8 Science-Fiction Serials I Want to Read in 2021

Back in December, I briefly chatted about fantasy books I wanted to read in 2021. Well, this time I’ve returned with some sci-fi serials that I’m aiming to get through before the year is out. Since I’m not reading any YA books this year, I figured this would be a great opportunity to get to the dusty owned adult books I have sitting on my shelves, especially the ones from my two favourite genres.

Half the serials are still ongoing, while the rest are completed. Some of them have three or more volumes while others only have two. I feel this is a good mixture because I can knock out the smaller ones and not feel like I’m being tripped over by seemingly never-ending instalments. If there’s anything that I’m a bit sad about, it is that none of these books are from diverse authors. I’ve noticed that I have a shite ton of adult fantasy books by QBIPOC authors, but not nearly as much with respect to adult sci-fi. This is something I plan on resolving as soon as I’m able to do so.

I’ve included short, non-spoilery snippets below, along with a full list of all known instalments in each series thus far. If you’re interested in checking out these books for yourself, I have included links for their GoodReads, Amazon Kindle, Indie Bound, and Author’s pages (this one is via the title) with their snippets.

Donovan by W. Michael Gear

This hard, colonisation sci-fi series takes place on a paradise planet known as Donovan, which seems to be teeming with opportunities for all who arrive there. In the first book, Outpost, we are introduced to four main characters of the series, all of whom have very different agendas and motives for arriving on Donovan. As things begin to spiral out of control amid them, a ghost ship called the Freelander appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that deters any ship from attempting a return journey. In the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all four of the main characters, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game.

I’ll admit the premise sounds like it can either be deeply complex and richly engrossing, or a convoluted hot mess that could lead to frustration. Even so, the one thing that the series definitely has going for it are all the covers for the various books. They are some of my favourites that’ve been released over the last few years. I have no shame in admitting they hooked my interest quite hastily. Plus, I do love a ragtag group of individuals that all hate one another but must learn to cooperate in order to survive against a single, horrid enemy.

There are four currently released books in this series with a fifth one hitting shelves later this year. In order they are: Outpost, Abandoned, Pariah, Unreconciled, and Adrift (forthcoming).[GoodReads | Amazon | Indie Bound]

The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell

A space exploration, time travel series that follows The Alliance. They have been fighting the Syndics for over a century now, and losing quite horrendously. With the fleet excruciatingly incapacitated and stranded in enemy territory, The Alliance shall have to resort to a man who is their only hope for survival; a man who’s been in a century-long hibernation. When he awakens, he is disturbed to learn that he’s been heroically idealised beyond belief, particularly regarding events that are vastly different than how he remembers them to be.

I read the first volume of this, Dauntless, a couple years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, since I wasn’t in the mindset to dive into a lengthy series, I ended up putting the rest of the books back on the shelf. With my recent re-watching of Stargate SG-1, I find myself craving a return trip to The Lost Fleet series to see how the war progresses beyond the confines of the first volume.

This is a complete series with six books (and a start to a much larger universe). They are in order: Dauntless, Fearless, Courageous, Valiant, Relentless, and Victorious. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | Indie Bound]

The Memory War by Karen Osborne

A first-contact sci-fi series about a terminally ill salvage pilot named Ash Jackson. She lost everything when the war with an alien race called Vai took place. But she refuses to lose her future. Her current plan is to finagle her way out of a corporate indenture by any means necessary. Then she’s going to find a cure. Her plan hits an unexpected obstacle when her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a dead colony, leading Ash to uncover a conspiracy of intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.

A relatively new series that hit shops last year in September, I was mesmerised by the cover when I initially saw it in a bookstore. Then after reading the premise and hearing so many amazing, contemplative book reviews about the themes and writing style, I became truly encapsulated by it. When I acquired a copy during the holidays, I became pretty ecstatic about picking it up. Recently, my cousin sent me the sequel that came out about a week ago, so I’ll take that as my ticket to check it out sooner rather than later.

There are currently two books in the series, respectively: Architects of Memory and Engines of Oblivion. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | Indie Bound]

Outriders by Jay Posey

This cyberpunk, military sci-fi series follows Captain Lincoln Suh who died on a Wednesday. Things only became harder from there. Whisked away from a special operation and tossed headfirst into a secretive new unit, Lincoln has become the team leader of an Applied Intelligence Group, better known as the Outriders. His first day brings him into a mission with almost impossible stakes, plus a dangerously cunning woman. A woman, by all accounts, that should be dead. Yet, she seemingly returns, and her plans aren’t only devastating, but they very well may be spectacularly unstoppable.

I’m currently reading the first book in this duology, Outriders, and it’s pretty great. I’m not too far into it, I’ll admit. Nevertheless, I like the writing and pacing. It’s been quite easy to get swept away by it. My goal is to binge the rest of the book over the next couple days so I can pick up the sequel.

The two books in the series are Outriders and Sungrazer. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | Indie Bound]

Sun Eater by Christopher Ruocchio

This military, space opera series is about a man named Hadrian Marlowe who is revered as a hero. Yet, Hadrian never wanted to be anyone’s hero, he just happened to be on the wrong planet at the right time. He was simply a man trying to escape his father and a future as a torturer, which brought him to a backwater planet where he was winged away into gladiator fights and the complexities of foreign planetary court life. As he tries to make it out, Hadrian ends up fighting a war he didn’t begin, for an Empire he doesn’t love, against an enemy he doesn’t understand.

