Lists, Scifi, Scifi month

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.

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

    1. Glad you liked it, Tammy! Which one have you read? I’m surprised it’s just one cause you read a lot of sci-fi, well, compared to most others I know 🙂 I can truly and honestly recommend all of these. I hope you can find the copies and the time 🙂

  1. 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!

    1. And considering your tastes, I am pretty sure you should read the rest on my list too 😀 seriously though, I couldn’t tell you which one start with out of those two you have. They’re both so good!!

  2. 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! 🙂

    1. You really do 🙂 but Stephenson seems to write long books, so you should be in the mood for it 🙂

      I can’t believe you read The Boy but not The Girl 😀 the girl came first! (What kind of crazy sexism is this, huh xD xD hahahah)
      I’d love to see your review for The Girl 🙂 the best thing about that book, it seems, was how utterly unbelievably the author wrote the women, being a man himself. For half the book I thought it was written by a woman 😀

      1. Hahaha I received a copy of The Boy before I could get my hands on the Girl!!! 😛 I’m definitely excited to try it out though. Oh, and The Boy could be read as a stand-alone too, so it wasn’t so bad. Normally I read books in their release date order too! 😀

        1. That’s what I figured 🙂 I guess it must be standalone too? Man I wish I lived in a country where regional approval problems never occured xD I really wanted that book 🙂
          But anyway, I hope you enjoy The Girl With All The Gifts. I wonder how it will feel, reading it backwards like that 🙂

  3. 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.

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY right! I felt like I wanted it on the list, but I was going for 5, and everyone already knows The Martian so well, I thought I’d rather put something less well known on there 🙂

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

    1. I’m glad! Cam, it’s sci-fi month! There are so many posts like this out there right now 🙂 I could find the schedule over all of the blogs for you, if you want to read more. I will also be posting some more sci-fi related lists and discussions, so don’t forget to check back 🙂
      Also, I suggest you to check out Illuminae Files. It’s a great series for the sci-fi starter 🙂 it’s sort of like sci-fi lite, sci-fi plus YA, exploding with twists and action, it’s wonderful 🙂

        1. I’m so sorry I’m replying so late! 😀 but you can still find the entire schedule here 🙂 there have been such awesome posts on everyone’s blog for SciFi Month this year.
          And thank you for subscribing!

  5. 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.

    1. I’m so glad! I guess you should start with either Way Station, or Hollow World 🙂 I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.
      Actually, I haven’t read that! I have only attempted to read Wizard of Earthsea, but at the time it somehow didn’t click (might have been the translation?) But I’ll definitely be getting back to that one. So I haven’t really checked out anything more by her. I will definitely see what this one’s about though, thank you for recommending 🙂

  6. 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.

    1. I’m glad you approve 🙂 I hope you will read these and enjoy! I think you would greatly enjoy Way Station. It’s got just the right amount of classic scifi and ‘different…ness’ 😀 it’s so good.
      Actually! I have heard of the Vorkosigan Saga 🙂 one of my friends on Goodreads was reading it and also recommended it. I think I will have to check it out, thank you 🙂

  7. 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 telling my husband that the book is better!

    1. Yeah, I think it’s very hard to sum up that book 🙂 did you know there was a sequel? Brotherhood of the Talisman, or something like that. I have it, but I haven’t read it yet 🙂
      Yeah, thrillers aren’t my thing either, but The Girl was just SO good. There are exceptions in every genre, after all 🙂

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