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5 Books that Made Us Believe in Aliens

5 Books that Made Us Believe in Aliens

By Swapna Krishna

Aliens. They ARE coming to get us. We can pretend that we're alone in the universe, but that's horribly arrogant and self-centered, isn't it? The fact is, there's almost no way there isn't life on other planets. The real question is whether there is intelligent life on other plants, and that's where it gets scary.

Stephen Hawking said in his recent Discovery Channel documentary that, "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." Yeesh. But to prepare for the alien invasion, we have to believe in them first. Here are five books that made us BELIEVE.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game is a modern classic, so if you haven't read it yet, you should pick it up as soon as possible. The human race is at war with an alien species, and humans have taken some drastic steps to gain any edge they can. The latest? Breeding child geniuses to serve as soldiers. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is one of these geniuses and he's recruited for military school. His intellect makes him a natural leader at the school, but Ender isn't sure that he has the ability to lead effectively.

The Host - Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Really, the author of Twilight? But if you haven't read her intensely creepy sci-fi novel The Host then you're missing out. Aliens have invaded our beautiful planet and settled down for the long term. What did they do with all the humans that already happened to be living here? Well, the title of the novel is key—the aliens are parasitic organisms and they use the human bodies as hosts. Melanie Stryder's body has been given to an alien named Wanderer, but Melanie refuses to just fade into the background, and by making her voice heard, she'll change Wanderer forever.

Old Man's War - John Scalzi

One of the inspirations for John Scalzi's alien war novel is the Robert Heinlein sci-fi classic Starship Troopers, so you know you're in for a treat with this book. Scalzi injects his trademark sense of humor into the story of a seventy-five year old man named John Perry who enlists with the army. You see, the military doesn't want the young and inexperienced—they want the older, wiser generation to fight aliens for resources and control of territory. But John has no idea what he's getting himself into when he signs up, and can't imagine what he'll see and experience.

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

This book has been classified as science fiction, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and everything in between. It's set on a planet very distant from earth, and follows the story of human colonists. They fought against the indigenous population, called the Spackle, who ended up unleashing a virus that killed all of the women in the colony. Todd, a boy who is about to become a man in his colony of Prentisstown, knows that these Spackle are frightening, the worst of the worst because he's been told that all his life. But there are also supposed to be no women on the planet, yet when he meets Viola, a teenage girl, he begins to question everything he's been taught.

I am Number Four - Pittacus Lore

It's not so much that Number Four is frightening—yes, he's an alien, but he and his guardian are hiding out on Earth. He is one of nine survivors of Planet Lorien, and these teens have a spell on them, such that they can only be killed in order—one through nine. But the Mogadorians are a resourceful enemy, and they've already found numbers one through three. It's these Mogadorians, who have no regard for life on Earth or how many humans they might have to kill to find their quarry, that are really the most chilling element of this novel.

What's your favorite book about aliens?

Tags: aliens, ya novels, stephenie meyer, the host, comics-and-books

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About the Author
Swapna Krishna

Swapna is a Washington, DC-based freelance editor who loves all things space and sci fi. You can find her book reviews at S. Krishna’s Books (http://www.skrishnasbooks.com) and on Twitter at @skrishna.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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