Welcome to the ultimate guide on finding some of the best science fiction books out there that are going to have you hooked on the stories that are hidden inside.
We are about to show you 35 of the best ones and you get to decide which one of these will be perfectly suitable for you, it might be a few, it might be more than half of them, but there is no chance that you won’t like any of them if you truly are a huge science fiction enthusiast and just cannot resist stories like these.
Best Science Fiction Books
|Dune||8.46/10||688 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Neuromancer||7.8/10||292 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Hyperion||8.48/10||482 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Left Hand of Darkness||8.14/10||304 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Ender's Game||8.6/10||324 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||8.44/10||193 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Snow Crash||8.04/10||559 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?||8.16/10||258 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Forever War||8.30/10||278 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Fahrenheit 451||7.98/10||194 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|1984||8.36/10||237 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|I, Robot||8.40/10||224 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Foundation||8.34/10||244 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Starship Troopers||8.02/10||335 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress||8.34/10||288 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|2001: A Space Odyssey||8.30/10||297 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Brave New World||7.98/10||288 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Martian||8.80/10||369 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Flowers for Algernon||8.26/10||216 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The War of the Worlds||7.66/10||192 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Martian Chronicles||8.28/10||182 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Solaris||7.96/10||204 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Contact||8.28/10||580 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Cat's Cradle||8.32/10||179 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Man in the High Castle||7.22/10||259 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Red Mars||7.7/10||572 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|A Fire Upon The Deep||8.28/10||613 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Three-Body Problem||8.12/10||399 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
Here is the first book that will have the pleasure of starting off this article on some of the best science fiction books of all time as this one is the perfect example of one of good science fiction books that is a part of a thrilling series as well. We included the series in our selection of the best space opera books. Make sure to check it out!
This is the first book in Frank Herbert’s science fiction book series also called Dune and the story here is set on a desert planet called Arrakis. For more information about the series, take a look at our review of the top science fiction book series. The book follows a character, a boy, named Paul Atreides and this boy is the heir to a noble family that has a very important job to do.
The family rules a world in which the only thing that is considered of any kind of value is the spice melange, a type of drug that is capable of extending the user’s life as well as offering enhanced consciousness which leads to all sorts of unique powers and advantages. We really enjoyed this book, that’s why we covered it in our selection of the top science fiction fantasy books and top classic science fiction books as well!
Here is a thrilling science fiction story that talks about a world filled with dangerous and powerful technology and all sorts of unique and skilled hackers. Neuromancer follows a character named Case who was one of the sharpest minds in the world of hacking until his nervous system was very badly damaged and he was left useless.
His whole life changes again when a mysterious character offers him a cure which he immediately grabs while accepting whatever sort of job that this character offered to him.
Having agreed to do a few hacking jobs for this mystery man, Case will soon find out what kind of new trouble he has gotten himself into. You can probably also imagine that whatever it was, it would definitely be worth it for being healthy again as his condition was definitely tragic. This book is also part of our list of the best cyberpunk books. Make sure to check it out!
In our next pick for one of the top science fiction books, we have a story that takes place in the mysterious and thrilling world of Hyperion. There is something special about this world as there is an interesting civilization inhabiting it called the Hegemony of Man but beyond the reach of them, there lies a strange and very feared creature, named Shrike.
You get to meet three types of characters in this thrilling book, the ones who admire this creature and believe it’s best to stay on its good side so they worship it with all of their heart and soul. The book is part of the series called Hyperion Cantos, which you can learn more about in our review of the great science fiction book series.
Then there are those who are scared to death from it so they decide to be neither with it nor against it and find that it’s best to stay away. And finally, those who have promised to destroy it once and for all so that they can finally put the people’s minds at ease. For more info, take a look at our review of the top space opera books.
The next choice in our best science fiction books list is a story called The Left Hand of Darkness. You will definitely find out just how thrilling of a book this special one is should you decide to read it for yourself as this is a story about exploration, discovery, philosophy, and thrilling action as well. For more info, check out our list of the best classic sci-fi books!
It follows a lonely character who has been sent on a special mission to the planet called Winter. His goal is to make a connection and agreement with a newly discovered civilization and assure their inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization.
You will get to see a new point of view as to how humans would react in the face of an alien civilization and see how this science fiction author has imagined these exciting events. We covered it in our review of the best LGBT science fiction books as well. If you are interested in Ursula’s work, take a look at our articles about the top science fiction and fantasy books or best science fiction book series, where we covered some of her books.
Ender’s Game is the dream book to any science fiction fan as the story in this fascinating science fiction book is one that many people have found themselves fantasizing about. It is the first book of the series called Ender’s Saga. For more information, check out our review of the top science fiction book series.
The main character and protagonist in the book, Andrew Ender Wiggin believes that he is just playing another thrilling war game but he doesn’t know that he is attempting the simulated training course for a unique soldier that could be the key in winning a war between humans and aliens.
After he shows exceptional skill in this game, his whole world changes as he finally gets to experience real danger in a war that is definitely no place for a six-year-old, yes, that’s how old our main character is in this one of the best science fiction books written. We even covered it in our review of the best science fiction books for teens. You must take a look at it!
This book is the first one of Douglas Adam’s thrilling science fiction adventure series that bears the same title as this book and in it, you get to read a fascinating story that takes you to a lot of unique and amazing places throughout space. If you are interested in the series, you must look at our review of the great science fiction book series.
On top of that, there are a bunch of characters waiting to be introduced who are definitely going to make you want to read more and more about their very exciting lives.
One of the main characters who you will be reading about in this one of the best science fiction books and hopeful the whole series is Arthur Dent and his exciting journey through the galaxy begins after he is saved by his friend Ford Prefect second before the Earth was completely wiped out so that a galactic freeway could be constructed. This is the perfect start to a very exciting story indeed. For more similar books, you must take a look at our best science fiction fantasy books review.
The main character in this one of the best selling science fiction books of all time is ironically called Hiro Protagonist, a virtual name that he gave himself and the username that he uses whenever he enters the virtual computer world. You can also find this book on our list of the top cyberpunk books ever.
The story talks about this character’s life as he lives in a world where he, and many others, have the ability to enter a virtual reality where a lot can be done but no one could be hurt.
That was the case until a deadly virus called Snow Crash infiltrated the entire system and ended up hurting and almost killing anyone who dared to mess with or hack it. This is a thrilling story that is going to show you a bunch of amazing characters who will surely make the events as exciting as possible for true science fiction enthusiasts. If we made you interested in Neal’s work, take a look at our selection of the best books about hard science fiction or best science fiction and fantasy books where we covered some of his books as well.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? is the first book of the amazing and bestselling science fiction book series called Blade Runner, the story was so good that it managed to be the reason for the creation of one of the most popular science fiction movies of all time, Blade Runner.
Anyway, this story by Philip K. Dick starts out as you meet the main character and protagonist of this book and the whole series, Rick Deckard. He is a trained agent with a license to kill and he is about to witness a whole lot of action after a few rogue androids escape from a factory on Mars and manage to spread around and hide on Earth.
The problem here is that these androids are almost indistinguishable from humans and could be very deadly if provoked. Rick’s mission is to locate them and put them to sleep if you get what we mean. For more information, check out our selection of the best books about cyberpunk.
This thrilling science fiction story talks about another war between humans and an alien species that they don’t know a whole lot about. The interstellar war is taking place very far away from Earth and in order to get to the battle, one must perform interstellar travel which has all sorts of flaws and consequences. For this reason, the book deserved its place among the best time travel book series and the top space opera novels, too.
A character named Private Mandella will be the next person traveling this way to reach the battlefield and contribute to the fight. He will do whatever it takes to survive and win this war so that he can get back to his home safely. For more similar books, don’t hesitate to check out our best military science fiction books!
