Revenge is a dish best served cold—as cold as space, in fact. Maybe that’s one of the reasons revenge pairs so well with science fiction. Are you looking for a tale of vengeance in the cold, hard vacuum of space? We have some suggestions for you:
Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport
Generation ships often seem to breed discontent and violence—take a large population, force them into a limited space, include the class barriers humanity just can’t seem to let go, and you have the perfect recipe for depraved acts—and the revenge that inevitably follows. In Emily Devenport’s sci-fi novel Medusa Uploaded, Oichi is one of the downtrodden, who is tossed out an airlock on suspicion of insurgency. Luckily, she’s rescued by a secret presence on the ship. And now that she’s officially dead, it’s time to fix the imbalance of power—one assassination at a time.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
This classic 1950s novel has been called a science fiction retelling of one of the greatest revenge tales of all time: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. A poor, uneducated man is abandoned by the company that employs him, left stranded as the only survivor of an attack in deep space. Improbably, the man, Gully Foyle, survives, amasses a fortune, and educates himself all in order to pursue his singular goal: revenge against the company that wronged him, Presteign. Of course, nothing is that simple, and Gully’s journey includes many twists and turns. Is he the hero, or the villain? No one, especially Gully himself, can be entirely certain.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
In Ann Leckie’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel, great spaceships of the Radch Empire use artificial intelligence to control ancillaries, human bodies that can move and interact with people while containing the knowledge of the ship that controls them. When her ship, the Justice of Toren, is destroyed, Breq is the sole surviving ancillary. In her fragile body, Breq goes on a quest across the Empire, seeking vengeance for her own destruction.
Killing Gravity by Corey J. White
Mariam Xi is a dangerous woman—a deadly voidwitch, a genetically-manipulated psychic super-soldier with a high body count. She escaped MEPHISTO, the group that experimented on her and made her into the weapon she is today, but soon enough, her past is going to catch up with her. When that finally happens, MEPHISTO better watch out. There are very, very few things in the universe more dangerous than an angry voidwitch.
Dune by Frank Herbert
There are many, many, many themes in Frank Herbert’s Dune—among them ecology, empires, gender dynamics, and more. And, of course, revenge. When the Emperor and the Harkonnens kill Paul’s father, Duke Leto, Paul and his surviving family must flee and join the Fremen in the desert. Later, when Paul Muad’Dib has the chance to remove the emperor and take his place, he does it not just to become one of the most powerful people in the universe, but also to take revenge for his father’s death.