Ah, sci-fi! One of the great book genres! But what are the best sci-fi books ever made?

Today, let’s take a look at the best sci-fi books. Whether you’re a filmmaker, a photographer, or just a lover of sci-fi literature, this list will have something for you.

You might be wondering, what sci-fi is? What does it include?

Well, Sci-fi is one of the great book genres with the best book collection. Let’s take a look…

Whether you’re a filmmaker, a photographer, or just a lover of sci-fi literature, a Sci-fi collection will always have something for you.

Are you an aficionado of the science fiction genre? If yes, then you must have read a couple of such publications already. The list is made accessible to you.

The list will also include a few lesser-known gems that you might not be aware of or never heard of before. In this manner, we offer sci-fi readers to provide their feedback and suggestions on what needs to be included or what needs to be improved.

The Best Sci-Fi books

So, let’s jump right in and take a look at what we consider to be the best sci-fi books.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

“Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein’s greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic—and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal responsibility and political freedom.

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.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress gives readers an extraordinary, thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of Robert A. Heinlein, who, even now, “shows us where the future is” (Tom Clancy).”

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
  • Heinlein, Robert A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 07/31/2018 (Publication Date) - Ace (Publisher)

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

You might be wondering where to start with such a cult classic!? This is primarily s a case of last-but-certainly-not-least on the list of the best sci-fi books.

Foundation is basically science fiction what J. R. R. Tolkien was to fantasy.  Also, he significantly upholds the unique distinction of being the one and only author to have books published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal system.


The Foundation series is his masterpiece that actually needs to be read to be believed. Each publication in Foundation series tends to be based on major themes such as future prediction and predicting the future and survival on a mass scale.

It is the kind of story that sticks to the minds of people not only for months and but for many years.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

It’s often hard to deal with things but one thing that comes to my mind while students come to and say, “Can you correct my paper?” is one of the most common novels.

A science fiction, classic and a behemoth novel written in the field of dystopian literature, but still there are a lot of changes to be made and we’re yet to see a decent adaptation.


That’s a shame, especially because in many ways it’s more relevant than ever. In contrast, significant scientific advancements have been anticipated in the novel. In particular, such achievements as a combination is known to form a dystopian society.

Brave New World
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What Are Sci-Fi Books?

Ever since the advent of modern-day sci-fi in the 19th century, there has been a long line of iconic stories that have left an undeniable mark on popular culture.

Whether it is through films, TV shows, books or video games, these tales have shaped and influenced what we know about technology and science today.

Sci-Fi is short for science fiction. This term typically means that the story revolves around some form of technology or scientific discovery that does not yet exist in our world.

Sci-Fi stories often take place around one of two extreme futures – that of a utopia (a positive, dreamlike future) or a dystopia (a negative, nightmare-like vision of the future).



Dune by Frank Herbert

“Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….


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. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.”

Complete Dune Series Set ( 6 Books ) Dune; Dune Messiah; Children of Dune; God Emperor of Dune; Heretics of Dune; Chapterhouse Dune
  • This set includes: Dune; Dune Messiah; Children of Dune; God Emperor of Dune; Heretics of Dune; and...
  • Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known—and feared—as the man christened...
  • The Children of Dune are twin siblings Leto and Ghanima Atreides, whose father, the Emperor Paul...
  • God Emperor of Dune - Millennia have passed on Arrakis, and the once-desert planet is green with...
  • Heretics of Dune - Leto Atreides, the God Emperor of Dune, is dead. In the fifteen hundred years...

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film Blade Runner

By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049
  • Dick, Philip K. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 05/28/1996 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

“When the Time Traveller courageously stepped out of his machine for the first time, he found himself in the year 802,700—and everything had changed. In this unfamiliar, utopian age creatures seemed to dwell together in perfect harmony. The Time Traveller thought he could study these marvelous beings—unearth their secret and then return to his own time—until he discovered that his invention, his only avenue of escape, had been stolen.

