Though science is a wide-ranging and varied pursuit, science fiction tends to focus almost exclusively on astronomy and physics, with the occasional dip into medical science. But that’s changing. Pioneers like Ursula Le Guin began to center anthropology and sociology in the genre fifty years ago, and today we’re seeing SF that explores environmental science, molecular biology, neuroscience, and more. My particular favorite is geology, also known as Earth science—or, if you’re beyond our little blue marble, planetary science.
My new novel The Future of Another Timeline is about time traveling geologists, and my inspirations come from other books that foreground the work of people who taste rocks, control plate tectonics, and explore the ecosystems of other worlds. Here are seven works that define the new subgenre of geoscience fiction.