If I had to choose one book genre that has influenced our culture the most, that would be science fiction!
The need for humanity to explore and push the limits of reality is manifested in science fiction writing. From aliens to robots to intergalactic travel to time travel, we’re always trying to explain the unknown and discover what’s out there.
Even though it is fiction, Sci-Fi has predicted AND motivated many scientific discoveries.
And the next few decades are gonna transform our perception of what’s possible, making reality and science fiction blend even more.
In this post, we’re gonna focus on science fiction books, dive deep into this new world of literature, and discover some of the greatest work in this genre.
What is science fiction?
“Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life“
But it doesn’t stop there:
- It explores morality and existentialism
- It highlights the triumph of man over any obstacle he faces
- Our need for exploration and conquest
- Our deeply seated fear of the unknown
These are only a few of the themes you’ll encounter as you read more and more.
What makes science fiction such a unique genre?
The writer can safely explore every corner of his subconscious, without stumbling into paradoxes and hyperrealism.
Science fiction lets our fantasy run wild, unchained by the limitations of your current timeline. This allows us to create both dystopia and utopian scenarios that serve as the vehicle to present complex narratives.
Most importantly, science fiction inspires us!
The potential of a new cosmos, foreign civilizations, and groundbreaking technology is enough to make every single person excited for the future.
Are you one of them?
Top 10 Science Fiction Books to Read in 2022
1. “The War of the Worlds” by H.G Wells
One of the first books to speculate in detail how a war between aliens and humans would go.
A truly revolutionary books for its time that still holds up.
I think what makes it so special is the suffocating feeling you get when the invasion begins. You get a visceral response when the protagonist has to flee London.
Published in 1897, the author can translate the political climate into exciting prose. It’s worth noting that “end of the world” books were common at that time, given it was the turn of the century.
2. “1984” by George Orwell
I don’t even know how many times I’ve heard this book quoted in the last decade.
Orwell is more relevant than ever and his predictions will punch you in the face, every “page” of the way!
From surveillance to changed historical facts, his unforgiving novel is a window to an eerie, dystopian future that oftentimes feel closer…
If, for some reason, you haven’t read this one I suggest you clear your schedule this weekend.
Oh, don’t forget that 2+2=5!
3. “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson
How many movies you’ve seen recently where a pandemic causes a zombie apocalypse? Well, this book is what started it all!
Population: 1 man
A pandemic wipes out most of humanity, transforming the rest to “vampires”. It’s in the hands of the sole survivor to make it through this long night.
(If you enjoyed the movie with Will Smith, you will love the book)
4. “The Stand” by Stephen King
Continuing in the same wavelength, in this post-apocalyptic novel the author explores the life of the survivors after 99% of humanity died from a super virus.
The classical moral battle between good and evil takes place in Earth, were the doom of humanity has already come and go.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King, “The Stand” is one of his greatest novels. Also, it has enough pages to last you weeks!
5. “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton
It is said that the most fierce predators on Earth are humans. But before us, another species dominated these lands for millions of years: Dinosaurs.
In this classic book, Crichton reanimates the 20 feet lizards and places them on an island where everyone can visit and see them.
Everything goes well… until an accident that will bring your worst nightmare to life.
6. “The End of Eternity” by Isaac Asimov
Delivered by one of the masters of science fiction, this standalone novel explores the concept of time travel through a fascinating story.
An organization seeks to change the past to make the future of humanity better. But there’s always a cost.
One wrong step and the consequences will be huge and rather unpredictable.
Asimov never disappoints. For that reason:
7. “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov
Artificial intelligence has entered the public discourse and it’s causing major ripples. I believe we’re a few decades away from a former science-fiction concept to become a reality.
This book sheds light on the moral implications and dilemmas of having robots as part of our society.
Do you agree with these 3 statements:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
- A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
(#1: What if a human harms another human in the presence of a robot?)
8. “11/22/63” by Stephen King
What if something from your past didn’t happen? How different would your life be?
This is is a story about a time traveler who tries to prevent the assassination of JFK only to change the course of history.
We’ve already encountered the concept of time-travel and the server, potential consequences, but King gives a new flavor to this particular subgenre of Sci-fi.
9. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
Science fiction often focuses on important but rather grim scenarios. Adams breaks the mold and offers you a one-way ticket to the bus that travels through the universe!
Take the seat by the window so you don’t miss anything.
A fun and innovative novel that mixes satire with the “world-saving business” and clever plot devices.
(As a bonus, you’ll learn the ultimate answer to all of life’s mysteries… ok, I’ll tell you. It’s the number 42!)
10. “Dune” by Frank Herbert
Even if you NEVER pick another science fiction book in your life…
Even if you’re just skimming through this post and it happened to scroll down here…
Even if you don’t enjoy reading AT ALL…
You still can’t go through life without reading “Dune”. Yes, I’m typing this book. But there’s a good reason for that.
I consider “Dune” one of the best novels, period. It’s truly a phenomenal book that builds its plot on vibrant dialogues and spontaneous philosophical remarks.
“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic”
“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”
When you arrive at Arrakis, be careful. Many dangers are hiding in the desert planet…
To Infinity and Beyond!
Great science fiction offers a unique and powerful reading experience.
Discovering new worlds and realizing the vastness of the universe always moved the true romantics.
But even the most avid readers can often miss important details and nuances that make these novels special.
If you want to enrich your understanding of this genre, if you want to understand the last scene from Asimov’s “The End of Eternity”, and most importantly, if you want to write a science fiction book yourself:
We recommend this full course on how great science fiction works, where real experts break down the most important novels and why they’re so important for our culture.
The future is rapidly approaching.
You can feel its pulse on your finger. Great writers have been talking about the impending changes for years.
The good news is you can always learn from the wisdom and have fun while doing so!
If you love science fiction you’ll love reading these articles:
Which science fiction book makes you look at the stars at night? Comment below!