Best Sci Fi Books

Best Sci Fi Books

best sci fi books

Remembrance Of Earth’S Past (Series )

Liu Cixin was the first Asian author to receive a Hugo Award as Best Novel for The Three-Body Problem, which is the first book in the series. It concerns one of science fiction’s oldest questions: What happens when aliens invade our world? Liu Cixin is writing hard sci-fi, with brain-twisting passages on quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence, and more. This story has been grafted onto a political thriller of high stakes. Tochi Tochionyebuchi said it best: “These books split me by zero.” It is true that it is a compliment.

best sci fi books

25 Of The Best Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

best sci fi books

Dune, By Frank Herbert (1965)

best sci fi books

Goodreads: 30 top sci-fi books

best sci fi books

Top Classic Science Fiction Books


“Classic” is generally defined as “published within the 20th century, and still being discussed regularly.” Lilith’s Bood by Octavia Butler (4.33 – 123.63). It’s not surprising that Butler’s books are highly rated on Goodreads. This one a collection of three volumes (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago) previously published as Xenogenesis is one of the most popular. Like most of Butler’s books, it builds an incredibly rich and fascinating world, which the author uses to explore race, gender, sexuality, and more.


2001. A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (4.14 to 214.170). 2001. A Space Odyssey was written in the same period as the screenplay to that film. (which was cowritten with Clarke) It actually came out after the premiere. The movie’s status as a landmark in 20th century sci fi cinema was evidently reflected in Goodreads reviews.


Frank Herbert’s Dune (4.21 – 510.994) That may help explain why many love this book, and all the sequels as well as television and film adaptations.


The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin (4.12-174.74) Although it was a tough decision whether or not to include The Dispossessed, the average rating for both titles is higher than that of The Left Hand of Darkness, and so we have The Dispossessed. The Dispossessed, like a lot of the best sci-fi, is about technology but also and more importantly about political philosophies and how they affect the worlds that birth them. And in the way of complex sci-fi series, The Dispossessed was the fifth novel in Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle but takes place first, chronologically speaking. This means that you can have great fun and be a huge geek by enjoying the books in different sequences.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (4.01 – 876,850) Your childhood has been vindicated, if only barely (I was surprised by the relatively low 4.01 average rating). This classic of weird, fantastical science fiction has some extremely fun names, many of which Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. This, along with the unnamed but similar Tesseract, I have previously recommended as great literary cat names for George Orwell (4.17 to 2,559.807) The novel which became everyone’s favourite political cudgel, advertising reference, and political cuegel was about free speech and political power. The Time Machine, Frankenstein, and Frankenstein were not among the first books on this list.


Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow” (4.17 to 41.819) Aliens! Jesuits Is there anything else you should know? Okay, let me tell you. The Sparrow is one of two books in a classic series from the 1990s. Children of God is also considered top-fi, and meets these criteria. It was awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Award as well as the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The story tells about a Jesuit mission to an extraterrestrial civilization.


Neal Stephenson wrote Cryptonomicon, a 4.25-90,748-page book. While I understood that Stephenson books should be included on top lists of sci-fi novels, it was hard for me to select a Stephenson work.

best sci fi books

The 21st Century’s Top Sci-Fi Book Lists


Leviathan, Wakes by James S.A. Corey (4.24 – 123.697). This novel is what launched The Expanse franchise, with eight very well-loved books: Leviathan, Leviathan, Caliban, War Abaddon,’s Gate Cibola Burn Nemesis Games Babylon,’s Ashes Persepolis, Rising Tiamat,’s Wrath. Leviathan Wakes takes place in a world where there are off-planet colonies, yet humans can only access our solar system technologically. This novel has both thoughtfulness about social structures as well as a lot of thrilling action. It was later adapted to Sy. The Expanse is a Fy series that will be moving to Amazon Video in the upcoming seasons.


Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde (4.14″ – 29.927) Fforde made a mistake in naming this book. Two years later, a very popular book would be published and totally destroy this one’s searchability. But despite being a little hard to find when you stick its title in a search bar, Shades of Grey is a must-read. It’s spectacularly strange and fantastically fun, set in a richly imagined world where how you see color determines your social status.


The Gone-Away World is a novel by Nick Harkaway, 4.12-10.675. In an apocalyptic future where many have been turned into “Stuff” and the rest of the world has fallen to strange bombs, a nameless narrationist is employed to extinguish an odd fire. Drama ensues. The Gone-Away World is the most beloved (on Goodreads, at least) of Harkaway’s many novels.


