I’m sure this list will change and/or expand as time goes on, but for now these are my favorite science fiction novels. As you can tell, I’m a fan of space opera/hard sci fi, which not everyone enjoys because of the heavy load of science that’s weaved into each situation. I’m going to exclude dystopian novels from this list (I’ll make a list of my dystopian favorites in separate post). Here are my favorite sci fi reads, in no particular order:
- The Martian by Andy Weir – This was the last science fiction novel I read, and boy did I enjoy the thrill ride that makes up this story. It’s a hard sci fi thriller, so there are a lot of real time science included, which can bog down readers that don’t like reading science-y details that are written out intricately in books. Personally, I love it because I’m like a sponge. My brain just soaks up anything useful. Basically, the main character, Mark Watney ends up being left behind on Mars when a sand storm cuts his crew’s exploration short. He ends up falling behind on the mad dash to the MAV (what shoots them back into space toward the Hermes space ship). He has no way of contacting anyone since the crew packed up all their radios to take back to the ship, not to mention he’s sure his crew believes him dead since he was stabbed by a pole and had to stitch up the minor flesh wound himself. This is basically his story of how he survived on Mars for eighteen months. He does manage to get into contact with NASA down on Earth when he takes one of the rovers on a short excursion to collect Pathfinder to bring back to the Hab in an attempt to get its communication system online. I don’t want to say anything else because I don’t want to drop any big spoilers, but it’s definitely worth picking up. Watney uses a lot of dark humor in his first person narration, which I loved. I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this. I definitely plan on rereading this in the future because it’s just that good.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This book is a big batch of nerdy references and pop culture that I love. I also felt like I was transported into a video game whilst reading. It was an immersive reading experience and I will own this book in the future (I had loaned it from my library) because it’s another book that I want to read again. The main character, Wade, is a gunter that’s on a quest to find the most popular game creator’s egg that he hid at the end of a quest of levels and gates to get through in the virtual reality (Oasis) that he created upon his passing. It’s just a bunch of nerds kicking ass to beat out the corporate suits that they’re up against. I loved it. If you’re a nerd and you haven’t read this already, then I don’t even know what you’re doing with your life. Go read it. Now.
- Avalon by Mindee Arnett – If you love Firefly, then you’ll love this. It’s basically Firefly except with a crew of teenagers instead of adults. That’s really the only way of describing the awesome factor of this book.
- Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – Again, if you’re a Firefly fan, then you’ll like this one, too. This is actually the first book in a trilogy (or series), though I’ve only read this first one so far. I intend to read the other books, just haven’t gotten to them yet. But it’s a fast pace thrill ride through space adventures.
- Black Out and All Clear by Connie Willis – This is a time travel / science fiction dualogy that I loved and I’ve been wanting to go back and read them again because it’s just that good. Basically, set into the future, historians can go back in time to study their chosen era of study under a cover identity. They can’t make any huge changes or it’ll mess up the time vortex, which come to find out historians have been making loads of changes (even the small ones) that are affecting the time vortex and it ends up freezes up in the WWII era so that all the historians that were studying in this era at the time suddenly find they can’t get back to their time. It has a lot of action that drives the plot, too. If you like historical fiction / time travel books, then you’ll more than likely enjoy these books.
- Insignia trilogy by S. J. Kincaid (Insignia, Vortex, Catalyst) – This trilogy has been described as a Hogwarts in space, which I’m going to stick with because it sums up the books quite well. I got the same feeling out of reading this trilogy that the Harry Potter books gave me, which I loved. I’m always looking for fantasy/sci fi worlds that I can immerse myself in as I did with the Harry Potter world when I was younger. That’s really all there is for me to say as a selling point for these books since you really have to read them for yourself.
All right, those are my top science fiction reads. I went ahead and included Ready Player One and the Insignia trilogy in this list because they’re all more sci fi than dystopian, at least in my opinion. Hope you’re able to find your next favorite from this list.