H. G. Wells’s famous novel of one man’s astonishing journey beyond the conventional limits of the imagination first appeared in 1895. It won him immediate recognition and has been regarded ever since as one of the great masterpieces in the literature of science fiction.”

The Time Machine
  • Wells, H.G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 113 Pages - 06/14/1984 (Publication Date) - Bantam Classics (Publisher)

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

For more than one hundred years H. G. Wells’ classic science fiction tale of the Martian invasion of Earth has enthralled readers with a combination of imagination and incisive commentary on the imbalance of power that continues to be relevant today.

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own….

So begins The War of the Worlds, the science fiction classic that first proposed the possibility of intelligent life on other planets and has enthralled readers for generations. This compelling tale describes the Martian invasion of earth. When huge, tireless creatures land in England, complete chaos erupts. Using their fiery heat rays and crushing strength, the aliens just may succeed in silencing all opposition. Is life on earth doomed? Will mankind survive? A timeless view of a universe turned upside down, The War of the Worlds is an ingenious and imaginative look into the possibilities of the future and the secrets yet to be revealed.”

The War of the Worlds (Signet Classics)
  • Wells, H. G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 09/04/2007 (Publication Date) - Signet (Publisher)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Sixty years after its originally publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

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 never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.”

Fahrenheit 451
  • Fahrenheit 451;9781451673319;1451673310
  • Ray Bradbury (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 249 Pages - 01/10/2012 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

“When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Kelvin learns that he is not alone in this and that other crews examining the planet are plagued with their own repressed and newly real memories. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify?

Long considered a classic, Solaris asks the question: Can we understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within?”

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1984 by George Orwell

“Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

A startling and haunting novel, 1984 creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.”

1984: 75th Anniversary
  • George Orwell (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 328 Pages - 01/01/1961 (Publication Date) - Signet Classic (Publisher)



Common Themes In Sci-Fi Books

The most common themes in sci-fi books are space exploration, time travel, and alternate realities. These themes can be seen across a variety of authors including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Margaret Atwood.

Themes such as these have been present for centuries but were not classified as science fiction until the late 19th century when Jules Verne wrote From the Earth to the Moon.

Sci-fi takes us to new worlds, introduces us to strange creatures and wonderful cultures, and explores everything from the distant past to a future in which humans have colonized other planets.

There are many different subgenres within sci-fi such as fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk etc.

There are also plenty of common themes found throughout all these various genres, but some common ones include progress, cultural exchange, race relations & discrimination, dystopia, surveillance and more.



The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

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…

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.”

The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Ursula K. Le Guin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 03/15/1987 (Publication Date) - Ace Books (Publisher)

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“Slaughterhouse-Five is part autobiographical, part science-fiction, part sarcastic master work by Kurt Vonnegut.

It is often assigned by college and high school reading and writing classes, especially when our President wants us to go out and kill somebody. Slaughterhouse-Five came out in 1969 near the height of the War in Vietnam.

At that time, our President told us the Vietnam War was a war we had to fight to protect the freedom loving people of South Vietnam from being overwhelmed by the Communist North. We lost that war. Kurt Vonnegut’s long awaited war novel proved to be a miracle of compression.

It is a contemporary Pilgram’s Progress with a hero named curiously enough Billy Pilgrim. He is the son of an American barber.

He serves as a chaplain’s assistant in the Second World War, is captured by the Germans, survives the largest massacre in European history, the fire bombing of Dresden. (Vonnegut, too, was a prisoner of war and saw that fire storm.)

Billy Pilgrim becomes an optometrist after the war, makes a great deal of money, is kidnapped by a flying saucer from the planet Tralfamadore on his daughter’s wedding night.

He is mated in a public zoo on that planet – to a star of many Earthling blue movies, the gorgeous Montana Wildhack. And so on.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. speaks to the younger generation. Once mistakenly typed as a science-fiction writer, he is now recognized as a main-stream story teller often fascinated by the magic and comic possibilities of the magazines.