Ann Leckie – Ancillary Saddle (4.05 – 33.609) This is the second in the Imperial Radch trilogy, following the Hugo, Nebula and Clarke Award winning Ancillary Justice. Leckie investigates empire technology gender. Leckie then imagines a culture that is not gender-specific (using male personal pronouns) and follows an Artificial Intelligence who once lived on a ship but lives now as a single entity.


Raven Strategem by Yoon Ha Lee (4.16 – 4,504) This is second and most-reviewed book in the Machineries of Empire trilogy, also including Ninefox Gambit Revenant Gun . Large-scale military sci-fi in which an imperial calendar rules the universe (or at least a portion of it), Raven Strategem and the rest of the series has been critically acclaimed and loved by fans. Hugos nominees for Raven Strategem were also its predecessor.


Warcross by Marie Lu (4.19. – 54.390) The charming, engaging novel represents a group of games-within books, which have emerged in recent years. These novels form a new, sub-genre. There are connections to cyberpunk. But they also possess a distinctive aesthetic. Warcross, like other popular books in this genre Ready Player One is another example. It focuses on an immensely popular game and the person (extraordinary) who uncovers its secrets.


Binti Home, by Nnedi Okorafor 4.14-12250. The sequel to Okorafor’s Binti trilogy, Binti is back home after having ended a galactic civil war. As is the case with all of Okorafor’s books, Binti: Home defies generic categories in all the best ways. Binti: Home was a Hugo finalist in 2018.

best sci fi books

Sci-Fi books that are best


Trilogies were my focus for this portion of the list. For a book to qualify for the list, it had to have at least 4 stars and 4,000+ ratings.


Becky Chambers, the author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (4.7 – 48,677) Chambers is a Hugo nominee for Best Series in 2019, which may be no surprise when you look at these numbers. All three books set in the exact same world have some characters and overarching themes. But they still work as well when read as separate books. These books are absolutely incredible. This one is, in my own opinion, the most rip-roaring fun of the three, with Firefly vibes, great characters, and an exciting plot.


Becky Chambers’ Closed, Common Orbit (4.36-21.792) It is intriguing that this volume is the best-rated. You know, my favorite. This is by no means the best! The darkest and most experimentally constructed series. Neither of these would appear to be able to win top marks. Goodreads.


The Record of a Spaceborn few by Becky Chambers (4.75-7670). Chambers turns her thoughtful and analytical anthropological eyes to the final Wayfarers book, which focuses on one civilization that long ago left Earth, and who reimagined themselves as human beings. This book explores how a culture reacts to the interactions of many others, and what happens when its habits and rituals are challenged by disaster.


Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem (4.05 to 89.618). This book is the beginning of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series. It was written by Cixin, one of China’s most popular science fiction writers. It includes physics, political turmoil and an unusual role-playing board game. There are also mysterious suicides. This book, translated and released in U.S., was an immediate success. It helped spark interest in Chinese Sci-Fi in translation.


Cixin LIU’s Dark Forest (4.41-38,746). An alien invasion has begun and all data of humans have been compromised. This book describes a project using secret and puzzles in an attempt to save humanity from the coming invasion.


Death’s End, by Cixin Lu (4.45 – 28574) This series is unusual in that it has a rising average rating book-by-book (most other sci-fi ratings either drop steadily or go all-out). The Remembrance of Earth’s Past concludes with a tentative agreement between humans and an extraterrestrial civilization.

best sci fi books

Ready to start your next reading?

What is a good science fiction book to read?

  1. Douglas Adams published The Ultimate Hiker’s Guide To the Galaxy, (4.3).
  2. 257 751)… 2001 Space Odyssey: Arthur C. Dune (4.2) by Frank Herbert
  3. 510,994) … A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (4.0
  4. 876.850)… 1984 (4.1
  5. 2,559,807)

Who are The Best Modern Science Fiction Writers

Ann Leckie.Martha Wells.Tamsyn Muir.Cixin Liu.Charles Stross.John Scalzi.Alastair Reynolds.Peter F. Hamilton.More items…*May 5, 2020

The Best Fantasy Book Of All Time:

The Lord Of The Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lies Of Lock Lamora and The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Martin.More …*Jul-21, 2019

What is the Most Famous Sci-Fi Title?

Annihilation.Star Wars.Star Trek.2001: A Space Odyssey.E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.aliens.Blade Runner.Back to the Future.More items…

.Best Sci Fi Books