Top Ten Tuesday: backlist SF I really want to read

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’ve been asked what backlist books we’re looking forward to – and of course I’m going to be focusing on SF books.

Here’s the thing: my backlist is ENORMOUS. So naturally my mind went completely blank when I looked at this prompt. Luckily, I’ve got a huge unread collection on my Kindle that I could use to jog my memory – while there’s lots of backlist SF I want to read that isn’t on my Kindle, it does seem fair to start with things I already own…

Too Like the Lightning – Ada Palmer

Book cover: Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer (a hazy view of flying craft near a spire)I’ve been meaning to read this for – well, probably since it came out, to be honest – and then Dave Hutchinson sang its praises at Bristolcon and I felt even worse for sitting on it for so long. The world-building alone sounds overwhelming! I know it’s had a mixed reception amongst many of my bookfriends, but I remain deeply intrigued.


Book cover: Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty (a body floating into space)Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty

To be fair, the only reason I haven’t already read this closed-room murder mystery in space is because it was so damn hard to get hold of here in the UK. There’s still no UK edition, but I’ve got my hands on a second-hand US copy so HOLD YOUR HATS, I’m reading it this month, dammit.


Book cover: The Stone Sky - N K Jemisin (a green archway)The Stone Sky – N K Jemisin

I’ve been dying to read The Stone Sky since I finished The Obelisk Gate, but I knew I wanted to give it my full attention so it’s been waiting for me to finish work and stop gadding about. Honey, I’m home.


Book cover: The Hydrogen Sonata - Iain M Banks (a sun appearing around the edge of a planet causing lens flare, all blues)The Hydrogen Sonata – Iain M Banks

The only Culture novel I haven’t read, and it’s been sat on my shelf for YEARS now waiting for me to finally come good. I’ve bounced off it several times, but I’m determined to see out one of my favourite space operas… eventually. Probably not this SciFiMonth, though.


Book cover: The Stars are Legion - Kameron Hurley (two ships zooming towards a planet, shades of orange)The Stars are Legion – Kameron Hurley

I’ve never read any Kameron Hurley, and I’ve heard SO MUCH about her work. You won’t be surprised to hear I’m RIGHT HERE for angry feminism in space; although the description I came across of it as pregnancypunk has me a bit worried. All the bodily fluids, then. Erm, I’ll skip dinner.


Book cover: Dust - Elizabeth BearDust / Pinion – Elizabeth Bear

This one is so old it’s had a rerelease under a different name. I rescued a copy of the original release from a secondhand book shop several years ago; now I need to rescue it from my shelf. Generation ships and angels feel like an odd mix, but I’m sure it will all make sense in context.


Book cover: Seed to Harvest - Octavia Butler (a seedling cradled in brown hands)Seed to Harvest – Octavia Butler

I read Wild Seed a few years back, but I’d really like to go back and devour the rest of the Patternist saga. And Lilith’s Brood. And everything else Octavia Butler ever wrote. But I’ll start with Seed to Harvest, since I have it already…


Book cover: Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky (a spaceship in orbit above a green planet)Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

I’ve got a really obvious problem with Children of Time: you know, the unavoidable eight-legged one. But everybody tells me it’s amazing, and even my fellow arachnophobes say it’s not too creepy, honestly, so I should take the plunge. Right? Yes, I’m shuddering.


Book cover: Dreamships - Melissa Scott (a spaceship against an orange-gold sky)Dreamships – Melissa Scott

I’ve read two of Scott’s books so far and loved them both; really, I want to read her whole back catalogue. Dreamships is about emerging machine sentience and corporate shenanigans so it’s my jam in every way.


Book cover: The Complete Robot - Isaac Asimov (a robot in the Thinker pose sat on a pile of robot spare parts)I, Robot – Isaac Asimov

I feel pure guilt for not having already read I, Robot. I’ve seen the dreadful film and I was given a copy of the Complete Robot by a dear friend. I know what I need to do. I don’t even know why I haven’t already done it (well, wait: golden era SF written by a bloke. Maybe I DO know why I haven’t done it yet). But I will.


I could probably go to twenty this week and still have struggles about what to cut out. Honourable mentions also go to Corinne Duyvis’s On the Edge of Gone, which I’ve been meaning to read for AGES, anything by Sheri Tepper (I really want to try Tepper) and Brightness Falls From the Sky by Tiptree Jr.


What backlist SF books have you got on your shelf waiting to be read?