Close Encounters or Galaxies Far, Far Away - It's All Here
Listening to sci-fi can help you make sense of our own confusing world
Listening to science fiction isn’t just about escaping to another place and time. It’s about learning how to live with a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity in our own times. Great science fiction tempts you to the edge of what’s possible, encouraging you to explore the unknown. It gives you a roadmap for how to question your relationships with technology, governments and society.
Writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Octavia E. Butler and Frank Herbert, who’ve written gripping series like Earthsea and Dune, use science fiction to explore topical themes, including technological advancements, oppression, justice and the capacity for love in uncertain times.
If you are looking for sci-fi audiobooks to explore, including titles that are edifying, entertaining and thought provoking, here are five titles you can’t afford to miss.
Travel Back to the Dystopian Future With Margaret Atwood
Thirty-four years ago, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale introduced us to a chilling, dystopian future in which America has devolved into a theocratic state where women are forced into sexual slavery.
Now, on the heels of the novel’s immensely popular award-winning television adaptation, Canada’s premier literary fiction author has finally given her fans the closure they’ve been waiting for. Her latest audiobook, The Testaments, offers a new take on the science fiction story.
Picking up fifteen years after the famously ambiguous ending of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments reunites listeners with Offred, Nick and the Mayday Resistance, answering questions that have been on our minds for over three decades.
An astronaut stranded on Mars must rely on his own skills and ingenuity to survive. That’s the elevator pitch for The Martian, a modern sci-fi classic about stepping out into the unknown and triumphing over great adversity.
When the crew of NASA’s Ares 3 mission encounter a dust storm on the Acidalia Planitia plain of Mars, they are forced to evacuate. The only problem is, in the immediate danger and commotion, they leave a man behind – engineer and botanist Mark Watney.
Watney’s struggle not only to survive, but also to make it back home, is a powerful meditation on our reliance on society and technology, and how we cope in their absence. Check out The Martian, narrated by Wil Wheaton, along with many more contemporary sci-fi titles at Audible.
Dive Deeper into the Star Wars Universe With Rebecca Roanhorse
If you’re a Star Wars fan who wants to dive deeper into its fascinating science fiction world, Resistance Reborn is a great place to start.
A prequel to The Rise of Skywalker – the most recent film in the franchise – Resistance Reborn gives fans of the series an opportunity to find out what happens to their favourite characters following the cataclysmic events of The Last Jedi.
There are a couple ways to listen to Resistance Reborn. You can listen to the audiobook as a companion piece to the latest movie or you can listen to it as a standalone story of bravery in the face of oppression and hope in a time of darkness and doubt. You can listen to Resistance Reborn simply to escape to a galaxy far, far away or you can also listen to it as an analogy for our current place and time. The best titles accomplish several things at once — they entertain and inform.
For more up-to-the-minute audiobooks, head to our new releases page.
Escape Earth With Adrian Tchaikovsky
Earth, devastated by wars and climate crisis, is no longer habitable and its few remaining humans must strike out into the unknown to find another world. As they search the galaxy for new planets, they stumble upon a world terraformed millennia earlier by a scientist from Earth. What they don’t know as they land is that the planet is home to a race of evolved spiders. That’s right: ultra-intelligent, talking spiders!
Rather than paint the spiders as villainous monsters, however, Tchaikovsky does something more poignant. He depicts this evolved species empathetically. It is the humans, in fact, through their thirst for war and neglect of their planet, who may be the real barbarians.
An acclaimed sci-fi experience, Children of Time makes you question the nature of humanity. Can it be gained technologically, as in the case of the spiders? And can it be lost societally, as in the humans’ case?
Discover the Magical Side of Sci-Fi With Deborah Harkness
The first in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is perched in the sweet spot between science fiction and fantasy. The story follows Yale professor Diana Bishop, who, despite being a descendant of witches, chooses to follow an academic path. Unfortunately, her magical past doesn’t let her get away with it that easy.
On a research excursion to Oxford, Bishop discovers a long-lost, enchanted alchemical manuscript, pulling her into a fantastical world. Part magical fantasy, part science fiction, part romance, A Discovery of Witches is ultimately more than the sum of its parts – it’s a mesmerizing, satisfying and deeply entertaining listen that touches on the nature of community and belonging.
Whether you want to understand our current world better or just take some necessary time away from it, science fiction audiobooks are here for you. They help you question what’s in front of you and ponder what lies beyond.
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