After he miraculously gets the chance to go back home, after interstellar travel, he witnesses that the world that he left not so long ago is a very different one and you get to find how interstellar travel has managed to change this man’s entire life and world. We dedicated a whole article to this amazing series, for more info take a look at our The Forever War book series review. You can also find it in our review of the best classic sci-fi books!
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Check out one of the strangest science fiction books on our list as this one holds a story that might just leave you wondering and saying “What just happened?”. This tale by Ray Bradbury talks about a world in which the laws and rules are so strange that you could hardly ever imagine living in a world like that. We have no other option than to cover this amazing book in our selection of the top classic science fiction books!
The story follows a character called Montag who belongs in a special unit of the fire brigade who has a very ironic duty to perform, that duty involves starting fires instead of stopping them.
The reason for this is to burn books because, in the world that he lives in, reading is strictly prohibited because it prevents the people from being happy and everyone in this world must be happy whether they like it or not, you could say that they are forced to be happy. We included the book in our review of the best science fiction books for kids. You must check it out!
1984 by George Orwell
Here is our 11th pick of one of the best science fiction books ever as it might not seem like it from any description about the book that you read but you will understand exactly why this is only after you read the book for yourself. You can learn more about it in our selection of the top classic science fiction books!
The main character in this story is Winston Smith, he is a developer, an open-source one, who prefers to do his work offline as his ISP has installed something called packet sniffers and these things are regulated by the government under the patriot act.
This character and all of the others that you get to meet in this book all live in a terrible totalitarian world where “Big Brother” controls every single aspect of the people’s lives. There is definitely a unique and thrilling story to be told in this book as you will find out for yourself if you decide to check out the book.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
This amazing book has a bunch of stories to tell you that all relate to unique and exciting robots. We all know that robots have the potential to go about their own way and against their programming, but they also have a lot of potential that involves serving us and doing everything for us.
The stories inside this amazing science fiction book will tell you a few things about robots who have gone mad and started disobeying their commands, about robots who have the ability to read minds, robots who can make you laugh out loud, and a lot more.
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
The story follows a character called Hari Seldon, someone who has the ability to see into the future and it couldn’t come more in handy as the time when the Galactic Empire has finally started collapsing after twelve thousand years of ruling over everything and everyone.
What Hari sees definitely isn’t looking good as he warns that the next thirty thousand years to come will involve a terrible, dark, and destroyed world full of barbarians and chaos. But he definitely doesn’t give up without a fight so he gathers some of the brightest minds in the Empire and forms a sanctuary called the Foundation which will stand as a beacon of hope that will try to prevent this horrible future from ever coming true. We really loved the series and you can find more info about it in our selection of the best science fiction book series.
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
Take a look at one of the best science fiction books for adults here as this one has tons of battles that are definitely alarming which makes them super exciting for the biggest of science fiction fans.
This story follows a bunch of characters, but mainly one soldier from the future who is about to become a part of a very dangerous war between humans and their deadliest and most merciless enemy, the bugs from another planet, huge bugs for that matter. The book can be also found on our list of the best military sci-fi books. Make sure to check it out!
This interstellar war will definitely be brutal for both sides and humans have never witnessed such mass killing and such suffering. The boot camp that is also discussed in this book is something so hard that no ordinary soldier would ever pass. You get to read about all this and so much more in this brilliant science fiction masterpiece.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
The story follows the planning and start of a rebellion that is carried out by a few people from a former penal colony living on the Moon against their masters on Earth.
You will get to see for yourself why exactly these people don’t enjoy living by the rules that are laid out for them as no man would. We definitely don’t want to spoil all the fun for you in our article about the best science fiction books so be prepared to have a lot of fun with this one too and find out what all of the fuss about the start of this rebellion is all about. You can also find the novel on our list of the best classic science fiction books.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke has hit the jackpot when it comes to writing a bestselling book with this one as this book holds a truly unique and fun to read a story that was so exciting that a brilliant movie was also made out of it. You can also find his name on our list of the best space opera books.
