The Five Best Science Fiction Books to Read

Science Fiction novels are some of the best works of fiction when done right. They use science to push the boundaries of fiction and are also great plot enhancers. There are a lot of great science fiction novels books but we will narrow it down to the best five science fiction books out there.

This is just my opinion and it is biased and relies on books that I have read. While I enjoy science fiction novels, there are a lot of important science fiction novels that are still unread at the moment. 

The Five Best Science Fiction Books

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
  2. The Martian Andy Weir
  3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  5. Dune by Frank Herbert

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book cover
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams is not only great writing but it is also hilarious. Balancing humor and sci-fi is not an easy task but Adams does just that. It doesn’t take the genre serious which works in the series favor.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Blade Runner movie
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

The second novel on this list goes to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. It is about a bounty hunter sent to hunt robots pretending to be humans. But what happens when you cannot tell the difference?


Frankenstein book cover

The third title is the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It is one of the earliest works of science fiction and has an influx of philosophy as well. Also, the monster’s name is not Frankenstein, contrary to popular belief.


Dune sci-fi science fiction novel review summary
Dune book review

Dune by Frank Herbert is the first science fiction novel to get acknoledged by the mainstream media. It was also the first book (Children of Dune) to top the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel also an amazing fantasy novel with its amazing world building which makes it hard to put down once you start reading it.

The Martian

Book Cover for The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir

The fifth and final novel on the list goes to The Martian by Andy Weir. He is an amazing sci-fi writer and this novel started it all. It is about a man who gets stranded in Mars and needs to survive until he is rescued.


And that concludes the list. What novels should have been on this list? Would you like to see included in out next list? You can check out the video that accompanies this article down below! 

The Five Best Science Fiction Books video

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41 thoughts on “The Five Best Science Fiction Books to Read

  1. jshallett says:

    Its hard to argue your list. I think Ringworld by Larry Niven should be somewhere in the mix

      1. jshallett says:

        Yeah its a hard list to narrow down, when I was thinking of it Ringworld floated to the top, but my first thoughts were …An
        ything by Azimov, PK Dick, Heinlien of course. I had to stop there. There is so much good scifi its hard to choose.

      2. Ahaqir says:

        Yea. I hated leaving Enders Game off the list. A lot of great choices

      3. jshallett says:

        LOL this conversation could go on forever. Enders game is solid too, I’ll raise with the Expanse novels by James S.A. Corey

      4. Ahaqir says:

        I’ll make a part two and come back to this conversation so thanks! 👍

      5. Calvin E Lash Jr says:

        Your list of 5 is just ok.
        Not spectacular.
        My personal preferences are Dune,
        I Robot
        And of course the 1946
        CITY by Simak
        Which i have been rereading since i was about 12.
        I reread it a few days ago.
        Im 82.
        He added a 9th chapter in around 1976 at the request of a pal.

      6. Ken says:

        I enthusiastically endorse Ringworld as well.
        I can’t imagine a “5 best SF” list that doesn’t include Dune (just the first book, not the sequels).

      7. Ahaqir says:

        I’ve never gotten around to reading it but I shall in the next few months!

      8. ROBERT CUBINELLI says:

        Good 5- novel list, but – ehm ehm – where is Isaac Asimov ? Oh well, maybe on the next list (any Aimov novel will do).

    1. Dolores Trojak says:

      The Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Brilliant in it’s layering. Ahead of it’s time in visualizing world’s. My favorite is the last book in the series. I like your list tho!!

      1. Ahaqir says:

        Thanks! I posted an updated list today that had more science fiction books.

  2. Danny Watts says:

    Read them all (including Ringworld), might I also through out there Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

      1. Harold says:

        Outstanding shortlist, but concur that Isaac Asimov could’ve easily made the list. One of the best sci-fi books I’ve read in recent years was “The Reactivation of Albert Doyle”.

  3. Bob says:

    Sorry, not even close. While all are great, none of those are top 5.

