The best science fiction books by autistic authors

Ada Hoffmann Author Of The Outside
By Ada Hoffmann

Who am I?

I’m an autistic science fiction writer myself, and I’ve been reviewing autistic science fiction, fantasy, and horror books for over a decade on my “Autistic Book Party” blog. I’ve learned a huge amount in this time about authors like me and what we have to offer the book world. Autistic people are called unimaginative, but that description couldn’t be more wrong – many of us use our imaginations as a richly detailed escape and coping mechanism. There are many more of us out there today than anyone else realizes, from famous, award-winning names to obscure authors using their unique view of the world to create works of imagination, insight, and beauty.

I wrote...

The Outside

By Ada Hoffmann,

Book cover of The Outside

What is my book about?

Humanity’s super-intelligent AI Gods brutally punish breaches in reality, as one young scientist discovers, in this intense and brilliant space opera.

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.

The books I picked & why

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On the Edge of Gone

By Corinne Duyvis,

Book cover of On the Edge of Gone

Why this book?

A comet is about to strike the Earth. Denise, an autistic teenager in the near-future Netherlands, struggles to secure a place for herself, her mother, and her sister on a generation ship bound to escape the coming devastation. Duyvis deconstructs myths about ableism, family relationships, survival dilemmas, and the value of human lives in this wrenching but compassionate and ultimately hopeful book.

Nophek Gloss

By Essa Hansen,

Book cover of Nophek Gloss

Why this book?

A boy named Caiden, raised a slave on a remote planet, escapes - only to find himself thrown into a battle for justice and freedom larger than he can comprehend. This sweeping, visceral space opera is full of vivid visuals, inventive technology, fantastical species, and harrowing challenges. Behind the scenes, it's also a very nuanced look at found family, trauma, and healing.

Ninefox Gambit

By Yoon Ha Lee,

Book cover of Ninefox Gambit

Why this book?

Disgraced general Kel Cheris must work with the undead, unstable genius Shuos Jedao to defeat a fortress of calendrical heretics. Lee's fantastically inventive worldbuilding supports some of the most surreal, creative battle scenes anywhere in science fiction; the tension between Cheris and Jedao, not to mention between Cheris's loyalty to the galaxy-ruling hexarchate and its vicious, tyrannical means of maintaining control, propel this multi-award-nominated space opera forward quickly.

The Deep

By Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes

Book cover of The Deep

Why this book?

Mermaid-like creatures called wajinru, descendants of pregnant Africans thrown overboard from slave ships, choose one girl as a "historian" to carry the terrible weight of their traumatic past. But the burden of the historian's role is too much for one autistic wajinru to handle. This Nebula award-winning book goes to dark places, but emerges with a sense of community, healing, and hope.

Failure to Communicate

By Kaia Sønderby,

Book cover of Failure to Communicate

Why this book?

Xandri Corelel, one of the few autistic people born in a eugenics-obsessed future, has spent her life learning to decode the ways neurotypicals communicate. Now she roams the galaxy using that skill as a professional interpreter of alien language. Xandri is hands down the most relatable protagonist I've ever encountered in fiction, and her adventures are exciting and uplifting.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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