If you love space, technology, robots, and all things sci-fi, then this science fiction books list will have everything you’ll ever need. With classics to more recent novels, we’ve included the 50 best sci fi reads of all time. So, be sure to check out these unmissable sci fi books! Seriously – if you haven’t read these books, you’re really missing out.
Out Of The Silent Planet – CS Lewis
Dr. Ransom is a Cambridge academic who is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there.
All Systems Red – Martha Wells
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied android. But this droid is a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module. It’s scornful of humans and just wants to be left alone. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, the scientists and their droid need to get to the truth.
Dawn – Octavia E Butler
Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth. Hundreds of years later, she awakens deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft. Its piloted by the Oankali who saved humanity from extinction. Now it’s time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world.
Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night that Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city. And within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, the government breed child geniuses and trains them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Consider Phlebas – Iain M Banks
Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
Oryx And Crake – Margaret Atwood
Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human. And mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein
A revolution on a lunar penal colony—aided by a self-aware supercomputer—provides the framework for a story of a diverse group of men and women grappling with the ever-changing definitions of humanity, technology, and free will—themes that resonate just as strongly today as they did when the novel was first published.
Altered Carbon – Richard K Morgan
Assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful.
Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky
The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.
The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
Conscripted into service for the United Nations Exploratory Force, a highly trained unit built for revenge, physics student William Mandella fights for his planet light years away against the alien force known as the Taurans.
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them for a price. Until something goes wrong.
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-reading robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov’s trademark.
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations.
Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was not simple. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age.
The Three Body Problem – Cixin Liu
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.
Leviathan Wakes – James S A Corey
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for.
Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick
By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back.
Ready Player One
Reality is an ugly place in the year 2045. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world. When the eccentric creator dies, he leaves behind a series of puzzles. Whoever is first to solve will inherit his fortune and control of OASIS.
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix. Until he crossed the wrong people and they banished him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful AI.
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who dear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy. In the Valley of the Time tombs, the Shrike waits for them all.
The Martian – Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and his crew evacuates thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to signal Earth.
Dune – Frank Herbert
On the desert planet Arrakis, Paul Atreides is heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world. The only thing of value is the ‘spice’ melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. It’s a prize worth killing for. And when House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined.
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters…
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
It’s an ordinary Thursday morning for Arthur Dent. Until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly after to make way for a new hyperspace express route. And Arthur’s best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. After that, things get much, much worse.
The Time Machine – HG Wells
The Time Traveller, a dreamer obsessed with traveling through time, builds himself a time machine and, much to his surprise, travels over 800,000 years into the future. He lands in the year 802701. The world has been transformed by a society living in apparent harmony and bliss. But as the Traveler stays in the future he discovers a hidden barbaric and depraved subterranean class.
Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag returns each day to his bland life and wife, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
Committed science student Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter. So, he assembles a human being from stolen body parts but – upon bringing it to life – he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. And then the once-innocent creature turns evil.
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
In a technologically-advanced future, humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order. At the cost of their freedom, full humanity and perhaps also their souls.
A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L’Engle
It was a dark and stormy night. Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. But then they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. The stranger tells them about the existence of a wrinkle in time.
Madeleine L’Engle’s ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, now a major motion picture.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States – now known as the Republic of Gilead. A monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans.
Stranger In A Strange Land – Robert A. Heinleinl
Raised by Martians on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith is a human who has never seen another member of his species. Sent to Earth, he is a stranger who must learn what it is to be a man. But his own beliefs and his powers far exceed the limits of humankind, and as he teaches them about grokking and water-sharing, he also inspires a transformation that will alter Earth’s inhabitants forever…
The War Of The Worlds – HG Wells
Written between 1895 and 1897, H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds is one of the earliest stories that detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. Filmed numerous times, this science fiction classic retains its power to disturb readers more than a century later.
Ringworld – Larry Niven
Louis Wu, accompanied by a young woman with genes for luck, and a captured kzin – a warlike species resembling 8-foot-tall cats — are taken on a space ship run by a brilliant 2-headed alien called Nessus. Their destination is the Ringworld, an artificially constructed ring with high walls that hold 3 million times the area of Earth. Its origins are shrouded in mystery.
Starship Troopers – Robert A. Heinlein
Johnnie Rico never really intended to join up—and definitely not the infantry. But now that he’s in the thick of it, trying to get through combat training harder than anything he could have imagined, he knows everyone in his unit is one bad move away from buying the farm in the interstellar war the Terran Federation is waging against the Arachnids.
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules Verne
When German professor Otto Liedenbrock finds a coded message in an original runic manuscript of Snorri Sturluson’s Icelandic saga, Heimskringla, he discovers what he believes to be a secret passage to the center of the Earth. Professor Liedenbrock embarks immediately for Iceland on a journey of scientific discovery to prove his belief.
The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin
A bleak moon settled by utopian anarchists, Anarres has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet Urras. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to reunite the two planets, which have been divided by centuries of distrust..
Kindred – Octavia E. Butler
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke
The crew of the spacecraft Discovery are embarking on a mission to Saturn. Their vessel is controlled by HAL 9000. It’s an artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals—and perhaps threatens—the human mind.
The Man In The High Castle – Philip K Dick
It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In this world, we meet characters like Frank Frink, a dealer of counterfeit Americana who is himself hiding his Jewish ancestry; Nobusuke Tagomi, the Japanese trade minister in San Francisco, unsure of his standing within the bureaucracy and Japan’s with Germany; and Juliana Frink, Frank’s ex-wife, who may be more important than she realizes.
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn. First a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars and then is conquered by it. Lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.
Parable Of The Sower – Octavia E. Butler
Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.
1984 – George Orwell
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger simply because his memory still functions.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
First published in 1870, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea remains one of the most widely read adventure novels. The story follows the experiences of marine biologist Pierre Arronax and his companions, as guests – or prisoners – aboard the startlingly advanced submarine Nautilus under the command of the mysterious Captain Nemo.
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
You could hear the voices murmuring, small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body. In this phantasmagoric sideshow, living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.
The Invisible Man – HG Wells
A mysterious man named Griffen appears in a snowstorm at the local inn of the English village of Iping. Rarely emerging from his room, Griffen works continuously with a set of chemicals and laboratory apparatus. He’s a former medical student who has invented a chemical process to render bodies invisible. Having impulsively tried the formula upon himself, Griffen turns to crime to continue his experiments.
The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
Bill Masen misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. But the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, someone else who managed to retain their sight. Together they leave the city and try to survive in this post-apocalyptic world.
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
Pragmatic gambler Phileas Fogg has made a gentlemanly wager to the members of his exclusive club: that he can circle the world in just eighty days, right down to the minute. Fetching his newly appointed French valet, Fogg embarks on a fabulous journey across land and sea—by steamer, rail, and elephant—to win the bet of a lifetime.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr. Henry Jekyll no longer wants to inhibit his dark side. He concocts a potion to create the alter ego of Mr. Edward Hyde. With the burden of evil placed on Hyde, Jekyll can now take pleasure in his immoral, nefarious fantasies—free of conscience and guilt. It’s when Hyde turns to murder that Jekyll realizes how monstrous his impulses are and how hard they are to suppress.