Perhaps no genre of books has captured the human imagination more than sci-fi. Other genres take you to what’s going on right now or happened in the past. Sci-fi looks beyond and gives us a glimpse of the future. It reflects a lot of the greatest ideas and advancements (and even utter horrors) we might experience as a race. In this article we’ve listed down the best sci-fi books, movies and audio books just for you!
In a lot of ways, sci-fi writers are prophets. Being every bit as adventurous as adventure books, and mysterious as a mystery, sci-fi expands our horizons to other worlds and different times. Whether it’s a journey on a spaceship or reimagining the world, sci-fi is the genre of big dreams and real possibilities.
What Did These Sci-Fi Books Do To Qualify For This List
Any time you are ranking the best of something the results are usually somewhat subjective but we have did our best to come up with a list the readers of the Sci-Fi genre will truly like. To come up with this list we took into account:
- quantity and quality of user reviews
- sales data
- public perception
- opinions of readers of this genres
- commercial success
- and of course personal opinion
Take a look at the best Sci-Fi Books you can read right now:
• Best Sci-Fi Books
• Best Sci-Fi Movies
• Best Sci-Fi Books in Audio
Best Sci-Fi Books
Here are the best sci-fi books by the experts:
1)I am Legend by Richard Matheson
- Book Summary:Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn….
- Book Reviews:
2)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Book Summary:Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
- Book Reviews:
3)The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- Book Summary:The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son’s fight to survive.A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
- Book Reviews:
4)The Martian by Andy Weir
- Book Summary: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 forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
- Book Reviews:
5)Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
- Book Summary: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.Because everyone in the Mobile Infantry fights. And if the training doesn’t kill you, the Bugs are more than ready to finish the job…
- Book Reviews:
6)Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
- Book Summary: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. . . .In Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying technothriller.
- Book Reviews:
7)20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- Book Summary:Professor Aronnax, his faithful servant, Conseil, and the Canadian harpooner, Ned Land, begin an extremely hazardous voyage to rid the seas of a little-known and terrifying sea monster. However, the “monster” turns out to be a giant submarine, commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo, by whom they are soon held captive. So begins not only one of the great adventure classics by Jules Verne, the ‘Father of Science Fiction’, but also a truly fantastic voyage from the lost city of Atlantis to the South Pole.
- Book Reviews:
8)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Book Summary:Written in 1959 by Madeleine L ‘Engle, this is a science fantasy novel about the disappearance of a scientist that discovers a new form of space travel. Meg, her brother and her friend accompanied with 3 magical beings, travel across the universe in order to save her father from a terrible evil.
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9)The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
- Book Summary:A science fiction novel by H. G. Wells about the invasion of Martian invaders in a small town in California. Arriving via meteorite, two scientists are the first to arrive at the crash. Soon after, alien machine emerges and begin killing at random. Humanity is in a brink of extinction and the only way to win is to discover the alien’s weakness through their blood sample.
- Book Reviews:
10)The Time Machine Mass Market by H. G. Wells
- Book Summary: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.
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Best Sci-Fi Movies
1)Star Trek Beyond
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, et al.
Directed by: Justin Lin
Movie Summary: On a rescue mission, the USS Enterprise is attacked by Krall, a warlord sworn against the Federation. Crashed on an uncharted world, the crew must join forces with Jaylah, a rebellious alien warrior, to escape and stop Krall from triggering all-out war.
Starring: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, et al.
Directed by: Michael Crichton
Movie Summary: For $1,000 a day, vacationers can indulge whims at the theme park called Westworld. They can bust up a bar or bust out of jail, drop in on a brothel or get the drop on a gunslinger. It’s all safe: the park’s lifelike androids are programmed never to harm the customers. But not all droids are getting with the program.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, et al.
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Movie Summary: When mysterious spacecraft land across the globe, expert translator Louise Banks is sent to decipher their intent. As tensions mount, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten humanity.
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, et al.
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Movie Summary: STARSHIP TROOPERS charts the lives of elite members of the Mobile Infantry, a corps of dedicated young men and women soldiers fighting side-by-side in the ultimate intergalactic war… the battle to save humankind. The enemy is mysterious and incredibly powerful with only one mission: survival of their species no matter what the human cost.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Movie Summary:Rick Deckard prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st Century Los Angeles, stalking genetically made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them.
