Note: This article was last updated on 3/2/20. Check back soon for more free books!
When today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors were looking for inspiration, they turned to the classics. And we continue reading those same books (year after year) because they stand the test of time.
Every month, we’re bringing you a selection of must-read, sci-fi and fantasy classics that you can download for free. In addition to these classics, we’ll update this article with other free sci-fi and fantasy books by up-and-coming authors throughout the month. You can also check back next month for a new list of out-of-this-world free ebooks.
Three students of sociology journey into an uncharted region of South America to put to rest the rumors that an all-female civilization lives there. Impossible, they tell themselves: How would such a society reproduce? And even if they magically overcame that obstacle, women certainly could not survive in the middle of the jungle without men to protect them and tell them what to do.
Not only does an all-female village exist, it is one of the most advanced civilizations on record. The women are strong and kind, pragmatic and creative, wise and happy. They have two thousand years’ worth of remarkable history. As the three explorers learn how Herland came to be, they start to question everything they thought they knew about “the fairer sex.”
With its groundbreaking blend of science fiction and feminism, Herland paved the way for authors such as Margaret Atwood and Octavia E. Butler.
When her true love is abducted by mysterious creatures, a girl must summon the strength to save him
From the moment they met as young children, Bee and George have been bound together by a deep love. But when George goes off on a quest to a forbidden lake, home to dangerous water nymphs, it is up to Bee to rescue him. On her adventure she meets Loc, the king of the dwarfs, who proves to be more kind and generous than the humans she knows. Even as he showers her with riches in an attempt to make her stay, Bee never loses sight of her purpose: finding George. She will do anything to get him back.
A fairy tale for all ages, Bee: The Princess of the Dwarfs is a classic that has delighted children and adults alike for more than a century with its ebullient characters and wondrous worlds.
Looking Backward, 2000–1887
A masterwork of science fiction that imagines the world not just how it could be, but how it should be
In Boston in the year 1887, Julian West is hypnotized and falls into a deep sleep. He awakens at the dawn of a new millennium in an America where war, crime, and inequality no longer exist. In this brave new world, goods are delivered in the blink of an eye, public kitchens ensure that no one goes hungry, and the retirement age is forty-five. It sounds too good to be true, but Julian soon learns that this socialist utopia is not the stuff of dreams—it is a carefully planned, wondrously liberating reality.
One of the bestselling American novels of the nineteenth century, Looking Backward launched a vibrant political movement and sparked an enormous amount of debate. Today it stands as an enduring testament to the power of imagination and the best of human nature.
The Last Man
Mary Shelley’s astounding look at the end of the world
Set at the end of the twenty-first century, The Last Man is a moving and fantastical account of the apocalypse. Faced with a populace clamoring for more democratic rule, the last king of England relinquishes his throne. Suddenly a mysterious plague sweeps the globe, drawing ever nearer to England. As war, disease, and death ravage humanity, ideals of fairness and love are quickly supplanted by the imperative of survival.
With semibiographical characters drawn from Shelley’s own inner circle of friends and colleagues, this book is at once a look at the end of mankind and a critique of Romanticism. The Last Man’s themes of destruction resonate as much now as they did nearly two hundred years ago.
A Princess of Mars
Transported to Mars, a Civil War veteran fights to rescue a princess in this classic science fiction adventure story from the creator of Tarzan
Prospecting in the mountains of Arizona, John Carter is attacked by Apache warriors. Cornered in a cave, he thinks his life is finished, but when he emerges, the Apache are nowhere to be seen and the landscape is like nothing on Earth. John Carter has been transported to Mars—and the universe will never be the same.
The shift in gravity gives Carter superhuman powers of strength, speed, and agility. On Earth, he was but a man. On Mars, he is a god. And he will need all the power he can muster, for the red planet—called Barsoom by its inhabitants—is in the grips of its own civil war. To save the legendary Princess Dejah Thoris, Carter must defeat legions of giant, four-armed green barbarians and travel thousands of miles across a landscape populated with monstrous flora and fauna.
The first volume in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s beloved Barsoom series, A Princess for Mars is one of the wildest and most imaginative tales ever told.
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