First of all, a big thank you to everyone who entered or shared the competition to win four titles from our #ReadWomenSF’s reading list. I had some really great book recommendations come through. I’ve picked a winner, though, and it goes to a Twitter user by the name of @LM_Towton. Congratulations! I’ll be posting through your prize just as soon as I get down to the post office.
From the science fiction books recommended, I’ve made a list of four that we’ll vote on for our April book, and we will get cracking reading it as soon as it’s decided on. The poll will be up on my pinned tweet until tomorrow lunch–time(ish). Our Twitter chat for the book will be set for Monday 29th April at 8pm (UTC). So, without further ado, here are the four books to pick from (Amazon links in the titles):
The Children of Men by P.D. James
Under the despotic rule of Xan Lyppiatt, the Warden of England, the old are despairing and the young cruel. Theo Faren, a cousin of the Warden, lives a solitary life in this ominous atmosphere. That is, until a chance encounter with a young woman leads him into contact with a group of dissenters. Suddenly his life is changed irrevocably, as he faces agonising choices which could affect the future of mankind.
PD James is the world’s pre-eminent crime writer, most famous for her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries and for her bestselling titles Death Comes to Pemberley and The Murder Room. Children of Men was adapted into a hit film in 2006, directed by Alfonso Cuarón the film starred Clive Owen, Michael Caine and Julianne Moore.
The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
My name is Hope Arden. I am the girl the world forgets.
It started when I was sixteen years old.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit – you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life tricky. It also makes me dangerous . . .
The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of a girl no one remembers, yet her story will stay with you for ever.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
‘I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.’
Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford – her assigned name, Offred, means ‘of Fred’. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.
Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a bold vision of a dystopian future, frighteningly real, perfect for fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.
One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.
Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.
If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?
May will be our Ursula K. Le Guin month, so we’ll be picking from one of her science fiction novels (most likely from her Hainish Cycle), so you don’t want to miss that! But, for now, happy voting.