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5 Sci-Fi Titles That Give You Hope About Humanity Just When You Thought The Future Was Always Dystopian

Aren’t we used to the future in books mostly being… well, bleary? I don’t know, just a little dystopian? All is well with a little death and destruction in a book, but… Sometimes you need to keep that hope going. So this time, I’ll be sharing 5 titles that really boosted my belief in humanity and its future.

Way Station

I’m going to start with one of my absolute favorites! It’s a total gem, and it’s also a hidden gem, at that. Not as many people know it! Clifford Simak is more famous for his book City, which I admit I did enjoy, but nowhere as much as this one. Way Station tells the story of a man, Enoch Wallace, who has willingly become a hermit of sorts, keeping a secret galactic gateway through Earth, but since Earth is deemed an uncivilized, crude planet, the gateway is a secret from the rest of the planet. What happens in the Way Station will require Enoch to show incredibly strength, humanity in the face of adversity and… plain old kindness. This book is so focused on the kindness that I had a tough time believing it was scifi at all, at first. It is just so beautiful! Way Station truly tells one of those stories that are the reason I read books at all. You should definitely check it out.

A list about hopeful scifis would be incomplete without this one! A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet has been one of my best reads of 2016. Deemed “space for non-space readers”, or “space-lite”, it’s just as representative of the scifi genre as anything, in my opinion. This here, I should say, is the female take on space. Not centered on politics, technology or machinations – A Long Way is a completely character driven story, and believe me, you will weep when something happens to at least one of them. Praised for the incredible diversity it can boast, as well as simple human (and non-human) warmth and understanding, it will give you a hopeful lookout towards our future in space. If you are curious about my review of this book, you can read it here.

Don’t you start thinking that if I say gives hope about humanity I mean fluffy and soft. NO. That’s not what this list is about! And at this precise moment, I present Seveneves. This book sufficiently dark and grim, at certain points. As dark as it should be, considering the human race is dying. Hopelessly. However? As it normally is with Neal Stephenson, there’s a big picture. A very big picture. And it completely blows your mind. It felt very hopeful for me too. I don’t really want to say more though, as I believe you should go into this book completely blindly to enjoy the full experience. But I truly do recommend it.

I bet you haven’t heard of this one. It’s another hidden gem! You might have heard about the author though – M.J Sullivan wrote the Riyria Chronicles which are quite famous (and which I can’t spell for the life of me…) But even if you haven’t read his fantasy books, do consider reading Hollow World. It’s diverse, it tells a tale about the future, which is actually a Utopia for once! What I liked a lot about the book was that it centers on the idea that humans have built a synthetic world for themselves underground (hence hollow world) in order to preserve nature and not interfere with its ways. So ecologic! That’s reason #1 why I find it so hopeful. Reason #2 would be that Hollow World has truly wonderful, honest, sincere and loving characters. It was so endearing! I read it several years ago, and I still warmly rememeber it.

Okay, so I said no dystopia? K, I lied. But!!! Good reasons!! Believe it or not, I found The Girl With All The Gifts very hopeful. Okay, so normal humans die. But so what? We kind of suck anyway! Look at what we’re doing to the planet! I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for those who haven’t read this book yet (which you should), I will just say that I… absolutely loved that ending. It was amazing. Other than that, this book is incredible for many other reasons. Kindness and empathy against self-preservation, or sanity, even. Extremely well written characters. Extremely well written villain! (Like, when does that EVER happen??) So even if you like a little bit of dystopia in your life, you will not leave this list without something!

Do you have any suggestions for books to add to the list? I would love to see them!

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

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Rosie Amber
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I think you’ve just opened up a whole new reading genre for me, I love the sound of these books.

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy
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This is a fantastic list! I’ve only read one of these (for shame!) But I sure want to track down the others soon. Thanks for sharing!

Annemieke
Guest

The Long Way is such a great read. I’m hoping to borrow The Girl with All the Gifts from a friend next year. It sounds really good.

Karen Blue
Guest

The Girl With All The Gifts and Seveneves have been on my wishlist for quite a while. I have never heard of the other books you mentioned but now I will be keeping an eye out for them. They all sound so good.
Thanks for sharing this list!

Paul Liadis
Guest

Seveneves and A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet are two books that I own but still need to read. I need more time in the day and more self control to read and not watch Netflix!

H.P.
Guest

You can’t have hope without a little darkness.

Lashaan Balasingam
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Nice list, Evelina! I really need to pick up a book by Neal Stephenson. They have intrigued me for a long time now. I also need to read The Girl with All the Gifts! I read The Boy on the Bridge, and am totally excited to check out the book that started that universe! 🙂

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra
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I haven’t read any of these yet but they all sound fantastic.

Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum
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Awesome list! Another sci-fi book that gave me hope for humanity was The Martian, when all the different countries of the world came together to bring a single man home. So heartwarming.

Deanna
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Yes, I was totally thinking of The Long Way to the small angry planet when I started reading this. Awesome list.

Cam
Guest

This post is godsend! Just recently I had a need to explore the SciFi genre and then this pops up! All of these books sound sooooo good <3

Anastasia
Guest

Great list! I really need to read some positive scifi! 😀 I feel like in most it’s a very depressing kind of future / whatever scenario

Wendy @ Falconer's Library
Guest

What a fantastic list. I loved The Girl With All the Gifts and had Long Way on my TBR, but had never heard of the others. Now they are ALL on my TBR.

I think Ursula K. LeGuin belongs on this list. Have you read Left Hand of Darkness? All of her Hainish books are sci fi with heart.

Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More
Guest

This is a great list and I haven’t read these books. I am starting to read more sci-fi so I’ll have to check these out.

Laura Thomas
Guest

Most of the ones I’m drawn to are the darker science fiction books. LOL I spy a couple new authors to check out.

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sjhigbee
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What a great list:). I’ve read Becky Chambers and M.R. Carey, but I love the look of the others! Many thanks – my contribution is the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. She follows the career of a single character and while there are all sorts adventures which also aren’t soft and fluffy, there is an upbeat vibe to all of it.

Andrea J
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Wonderful list! I love Waystation so, so, so much! A while ago, a friend was nagging me to read it, he even gave me a copy, but from his description it sounded kind of blah? But then I read it and it was amazing. I’m so happy it’s been reprinted recently, makes it much easier for people to get their hands on this feel-good book. the Girl with All the Gifts is also so good! Thrillers of that style aren’t usually my thing, but I adored that book. Watched the movie recently on Netflix, and I spent the entire movie… Read more »
Nikki @ The Bibliophibian
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I really need to get round to the ones of these I haven’t read. There’s way too much grimdark around lately in all genres!

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