This series is a recent acquisition for me. I came across two of the three instalments just a couple of weeks ago, and the snippet sounded like it would be fun, following a guy that could be morally grey in some regards. Since I found the mass market editions, they were affordable, so I snagged ‘em up. They are chunky books, which is slightly intimidating, I won’t lie. This means I may hold off on reading them until the Summer or  maybe over Winter break when I know I’ll have free time to devote to it. Also, I love how cheesy the covers are; very akin to classic 90s sci-fi.

There are currently three books in the series (two of them are in mass market, the third mass market shall hit shelves in a couple of months), and they are in order: Empire of Silence, Howling Dark, and Demon in White. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | Indie Bound]

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

This space marine series follows one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history, Grand Admiral Mitth’raw’nuruodo, otherwise known as Grand Admiral Thrawn, and his ultimate rise to power.

So… Thrawn… Motherfucking Mitth’raw’nuruodo!!!! I love him. I love him almost as much as I love Sephiroth. Actually, I may love the Grand Admiral more than I love Sephiroth and Takumi Fujiwara combined. He is where the Grand Admiral part of my name comes from (excuse me while I squee like a little fanhuman on a bitchin’ sugar high)(also, formerly Grand Admiral, I am now Grand Immortal for the love of Thrawn and Sugimoto). He’s so badass and brilliant; a tactical and strategic mastermind of sorts. Naturally, with the arrival of a brand-new trilogy devoted to Sir Thrawn, I knew it was time to get off my arse and read these books. I read and loved the first one, Thrawn, and I know I’m going to devour the other two books (three if you count the first volume in the new trilogy). Also, I’m so beyond happy they (Disney douchebags) didn’t change the author for the Grand Admiral’s stories. As Zahn was the creator of Thrawn, he really is the perfect individual to keep writing about him.

Here are the books in order: Thrawn, Thrawn: Alliances, and Thrawn: Treason. The first two books in the second trilogy are: Thrawn Ascendency: Chaos Rising and Thrawn Ascendency: Greater Good. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | Indie Bound]

Stardoc by S.L. Viehl

This medical sci-fi adventure series is about a Terran doctor named Cherijo Grey Veil who flees her home planet with her cat after she discovers something terribly disturbing about her father, a galactically renown physician known for his stern ideals on anti-alien propaganda. Escaping to a world fifteen lightyears away, Dr Veil begins to hone her medical repertoire by working on all walks and beings of alien lifeforms, until her father catches up with her and makes her life, as well as the lives for all of her allies, an absolute hell of an existence.

I’ve read the first two books in this series, and while it’s definitely not without its issues and some problematic shite, it’s been rather enjoyable all around as a sci-fi adventure that isn’t afraid to load up on the medical and sciences jargon. I’m taking a small break from it for the next month, but hope to return to the series in mid-March to April.

This is the largest series on the list and it’s complete at ten instalments. Respectively, they are: Stardoc, Beyond Varallan, Endurance, Shockball, Eternity Row, Rebel Ice, Plague of Memory, Omega Games, Crystal Healer, and Dream Called Time. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | not available on Indie Bound]

Windswept by Adam Rakunas

A cyberpunk, genetic engineering duology about a labour organiser named Padma Mehta, living on the edge of space and upon the edge of burnout. All she wants to do is buy a small rum distillery and then retire, however, before she can do that, she has to recruit 500 people to the Union. When she’s only thirty-three short, she relies on a small-time con artist when he tells her there are forty folx ready to tumble down the space elevator to break her free from her bosses. Of course it was all bullshite. Retirement seems farther away than ever, more so after she stumbles onto a secret corporate mission that could have devastating consequences for recourses in Occupied Space. If she’s ever going to get a chance to drink her favourite rum again, she’ll have to kick arse through the city’s warehouses, sewage plants, and up the system to stop the oncoming plague of doom and gloom.

What initially drew me to this series was the main character. She reminds me of Koko from Koko Takes a Holiday, which is one of my favourite cyberpunk trilogies out there. I’m hoping the action, settings, and ambiance combined with the protagonist’s “just tired from life” attitude will make for an entertaining cyberpunk romp.

There are two books in this series, and they are: Windswept and Like a Boss. [GoodReads | Amazon Kindle | not available on Indie Bound]

Those are all of the owned science-fiction serials that I shall be sinking my kitty fangs into throughout 2021! I feel a bit satisfied with the variety of storytelling that’s in this list. Even though most of them have to do with galactic shenanigans, I’m glad that they are still unique enough to keep me from becoming bored or restless.

Do you like science-fiction novels? What are some of your anticipated sci-fi books or serials?

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7 thoughts on “8 Science-Fiction Serials I Want to Read in 2021

  1. I can only imagine your reaction when you saw the cover for Endurance. 😂 A bunch of miniature Shelobs for your terror-ific delight. 😇 Out of this list, Donovan seems like the one I’d want to read most. Those covers are pretty cool.

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