These Award-Winning Women-Authored Sci-Fi Summer Reads Are Out of This World

By Jennifer Memmolo

For you alien and dystopian novel fans, these reads are a great way to pass time while waiting for the X-Files reboot and Matt Damon's latest venture, "The Martian," coming out this fall. Check out some of our picks and the winners above! 

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1.Best Novella: "Yesterday's Kin" by Nancy Kress Nancy Kress is a four-time winner in this category who writes stories known for placing the more fantastic element of science fiction in a more grounded setting (think more "District 9" than "Hunger Games"). "Yesterday's Kin" is a story about geneticist Marianne Jenner, a woman trying to juggle a career breakthrough with a family that's falling apart. To top everything off, aliens just landed in New York and they've revealed their intentions to be ... not so great. Consider this novella one of the most extreme versions of "Can women have it all?" in recent fiction, with serious family conflict and alien predators to boot.

2. Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: "Love is the Drug" by Alaya Dawn Johnson Alaya Dawn Johnson is the author of the Zephyr Hollis series (you know, your average, run-of-the-mill series about a vampire suffragette set in 1920s New York City), but it's her second venture into YA fiction that's led to her first Nebula Award. "Love Is the Drug" is the story of Emily Bird, a seemingly perfect prep school student who wakes up days after a Washington, D.C., gala with no recollection of how the night ended. The world she wakes up to has changed: A deadly pandemic has swept the country, and the government has instituted martial law to control its citizens. In an effort to recover her memory, Bird befriends her high school's quiet genius (and drug dealer) Coffee, and together they unravel one of the biggest scandals in U.S. history.

3. Best Novel (Nominee): "The Goblin Emperor" by Katherine Addison Katherine Addison (whom you may also know as Sarah Monette, ghost queen and horror genre extraordinaire) turned an unwilling heir to the throne into a captivating study of court politics and psychology in "The Goblin Emperor." It's basically a worst-case-scenario situation among royal families: The entire family perishes in an airship accident, leaving the last in line to ascend the throne. Left uneducated and unskilled in the art of court politics (basically the Harry of the family), the new Emperor has no friends or allies and must figure out whom to trust on his own. With a near-perfect customer review on Amazon, it's definitely worth checking out if you're into medieval fantasy.   For a complete list of this year's Nebula Awards nominees, check out the list here.