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
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
Author George Pendle explores the fascinating and unorthodox life of a brilliant scientist in his book "Strange Angel."
The tech that Gibson predicted 30+ years ago in Neuromancer now feels closer to reality than fiction.
By Chris Mahon
Science fiction owes a debt to a dude born when many people still thought the Earth was the center of the Universe: William Shakespeare.
We partnered with award-winning science fiction author Greg Bear to create a five-book collection that deserves a home in your personal library.
From the award-winning author of "The Forever War" comes a sci-fi mystery set in a world where death is optional—as long as you can pay.
These spellbinding reads are one with the Force.
The award-winning writer talks sexuality, race, and letting readers experience his work without authorial interference.
Ring in the new year with a chance to win ten out-of-this-world books.
After escaping from prison, three people from different centuries run from the religious zealot who pursues them.
By Olivia Mason
You can't save the world alone. Luckily, these books can help.
This beautifully written space opera explores race, class, and history.