It’s no secret that sci-fi books are my first love. I’ve fallen away from the genre recently, though, which is why I decided to get help for this post!
I asked fellow book-lovers and bloggers around the Interwebs for their top picks, and the result is 21 top sci-fi books for summer!
Here are the wonderful people who contributed to this post! Thanks guys!
- Ryan from Creative Notice
- My brother Bryan (he has no blog, as far as I know)
- Litha from Victorian Soul Critiques
- Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
- Wesley from Library Educated
- Emma from Words and Peace
- YA author Michelle G. Miller
- Tif from Tif Talks Books
If you need any more awesome books to read, check out their blogs.
Without further ado, here are the top sci-fi books chosen by bloggers and book-lovers!
The Starbounders by
The Starbounders series follows the adventures of Zachary Night as he heads off to space camp to learn how to protect the galaxy. But as everyone knows, things can never go as planned in space, and Zach and friends uncover a dangerous plot to destroy the earth. Can Zach and friends get back to earth in time to save the day?
Starbounders is an excellent middle-grade sci-fi series full of action, adventure, and humor.
All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
From the cover, I thought this was a graphic novel. It isn’t (however, there is a graphic novel version). It was recently made into the movie The Edge of Tomorrow, which is why I picked it up, but All You Need Is Kill is the perfect sci-fi novel. It reminded me why I used to love reading science fiction so much when I was younger. It has action, time travel, aliens, global war, and even a bit of romance. Although the book is all about replaying the same battle over and over, it didn’t read too action-heavy.
Basically, Keiji Kiriya is a regular soldier about to face his first battle. Suited up in a mech suit, he runs straight into trouble and… dies. But the next day, he wakes up and it is yesterday. Keiji must figure out how to defeat the aliens that kill him every day and uncover just why this endless time loop is happening. Think groundhog day with mech suits.
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers follows a similar plot to All You Need is Kill, in that the story is about a new soldier learning to fight the enemy. However, what makes this book stand out is the political and satire undertones that may make you question everything you thought about war. Starship Troopers borders on dystopian fiction, but just narrowly manages to avoid it.
World War Z by Max Brooks
How is a story about zombies in my list of science fiction? Because the story of how these zombies arrive and create an epidemic is similar to how any disease travels across the globe. If there ever was a virus or disease that could make people eat one another, I imagine it would play out much like World War Z.
Under Different Stars by Amy A Bartol
Under Different Stars is a sort of space sci-fi romance, which is a unique twist on the genre. Kricket Hollowell thinks she is just a regular orphan abandoned by her parents, but when she is chased by some mysterious men who claim she is a princess from a far away world, she knows her life will never be the same. How will Kricket cope when transported to her real homeland and faced with sudden danger and a whole new culture? Will she survive or collapse under the pressure under different stars?
I Robot by Isaac Asmov
You can’t go wrong with classic sci-fi like I, Robot. This collection of robot-themed short stories basically created the modern AI view on robots. Asmov is reposnsible for creating the rules for intelligent robots, and most robot stories and movies are based on the ideas in this collection of stories. Reading this book will make you shiver a bit, because what if one day, robots become indistinguishable from people?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
In The Sparrow, 8 people from different backgrounds (four Jesuit priests, a physician, her engineer husband, , a young astronomer, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert) are sent to a foreign planet to contact a new alien species. The experience is so shocking, only one person survives and it makes everyone question what it means to be human. The strangely religious focus of the book brings an entirely new prospective to the sci-fi genre.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Mark Watney is the first astronaut to walk on Mars, but 6 days later, he believes he may be the first to die there as well after a dust storm separates him from the rest of the crew. With lingering supplies and no way to signal earth, Marks’ days are numbered. Not ready to give up, Mark is determined to defy all odds and pull through. The Martian is sort of a space-themed Castaway, but enjoyable none-the-less!
Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson
Sad Robot Stories, written by Chicago performer Mason Johnson, tells the sad tale of Robot, a robot who recently lost his human friend and seeks to find the true meaning of life. With a mix of literary themes, humor, and the sly reference to numerous other science fiction stories, Sad Robot Stories is at once humorous and a little heartbreaking.
Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese
Starship Grifters follows the adventures of swashbuckling space adventurer Rex Nihilo. Not being the smartest guy in the universe, he tries to fleece a wealthy weapons dealer and ends up owing a massive depth. To avoid imprisonment, Rex must try to pull off his biggest scam yet. This light-hearted science-fiction novel will have everyone wishing they could go on space adventures, too.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury was the master of sci-fi and dystopian fiction. Most of his stories featured one or more of these themes, and The Martian Chronicles offered a collection of mars-themed space novellas that give an interesting picture of what the future might hold. The oddest thing about this book is how the martians live like 1950s suburbanites, which gives the entire book an almost nightmarish feel which is quite delicious.