The science fiction content never appears dull in this book and you will get to find out exactly why as you open it up for yourself. You can learn more about it in our article about the best science fiction book series.
The story begins as you start reading about an alien race that has created a powerful artifact that has the ability to encourage intelligent life to evolve more quickly. Using this artifact, they find themselves on Earth around 3 million years ago in Africa where they use the artifact on a bunch of apes and that’s when the fun begins.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The story here might have you frightened to see such a dystopian world as this world inside is filled with tons of genetically modified citizens as it is made sure that a lot of aspects of their lives are controlled by the people above them. We included this book in our review of the top biopunk books. Take a look!
The science-fiction part of this one of the best science fiction books is definitely wonderful to read about as you get to see tons of new technology that we don’t have even now and keep in mind that this book was written in 1998.
This technology involves very advanced reproductive tech, the ability to learn anything you like while you sleep, psychological manipulation is too easy for the ones who live in this world, and all sorts of unique and amazing things like those. Then you get to meet the protagonist of this series who is about to make everything more exciting by refusing to live in a world like this.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Here is another book that inspired the creation of one of the best science fiction movies of all time, also called The Martian. We covered this book in our selection of the best hard science fiction books as well.
This story talks about a crew that has just landed on Mars. One specific character who will be taking you on the journey about to come is Mark Watney, he was super excited to come to Mars but not for long as now he believes that he will definitely die on this planet.
The reason for this is because a dust storm nearly killed him and his crew so they leave before they all get killed and leave Mark behind thinking that he is dead. After that, you get to read a thrilling story about survival as you can’t even imagine what it takes to survive on Mars, completely alone.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
You have another thrilling story here as it might not be packed with a lot of action like some of the previous ones, but the events in this one are definitely exciting as you will find out now. It follows a bunch of characters actually, one of them is a man and another is a mouse.
This mouse is special, however, as an experiment carried out by scientists has made it super intelligent, it has even surpassed the abilities of the scientists who made it super intelligent but unfortunately, things go sideways and it suddenly starts deteriorating.
This experiment is later done on Charlie and the story continues as you get to find out if the same thing will happen to him or will he strive with the abnormal amount of intelligence that he is about to acquire, find out all of that for yourself as you start this thrilling story and one of the best science fiction books.
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
The War of the Worlds is definitely not short of excitement as this book has a lot of action to show you as the humans are about to experience the end of all civilization. You get to read a story in which a huge army of Martians has come to Earth on an invasion attempt as they are finally ready to claim Earth for their own race. They land in England and begin their invasion campaign.
It all happens so fast, suddenly, there are tons of three-legged killing machines roaming around the streets of England, completely destroying everything in their path and incinerating everyone on the way.
It would be completely normal if you can’t wait to find out what happens next as you can only do that after getting the book for yourself. Find more books written by this wonderful author in our selection of the best biopunk books!
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Our next choice for some of the best science fiction books is another one that will be talking about Mars again as it truly holds some of the most fascinating stories out there. This exciting story talks about a journey that involves man’s attempts to colonize the red planet and form a whole new civilization there.
The attempts are interesting to read about as you get to find out how hard it is for humans to survive on Mars. The first people died of a disease called the Great Loneliness and the few who remained were locked up by the shape-changing Martians themselves.
It gets way more exciting as more and more rockets start arriving from Earth and you get to find out how humans and Martians will react to each other as things get more and more serious. You can also find the book in our selection of the best science fiction books for children.
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Here is a book by a familiar face again as Arthur appears once more to show you one of his best science fiction books. This time, he talks about a story that involves another alien race that will be threatening human civilization and its very existence.
They are known as the Overlords and they suddenly appear from the sky, they don’t attack as they lay out a few demands first and if humans do not comply, then the terror will start.
