Here are the 5 best science fiction novels of the literary season 2022

Here are the 5 best science fiction novels of the literary season 2022

Which SF novels to choose in this literary season 2022? From Becky Chambers to Laurent Gaudé, follow the guide.

No less than 490 novels are arriving in bookstores during this 2022 literary season. All forms of literature therefore have their place. Science fiction is very represented and it largely deserves your interest, because, in a changing world, it forges critical thinking; denounces; offers alternatives.

Here are 5 science fiction books that stand out in this literary season. Books that sometimes straddle genres, because SF can take many forms.

Dog 51 (Laurent Gaudé)

Source: Actes Sud

This city, decidedly, has no memory. Everything gets lost and disappears. »

A new novel by Laurent Gaudé is bound to be an event, especially when the author – awarded the Goncourt in 2003 – explores a new genre. Dog 51 takes up the codes of science fiction by building a dystopian futuristic city.

There is a company capable of buying up bankrupt countries like Greece. A gargantuan technological city of general surveillance, where life is fragmented into zones, from the richest to the poorest, and where the notions of citizen and employee merge into that of “cilarié”. A climatic dome also protects against acid rain, after a climate change that has run rampant. At the heart of this tired, anesthetized world, a series of murders pushes a duo of characters to revive the memory of the past.

Laurent Gaudé delivers a great futuristic thriller, certainly not very optimistic, but a furious call to keep the world alive.

We tell you more about it in our complete chronicle of Dog 51.

South Acts. 304 pages.

A psalm for the savage recyclers (Becky Chambers)

Source: L’Atalante

Becky Chambers is a contemporary science fiction prodigy and she proves it once again with A psalm for wild recyclers — one of the best SF works of the 2022 literary season but also of recent years. The American author contributes throughout her texts renewing gender by shaping positive futures.

Who would have imagined it: by gaining consciousness, robots left technological and human civilization to join nature. But now, some time later, one of them resurfaces, Omphale. He leaves to find Dex, a tea monk. The robot’s mission is to answer a question: What do people need? The result is the astonishing story of a philosophical dialogue between a robot and a monk on the ways of being in the world. Fusing spirituality and technologies, Becky Chambers’ work is a poetic and ecological contemplation, a calm pilgrimage spiced with hints of humor.

Reading Becky Chambers has never felt so good. A psalm for wild recyclers is a modern philosophical tale that shines with intelligence and positivity. This novella, which is enjoyed with immense pleasure, is a stroke of genius behind its apparent simplicity. It’s the SF we need to survive in a digital society where everything leads us to believe that the horizons will be gray. Evidenced by the beautiful colorful cover of the book, all is not lost, far from it.

A translation by Marie Surgers. The Atalanta. 133 pages.

Publication in bookstores on September 15, 2022.

The City of Clouds and Birds (Anthony Doerr)

Source: Albin Michel

The city of clouds and birds is a monumental novel in every sense of the word. The American writer Anthony Doerr has developed a huge web of intertwined destinies across time and space. We travel from the city of Constantinople in the 15th century, to the 1950s, through our beginning of the 21st century, to a distant future where a humanity survives aboard a disc-shaped spaceship. What do all these eras and characters have in common? The same text, from ancient Greece.

An exceptional fresco carried by a controlled pen, a total and absolute declaration of love for literature as a saving force, an imagination teeming with details: Anthony Doerr’s novel is all this and more. The Terres d’Amériques collection definitely continues to deliver ambitious works off the beaten track.

A translation by Marina Boraso. Albin Michael. 704 pages.

Publication in bookstores on September 14, 2022.

Composite (Olivier Paquet)

Source: L’Atalante

In the near future where a political revolt is about to explode, Esther discovers that one of her souvenir photos dating from the 2020 confinement strangely no longer corresponds to the memory she had of it. A subtle change on a flowered balcony. While investigating this disturbing change in her past, she meets Vincent, a cop in charge of investigating pedophile networks using a network of artificial intelligences. He too sees one of his photos being modified.

After The Ghost Machineshis new novel Composite installs Olivier Paquet as one of the French references of the technothriller. The author develops in more depth his questions about the impact of algorithms in our lives. Composite borrows from political anticipation and detective novels. Anxiety and ethical questions intertwine, with a pen that grips us.

Are our memories reducible to a set of composite pixels as the framework of our personality and our relationships? Are human beings as binary as their technologies? Composite is a novel as disturbing as it is relevant to our individual and collective memory in the digital age.

The Atalanta. 270 pages.

Further reading: our interview with the author during confinement

A Land of Ghosts (Margaret Killjoy)

Source: Argyle

The Free Companion of the blue Andromeda had done well enough without a central command, but it numbered only thirty members. I couldn’t see an entire country doing the same. They had to have laws, I was sure of that. Maybe they were just ashamed of it? »

Transgender author and anarchist activist, Margaret Killjoy has built an exciting and nuanced utopia, in the legacy of dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. In a fictional world, the narrator is a journalist sent to the front to document an invasion: those of conquering imperial forces against a country with an anar political regime. The narrator’s convictions will crumble as he discovers – humanly, politically – a country that does not correspond to his preconceptions.

If the approach of an SF from elsewhere and from the other is reminiscent Ursula LeGuinthe form echoes Ecotopiashort novel from 1975 where a reporter visits a fictional state that has seceded to develop an ecological regime. A land of ghosts is a wonderfully evocative travelogue. An initiatory quest filled with both action and political reflection.

At a time when the need for alternatives is crying out, Margaret Killjoy’s novel is one of the new essential readings for thinking about utopia.

A translation by Mathieu Prioux. Argyll. 199 pages.

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