His books are widely used in college courses and the groundswell of his present popularity began on college campuses where he was in great demand as a speaker.”

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
  • Vonnegut, Kurt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 01/12/1999 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)

Ringworld by Larry Niven

“Pierson’s puppeteers, strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens, have discovered an immense structure in a hitherto unexplored part of the universe.

Frightened of meeting the builders of such a structure, the puppeteers set about assembling a team consisting of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, an alien not unlike an eight-foot-tall, red-furred cat, to explore it.

The artefact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its centre – the Ringworld. But the expedition goes disastrously wrong when the ship crashlands and its motley crew faces a trek across thousands of miles of the Ringworld’s surface.”

  • Niven, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 06/15/2024 (Publication Date) - TRAFALGAR SQUARE + (Publisher)

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

“The Stars My Destination is a science fiction novel by American writer Alfred Bester. Set in the 24th or 25th century, which varies between editions of the book, when humans have colonized the Solar System.

It tells the story of Gully [Gulliver] Foyle, a teleporter driven by a burning desire for revenge.”

The Stars My Destination
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Bester, Alfred (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 236 Pages - 06/30/2011 (Publication Date) - Ipicturebooks (Publisher)

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

“Consider Phlebas is a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination, from a modern master of science fiction.

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. 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, to actually find it – and with it their own destruction.”

Consider Phlebas (A Culture Novel Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Banks, Iain M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 545 Pages - 11/11/2009 (Publication Date) - Orbit (Publisher)

Neuromancer by William Gibson

“Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.”

Neuromancer (Sprawl Trilogy)
  • Gibson, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 07/01/2000 (Publication Date) - Ace (Publisher)

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

One of Time’s 100 best English-language novels • A mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous, you’ll recognize it immediately

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse.”

Snow Crash: A Novel
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Stephenson, Neal (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 440 Pages - 05/02/2000 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck

Thinking about the conversion of books into movies, it is not unusual. , We have seen a recent uptake in the number of dystopian flicks, which has shown a successful drift from the post-apocalyptic zombie movies to the success of The Hunger Games.

Amatka takes dystopia and elevates it, represents a world with the power of language that has the capability to shape the reality around it.

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Tidbeck, Karin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages - 06/27/2017 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

The gap between science fiction and the LGBT community has been reduced through the development of bridge by Ammonite which has the potential to become one of the inspirational films that stands the test of time.

An award-winning publication has already become a cult classic since  1992 and is considered as the notable publication for being one of the most lauded sci-fi books for exploring gender.

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Griffith, Nicola (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 04/10/2002 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

The notion to make sci-fi movies on book-based stories. It would be a big miss if we forget to take this book under consideration in order to make a sci-fi movie.

Lord has been compared to Ursula K. Le Guin, and this epic story of hope, love, and survival takes classic sci-fi and gives it a more modern feel.

It is one of the thought-provoking novels which greatly influences and creates a huge impact on the big screen in case of its adaptation with the love and care that it surely deserves.

The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel
  • Lord, Karen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 02/04/2014 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

A Canticle for Leibowitz heralded as a masterpiece in the genre,  has been a Hugo Award winner and is actively seen in print ever since its initial publication i.e. about sixty years ago.

Another post-apocalyptic story, which took place in America in the aftermath of a nuclear war. It is primarily considered as a sure contender when it comes to potential ports i.e. conversion of sci-fi books to movies.

A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Walter M. Miller Jr. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 334 Pages - 05/09/2006 (Publication Date) - EOS (Publisher)

Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

Published as a science fiction novel in 1999 as humanity was looking ahead to a new millennium, Darwin’s Radio is a multiple award winner in 2000. It is just as popular with readers as it is with critics.

The concept behind the publication of such a book was based on humanity that deals with a virus that rapidly evolves human beings returning back the reality into light evidenced by a virus hunter while they’re in the womb.

It raises different types of interesting questions which makes it more appealing to younger generations to read this book in particular.

