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The Best Science Fiction Novels – The List Compiled By You

old man's warI like having smart friends.

After the best fantasy books discussion, I went back and made a complete list with all of the novels that you genius readers suggested. Today I’m going to do the same thing with the best science fiction novels (and a couple of shorter works), taken from your comments and emails.

Here goes:

  1. The Last Legends of Earth by A.A. Attanasio
  2. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  3. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  4. Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
  5. Wild Cards be George RR Martin (I have to add that for any horror fans who also love Martin, his short story Sandkings is about the freakiest thing I have ever read)
  6. Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect by Roger Williams
  7. The Regiment by John Dalmas
  8. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (this is who I think of when I think of hard science fiction)
  9. Crytonomicon, also by Stephenson
  10. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  11. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  12. Dune by Frank Herbert
  13. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  14. Starfish by Peter Watts
  15. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  16. Count Zero by William Gibson
  17. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  18. Stardance by Spider and Jeanne Robinson
  19. Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
  20. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
  21. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  22. Arthur C. Clarke’s 4 Parts of Rama
  23. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  24. Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, Woken Furies (those are three different books) by Richard Morgan
  25. Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (This is one of the Culture novels. I haven’t read it but did recently read The Player of Games from the same series and enjoyed it)
  26. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
  27. Starfarers by Poul Anderson
  28. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  29. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  30. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  31. This Perfect Day by Ira Levin
  32. Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein
  33. The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
  34. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  35. Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvius with Rama
  36. Bio of a Space Tyrant by Piers Anthony
  37. Starship Troopers by Heinlein

Even during the writing of this list, I thought of so many more that I could add. But I’ll leave that to you for now. Let’s see if we can get a couple hundred titles here.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers March 20, 2011, 5:16 pm

    When I was much younger (probably before I was 10), I read The Green Recuit by Gary Paulsen (it’s geared toward younger readers). At the time of the story, basketball player are being recruited from other planets. One of the recruits has a good game (or maybe is just tall?), but is green (I think the others might be brown?). Elements of sci-fi, sports, and social commentary (the evils of racism) in a pretty short book.

    It’s not a book that you’ll find on a lot of “best of” lists (and it’s been out of print for a while), but it made a mark.

  • Avil Beckford March 21, 2011, 6:29 am


    What would be more helpful than just a list is if the person who recommended the book, wrote a one-sentence description so others can decide if they want to read that book. I’m not big on science or fantasy fiction, but based on recommendations I have read a couple and enjoyed them.

    Thanks! Avil

    • Josh Hanagarne March 21, 2011, 2:15 pm

      Avil, I’d take a look at the comments on the previous post that inspired this one. They each have more than a sentence. I’m not going to sum these ones up because I haven’t read them all.

  • Lindsey March 21, 2011, 6:35 am

    Neil Stephenson’s Anathem is one of my favorite books ever. Absolutely brilliant.

  • Gustavo March 21, 2011, 12:44 pm

    I like these lists you are building. Do you have an ultimate plan for them? What’s your evil plan?

    • Josh Hanagarne March 21, 2011, 2:15 pm

      The evil plan is to have more books suggested for me to read. And it’s working. You’ve all fallen for the trap.

  • alex March 25, 2011, 2:16 am

    hey friend just an fyi a couple titles are listed twice. I like stephenson as much as the next cyberpunk junkie but snow crash cant be 3 and 8 on the list.

  • Austin May 12, 2011, 3:49 am

    Ender’s game is underrated in my opinion. It’s an amazingly good book, period. I wish it were higher. Anyone who hasn’t read should read it and you will agree