Science fiction and fantasy characters often take on dangerous obstacles with an action-movie-paced sense of urgency. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little fun along the way. If you enjoy titles such as “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” or “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” these novels may be right up your alley:
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu – In a world transformed by time-travel technology, counselor Charles Yu searches for the father who invented time travel and vanished, a quest marked by quirky pseudo-companions.
Year Zero by Rob Reid – After two aliens reveal that the whole universe is addicted to humanity’s music, has committed gross copyright violations and is murderously unhappy with the resulting fines and penalties, entertainment lawyer Nick Carter has 48 hours to save the planet.
This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It by David Wong – A sequel to “John Dies at the End” finds heroes David and John embroiled in a new set of horrific but absurd challenges when movie-induced zombie phobia enables a nefarious shape-shifter race to take over the world.
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines – Gifted with the ability to draw objects out of books, Isacc Vainio, a Libriomancer, seeks assistance from a Harley-riding dryad after a number of vampire attacks are reported by other members of his secret magic organization.
Redshirts by John Scalzi – Enjoying his assignment with the Xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship’s actual purpose.
Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez – Hired by the owner of an all-night diner to eliminate the zombie problem that is costing her customers, werewolf Duke and vampire Earl tackle an even stickier adversary who is out to take over the diner, in an adventure involving an amorous ghost, a young sorceress, and a pig-latin occult.
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink – Handed a message by a mysterious man, a young pawn shop owner embarks on a psychologically dangerous mystery that entangles her in the life of the local PTA treasurer, who helplessly watches her son’s growing obsession with his absent father. Based on the #1 international hit podcast.