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  1. Parable of the Sower

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    This highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from award-winning author Octavia E. Butler "pairs well with ,1984 ,or ,The Handmaid's Tale," (John Green, ,New York Times,)--now with a new foreword by N. K. Jemisin. When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability … (Barnes & Noble)

  2. Adulthood Rites

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    In this sequel to Dawn, Lilith Iyapo has given birth to what looks like a normal human boy named Akin. But Akin actually has five parents: a male and female human, a male and female Oankali, and a sexless Ooloi. The Oankali and Ooloi are part of an alien race that rescued humanity from a devastating nuclear war, but the price they exact is a high one the aliens are compelled to genetically merge their species with other races, drastically altering both in the process. On a rehabilitated Earth, this "new" race is emerging through human/Oankali/Ooloi mating, but there are … (Goodreads)

  3. Kindred

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Kindred scholars have noted that the novel's chapter headings suggest something "elemental, apocalyptic, archetypal about the events in the narrative," thus giving the impression that the main characters are participating in matters greater than their personal experiences. ,, ,, Prologue Dana wakes up in the hospital with her arm amputated. Police deputies question her about the circumstances surrounding the loss of her arm and ask her whether her husband Kevin, a white man, beats her. Dana tells them that it was an accident and that Kevin is not to blame. When Kevin visits her, they are both afraid of telling … (Wikipedia)

  4. Mind of My Mind

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    This second novel in the series recounts the story of how the Patternist society originated. The novel is set in Forsyth, California, a city near Los Angeles, in the 1970s. The leader of the telepathic humans that later became known as the Patternists, was a man originally from Africa named Doro. Doro is about 4,000 years old and immortal. Since Doro does not have physical immortality, he must move his essence to different bodies as time goes on for his continued survival. Doro tends to procreate with and breed people who are telepathically sensitive, in an effort to make a … (Wikipedia)

  5. Dawn

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before. The Oankali … (Goodreads)

  6. Imago

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    The stunning conclusion to a postapocalyptic trilogy about an alien species merging with humans—from “one of science fiction’s finest writers” (TheNew York Times). Human and Oankali have been mating since the aliens first came to Earth to rescue the few survivors of an annihilating nuclear war. The Oankali began a massive breeding project, guided by the ooloi, a sexless subspecies capable of manipulating DNA, in the hope of eventually creating a perfect starfaring race. Jodahs is supposed to be just another hybrid of human and Oankali, but as he begins his transformation to adulthood he finds himself becoming ooloi—the first … (Goodreads)

  7. The Stone Sky

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    Following the events of ,The Obelisk Gate, , the former inhabitants of Castrima-under are moving north after damage by rival comm Rennanis has compromised the mechanisms of the geode and made it uninhabitable. Essun, who has been in a coma since opening the Obelisk Gate, awakens to find that her arm has turned to stone as a consequence of the massive magical energies of the Gate. She is nursed back to health, and finds that the Moon is approaching the closest point in its long, elliptical orbit, meaning that she has only a short time to return it to a … (Wikipedia)

  8. The Fifth Season

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In a prologue, an extraordinarily powerful orogene discusses the sad state of the world and laments the oppression of his race. He then uses his enormous power to fracture the entire continent along its length, threatening to cause the worst Fifth Season in recorded history. The story then follows three female orogenes across the Stillness from different time periods: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite. Essun is a middle-aged woman with two young children living in a small southern comm named Tirimo. Secretly, she is an orogene, a human with the ability to manipulate earth and stone by absorbing or redirecting heat … (Wikipedia)

  9. The Underground Railroad

    by Colson Whitehead
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The story is told in the third person, focusing mainly on Cora. Scattered single chapters also focus on Cora's mother Mabel, the slavecatcher Ridgeway, a reluctant slave sympathizer named Ethel, and Cora's fellow slave Caesar. Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia and an outcast after her mother Mabel ran off without her. She resents Mabel for escaping, although it is later revealed that her mother, in an attempt to return to Cora, died from a snake bite and never reached her. Caesar approaches Cora about a plan to flee. Reluctant at first, she eventually agrees as her … (Wikipedia)

