piper’s 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesn’t care to talk about. On the distant planet Zarathustra, Jack is content as an independent contractor for ZaraCorp, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.”
  • The Calculating Stars
    • by Mary Robinette Kowal
    • From the book blurb: One woman. One mission. One chance to save the world. It’s 1952, and the world as we know it is gone. A meteorite has destroyed Washington DC, triggering extinction-level global warming. To save humanity, the world unites to form the International Aerospace Coalition. Its mission: to colonise first the Moon, then Mars. Elma York, World War Two pilot and mathematician, dreams of becoming an astronaut – but prejudice has kept her grounded. Now nothing – and no man – will stop her from reaching for the stars.
  • The End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking)
    • by Katie Mack
    • From the blurb: “We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.”
  • Seveneves
    • by Neal Stephenson (audio book on Audible)
    • “A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers until only a handful of survivors remain …”
  • Project Hail Mary
    • Andy Weir (audio book on Audible)
    • Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

Outro

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Featured Image

A collection of cover art for some of the books on our summer reading list. Copyright their respective authors/publishers.

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