Since the publication of the first-ever sci-fi book—arguably Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein—the genre has been in constant dialogue with our present. Sci-fi books encourage readers to envision new realities, and often prove prescient, both in imagining tech that eventually becomes real, and predicting events that come to pass.
The breadth of the genre can make it seem intimidating to new readers, but we recommend 50 of the best sci-fi novels ever to start your reading voyage. Or, you can explore sci-fi’s eras in chronological order, from the early classics by authors such as Jules Verne and H.G Wells and the so-called Golden Age of Sci-Fi, to the New Wave, to more recent must-reads from the past few decades.
Alternatively, it’s possible to break your sci-fi book exploration down into subgenres. Do you prefer interstellar epics with drama on a galactic scale? Consider space opera. Do you want your stories to be grounded in reality and natural sciences? Then hard sci-fi is probably for you.
Or perhaps you’re a veteran sci-fi reader whose shelves are heavy with staples of the genre. In that case, The Portalist recommends hidden gems and underrated books to complete your collection.
Regardless of where you are on your sci-fi reading journey, The Portalist’s sci-fi book stories can guide you on your voyage among the stars
Looking for a new story to try? Keep an eye out for these exciting books.
William Shatner’s illustrated memoirs give fans a look behind the curtain of Star Trek movies and TV shows.
If the young adult in your life needs a new series to help them procrastinate on their homework, try one of these fantastic speculative options.
These quartets and tetralogies offer compelling storylines and character relationships.
These characters are forced to compete in brutal contests, often to the death.
These authors know how to "science the s***" out of fiction.
Explore shocking dystopian universes in Dick’s powerful novels.
Bestselling author Pierce Brown's latest book, Light Bringer, is available July 25.