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National Science Fiction Day is on January 2. Find your favorite bot, hop aboard the nearest space ship and settle in with our staff's favorite sci-fi books and movies.

Book River
Book River Items

All Systems Red (2019)

by Martha Wells

This is the first book in the Murderbot Diaries novella series which stars a very sarcastically funny cyborg security agent who does not like people and wants to be left alone to watch TV. All of these books are fairly short but keep you on the edge of your seat, and the seventh book in the series, System Collapse, was just released in November of 2023. Books in this series by Wells have won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Locus Award for best science fiction. - Jennifer, Fiction, Movies & Music

Star Trek II : the Wrath of Khan (2009)

by Paramount Pictures Corporation

One of my favorite sci-fi films. William Shatner as Admiral Kirk must stop his nemesis, Khan, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon. I enjoy Kirk's repartee and funny comments with his crew as they get themselves out of dangerous situations. - Janet, Fiction, Movies & Music

Minority Report (2002)

by DreamWorks Pictures

In the not-so-distant future, secret technology assists a special police unit in predicting crimes and arresting murderers before they commit their offenses. When an officer from the unit, played by Tom Cruise, is accused of a future murder, he finds himself on the run and on the case of what is supposed to lead him to commit such a heinous crime. Along the way, he uncovers much more than he bargained for; calling into question not only his own morals, but the morals and ethics of the new society that has been constructed around this technology. - Monica, Fiction, Movies & Music

The Illustrated Man (2001)

by Ray Bradbury

If you thrive on invaders from space, supernatural stories, reverse realities, and the exploration of irrational worlds, delve into Bradbury’s 18 short stories driven by characters whose curious circumstances may lead them to unusual consequences. The tone of these tales may be suspenseful and uncanny, but readers will surely revel in them. - Victor, Reference Services

2001: a Space Odyssey (2007)

by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

This is the greatest sci-fi movie of all-time and one of the greatest movies of all-time in any genre. Do yourself a favor and get the 4K version of this movie and watch it on the biggest screen with the best sound system you can find. Then remind yourself this was released in 1968. - Beth, Access Services

Starman (1998)

by Columbia Pictures

An alien, played by Jeff Bridges, takes the form of a young Wisconsin widow's ( Karen Allen) husband and makes her drive him to his departure point in Arizona. I enjoy this film as it is cute and gentle as the couple navigates through government officials trying to capture the alien. - Janet, Fiction, Movies & Music

Planetside (2018)

by Michael Mammay

A mystery dealing with an investigation on why a high councilor’s son has gone missing on an alien planet, whose inhabitants are supposed to be somewhat friendly, though the courageous Colonel Butler has his doubts. The plot-driven storyline of this swiftly paced conundrum carries the main character through several suspicious situations, but at least he has his armor and advanced weaponry. Butler will need them. - Victor, Reference Services

Dune (1999)

by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert's Dune is legendary and influential for a reason. I'd recommend the audiobook version with a full cast, music and sound effects. It's really well done. I'd also recommend the 2021 movie which covers roughly half the first book. As I cannot bring you back in time to experience the visuals and booming Hans Zimmer score in IMAX, the 4K version will have to do. - Beth, Access Services

The Fifth Element (1997)

by Columbia Pictures

Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich team up against Gary Oldman in this cult classic. A Great Evil is approaching and only the fifth element can save humanity. - Lauren, Hanover Park Branch

Cocoon (2004)

by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

I enjoyed this film about a group of trespassing seniors who swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, where they find themselves energized with youthful vigor. Don Ameche, Brian Dennehey and the rest of the cast make this a heartwarming story similar to finding a fountain of youth. -Janet, Fiction, Movies & Music

Blade Runner (2010)

by Ladd Company

I recommend both the movie and the novel it based on. Both are classics. PKD (Phillip K. Dick) is required reading for modern sci-fi fans along with Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, and Herbert (among others). - Beth, Access Services

M3GAN (2023)

by Universal Pictures

Extremely weird and extremely fun, this movie knows what it is. When a toy creator's invention goes awry, murder and mayhem ensue. - Rachel, Access Services

In the Lives of Puppets (2023)

by TJ Klune

Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E in this story about found family and what it means to be human. Victor, a human, must team up with Nurse Ratched, a sadistic nurse robot, and Rambo, a neurotic vacuum to rescue kidnapped Gio, a fatherly inventor android. - Jessica, Fiction, Movies & Music

Star Splitter (2023)

by Matthew J Kirby

The year is 2199, when space exploration and teleportation are routine and considered to be safe. However, when 17-year-old Jessica is forced to travel via teleportation to be reunited with her parents and assist them with a science expedition, she wakes up on a crashed ship to the voice of a familiar stranger. This action-packed young adult science fiction novel is a page-turning survival story with a dash of horror. - Allison, Youth Services