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
When an ex-spy receives a ticket aboard a galactic train, he's tasked with preventing the outbreak of a devastating space war.
By Olivia Mason
These words hooked readers from the very beginning.
Which of these best sci-fi shows are your favorites?
This Moroccan-inspired novel confronts prejudice and colonialism on another planet.
Many Fallout fans still don't know that the franchise was partially inspired by Harlan Ellison's seminal short story.
These are some of the most fascinating pieces of tech ever envisioned in hard science fiction — and they might become reality sooner than you'd think.
Octavia Butler's editor looks back at some of the worst — and best — out-of-print covers for the late author's influential books.
The Grand Master wrote experimental science fiction for the British New Wave of the 1960s and 70s.
By Olivia Mason
It can be dark and gritty in space — but for writers of queer romance, sci-fi settings also bring newfound freedom.
By Kelly Jensen
In a future controlled by computers, a codifier discovers a terrifying secret that places everyone at risk.
A 14-year-old con becomes the host of an endangered dragon—and embarks on his most perilous undertaking yet.
Read the excerpt below, then download the book!
When humans arrive on the planet Midworld, they convince an unsuspecting native to help them find a depleting natural resource.
The short stories in Isaac Asimov's I, Robot may prove useful when it comes time to welcome our robot overlords.
When an anthropologist investigates an alien society on a foreign planet, she begins to question the benefits of human intervention.
The future is here.
A new Amazon deal may lead to adaptations of work by Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear, and other acclaimed authors.