The 20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time 

If you are like me, then you also enjoy a great science fiction novel. But finding a good science fiction novel is not easy. There are millions of science fiction books to choose from. That is why we decided to list the 20 best science fiction novels of all time. Keep reading to see what books made our list! 

The 20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time 

The science fiction genre has a lot more than 20 great science fiction novels. Choosing only 20 is going to leave off some classics. Part of the fun is starting discussions and seeing which books fans fight for. No list is ever going to get it right and these lists help readers find books that they will enjoy. You can see the full list below! 

The 20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time 

The Best of the Best 

As you can see, the list ended up being dominated by novels that most people know or heard of. These novels are popular for a reason, and you can only understand that after reading them. And no, you probably won’t like every novel on the list but someone else might like the novel you disliked the most.  

What I love about this list is that you can choose any novel from this list and read it and you will be immersed. These authors have created works of fiction that will live on for centuries. Novels such as Frankenstein and The Handmaid’s Tale are important works of fiction that many readers will gravitate towards no matter what year it is. 


That is all for our list of the 20 best science fiction novels of all time. Which novels should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below! 

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24 thoughts on “The 20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time 

  1. Mary jo Leifermann says:

    I love reading it has gotten me through some very bad and hard times in my life… I could not imagine not reading .. I thank God every day to be blessed with reading skills !

    1. Robert Dick says:

      Read” Jonathan Livingston Seagull” , it’s great!!!

  2. John says:

    Have any of you people ever heard of one the greatest Sci fi writers of all time
    EE Doc Smith, obviously you haven’t
    Try his classic lensman series to start with which is better than most of the junk you have nominated

    1. Geoff says:

      Seriously. The Lensman Chronicles is fantastic. I’m reading the Skylark series right now. So much fun!

    2. Melvyn Stevenson says:

      I read quite a lot of science fiction. And one of my favourites is A voyage to arcturus by David Lindsay. I don’t care for the majority of the ones you mention.
      Some I would not even class as s.f..thank you.

  3. Jan says:

    Well, remove Orwell’s 1984, it’s just a boring copy of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s “We” published in 1920. And seriously, Alfred Bester’s “The star’s my destination/Tigerman” would have made my list any day. Preferably before Larry Niven’s “Ringworld”, which is a great story, but unfortunately it feels rather dated now.

  4. Roderick Millar says:

    What – no John Wyndham? The Day Of The Triffids and The Midwych Cuckoos are two strong contenders.

    1. Robert Lee says:

      I’d like to recommend Piers Anthony’s Bio of a Space Tyrant respectfully.

      1. Rich Zarr says:

        Conpiling lists like this are usually a fool’s errand. There is infinite room for disagreement, some book missed, one not worthy. That’ll being said, one glaring omission in my view is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, particularly poignant today with the focus on AI

  5. Mats Bertil Pauls says:

    The SF genre is short story genre to very high degree.

  6. william e jackson says:

    Was troubled you did not include either Left Hand of Darkness or The Dispossessed.

  7. Duff says:

    Ringworld was possibly the worst book I’ve ever read. Shallow characters on the most boring trip ever. It was a great concept wasted on a sloppy author who could barely write a coherent sentence much less a well thought out novel.

  8. Ton Jeursen says:

    Slan by A.E. van Vogt is one of my favorites.

  9. SB Akshobhya says:

    In which universe is The Handmaids Tale a sci-fi? It’s dystopia, I agree. Scratching my brain, read it in 2019, but no way it’s sci-fi.

  10. A Betts says:

    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C Clarke. There’s a reason why so many directors wanted to film it.

  11. Skip Ashseed says:

    This is a terrible list. Yes, these are great books, but did you stop reading SF in 1990? Do books have to age in a barrel of gamma rays for 30 years before you consider them great?

  12. Anonymous says:

    2001 was not Clarke’s best work — Childhood’s End, The City and the Stars were infinitely better

  13. Bram says:

    Same list as always… would be nice to see some of these drop off and add some of the new talented authors. There have been amazing novels written since most of these but we ignore them because we’re told that these novels are the pinnacle. They aren’t. Instead of being a parrot, why not form your own opinions and write an article with more worthwhile contenders.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would replace the Atwood with Leguin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, but this is a pretty respectable list.


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