Susan Spiele Jessen

Science fiction again

By Susan Jessen Spiele, librarian at Roskilde Libraries.

I lost my taste for science fiction 20 odd years ago, but I’m back again! In the last five years all kinds of great sci-fi keep coming in a steady stream – especially dystopian. With a brilliant story and great characters set in a thought provoking world, this is a win-win. A smart person once said; science fiction is a way of looking critically at the present by showing a possible future. 

Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale

The book is set in the near future in New England, now Gilead, a totalitarian, Christian theonomy. Offred, a fertile woman who is forced into sexual servitude due to the world's plunging birthrate, is the narrator. It is a society where women are only wives and handmaidens without power or rights.
I read this when it came out in 1985 and I loved it! The HBO’s series is really good too and I just reread the book. It was even better than I remembered and so brilliantly written. 

Chris Brookmyre: Places in the Darkness

The story unfolds on a space station built 70 years ago with 100.000 people, allegedly crime free. But when the new idealistic broom, Alice Blake arrives it coincides with a gruesome murder. 
She has to work with her opposite, an older crooked cop, Nikki Freeman, who has an intimate knowledge of the darker side of the station.
Christopher Brookmyre is well known as a crime writer, but has written sci-fi before. This is a sci-fi thriller crime story with a punch.

Hugh Howey:  Wool

The world consists of an underground silo, 150 floors down, and a deadly outside. Everything is contained within the silo and the priests say this is the way it has always been. 
But there are children’s books with images of a green planet and a few people get drawn to those things that just doesn’t add up. 
This is the first of a trilogy (Shift and Dust). I was hooked from the first page!