Plano Reads: Meteors, Space and Stars
6 mins read

Plano Reads: Meteors, Space and Stars

Here are fiction and nonfiction titles for August, the month in which the Perseid Meteor is visible in the night sky. Enjoy these imaginative journeys among the stars!

Fiction and Science Fiction

Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes – Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed and obsolete when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate. What they find is shocking: the Aurora, a famous luxury spaceliner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick search of the ghost ship reveals whispers in the dark, flickers of movement and messages scrawled in blood. What really happened aboard the Aurora, and can Claire and her crew escape its fate? Haunting suspense set in the most remote regions of space. Print |eBook  

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid – In a future world where genetic engineering is the norm, Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia, facing threats on every side, but also encountering emotional challenges she has never imagined possible. Complex and addictive, and ideal for both teens and adults. Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and powerful necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy, deftly written, unsettling, and the first title in a striking new series. Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

The Lunar Chronicles Series: Novels – Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter; Novella – Fairest; Short Story Collection – Stars Above; Graphic Novel series – Wires and Nerve, all by Marissa Meyer – This teen series is set in a fairy tale-influenced dystopian future which sounds like a lot going on, but which works really well together. Classic fairy tales make up the basic framework for the characters and some of the plot points. Meyer weaves engaging tales featuring strong and capable heroines, and involving a global plague, genetic engineering, cyborgs, and political intrigue. Print |eBook |Audiobook |CD/Play |GN 

The Martian by Andy Weir – Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive. But drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? Print |eBook |Large Print |CD Book |Chinese edition 

Seven Devils by L. R. Lam and Elizabeth May – This first book in a witty and fast-paced feminist space opera duology follows Eris and Clo, leaders of a team of seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire–or die trying. Print  


First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time by Emma Chapman – The first one billion years from the timeline of the Universe represents the start of the cosmos as we experience it today: the time when the very first stars burst into life, when darkness gave way to light. After hundreds of millions of years of dark, uneventful expansion, one by the one these stars suddenly came into being. Emma Chapman covers centuries of speculation, unexplained anomalies, informed conjectures, and current reasoned suppositions. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and should strike just the right notes with audiences who enjoy pondering the mysteries of the universe. Print 

Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut’s Photographs from a Year in Space by Scott Kelly – A collection of photographs taken by Commander Scott Kelly documenting his journey on the International Space Station, 250 miles above the earth. One’s perspective shifts when one lives for an entire year, as Commander Kelly has done. His breathtaking collection of photos documents his journey on the International Space Station … and the unparalleled beauty of our own home planet. Print 

Packing for Mars : The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach – The author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. As the exceptionally curious Ms. Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), she takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth. Print |eBook 

The Sky Atlas: The Greatest Maps, Myths and Discoveries of the Universe by Edward Brooke-Hitching – The Sky Atlas unveils some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created during humankind’s quest to map the skies above us. This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography–a glorious art often overlooked by modern map books–as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogs, antique instruments, and other curiosities. This is the sky as it has never been presented before, in an extraordinary chronicle of cosmic imagination and discovery. Print 

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