January 2nd is unofficial National Science Fiction Day. Ever hear of a guy named Isaac Asimov? He was only one of the most famous science fiction writers of his time, which is why Sci-Fi Day is celebrated on his birthday! He also had some pretty impressive sideburns. Now, no one actually seems to be certain of the exact date he was born, including Asimov himself, but he chose to celebrate it on January 2nd and someone down the line decided to celebrate science fiction on the same day.
Questionable origins aside, what is one to do on a National Science Fiction Day? Read, of course! What could be better than dedicating a day to reading all those books you got for Christmas? In honor of Mr. Asimov and sci-fi writers and readers everywhere, here’s a list of my favorite sci-fi novels, as well as some sci-fi classics that I plan to pick up and enjoy on January 2nd.
1984: Everyone knows about this book. Even if you’re living under a rock you know about this book. George Orwell is practically a staple of public high school education. For anyone who knows Orwell, you know he had some pretty vocal opinions of big government, and despite bring published over sixty years ago, 1984 is eerily resonant of modern society. Ever hear of Big Brother or that phrase, “1984 is now?” …well, I’ll leave that up for you to decide.
I, ROBOT: This one is Mr. Isaac Asimov himself. You all remember that movie with Will Smith and the creepy, take-over-the-world robots? Yeah, this is the collection of short stories that movie was—bold-faced, italics, unscored, all-caps—LOOSELY adapted from. Robots kind of creep me out (the fact that my iPhone can sass me is still pretty disconcerting) so I’ll probably stay away from this one, but I had to give Mr. Asimov his shout out.
FAHRENHEIT 451: Here’s another one I’m pretty sure the public education system shoved down your throats at some time, but you better be grateful for it because Ray Bradbury’s classic is extraordinary! How else could the image of book-burning and that eerie pod people society still persist all these years later? If nothing else, Bradbury reminds us of the value of our free speech—even if you’re using that free speech to bash his amazing novel (which you shouldn’t be)!
THE LUX SERIES: Aliens, anyone? Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Luxen aren’t green or ugly—YA trope alert, they’re inhumanly beautiful—but aliens just the same. With their home planet destroyed, these beings of light are hiding out on Earth from their enemies—beings of darkness, go figure. And yes, the government knows they’re here. That’s kind of the problem.
THE HUNGER GAMES: If you haven’t read this book yet, I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends anymore. Between Suzanne Collins’ books and the true-to-the-book movie adaptations, THG is probably the most famous sci-fi dystopian fiction in recent years, propelled to popularity by book-lovers and casual readers alike. If you’ve already read it, take the time to read it again on January 2nd.
ORIGIN: Scientists at a secret lab compound in the Amazon Rainforest have unlocked the chemical formula for immortality after generations of selective breeding! If that sounds sketchy to you (which it should) you should pick up Jessica Khoury’s novel. Everyone wants to live forever, right? But no one really thinks about the consequences.
I want to wish everyone a merry (and early!) Science Fiction Day! Make sure to leave a comment with your favorite sci-fi book or one you’re looking forward to reading. Keep calm and read on, my friends!