I Could Never Get the Hang of Thursdays

By Becky Thornton

Dark and gritty dystopias and apocalypse scenarios are all the rage right now. That's fine, but let's revisit the lighter side of multiverses and space travel and have a much needed laugh with some humorous sci-fi.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    1979 by Douglas Adams

    If you have not read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you need to do so immediately. The plot of this zany sci-fi story centers around average Earthling Arthur Dent whose house lies in the direct path of a planned galactic freeway. In fact, the whole planet will be destroyed to make way for the construction project. Humanoid alien Ford Prefect rescues Arthur thus setting him on a quest to discover the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. This hilarious novel is full of wry British humor and a lot of heart.

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  • The Sheriff of Yrnameer

    2009 by Michael Rubens

    Space outlaws, bounty hunters, hijacked luxury space yachts, company-sponsored planets, and an old-fashioned Wild West stand-off round out a plot that will have you repeatedly thinking: "How is our lying, cheating, stealing hapless hero going to get out of this one?"

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  • Agent to the Stars

    2005 by John Scalzi

    Earth is invaded by a group of aliens with a serious PR problem. Enter Tom Stein, Hollywood's hottest agent, who must convince humankind that these hideous blobs are really their lovable, new best friends. It's pure B-movie parody and it's wonderful.

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  • Gil's All Fright Diner

    2005 by A Martinez

    Taking a brief turn into the horror genre, this book touts itself as, "Bloodier than Fried Green Tomatoes! Funnier than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!" Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, and all the horror character tropes you can think of come together at a roadside diner to confront the end of the world. All of Martinez's works are hits so keep going after this one.

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  • How to Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe

    2010 by Charles Yu

    Charles Yu is the name of the author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Charles Yu is also the name of that book's main character. Charles Yu the character is a time machine mechanic who must discover the key to finding his missing quantum space-time traveling father. Confused yet? This one veers off from comedy bits to explore the deeper meaning of family relationships.

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  • Doughnut

    2013 by Tom Holt

    Part British mystery, part speculative fiction, this book centers on physicist Theo Bernstein who blew up the Large Hadron Collider. As a result he must now travel through a multitude of alternate realities to gauge just much he screwed up.

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  • Shades of Grey : the road to High Saffron

    2009 by Jasper Fforde

    Charming dystopian humor as only Fforde could pull off. This is a world where a person's standing in society is based on their aptitude for color perception. Full of complex world building, the big payoff at the end makes the journey well worth it.

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  • Crosstalk

    2016 by Connie Willis

    Briddey struggles with the aftereffects of a failed brain surgery. The procedure was supposed to help strengthen her emotional connection to her boyfriend and he may propose to her if all goes well. Instead of increased empathy the surgery has enabled her to hear the thoughts of others. Can they hear her thoughts as well? Willis is an institution of humorous sci-fi and this is not to be missed.

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