The best science fiction and fantasy books for summer escapismKelly Faircloth7/08/10 7:00pmFiled to: Summer booksBooksToprecommended readingMira grantSeanan mcguireCherie priestPaolo bacigalupiMary Robinette KowalGreg eganIan McDonaldRudy Rucker1201EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkSummer is the most escapist time of year, with vacations and long voyages. And no escapist jaunt is complete without a visit to other worlds. Here are the best science fiction and fantasy books for this summer's beach reading.AdvertisementBack to the FutureShip Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl author's latest, about an ecologically devastated Gulf of Mexico, is depressingly current. Nailer Lopez is scraping by in a post-peak-oil world, full of violence and injustice. But his whole life changes when a storm strands a privileged young woman and her lovely clipper ship. Maybe this vividly realized, humane YA novel is the perfect antidote to those horrifying oil-spill projections.Zendegi, Greg Egan: Once science has mapped the human mind, what'll we do with it? Greg Egan has the Iranians using that information to create Zendegi, a massively popular MMORPG. But it's not all fun and games. Martin, an expat Australian journalist who discovers that he's dying, enlists the help of neuroscientist Nasim to create a virtual copy of himself. But this isn't out of some villainous wish for immortality. He just doesn't want to abandon his son. Highly recommended by our own Chris Braak.