One of my favorite films of all time.
Best Sci-Fi Books in Audio
Now that you’ve seen our list of the best sci-fi books and movies, I’m sure you’ll be interested in trying out more of the best sci-fi books in audio!
1)Life Reset: Hobnobbing: New Era Online Book 3
Book Summary:Having survived the first wave of invading players, Oren now seeks to strengthen his clan. With the Breeder’s Den destroyed and most of Goblin’s Gorge’s resources devoted to rebuilding, his best hope lies in creating an army of golems. But for that, he needs Viridium, a rare metal that can only be obtained from hobgoblin towns, where Oren and his clan of goblins are viewed as nothing more than potential slaves. To make his way in the game, and to defeat his former guild, Oren’s ingenuity alone will not be enough. He will need to conquer his deepest fears and tap into his inner monster.
2)Watchers by Dean Koontz
Book Summary:On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever who will let him go no further into the dark woods.
That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a dog of alarming intelligence that soon leads him into a relentless storm of mankind’s darkest creation…
Watchers by Dean Koontz is one of my all time favorite books. I have read this story so many times over the last 30 years or so, that I have lost count of the number of times I have read it. Each time I read it, I enjoy it all over again!
I am almost 78 years old, with Alzheimer’s, and rereading a book as good as this just makes my day!
3)Dune by Frank Herbert
Book Summary:Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud’dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would 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.
The hype is justified for this book. If you have not read it yet, please do yourself a favor and change that asap. I’m sure there are a landslide of other reviewers that can tell you all about the story itself, so I will skip that. This book was an epic pleasure to read. I had some apprehension going in as I repeatedly heard that it’s overly jarring from the beginning. I did not find this to be the case, and I’m no prodigy. It does have some of it’s own words that are explained in the back of the book if needed, but said words are also presented with enough context to give you a good idea of what they’re talking about. You have to push through a little at the beginning, but everything falls into place quickly enough.
From cover to cover it is interesting and exciting. There is a reason it is hailed as such a timeless story, and I implore that you find the time to experience it for yourself.
I’m not actually sure how many times I’ve read Dune; every decade maybe. It is extraordinary how each time I do it speaks of something different to me as I age. My first read as a young teen in the ’70s was overwhelming with words and scenes I’d never experienced before. It was magical and one of the mind expanding elements of the New Age. Now, in 2017, it comes full circle to the fears of environmental impact and government off the beam. I’ve aged, and the story still offers an amazingly lucid reflection of reality. I highly recommend it across anyone’s life span.
4)Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Book Summary:At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut – part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune – and remarkable power – to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved – that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt – among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life – and love – in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
Eureka! I finally found one: an audiobook that I loved. I mean what 80’s baby wouldn’t appreciate an audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton loaded with 80’s pop culture references to boot? Fun Fact: my favorite Wil Wheaton movie is Toy Soldiers.
Wow. I read a lot of dystopic fiction, among other things, but this was quite a ride.
5)Childhood’s End by Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Book Summary:The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city – intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.
But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own.
As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind…or the beginning?
Probably my favorite SF book of all time. Written in 1953, and yet, the essential question posed by the story is still the definitive question we will face if confronted with a vastly superior life form, presenting fundamental changes to our existence. It starts out as a “strait” hard science early-SF novel, but morphs into so much more. I wish I could go into more detail, but that would be a HUGE spoiler. Read it. This is one of the VERY few SF novels that I recommend to my non-SF friends – and they have all loved it.
I first read this book in the ’60s, when I was about 12 … what impressed me then, in the midst of the Cold War, was the sense that mankind could have a greater destiny, and could perhaps overcome the political turmoil that threatened nuclear destruction at any moment. The story is still as gripping 50 years later, and of course I understand the scope of the story now better than I did as a child, even though I notice little indications of the 50s mindset (like everything being from a very male perspective). Anyway, this is one of the great classics that every SF fan should read.
What do you think about our list of best sci-fi books? If you have another genre that you prefer to read we have probably compiled a list of our favorites for that genre too. So if you are looking for something other than the best sci-fi books you can find other genres here.