  4. Michael Fortenberry says:

    I would add Dune by Frank Herbert. I’ll have to check whether you have a list for Fantasy vs Science Fiction. If including fantasy, I would add The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson; a first and second trilogy followed by a quadrilogy.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      My two reasons for not adding it is that it doesn’t feel like a sci-fi book even though I know it is categorized as one and the other reason is that while I do think it is an important book, it isn’t necessary the best book out there.

  5. Living Off Potatoes says:

    The Martian is outstanding. The movie did well but the book had so much depth, breathtakingly entertaining while still being suspensefully bleak enough that you feel rescued at the end as well.

    The “sequel” has been on my bedside table for half a decade and I have to assume it won’t live up to the expectation I have built up for it, since the original is just so dàmn good.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      Artemis was a good book. I think his newest book is much better but that might be because of my personal preference. Any book written by Weir is a must read!

  6. David Roberts says:

    You definitely should include Dune. It could replace Hitchhiker’s Guide, which is more humor than science fiction. To find good SF to read, I recommend checking the lists of past Hugo and Nebula award winners. You’ll find some great stuff. Also try Canticle for Leibowitz and Earh Abides.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      I haven’t read Dune partly because there are a lot of books in the series but I will read it after all the comments about it being included. Hitchhiker’s is funny but it definitely is still sci-fi. And I shall visit those lists to add to my reading list!

  7. David Roberts says:

    For Dune, don’t bother with the whole series. The first one is the classic. Neither of the movies come close to doing it justice.

    1. Michael Fortenberry says:

      I would agree until this past year when Dune hit the big screen. That version is excellent though it does fall short in its representation of the Sand Worms. The second part is promised and many are excited at the prospect.

  8. Allen b says:

    Walter Miller’s Canticle for Leibovitz is one of the greatest sci fi novels. It should be on your list

  9. Pete says:

    Stranger in a Strange land and Caves of Steel , both brilliant books and set the path for the genre for the next fifty years.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      I enjoyed strangers in a strange land a lot. Will have to check out caves if steel

    2. Anonymous says:

      Stranger in a Strange Land started me on my love of SciFi. Always quoting parts if it.

  10. Betsy Doyle says:

    I agree with you, Bob. I would not have chosen these sci-fi novels.

    TL;DR: I explain why I disagree, even though I do like some of the books. Then I give a list of fifteen sci-fi novels, any of which I would include in a list of the Five Best Sci-Fi Books.

    I think of the “best” sci-fi books as ones that are influential or groundbreaking, but must be also great reads. I love Hitchiker’s Guide the Galaxy, and have read it and the whole series more than once, and am pleased a comedy is included in this list; however, I don’t think of it as one a groundbreaking or influential sci-fi books.

    The other four I have read, but most I had to slog through; Frankenstein, though I really like it, seems to me to be more a gothic horror novel than an important sci-fi novel, perhaps because I read it alongside Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If Frankenstein gets on the list, the Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson should also be included: it has the “mad scientist,” uses chemistry instead of electricity, and psychiatry.

    Here are books, any of which I would put on the list instead of those five, depending on the criteria for “best” (I’m including only books I’ve read)(my criteria are influential or groundbreaking; and great reads):

    – [ ] War of the Worlds, H G Wells;
    – [ ] Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne;
    – [ ] Fahrenheit 451, or the Martian Chronicles, both by Ray Bradbury;
    – [ ] Kindred, Octavia Butler (time travel; influenced other writers);
    – [ ] 1984, by George Orwell;
    – [ ] Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (Nobel laureate for Literature);
    – [ ] Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K Le Guin;
    – [ ] A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle;
    – [ ] Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood;
    – [ ] Binti, Nnedi Okorafor;
    – [ ] One Thousand and One Nights (proto sci-fi? Has stories that feature robots, space travel, and a utopian society);
    – [ ] Canterbury Tales, “The Squire’s Tale,” Geoffrey Chaucer (a special mirror explained with optics);
    – [ ] Utopia, Thomas More; and
    – [ ] A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.


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