In 2017, current events made escaping into a sci-fi story all the more appetizing, and there were lots of great choices.
Below are our 13 best sci fi audiobooks from 2017. They include stories about underground lunar societies, a Manhattan partially covered in water, and giant robots who question their own programming. Some are stand-alone books while others are part of a series, but there all the best reads of the year.
New York 2140
By Kim Stanley Robinson
The fear of living in a place that will one day be covered in water is very real for New Yorkers and many other coastal dwellers around the world. Although we have a little bit of time before rising sea levels will affect housing and businesses, it’s hard to not picture what the future of the most populous U.S. city will look like.
In New York 2140, sea levels have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is covered in water, and the MetLife building serves as a hub for the novel’s main characters. It’s a dystopian novel that doesn’t really feel like a dystopian novel because the plot is intimately tied to our current reality. We know that the planet is warming and that sea levels will dramatically change big cities in the future. Seeing how characters survive in this future is satisfying. In some ways, the novel is hopeful because it shows that humanity will figure out a way to adapt with the terrifying threat of climate change.
This book is fascinating for New Yorkers, but anyone with an interest in climate change and Robinson’s work will like it. Robinson has built a New York City that people would still want to live in.