Sci-Fi Break from Midterms

It is time to break up your readings with some sci-fi. I may be a couple years behind, but I finally got around to finishing Love, Death & Robots on Netflix. The bite-sized episodes are so well-produced leaving you wanting more, and provide the perfect escape from midterms. If you’d like to have a similar experience and lean into spooky futures, this book list is sure to broaden your imaginations. 

You can find all of this and more on the McGill Library website.

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler

Bloodchild and Other Stories is renowned author Octavia E. Butler’s only collection of shorter work and features the Hugo and Nebula award-winning stories “Bloodchild” and “Speech Sounds.” These works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world. Butler proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature’s strongest voices.”–Publisher’s description.

The Machine Stops and Other Stories by E.M. Forster 

The collection provides a fascinating glimpse into Forster’s abiding interest in paganism and mythology, the mysteries of nature and the possibilities of magical transformation. Here too are fantasies of the afterlife … an ambitious experiment in science-fiction … [and] a realistic study of self-delusion and compromise.”–Jacket.

A Martian Odyssey : & other classic science fiction stories by Stanley G. Weinbaum

‘A Martian Odyssey’ is a profoundly influential story notable for its touching alien human friendship and fascinating descriptions of unusual aliens.  In the 21st century mankind has landed on Mars via atomic powered spaceships.–

Just like being there : a collection of science fiction short stories by Eric Choi

This is the first collection of science fiction stories by award-winning author and aerospace engineer Eric Choi spanning his 25 year writing career. The stories are “hard” science fiction in which some element of engineering or science is so central there would be no story if that element were removed. Story topics include space exploration, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cryptography, quantum computing, online privacy, mathematics (statistics), neuroscience, psychology, space medicine, extra-terrestrial intelligence, undersea exploration, commercial aviation, and the history of science. A special feature of the book is that each story is followed by an “Afterword” that explains the underlying engineering or science. This collection will entertain and inform all aficionados of science and science fiction.

Octavia’s brood : science fiction stories from social justice movements edited by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown

“Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia’s Brood span genres–sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism–but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renee Thomas.”–

Land/space : an anthology of prairie speculative fiction edited by Candas Jane Dorsey and Judy Berkyne McCrosky.

See the prairies in a whole new light, in this groundbreaking anthology of speculative fiction and poetry, exploring the prairie and the space above it, expressing prairie themes, visions, reality – and unreality! Land/Space includes short fiction by Alexandra Merry Arrvin, John Baillie, Martha Bayless, Ven Begamudre, Renee Bennett, Steven Michael Berzensky (a.k.a Mick Burrs) Donna Bowman, Tobias Buckell, Ron Collins, Alyx Dellamonica, Candas Jane Dorsey, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Geoff Hart, James A. Hartley, Mark Anthony Jarman, Darren K. Latta, David Levine, Sophie Masson, Judy McCrosky, Derryl Murphy, Carole Nomrahas, Holly Phillips, Ursula Pflug, with concluding essays by the editors.

Catch Minitales : Short Science Fiction stories with a sting!. by Steve Bowkett

This book is part of an educational package called StoryMaker Catch Pack, which uses fiction as a resource for learning. What does Peeta do when aliens invade his planet? Why does Kane watch the skies every night of his life? How does Hector F. Payne save the world? Where can you find robots, giant rats, alien invaders, supercomputers … Catch Minitales – the Science Fiction Collection Here are 26 very short stories to fill you with wonder and excitement. Do you dare to journey through time and space?

If you have any questions about how to access these books or others let us know at

Redpath Book Display: Students Recommend

It is the time of the year when you feel like all you’re doing is reading. And yet it’s not really all that you wish to be reading? How about picking up a book for some leisure reading time? But are you confused about what to pick?

Well, look no further! The Humanities and Social Studies Library has put on display some of the top students’ picks to help you sync in with the crowd. Dedicated to bringing students a break between midterms and finals, our November display is curated from the recommendations of McGill students from all genres and book lengths. Basically, it’s got something for everyone!

For the ones you may not find on display, here are some of our ebook titles:

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

A hilarious parody of D.H. Lawrence’s and Thomas Hardy’s earthy, melodramatic novels, the deliriously entertaining “Cold Comfort Farm” is “very probably the funniest book ever written” (The Sunday Times.).

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Though her family thinks she has gone mad, Valancy embarks on an adventure of discovery. Her newfound independence leads her to a world where anything is possible—even love. But is her new life just another illusion, or has she truly found the Blue Castle of her dreams?

Kitchen confidential: adventures in the culinary underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

A New York City chef who is also a novelist recounts his experiences in the restaurant business and exposes abuses of power, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and other secrets of life behind kitchen doors.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Based on Plath’s own struggles, it chronicles a young woman’s descent into depression and eventually into suicidal behaviour, coupled with her quest to discover herself at a time when self-discovery, for a woman, meant navigating traditional models of social propriety on one side and new ideas of freedom and self-determination on the other. It is widely cited as one of the 20th century’s greatest novels. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The novel that scandalized Victorian England In a London studio, two men contemplate the portrait of another–younger and more beautiful–man. 


  1. Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking
  2. Brave New World: With the Essay “Brave new world revisited”
  3. Le Jouer Et Les Nuits Blanches 
  4. Wuthering Heights
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird

Well, that’s all we have here, but go check out the display to see if your favourite book is there too! 

You can find a full list of the books on display here.

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