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
The author shares why he's fascinated by time travel, and talks the upcoming adaptation of "Needle in a Timestack."
Celebrate the science fiction icon.
Boy, have we got a story for you.
A new show reveals the unbelievable true story of Jack Parsons, sex magician and pioneering rocket scientist.
By Carolyn Cox
Travel far beyond your basic English class curriculum…
In the future, 17-year-old Anax takes an oral exam on 21st century history, hoping to gain acceptance into an elite government institution.
You’re going to wish you could fast-forward to the premiere.
How much do you really know about the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” author?
An intimate look at the late literary icon.
By Carolyn Cox
In the wake of a nuclear holocaust, a professional wrestler becomes the sole protector of the world's only hope for survival—a 9-year-old psychic.
In Joanna Russ' Nebula Award-winning book, an alliance between four women raises questions about gender roles and identity.
Celebrating the best and the brightest in the SF/F community.
These unique speculative fiction stories transcend genre.
Author Emily Devenport looks at classism in America through the lens of her upcoming sci-fi novel Medusa Uploaded.
In Allen Steele's Time Loves a Hero, a journey to the past may change the centuries to come.
A famous poet must decipher a strange alien language before it becomes a weapon of mass destruction.
Virtual reality escapism is just the beginning...
Martin says the TV series of his sci-fi novella will be "Psycho in space."
Possessing hope and a strange ability, Lauren is thrust into an unknown world with a seemingly impossible goal.
Haldeman’s military science fiction was heavily influenced by his time in combat.
By Joe Haldeman