Two good science fiction books

Written by: C. Titus Brown

Primary Source: Living in an Ivory Basement

I recently finished two books that really stood out in my memory of recent reading. Lighter fare than I have recommended in the past, but more representative of what I read day to day :)

The first book, The Martian, is a near-future book about an astronaut who wakes up on Mars, having been left for dead by his fellow astronauts. He must figure out how to survive on what they left behind for long enough to be rescued. The book is humorous and technical in equal measures, and I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. I read it in one (long) night. Absolutely fantastic.

The second book, Red Rising, is a distant-future book about a boy who is fighting a very hierarchical and very unjust society. The boy goes undercover, so to speak, to become a member of the ruling class. The cover mentions Ender and Katniss Everdeen, and I thought it was reminiscent of those books, but with its own take. I didn’t quite read it in one go — I was reading it while we were driving up to Montreal for PyCon 2014 — but I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I _had_ finished it, which is rare.

So, both are highly recommended!


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C. Titus Brown
C. Titus Brown is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He earned his PhD ('06) in developmental molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology. Brown is director of the laboratory for Genomics, Evolution, and Development (GED) at Michigan State University. He is a member of the Python Software Foundation and an active contributor to the open source software community. His research interests include computational biology, bioinformatics, open source software development, and software engineering.