Their demands were simple, unite, eliminate poverty, and end all wars, this even seemed beneficial to Earth so they agree to live under their rule if they get to have all of these things finally. But then you get to see the hidden cost of all of these things and what it actually means to live under someone’s rule as all of those thrilling events will be shown to you in the book itself.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
This amazing science fiction book Slaughterhouse-Five talks about a character called Billy Pilgrim, this character is definitely one of a kind as he is unstuck in time, what this means is that he is constantly going back and forth through time against his own will so he does not know when it will happen and when and where it will take him.
The story is too much to explain in one short review and a lot of important things happen all the time, the main thing you need to know is that the things that are happening in this book are rarely dull and you get to find out how this nerdy character will react to everything that this strange ability is doing to his life. For more information, check out our review of the best time travel books ever, where we covered this book as well. If we made you interested in the work of this brilliant author, take a look at our review of the best Kurt Vonnegut books!
The Time Machine by H. G Wells
Here is a book from another author whose name you will see more than once in our list of some of the best science fiction books. This story talks about an inventor who has finally succeeded in creating a time machine and now all that is left is to test it. That’s also the reason why you can find this book on our list of the best time travel books ever.
A few minutes into the future and it shows that it works but then, those few minutes turn into 800.000 years into the future where our explorer will be seeing a totally different world than his own.
He is still on the same planet but so many things are different and almost nothing is the same as where he comes from. He discovers two very bizarre races inhabiting it who will make sure that the story that follows is never boring. For more info, check out our The Time Machine book review.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
When it comes to great science fiction books, this one sure hits the jackpot again. There is one term in this science fiction book that you will be reading a lot, “Jaunting”. We included this amazing book in our selections of the top space opera books, and best classic science fiction books as well.
“Jaunting” means the ability to teleport for thousands of miles with just mere thoughts and there are characters who have this ability in the book. What you get to see in this book is more fighting, more war, and plenty more thrilling characters who will make the events that follow a lot more interesting.
The main character who you will be following around in this story is a man called Gully Foyle and when you meet him, he doesn’t seem at all special but you later find out that this man will become the most valuable man alive. You can also find Bester’s name on our list of the top books about cyberpunk. Check it out!
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
We definitely suggest that you don’t miss out on this one if you adore science fiction stories with complex and beautiful characters as this one has just the type. The story involves Mars again as it is the place where the book opens as you get to meet the main character inside. You can also find this book on our list of the top science fiction fantasy books.
His name is Valentine Michael Smith and he is a human who was born and raised on Mars. You would imagine that no matter where he was born and raised he would still be just like every human out there, but no, Valentine is definitely different and you will find out why in the book itself.
Anyway, the story follows him as he returns to Earth and is among his people for the first time, a total stranger. You get to read about his struggles as his own beliefs don’t exactly match with everyone else’s. The book can be also found on our list of the top classic sci-fi books!
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine’s A Wrinkle in Time is among the most popular science fiction books out there and you are about to find out why. The story in this one introduces you to a few kids who are about to go on the journey of a lifetime in an attempt to find their father who is on a secret mission somewhere distant and hopefully save their entire world. That’s what it is perfect for a young audience and we included it in our selection of the top science fiction books for teens and top science fiction books for kids.
These three main characters are Meg Wallace, her brother Charles, and their friend Calvin and they discover that a dark and terrible evil is swallowing planets throughout the universe and their planet happens to be next.
An outstanding space adventure awaits now that is filled with mystery, danger, and a whole lot of action. Be prepared to bite your nails from all of the suspense too. Take a look at our review of the top fantasy science fiction books for more information.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Check out this very unique and thrilling science fiction story if you want to have a quick laugh but also be amazed at some of the strange things you are about to see. You can also find the book in our review of the best space opera novels.
The reason for this book being so unique is because it can be described as an average science fiction story with interstellar battle, but the special thing here is that the main character and soon to be a soldier is a 75-year-old man. That’s also why we included it in our selection of the top military science fiction books.
