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MARCH 13, 2013
Science Fiction for Thriller Readers

I almost always walk on by any science fiction, even if it’s a shiny new volume. But every once and a while I accidently find one that reads like a thriller, my favorite genre.

The very first book I read with a genuine science fiction label was recommended to me by a fellow thriller reader. It was Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint, 1987. The reviews were all really good, so I gave it a try. I absolutely loved it - the humor, the unusual viewpoint, the “science” of how invisibility might actually work (or not).

Next I came across one of Michael Crichton’s first books, The Andromeda Strain, 1969. This book develops at lightning speed, and continues the same pace as it hurtles to the conclusion, a precursor of the future sci-fi/thrillers from this author such as Jurassic Park, and Timeline.

Douglas Preston, who writes mysteries with Lincoln Child, has written several sci-fi/thrillers.  My favorite is Blasphemy. It is the story of scientists vs. a televangelist, and neither one is really innocent. Also check out Lincoln Child’s standalone titles in the same genre: Terminal Freeze, and Deep Storm.

My favorite title of all time though, is The Link by Walt Becker.  My teenage son and a few of his friends still talk about it as the best book they ever read, even now into their late 20s.  While I wouldn’t go that far, any title that is so fast-paced as to get teen boys to read and discuss a book that isn’t required, is a winner.  Paleontologist Samantha Colby finds bones that could be the "missing link." She also finds a map that leads her to an abandoned alien bunker in South America that is storing an advanced weapons system.  It has it all: aliens, the CIA, and a love triangle. So the next time you see a science fiction label on a book, pick it up and give it a try, even if you are a thriller reader, you just might like it.

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