Andy Weir, author of The Martian, and the upcoming Artemis, a novel about the first city on the moon, lists his five favorite books about humans colonizing other planets. Head over to goodreads.com to read his comments about each book, all of which you can borrow at Eisenhower.
Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
The Earth is crowded and food is rationed, but a colony on Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, offers an escape for teenager Bill Lermer and his family. Back on Earth, the move sounded like a grand adventure, but Bill soon realizes that life on the frontier is dangerous, and in an alien world with no safety nets, nature is cruelly unforgiving of even small mistakes. Bill’s new home is a world of unearthly wonders–and heartbreaking tragedy. He will face hardships, survive dangers, and grow up fast, meeting the challenge of opening up a new world for humanity and finding strengths within himself that he had never suspected existed.
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Mars – the barren, forbidding planet that epitomizes mankind’s dreams of space conquest. From the first pioneers who looked back at Earth and saw a small blue star, to the first colonists – hand-picked scientists with the skills necessary to create life from cold desert – Red Mars is the story of a new genesis. It is also the story of how Man must struggle against his own self-destructive mechanisms to achieve his dreams: before he even sets foot on the red planet, factions are forming, tensions are rising and violence is brewing… for civilization can be very uncivilized.
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens’ ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth.
Runaround from the collection I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world–all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people–a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic–who become the rebel movement’s leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution’s ultimate success. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.