Pore over these four science fiction novels from contributors to Alta Journal. Part of a special guide of 83 titles, this category features works by Charlie Jane Anders, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and Ishmael Reed.
The author of All the Birds in the Sky presents the first installment in her young adult Unstoppable trilogy. Charlie Jane Anders’s novel, Victories Greater Than Death, follows Tina Mains, a teenage girl who believes that her destiny as the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon is to save the universe. When the beacon is deployed, Tina’s mission is not at all what she had anticipated. But with the help of her friends, she embarks on a journey that will show her the meaning of duty, fate, and fellowship. Tor Teen, April 2021, 288 pages, $18.99 hardcover
Dave Eggers, author of more than 20 books, including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, delivers a story that chronicles the consequences of a super-merger between the world’s largest social media company and a powerful e-commerce website. The Every, the highly anticipated sequel to The Circle, follows Delaney Wells, who plots to take down the company from the inside. When internal complications begin to boil over, Delaney has to ask whether anyone actually wants to be free. Vintage Books, November 2021, 496 pages, $17.95 paperback
What would happen if computers, cars, guns, and airplanes quit working? Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn, imagines a world in The Arrest where a former screenwriter who goes by the moniker Journeyman must, along with the rest of society, adapt to the natural environment to survive. Journeyman must also grapple with his past when his old roommate, who became a powerful Hollywood mogul, rolls into town in a nuclear-powered supercar. Ecco, September 2021, 320 pages, $16.99 paperback
In Ishmael Reed’s latest novel, The Terrible Fours, a continuation of his satirical series on U.S. politics (which includes The Terrible Twos and The Terrible Threes), the characters must grapple with an imminent alien invasion in the midst of political mayhem. Along for the ride are both new and returning cast members, ranging from St. Nicholas and an ocean-worshipping cult to a newly elected Black pope named Miltiades II. Politics, faith, social elitism, and myriad other topics converge in unlikely ways. Baraka Books, June 2021, 208 pages, $24.95 paperback