Lookie! A post I wrote for Novl, a new tumblr curated by my publisher, Little, Brown. A slight clarification, though: I wouldn’t say these are my Absolutely Only 7 Favorite Sci-Fi Novels Ever. (Even though, er, I did call them “Favorite Sci-fi Novels” when I wrote this.) They are 7 of my MANY favorite sci-fi novels! I was focusing on YA/YA-friendly here, so, er, that omits most of adult sci-fi. Anyway…I still love these books! (Also, it’s debatable whether This Is Not a Test is sci-fi but dude ZOMBIES IN HIGH SCHOOL you should read it.)

(The Internet: Makes you write disclaimers. Just in case.)


My 7 Favorite Sci-Fi Novels by Malinda Lo, author of Adaptation 

(A-to-Z by author’s last name.)

  1. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi — Nailer, who lives in a grim, flooded future Gulf Coast, survives by scavenging metal parts out of abandoned ships. His hand-to-mouth existence changes suddenly when a fancy clipper ship carrying a wealthy girl crashes near his home. Talk about adventure!
  2. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler — A gut-wrenching story set in a post-apocalyptic America. Teen Lauren Olamina lives in a gated community, but when disaster strikes she is forced to leave her home and journey through a harrowing world to find a new life. Startling and incredible.
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — If you haven’t yet read this massively popular series about teens in a dystopian future who are forced to battle to the death in a reality TV show, what are you waiting for? OK, sometimes I skip the buzzy books too because I figure, how could they possibly be that good? Well, for me at least, this time the buzz was right.
  4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow — San Francisco is attacked by terrorists, and 17-year-old Marcus is mistakenly caught in the aftermath. Set in the contemporary US, this is sci-fi about the surveillance state, computer hacking, and subverting the system. Realistic and thought-provoking.
  5. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson — When Jenna Fox awakens from a coma after a serious accident, nothing feels right. Her discovery of what happened to her is a fascinating exploration of bioethics and identity.
  6. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer — When an asteroid slams into the moon and knocks it closer to Earth, life as we know it changes completely. This story about survival in the apocalypse is told in gripping journal entries from the perspective of sophomore Miranda. Could not put it down.
  7. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers — When the zombie apocalypse happens, Sloane finds shelter in the high school with some of her classmates. But this isn’t your typical zombie novel! It explores how the end of the world changes you — for better or worse. Totally intense.
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