In the past few decades, there have been quite a considerable amount of sci-fi books published. That being said, there can be too many for readers to get through; having said that, however, there are a variety of stand-out novels, short stories and series’ that sci-fi fans should give a chance. With that in mind, here are some of the best sci-fi books ever written.
50. Slaughterhouse Five
Despite its horror-esque title, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.
49. Snow Crash
Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre and outrageous, that it’s almost impossible to forget.
48. The Caves Of Steel
This is the first in a series that pairs a detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together in a world that’s making less and less sense.
47. I Am Legend
Another novel that needs no introduction due to the extensive films that have been based on it. In comparison to the films, this offers a few more surprises than many may think.
This follows the main character as he realizes that a newly inhabited planet brings out the most harrowing and repressed memories in those who live there. But how can they make it stop?
45. Lord Of Light
On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology and made themselves immortal gods. But who’ll be able to lead the rebellion and stop them?
44. The Mote In God’s Eye
This follows the discovery of an ancient civilization, at least one million years old, are welcoming, kind, yet evasive, with a dark problem they have not solved in over a million years.
43. The Andromeda Strain
After ignoring advice from preeminent scientists, the American government accidentally manages to bring a space virus to Earth, with all the consequences that follow.
42. Cat’s Cradle
Written with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut’s cult tale follows the aftermath of the apocalypse and everything that comes with it.
Aliens make contact with Earth, giving humanity the resources need to travel space and meet this new species. But could it be worth it?
Humanity has opened a gateway to the rest of the Universe, but what happens when humanity uses said gateway too much for their own gain?
39. Jurassic Park
Another novel that needs no introduction, Jurassic Park features plenty more story that the movie adaptions would suggest.
This scathing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation is a tour de force of paranoid menace and absurd comedy, in which the dead offer business advice, buy their next reincarnation and run the risk of dying again.
37. The Day of the Triffids
Set immediately before and after a meteor shower, the majority of humanity has been blinded and must manage to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world.
36. The Gods Themselves
The main plot-line is a project by those who inhabit a parallel universe (the para-Universe) with different physical laws from this one. By exchanging matter from their universe with our universe, they seek to exploit the differences in physical laws.
35. A Fire Upon The Deep
Thousands of years in the future, many races inhabit a universe where a mind’s potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths.
34. A Wrinkle In Time
The main characters father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. What could have happened?
33. A Canticle For Leibowitz
This award winning story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to redo its greatest mistakes.
32. The Dispossessed
The Dispossessed follows the main characters attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe.
31. Battlefield Earth
A surprisingly competent entry by L. Ron Hubbard, this follows the story of humanity being enslaved and the subsequent revolt.
30. The End Of Eternity
This follows the story of an Eternal, a man whose job it is to range through past and present Centuries, monitoring and, where necessary, altering Time’s myriad cause-and-effect relationships. But are things about to change drastically?
29. Time Enough For Love
Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds.
28. Flowers For Algernon
This tells the story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. Surely, he won’t see the same outcome as the lab rat?
27. To Your Scattered Bodies Go
To Your Scattered Bodies Go is the beginning to the story of Riverworld, Philip José Farmer’s unequaled tale about life after death.
26. The Reality Disfunction
Centuries in the future, humanity has colonized planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Surely, a catastrophe won’t have too much of an effect, right?
Not see your favorite sci-fi books on the list? Don’t worry, as we still have a few more to get through. You can also check out the first entry on the list here, and check out some more of the greatest sci-fi books here. What are your favorite sci-fi books? Let us know in the comments below!