His name is John Perry and he joins the one army that is not looking for young people, an army that will lead him far away from Earth in a battle between humans and aliens and where his skills will be tested. If he survives, a special award awaits him.
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Solaris presents a very mysterious science fiction story which many readers will definitely find fascinating. Thanks to the complex and amazing characters inside, this story will be an exciting read for many.
The main character who will be bringing most of the fun to you is Kris Kelvin and yes, there is space travel involved in this story as well but that’s always fun as who knows what kinds of unusual things you will discover.
The strange and unusual thing in this story is a planet called Solaris that has a giant ocean on its surface. Kris is one of the others who go there for research and soon the fun begins, he learns that there is something here that brings back painful memories to everyone who comes. The story only gets more deep and exciting from there as the characters believe that they are going crazy.
Contact by Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan has managed to write one very fascinating story here that a lot of science fiction fans and space travel enthusiasts can relate to as this story might be more realistic than we can imagine. It takes place in a world similar to ours, in one that getting a message back from space seems almost impossible, but in this world, it finally happened and the result was breathtaking.
After decades of waiting for a call back from tons of messages sent out, humans finally get an answer and the contents are instructions to build a machine that will have the ability for super fast space travel and one that can take anyone who boards to the aliens who sent this message.
A scary thought indeed but curiosity will definitely overcome here and the events that follow later are definitely too exciting to spoil in our review. You can also find this book in our selection of the best science fiction books with female protagonists.
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
He is actually the man who originally came up with the atomic bomb in this world and he has yet another deadly creation to his name, it is called ice-nine and this devastating chemical has the power to quickly freeze the entire planet, imagine that.
This is the exciting story that involves a few other characters as the search for this hidden and deadly chemical begins and different people have different needs for it, some are for good reasons, some for evil.
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
You get to read about a very interesting reality of our world that has been imagined in the science fiction world of author Philip K. Dick as this world has a few key differences than ours which is maybe for the better.
The story takes place in America in 1962 and slavery is completely legal once again as you can imagine what kinds of struggles this presents for many people.
The main goal of this book, so to say, is the author’s intention to show his readers that each tiny moment in history could have made possible a totally different outcome to our present. The book shows this fact very nicely through the story inside that you are about to see.
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
You have another thrilling Mars story in this book that will be taking you on yet another amazing colonization journey that the humans will be trying. The year is 2026 and 100 brave people have trained hard and applied to be the first colonists on Mars, let the exciting journey begin.
John Boone, Frank Chalmers, Arkady Bogdanov, and Maya Toitavna are a few of the most important characters who will be taking you on this exciting trip as they are the leaders of the terraforming mission. You get to see a lot of fantastic exploration, a lot of drama, love, hate, and so much more in this thrilling Hugo-award winner story.
The book is part of the Mars Trilogy, that you can read more about in our review of the great science fiction book series.
A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge
War throughout the galaxy and in space is never a dull topic as all sorts of things can happen in stories like that, you can easily say that there is no limit to galactic wars. This book is another science fiction masterpiece that tells you about a thrilling war that is filled with dangers.
You get to see a bunch of alien races in here, struggles for power, battles that are just too good to spoil in any review, and so much more that will leave you wanting more of this amazing story, and luckily for you, this is only the first book of Vernor’s trilogy called Zones of Thought.
The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
The last book in our best science fiction books list is this fascinating masterpiece by a Chinese author Liu Cixin. You can also find it on our list of the top hard science fiction books.
Liu writes about a story that takes place during the Cultural Revolution in China and it follows a devastating event after an alien civilization that is on the brink of extinction finally catches signals that humans have been sending into space and finds their last hope on Earth as an invasion by them is approaching.
The story then follows the people on Earth as they are preparing to either welcome this alien race or destroy them depending on their behavior. A truly exciting story is to be expected by this amazing science fiction book.