Science fiction has been one of the most popular genres in history, attracting a significant amount of readers and viewers across almost every medium. However, this has led to a significant amount of people not knowing where to start when it comes to sci-fi books. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, with a significant amount of sci-fi books standing out from the crowd.
With that in mind, over the past few weeks, we’ve been ranking some of the best sci-fi books ever written. That being said, we’ve already covered the majority of these books over the past few weeks. However, what about the top 25? With that in mind, here are the top sci-fi books ever written.
25. Tau Zero
Written by Poul Anderson, Tau Zero follows a group of 25 men and 25 women as they struggle to reach the nearby Beta Virginis. However, their ship is broken halfway through their journey, with the crew desperate to figure out how to proceed.
24. Stranger In A Strange Land
This focuses on a human raised on Mars but relocated to Earth as he struggles to understand the complexities and nuances of his new planet. By focusing on telling the story through this person’s eyes, we’re able to settle into the landscape in the same capacity as our hero, helping create a perfect entry into the overall plot.
23. Starship Troopers
Set during a space war (either the third of fourth, depending on the character’s viewpoint), this follows a soldier as he begins his training and eventually sets off for interstellar war.
One of the best data thieves on the planet, the central character is tasked with a last-chance run against an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. This also blends a few unique twists and turns that can get readers hooked in a matter of pages.
21. Childhood’s End
Humanity has been enslaved by the Overlords who have effectively made the planet peaceful. But at what cost? Throughout the story, we’re drawn in enough to have the same emotions running through our veins as the characters themselves, helping to create an unforgettable experience.
20. Brave New World
This 1931 dystopian novel futuristic World State of genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy. Readers are dragged into a complex story that has them hooked within the first few pages and which is hard to drag yourself back out of.
19. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
This bestseller focuses on the rebellion of a former penal colony on the Moon against its masters on the Earth and the subsequent turmoil. Through this it’s also able to comment on and highlight a variety of other social issues without detracting from the overall story.
18. Kabu, Kabu
Similar to After The Apocalypse, this book weaves together a number of sci-fi and other genre bending stories into one cohesive blend of seemingly unrelated stories. With the variety of stories on offer, readers won’t be getting bored anytime soon.
17. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
A blend of a number of seemingly unrelated events, this novel adds a lot more intrigue and mystery to the sci-fi genre while also bending many of its rules. Through the story we’re brought into a beautiful world that’s almost impossible to forget.
16. A Scanner Darkly
This follows an undercover narcotics agent who calls himself Bob Arctor is desperate to discover the ultimate source of Substance D. But to find any kind of lead he has to pose as a user and, inevitably, without realising what is happening, Arctor is soon as addicted as the junkies he works alongside.
15. Revelation Space
Written by Alastair Reynolds, Revelation Space follows a number of seemingly unrelated people who end up being involved in a galaxy wide threat to humanity.
14. The Forever War
Written by Joe Haldeman, The Forever War tells the story of a group of soldiers locked in battle with an extra-terrestrial species that seemingly never stops.
13. Rendezvous With Rama
Written by Arthur C. Clarke, this tale follows a group of people exploring a mysterious alien ship that mysteriously appears in the solar system. Throughout the exploration, mystery and intrigue awaits.
12. The Demolished Man
Alfred Bester’s award-winning novel is set in a world where telepathy is common, and the inverted detective story takes a number of surprising twists and turns. With these twists, The Demolished Man has enough to keep readers enthralled from start to finish.
11. After The Apocalypse Series
After The Apocalypse is a series of short stories that weave together a number of different apocalyptic scenarios; it’s unique blend of sci-fi and horror takes quite an innovative approach to the genre.
10. The War Of The Worlds
The War of the Worlds has been told countless times across a variety of media and needs very few introductions; Mars attacks Earth and this tells the story of humanity attempting to defend itself.
Larry Niven’s classic follows a 200 year old man that’s offered a mysterious job; an expedition to the Ringworld, which ends up going terribly wrong when the Ringworld ends up defending itself from its perceived invaders.
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Once an enigma is uncovered and investigations begin, things begin to take a horrifying turn for everyone involved. With the movie of the same name, 2001: A Space Odyssey managed to
7. Do Android’s Dream Of Electric Sheep?
Better known to people as the Blade Runner film, this also doesn’t need much of an introduction. Any fan of the film will definitely enjoy the novel it’s based on.
This sci-fi and horror blend doesn’t need an introduction, but is highly recommended for anyone interested in either genre. With a unique blend of horror and science fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein managed to captivate audiences across generations.
5. Ready Player One
Due to the success of the recent movie adaption, this definitely doesn’t need an introduction. Suffice it to say that a virtual reality game has become addictive for much of humanity. But, what happens when someone tries to take control?
4. The Stars My Destination
In this novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people can move miles by merely thinking about it; the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men. But one lowly outcast could mean salvation for everyone.
3. Ender’s Game
Focused on the results of genetic experimentation as well as manipulation, Ender’s Game and its sequels feature a number of twists and turns throughout the plot. This also got a film adaption of the same name, which also helped to see a resurgence of popularity for what went on to become a cult classic.
Written by Frank Herbert, Dune centers on a member of a member of a Noble House that owns an inhospitable planet; however, the planet is the sole source of a mineral that can enhance mental abilities.
1984 doesn’t need much in the way of an introduction. George Orwell’s classic is a must read for anyone interested in dystopian sci-fi novels.
Don’t see your favorite sci-fi book on the list? That doesn’t mean that we’ve missed it; on the contrary, we may have covered it in one of the other positions on the list. With that in mind, be sure to check out each of the other entries in our list. What’s your favorite science fiction book? Let us know in the comments below!