  10. Who Fears Death

    by Nnedi Okorafor
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    The novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic future version of Sudan , where the light-skinned Nuru oppress the dark-skinned Okeke. The protagonist, Onyesonwu ( Igbo for "who fears death"), is an Ewu , i.e. the child of an Okeke woman raped by a Nuru man. On reaching maturity, she goes on a quest to defeat her sorcerous father Daib using her magical powers. The novel was inspired in part by Emily Wax's 2004 Washington Post article "We Want to Make a Light Baby," which discussed the use of weaponized rape by Arab militiamen against Black African women in the Darfur … (Wikipedia)

  11. The Obelisk Gate

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The story is told primarily from the perspectives of Essun, a powerful orogene driven out of her home at the beginning of the first book, and Nassun, her adolescent daughter. Schaffa, Essun's former Guardian, awakens underwater after Essun's devastating counterattack during the climax of ,The Fifth Season, . He is about to drown when, out of desperation, he allows the entity (manifested as a force of pure rage) that powers his and the other Guardians' abilities to take control of his body for a brief period. Though he is saved from death, the resulting brain damage leaves him with profound … (Wikipedia)

  12. The Dispossessed

    by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Librarian note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN ,9780061054884,. Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life—Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Urras, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change. … (Goodreads)

  13. Invisible Man

    by Ralph Ellison
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The narrator, an unnamed black man, begins by describing his living conditions: an underground room wired with hundreds of electric lights, operated by power stolen from the city's electric grid. He reflects on the various ways in which he has experienced social invisibility during his life and begins to tell his story, returning to his teenage years. The narrator lives in a small Southern town and, upon graduating from high school, wins a scholarship to an all-black college . However, to receive it, he must first take part in a brutal, humiliating battle royal for the entertainment of the town's … (Wikipedia)

  14. The Lathe of Heaven

    by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Eclectic

    The book is set in Portland, Oregon , in the year 2002. Portland has three million inhabitants and continuous rain. It is deprived enough for the poorer inhabitants to have kwashiorkor , a protein deprivation from malnutrition. Although impoverished, the culture is similar to the 1970s in the United States. There is also a massive war in the Middle East . The dual threat of Warmal Colding wrecks quality of life. George Orr, a draftsman and addict, abuses drugs to prevent "effective" dreams... and those dreams change reality. After one of these dreams, the new reality is the only reality … (Wikipedia)

  15. The Left Hand of Darkness

    by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known
  16. Americanah

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. … (Goodreads)

  17. Bloodchild and Other Stories

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes "Bloodchild," winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and "Speech Sounds," winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, "Amnesty" is a story of a woman named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between humans and a species of invaders. Also new to this collection is "The Book of Martha" which asks: What would you do if God granted you the ability—and responsibility—to save humanity from itself? Like all of Octavia … (Goodreads)

  18. Beloved

    by Toni Morrison
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Beloved begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio , where the protagonist Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman, has been living with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver at 124 Bluestone Road. The book explores the lives of Sethe and her daughter after their escape from slavery, opening in 1873 after the Civil War. Their Cincinnati home has been haunted for years by what they believe is the ghost of Sethe's eldest daughter. Because of the haunting— which often involves objects being thrown around the room— Sethe's youngest daughter Denver is shy, friendless, and housebound. Sethe's sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away from home … (Wikipedia)

  19. Children of Blood and Bone

    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The novel takes place in the fictional land of Orïsha, inhabited by two distinct people: divîners, who have the capability to become magical maji and are marked by white hair, and non-magical kosidán. Eleven years prior to the events of the book, King Saran figured out how to switch off magic and ordered the slaying of many defenseless divîners, including the mother of Zélie Adebola. Since that time, divîners have been severely oppressed. After visiting the capital city, Lagos, to make enough money to pay off an increased tax on divîners, Zélie and her brother Tzain help a noble girl … (Wikipedia)

  20. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    by Junot Díaz
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Oscar de León (nicknamed Oscar Wao, a bastardization of Oscar Wilde ) is an overweight Dominican growing up in Paterson, New Jersey. Oscar desperately wants to be successful with women but, from a young age, is unable to find love, largely because he is a nerd obsessed with science fiction and comic books. His great fear is that he will die a virgin. After high school, Oscar attends Rutgers University. His sister's boyfriend Yunior (the narrator of much of the novel) moves in with Oscar and tries to help him get in shape and become more "normal". After "getting dissed … (Wikipedia)