Darwin's Radio: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bear, Greg (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 03/04/2003 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany is An African-American author and a literary critic in the science fiction field and is also known as Chip. Dhalgren is one of the most cinematic of all of his novels publication.

Dhalgren is one of the well-written books that allows you to visualize it and unfold its characters and situations in front of you. It helps the readers to feel the setting of the city in the Midwestern American city of Bellona.

It’s a survival story with an excellent represented structure such as narrative loops, mythology integration, the incredible use of postmodern language and much more. t is also a story of hope that could have audiences on the edges of their seats.

  • Delany, Samuel R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 816 Pages - 05/15/2001 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh

Another Hugo Award winner, Downbelow Station demonstrated the capability through its creation to be the next big space epic, giving a strong competition and taking on the likes of everything from Apollo 13 to Gravity and The Martian.

This novel comes under the great publications of C.J Cherryh – a legend among the readers of sci-fi.

This publication could be one of the sci-fi books which have been converted into movies that changes the way we think about what’s even possible.

Downbelow Station (Company Wars Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Cherryh, C. J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 430 Pages - 12/02/2008 (Publication Date) - DAW (Publisher)

The Female Man by Joanna Russ

The Female Man is a groundbreaking Nebula Award-winning feminist science fiction novel which originally comes from the 1970s with the first publication in 1975, following the story of four women who live in parallel worlds.

The Female Man met with four different selves and potentially ask the viewer – all sorts of interesting questions about the fascinating examination of gender norms, sexism and ideology that are just as relevant and interrelated with one another today as ever.

The Female Man (Bluestreak)
  • Russ, Joanna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 03/17/2000 (Publication Date) - Beacon Press (Publisher)

Sci-Fi Books As Film Adaption

A rapid boom of book conversion into movies has been noticeable in recent years. This is surely based on a good cause.

Investing time and efforts in adapting a book into a movie, filmmakers are seen quite sure that they will be successful in tapping the interest of the existing audience and grab their attention towards their creation.

The selection of a well-known and well-respected sci-fi novel might be difficult for a lot of creators. As the basis of any script can help the creators to write a powerful film proposal that will help to secure financial backing and the interest of actors.

When you’re working on a book to movie adaptation, it makes it much easier for you to communicate what your movie is about because the story itself is already a part of popular culture.

best sci fi books

For example, this list includes one of Elon Musk’s favorite books, and just imagine the kind of movie you could make with his financial backing.

Or imagine if some Hollywood A-lister said that Brave New World is their favorite novel and offered to waive their usual fee and to star in exchange for a nominal fee paid for charity.

When you base a movie on a sci-fi novel, you also have rich existing lore that you can tap into to make your fictional world feel more real. This is particularly relevant for sci-fi film-makers because those movies often take us away from the world we know and introduce us to something entirely different.

Having a book as a reference can be invaluable, but with so many books on the market, how do you tell which one to go with? The good news for you is that we created this article to put forward a few suggestions.

The Best Sci-Fi Books – In Conclusion

Science fiction is often seen as a niche genre that’s only read by a hardcore elite, but that’s simply no longer true.

Even in the early days, science fiction classics like The War of the Worlds were able to capture the imagination of the general public, notably with Orson Welles’ infamous radio broadcast.

Nowadays, science fiction is a mainstream genre that can draw in huge audiences at the box office, but it takes a certain talent to be able to write a story that can withstand the test of time.

The good news is that you can take a shortcut by adapting a classic sci-fi novel into a movie because if the story is still relevant today, there’s a good chance that it’ll continue to be relevant for the months and years to come.

best sci fi books

What once was science fiction is now science fact thanks to the relentless march of technology, which is one of the reasons for the genre’s enduring popularity.

By reading science fiction novels – and by watching science fiction movies that are based upon them – we’re given the opportunity to peek into the future. What we do with that knowledge is up to us.

Robert Everett is a science fiction fan and freelance writer who’s inspired by everything from sci-fi classics to Andy Weir’s The Martian.