When I was first considering making a career as a librarian, I had a variety of dream job scenarios in mind, most of which have evolved as I’ve gained experience in the field. However, one dream remains mostly unchanged, which would involve being a librarian on a Lunar or Martian colony. Dangerous? Probably. But I can’t imagine a place in the solar system where people would have a greater need for access to good information than a space colony. While I wait for those colonies to get started, I’ll keep working here on Earth and watching all the new and interesting developments in space travel. How far have we come, and what might be next? Well, of course there are some great new books for that:
- Space forces : a critical history of life in outer space, by Fred Scharmen
- Beyond : the astonishing story of the first human to leave our planet and journey into space, by Stephen Walker
- How to astronaut : an insider's guide to leaving planet Earth, by Terry Virts
- Not necessarily rocket science : a beginner's guide to life in the space age, by Kellie Gerardi
- The space barons : Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the quest to colonize the cosmos, by Christian Davenport
- The mission : or, how a disciple of Carl Sagan, an ex-motocross racer, a Texas Tea Party congressman, the world's worst typewriter saleswoman, California mountain people, and an anonymous NASA functionary went to war with Mars, survived an insurgency at Saturn, traded blows with Washington, and stole a ride on an Alabama moon rocket to send a space robot to Jupiter in search of the second Garden of Eden at the bottom of an alien ocean inside of an ice world called Europa (a true story), by David Brown (With a title like that, how could I not include it?)
True stories are great, but if you're in the mood for fiction, here are some new stories about space colonization that might give you the diversion you need.
- Goliath, by Tochi Onyebuchi—in which those with the means to do so leave Earth for space colonies, and everyone else has to do their best to get by.
- The House of Styx, by Derek Künsken explores a future in which the skies of Venus have been colonized.
- Red Moon, by Kim Stanely Robinson. The lives of three strangers collide during a visit to China’s 25-year-old moon colony.
- The Eagle has landed : 50 years of lunar science fiction, edited by Neil Clarke, gathers new and classic science fiction short stories about the moon.
Library hint: Looking for more great reads? Library resource NoveList provides many ways to search and browse for books of any style or genre, titles in a series, books by your favorite authors, and authors you might like based on what you’ve enjoyed before. Go to our Reading Resources page and select NoveList Plus to give it a shot.
A version of this column first appeared in The Messenger, November 2022.
Find more book columns in our Off the Shelf blog.