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9 Great Science Fiction Novels

A partnership between the Alaska Digital Library and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Elmer E Rasmuson library grants access to a wealth of reading and listening materials for those who have a University of Alaska ID. The huge collection includes these 9 stories that have won the Hugo Award, the top award for science fiction/fantasy writing.

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Mirror Dance - 1995 Hugo Winner


Lois McMaster Bujold has written several "Vorkosigan" novels. This one pits series hero Miles Vorkosigan against...HIMSELF (in clone form). Many of Bujold's Vorkosigan stories are included in the Alaska Digital Library collection. Miles is a fantastic hero and the stories are swashbuckling, heartwarming, and face-paced.

Hyperion - 1990 Hugo Winner


Dan Simmons writes a mind-bending tale that takes readers to the world of Hyperion. As usual, the fate of the Galaxy is determined by the characters in the story. You may have read stories about characters with dark secrets and hidden agendas before, but Simmons' writing takes some well-worn tropes of science fiction and turns them into a book you will never forget.

The Windup Girl - 2010 Hugo Winner


This is not a happy story. But it is an AMAZING dystopian novel. Paolo Bacigalupi fills the story with twists, turns, and creates a world where the human race clings to life in a world almost destroyed by their own actions. Once you're into this world you won't want to stop reading so make sure you set aside some time to enjoy this biopunk tale.

A Canticle for Leibowitz - 1961 Hugo Award Winner


CLASSIC science fiction. If you haven't read Miller's post-post-apocalyptic tale of humanity then log in and borrow this audiobook. Written in the middle of the Cold War it is one of the definitive works in this genre.

The Man in the High Castle - 1963 Hugo Award Winner


Philip K. Dick's alternative universe masterpiece. Even if you've watched the Amazon version of the story there is a lot to discover in this novel. If you haven't seen the series and want to read a nail-biting tale about the survival of the human spirit and reawakening of the American Dream then this is the book you've been looking for.

Dune - 1966 Hugo Award Winner


Yes. It is that good. That's why people keep asking if you've read it. Frank Herbert's original Dune novel created a universe that keeps expanding even after his passing. Sandworms, timebending spice and a game of thrones like no other. There's a reason this one has a waiting list. BECAUSE IT'S REALLY GOOD!

Ringworld - 1971 Hugo Award Winner


Larry Niven's novel is ostensibly about a group of explorers investigating a mysterious artifact. But it REALLY is about what it would take to engineer a massive ring built around a star. The story is pretty good but the idea of the Ringworld is so captivating that you will forgive the clunkier parts of the narrative.

Foundation's Edge - 1983 Hugo Winner


Isaac Asimov is one of the biggest names in science fiction. His Foundation novels are set in the far, far future where humanity is guided by those who understand psychohistory - the study of what people WILL do. This is one of the last books in the Foundation series. The Alaska Digital Library has an omnibus edition of all the Foundation books that you can borrow. The stories are really good but Asimov's writing style is a bit dated for contemporary readers.

Ancillary Justice - 2014 Hugo Award Winner


Ann Leckie knocked it out of the park with her first novel. It swept all the major science fiction writing awards. A tale of artificial intelligence, betrayal and identity set against the backdrop of a sprawling galactic empire. (Which, basically, is the definition of a science fiction novel.)

Many more speculative fiction novels are available to borrow from the Alaska Digital Library. Visit the online library via this link. Happy reading!

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