Space is, as we’ve all heard, the final frontier. As a society, we’ve long been obsessed with space, even before we started to understand it – as much as we really can understand space, that is. Several of the most iconic franchises in the world involve space – Star Wars, Star Trek, and E.T. – and our fascination with space and the possibilities of what space can hold are continually explored in award winning media like The Martian and Arrival. Even Disney-Pixar has gotten into the space love with Wall-E.
Despite our general obsession with sci-fi and space in particular, YA is still hesitantly approaching the options. Sci-fi became hugely popular during the dystopian rise, but actual settings in space never picked up. Some of that probably comes from all the mysteries of space – how do you even decide where to start when there are so many options?
Of the sci-fi YA titles that are out there, each one is vastly different from the others. They can involve robots, smuggling, politics, murder mysteries or utopians that aren’t as perfect as they seem – or all of them at once.
One of the fascinating things about sci-fi has always been the opportunity to explore present day issues in a brand-new setting. Sometimes when reading about a present-day issue in contemporary works, it can feel like you’re having that issue and that the author’s viewpoint shoved in your face. When you remove it from this environment to another planet or a spaceship, it allows you to consider the issue being addressed, or you can sit back and just soak in a story filled with new technology and species.
Plus, there is the fun element of all sorts of new toys and totally new environments that allow you as a reader to really work your imagination. We have so little knowledge of what’s in space, what’s even in our own solar system. And reading in particular lets you decide what it can be for yourself, as opposed to the visual media that creates it for you. Even within a story somebody else wrote, the options are endless and every reader can create their own reading experience.
If you could use an adventure in space to help you forget the world for a little while – without totally forgetting everything – we can recommend some books for you!
Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Tracked by Jenny Martin
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
Dove Arising by Karen Bao
Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan