Best Science Fiction books (add your suggestions)


Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Here are what I consider some of the best Science Fiction books:

Dune (Frank Herbert)

Otherland (Tad William)

Night's Dawn (Peter Hamilton)

Fallen Dragon (Peter Hamilton)

Gap series (Steven R. Donaldson)

Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)

Armour (John Steakly)

Altered Carbon (Richard Morgan)

Market Crash (Richard Morgan)

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)

Necroscope (Brian Lumley)

Foundation series (Isaac Asimov)

Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein)

What are your favorite Science Fiction books?
The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons. Epic in scope, extremely well-written, and a joy for those of us who love "high" literature (but aren't too snooty to love Fantasy and SciFi), as Simmons references several classic works--for example, the very structure of the first novel in the series reminds the reader of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Additionally, one of the characters is a John Keats "cybrid" (you'll have to find out what that means yourself, if you haven't read these books). Also has some great military stuff and some interesting takes on religion. Characterization and world/universe building also exceptionally well-done. I could not put these books down.

Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clark--old-school SciFi for sure, but it still keeps me riveted...the ending has never left me.

Agree with Ender's Game and Dune...couldn't get through Otherland...need to check out the others


Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
The Hyperion Cantos is fantastic, it's on my Top 10 Science Fiction list.

Child's End is pretty good too. You should give Otherland a chance. It starts out really slow (something common to all of William's books) but one you get into it, it becomes really good.


Got in a fistfight with Dresden
Icarium's list

Here are some books and authors :mrgreen:


  • Alan Dean Foster[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Alistair Reynolds - Pushing Ice[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination [/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Arthur C. Clarke[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Charles Sheffield - Cold as Ice[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Charles Stross - Singularity Sky[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Chris Moriarty - Spin State[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • C. J. Cherryh[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Phillip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Elizabeth Bear - Wetwired trilogy[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Frank Herbert - Dune[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Frank M. Robinson - The Dark Beyond the Stars[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Greg Bear - Moving Mars, Darwin's Radio[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Iain M. Banks - Culture Universe novels[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Issac Asimov[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Jack L. Chalker - Well of Souls series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Jack Vance - The Demon Princes[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • James Alan Gardner - League of Peoples series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • James Blish - Cities in Flight[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Jerry Pournelle - King David's Spaceship[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Joan Slonczewski - Elysium Cycle series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Joe Haldeman - Forever War series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • John DeChancie - Skyway series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • John Scalzi - Old Man's War, The Android's Dream[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Julian May - Galactic Milieu trilogy[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Julie E. Czerneda - Webshifters series & Trade Pact series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Kathleen Ann Goonan - Nanotech series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Larry Niven - Ringworld series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Lois McMaster Bujold - The Vorkosigan series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Lyda Morehouse - Archangel Protocol[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash; The Diamond Age[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Nina K. Hoffman - A Fistful of Sky [/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Octavia Butler - Parable of the Sower [/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Peter F. Hamilton [/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Richard K. Morgan[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Robert Charles Wilson - Spin [/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Robert A. Heinlein[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap Cycle series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Steve White - The Prometheus Project[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Theodore Sturgeon - More Than Human[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Warren Ellis - Transmetropolitan (graphic novel series)[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Will McCarthy - Collapsium & Bloom[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • William Gibson - Neuromancer[/*:m:17xp6xhq]

Space Opera/Military Sci-fi

  • Dan Abnett[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • David Drake[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • David Weber[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • John Ringo[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Keith Laumer - Bolos[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Star Wars - Rogue Squadron novels[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Tanya Huff - Valour series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Timothy Zahn[/*:m:17xp6xhq]

Other Sci-fi mentions

  • Eric Flint - Rats, Bats & Vats; Mother of Demons; The Course of Empire[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Frank Schatzing - The Swarm[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • H. Beam Piper - Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Harry Turtledove - The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump; Worldwar series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Jack L. Chalker - Well of Souls series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Karen Traviss[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Kim Stanley Robinson - Mars Trilogy[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Patrick Tilley - Amtrak Wars series[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Peter Watts - Starfish[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Robin Cook (technically medical horror)[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
  • Stephen Baxter[/*:m:17xp6xhq]
I randomly picked up "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi and absolutely loved it. He has two other novels in the series though this first one is the best. Highly recommend reading it.

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
I liked Dune and the Dune Messiah was good during the last 50 pages. I haven't read the rest yet but have them on my book shelf (at least up to number 6). Not sure if I want to read Paul of Dune, given all the bad things I have heard from the other prequels.

I haven't read much sci-fi but I really enjoyed Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin.
Foundation, Dune and the Ender series were my favorite.
Loved Starship Troopers and Enders Game along with many others on your list. On my personal list I would have to have Stanger in a Strange Land; reading that book was almost a life changing experience.
1 Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein (1961) I still talk about this book years after reading it. It is the closest a single book has come to changing my life.
2 Ender books, I personally like the shadow books a bit more since they expanded the story.
3 Honor Harrington series by Weber, David is a nice series.
4 Elizabeth Moon has some nice dramatic sci fi focusing more on characters than events.
5 Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is very nice as well.
6 The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold had a few very nice early books, the later ones became a bit to much of the same.
7 William Gibson - Neuromancer, the book that got me into reading sci fi at all, still well worth the read.

There are other good sci fi as well, but felt wrong to nominate more than a single book by Heinlein so left it like that. :)

Edit: corrected a spelling mistake
I guess that my favorite Sci-Fi would be the Perdergast Novels by D. Preson/L. Child. Although not traditional Sci-Fi I would say they fit into this category.
I have to add my vote for Stranger in a Strange Land. Other than that Dune and Enders Game are my favorites. Within the last 15 years... Timeline. Not the same story as the movie at all.
I'm a huge fan of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. True, it's a Star Wars series, but I love it. Grand Admiral Thrawn has got to be one of the most interesting antagonists I've read which makes for a wholly engrossing story since we already love (or hate) Luke, Leia, Han, etc. :)

I'm also definitely on board with Starship Troopers and Ender's Game.
A notice for my recommendation for Stranger in a Strange Land, I read the uncut version of it, not the original release version. So I can't claim it deserves a spot on the top in the shorter version since I've never read it. :)
I really liked Stranger in a Strange Land too. I think the Moon is a Harsh Mistress might be the best Heinlen book (of the ones I've read) though. I would put Starship Troopers a close third. Kind of like 1A, !B and 1C.

Is Dune really that good? I have to tell you I didnt love the movies, but I will give it a try if people swear by it. I guess Starship Troopers the movie did little for the book. I discovered Asimov' Foundation here and am currently enjoying the series thanks. It was really hard to overcome a prejudice against trying old science fiction writers since so much as changed in 50 years, but Heinlen and Asimov are really fantastic.
I liked Enders Game and Dune. Otherland was far too boring and slow. If you liked Enders Game, Orson Scott Card has a new series out called Empire, which is as good as Enders Game.
My favorites:

Altered Carbon (Morgan) Sci-fi meets noir

Illium (Simmons) Olympos which is the sequal makes the list too. The Illiad meets sci-fi

Ender's Game (Card) Sci-fi classic

Diamond Age (Stephenson) Fascinating technology and detail.

Ringworld (Niven) Amazing depth and scientific thought to make a plausible world.

I swear I had more but that all I can think of right now.