Future Worlds

I’ve been reading quite a few sci-fi novels lately and would like to recommend the following:

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder introduces us to Trella, a scrub. She lives and works in the overcrowded lower levels keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. She spends much of her time between work shifts exploring the pipes that run through all of Inside. If she is caught on the upper levels she runs the risk of being recycled by the Pop Cops. How much more danger would she be in if she were found helping Broken Man look for a gateway to Outside? And what exactly is Outside?

I like Trella as a character. She is a bit of a loner and finds it difficult to relate to others but she is feisty and resourceful, loyal and brave.

The story continues in Outside In.

At the beginning of Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Amy watches as her parents are put into suspended animation for a space journey that is to last 300 years. Her father wants to give her the opportunity to choose for herself whether or not she comes with them as it means leaving everyone she knows – including her boyfriend – behind her for life on a new planet. (I’m not sure I’d have gone through with the freezing process after seeing it being done to others. It sounds terrible!)

Imagine how horrifying it is for Amy to discover when she wakes up that the ship is still fifty years from its destination and there is someone on board who is systematically killing the people who have been frozen alongside her.

The story is told by Amy and by Elder who is being trained by Eldest to be the future leader of the ship. It will be his job to protect the ship and the people on it. That means not just the people running the ship but also those in suspended animation whose special skills will be needed when the ship reaches its destination.

Just as in Inside Out, the main characters find that very little is as they believe it to be.

Cassie, the heroine of Matched by Ally Condie, is exactly seventeen when she is matched with Xander at the Match Banquet. This is remarkable in itself as the odds of being Matched with someone from your own City are minute. Even more remarkable than that a mistake is made  and Cassie is given details about another boy.

But how is that possible? The Society does not make mistakes. Officials control every aspect of life – and death. Is something more sinister going on? Can Cassie truly make her own choices?

I’m looking forward to the sequel Crossed which is due out later this year.

This is a good sci-fi novel for those who enjoy a love story.


Tomorrow: When the World Began by John Marsden, is the first in a series of novels set in Australia.

A group of teenagers go off exploring in an area aptly named Hell. When they return to their hometown of Wirrawee they discover their families are missing, the farm animals are dead or suffering from days of neglect and there is no power.

They soon learn that the local inhabitants have been captured by an invading army and are being held in the Showground where most had gone to celebrate Commemoration Day.

The story is told by Ellie who has been nominated by the others to keep a record of what has happened to them.

During several trips into town they make mistakes that nearly get them killed. Two of the teenagers are wounded, one very badly, and they have to make very difficult decisions. It helps that a number of them have farming backgrounds and are used to working on the land but that doesn’t prepare Ellie for hurting and even killing other human beings.

The series was a big hit in Australia. It will be interesting to see how much interest the film of the first book generates here.

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