Human Wave Science Fiction – Reading List

As a followup to the post about a previous post about science fiction, Sarah Hoyt has posted two blog posts about what the group of us are calling “Human Wave science fiction“. Science fiction with a positive tone, a solid story to entertain, and with purpose. One of the things we are doing is making a list of the books we love who would fit into it.

What is Human Wave Science Fiction? Here is Sarah‘s Manifesto, in which she says:

“The purpose of this is to create a new “idea” in science fiction, a new way to look at the genre. Properly observed (and I’ve observed it) I think the genre should be a way to play with possible futures, with possible outcomes, with possible ideas. The wonder of science fiction lays in the open possibility…Because we are rebelling against enforced conformity of style and opinion, of belief and ideology, this list is not “though shalt nots” but “You’re allowed to.””

And the lists are great. In fact, many of the guidelines, well, they are the basics of the author-reader contract, which I will soon repost here.

But, in the meantime, here is my short-list of beloved stories, and links if I can find them.
Human Wave Science Fiction - Reading List

Anne McCaffrey’s original Pern trilogy (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon) and the Harperhall trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrum)

E.E. “Doc” Smith: The Lensmen series

The Girl with the Silver Eyes” by Willo Davis Roberts

Space Cat” series by Ruthven Todd (I know it was for young kids and backlist is really expensive, but it was cute, funny, and positive!)

Alan Mendelsohn: The Boy From Mars” by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet” by Eleanor Cameron

The White Mountains” by John Christopher and the rest of the Tripod series

Human Wave Science Fiction - Reading List

A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

The Trumpets of Tagan” by Simon Lang (and the other books in the Skipjack series. Start with “All the Gods of Eisernon“)

There are many many others out there, but the above are a few I personally loved reading. The above list also makes me sad, seeing how many of them are out of print, not available as ebooks, or downright collector items. Hopefully some will be revived as ebooks in the future. I would buy them again in a heartbeat.

If you have any other suggestions of what might be considered positive Human Wave science fiction, please post them in the comments section!


Another fun Human Wave SF manifesto is located here.


J.A. Marlow

Human Wave Science Fiction - Reading List

The String Weavers (The String Weavers – Book 1)

Kelsey Hale thinks she’s just a typical mixed-up teenager. Everyone feels that way, her teachers assure her. Yet, strange things happen to her, like food disappearing before she can eat it and hearing music no one else hears.

Then a giant flaming bird drops an alien at her feet. Well, good grief, how can you ignore something like that?

Abducted from Earth, the only planet she’s ever known, Kelsey finds herself thrust into the middle of a deadly conflict among alien worlds and parallel universe. She must not only survive herself, but also find a way to rescue her father from a dangerous group with unknown motives.

In the process, she’s confronted by a hidden secret about herself which will shake the very foundation of who and what she thought she was.

And connecting it all are the mysterious Weavers.

A 97,100 word, 389 page (approximate), science fiction novel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Human Wave Science Fiction - Reading List

3 thoughts on “Human Wave Science Fiction – Reading List”

  1. Except for Pern series and “Doc” Smith, I have not heard of any of the others. Goes to show Australia is even more starved for good SciFi than Europe and USA.

    • Ouch, that’s really sad, considering how bad it’s been here for a while.

      My choices might be odd, and most of them old and hard to find except in used bookstores, but they were still fun.

  2. Ha! I used to wonder if I were the only SF author who started out with Space Cat. The books still read remarkably well, even though they’re now almost 60 years old. (I’m old; I actually read them when they were first-run!)

    I’ve begun blogging about the Human Wave, and I would support a collaborative project to put together a master list of Human Wave SFF. I’m going to put my own list together ASAP, and encourage you to expand your list. I have an intuition that this will ultimately be a Really Big Deal.


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