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
This book is ancient, and frankly, a little boring to read. Yet, the concept is so fascinating, I have to put it on this list. The War of the Worlds follows what happens after aliens land on earth and just start blowing stuff up. There is no reasoning with these guys, they just want to destroy everything.
What I find the most interesting about this story is that it was written just as cars were being invented in 1898. Yet, the story talks about high-tech space-age technology better than many books written today. I am blown away with how intelligent and imaginative H.G. Wells must have been. It would have been something to meet him!
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game was my first delving into the true science fiction genre, and I am forever grateful. Ender’s Game follows the story of a smart boy snatched away from his family for hardcore war training against the future attack of the alien “buggers.” The trouble is, Ender doesn’t want to fight. He just wants to win and will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means sacrificing everyone he cares about, even his very being. (watching the movie felt like it used everyday technology, but the ansible wireless network basically invented streaming Internet before the Internet even existed)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The ultimate space humor novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy offers an irreverent and unapologetic look at life. Arthur Dent wakes one morning to discover his house is about to be torn down to build a highway, but it doesn’t matter anyway because the world is about to explode. Luckily, Arthur’s friend Ford just so happens to be an intergalactic travel writer and can help Arthur escape to adventures of improbable proportions before he is blown to smithereens.
The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey
The Rowan is a space-romance that sounds a little odd on premise, but comes out as a touching, fun story about the power of love. Rowan is a telepathic survivor of a mining disaster who trains to become a member of the Federal Telepath & Teleport network, who is responsible for shipping and communication across the galaxy. Rowan feels alinated due to her powers and orphan past, but when she senses a fellow telepath she bonds with him in an effort to defeat some aliens who want to destroy the human race (ain’t that always the way?).
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The 5th Wave is a YA science fiction novel about 16-year-old Cassie who remains one of the few left alive on earth after aliens have sent four waves to destroy all of humanity. Now, the 5th wave of attacks are coming, and Cassie must work hard to survive. Through it all, she must work together with the mysterious Evan Walker to locate her brother who still might be alive. Will Cassie be able to survive long enough to fight back?
The Forever War by Joe Halderman
Winner of the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, The Forever War follows the tale of William Mandella propelled into the future to fight against aliens that have yet to attack. However, the distant battle is only the beginning. When William returns home, he is only a little older, but the earth has aged thousands of years in his absence. Fans of straight sci-fi will love this book.
The Lost Fleet Series by Jack Campbell
In The Lost Fleet series, Captain Black Jack is revered for his space victories and was presumed dead. But when he returns 100 years later out of hibernation, he is forced into command of the Alliance Fleet as it faces a new enemy. Black Jack realizes that the only way to truly defeat the enemy is to bring the Syndic hypernet key back home. But to do so will take more heroic action and bravery than Jack showed even in the most exaggerated stories. Will Jack be able to live up to his heroic name and save the planet once again? The Lost Fleet is a mix between action and science fiction elements.
Lucifer’s Hammer By Jerry Pournelle
Lucifer’s Hammer is more of an apocalyptic version of science fiction rather than the typical space fiction, which is a refreshing addition to the list. A gigantic comet has hit the earth, creating large earthquakes and tidal waves which have destroyed civilization and launched the world into a new Ice Age. But unlike The Day After Tomorrow, the challenges and struggles of the people remaining seem realistic.
The Old Man’s War Series by John Scalzi
Told in a style similar to Starship Troopers, Old Man’s War (and the rest of the novels in the series) focus on the challenges of intergalactic politics and war. John Perry joins the military at age 75, simply because he has nothing else to live for after his wife dies. He gets a new young body and is trained for combat with aliens who are fighting against humans for the control of the few habitable planets in the Universe. But the more John fights, the more he wonders, is the slaughter and fight justified?
Old Man’s War is the perfect newer retelling of classic science fiction action themes.
The Void Series by Vivian TM Foxe
The Void Series is an erotic science fiction novel with a heavy emphasis on space fantasy. In the first book, The Stroke of Lightning,
Alleah Zea is a princess warrior from a planet of cat-shifting aliens. Her father tells her she must move to a wolf-shifting planet to facilitate the takeover of the planet. While there, she runs into an old flame, Jackel; which sparks up a mature-themed Romeo and Juliet romance between the two at-odds lovers. In the end. Jackel must choose between saving his planet and his love for Alleah. But which is the right choice, following your heart or following your responsibility?
This is mainly an erotic romance set in space, so if that isn’t your thing, you won’t like this book.
Wow, that was a long list. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Let’s keep the list going! What are your top picks for science fiction?