A Reading List to Prepare You for the Alien Invasion
By Victoria Reis, Communications
August 11, 2023
Put down the tin foil hat and roll out the welcome mat. An alien invasion may not be all bad! Although aliens are often depicted as evil invaders, these books explore fictionalized encounters between extraterrestrial lifeforms and humankind—from the hostile to the benevolent and everything in between—that may challenge your expectations of the otherworldly. Then again, anything is possible.
A famous rapper, a biologist and a rogue solder become world protectors after a first contact with an alien ambassador results in global chaos and an attack that threatens humanity with mass extinction.
Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project's signal is received by an alien civilization, which plans to invade Earth, while on Earth different camps start forming to either welcome the superior beings or to fight against the invasion.
The Oankali—a seemingly benevolent alien race—intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth. After learning all they could about humans, they healed the planet, cured cancer, and increased human strength—but salvation comes at a price.
The sole survivor of a crew sent to explore a new planet, Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz discovers an alien civilization that raises questions about the very essence of humanity, an encounter that leads Sandoz to a public inquisition and the destruction of his faith.
When the Athsheans, the inhabitants of a peaceful world, are conquered by the bloodthirsty Yumens, they retaliate against their captors, abandoning their rules against violence and endangering the very foundations of their society.
When a Martian spacecraft lands on earth, mankind is terrorized by aliens in tall, armored capsules which stalk the countryside on three legs. The machines wreak havoc on London and the Southern Counties, and survivors are driven underground.
When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry home to his own utopian planet, where everyone is omniscient and immortal.
April is the first person to post proof of a new alien life-form—a Carl—and she's an instant celebrity. April now has to deal with the consequences her newfound stardom has created, and everyone wants her to answer the biggest question of all: What do the Carls want from us?
Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.