Best Science Fiction Books You Should Be Reading

A futuristic library with a wall of windows and bookshelves.

Those who like to read know that most of the time, the book is way better than the movie. You may not get to see the blood and gore, or visual effects like that in the Terminator series or Star Wars canon, but the details in books provide more for your imagination than any film possibly can. Plus, it’s definitely better for your sleep health to read a book before bed as opposed to watching a show or movie! So, pick up that Bradbury book or Neil Gaiman short story and let your mind marvel and what the sci-fi genre has to offer.

Aliens, world-ending viruses, major catastrophes, strange twists of fate: the best science fiction books have it all. Most of these sci-fi reads will linger with you long after the final page.


Elevation (2018)

Stephen King

Genre: Science fiction, altered realities, drama, LGBT

Rating: 10/10

If Stephen King wrote it, you know it has to be good, right?

Although a lot of the plot has to do with a lesbian couple living in a small town of closed-minded people, the main character is actually Scott Carey. For whatever reason, Scott is getting lighter by the day…even though he looks the same. Sounds like some X-Files stuff right there.

At just 144 pages, Elevation is a novella and fairly quick read. Nevertheless, you’ll be gripped from the start, and think about this bizarre premise for years to come.

Get it on Amazon here.


Recursion (2020)

Blake Crouch

Genre: Science fiction, cyberpunk, drama, thriller

Rating: 10/10

Blake Crouch is an amazing writer with a twisted mind. His books are always full of action and suspense, as well as a little bit of crazy thrown in for good measure.

Detective Barry Sutton struggles to solve a mysterious new “epidemic” in New York after a woman jumps to her death right in front of him. Her last words? “My son has been erased.” Sutton teams up with a scientist, and they find more people who claim their loved ones were erased.

This one is so intense, you’ll start to question your memories of the past.

Get it on Amazon here.


They Came with the Snow (2017)

Christopher Coleman

Genre: Science fiction, thriller, drama

Rating: 10/10

The end of the world kicks off with a horrible snowstorm…in May. Electricity goes out; people are freezing and starving. But that’s not even the scary part.

Anyone exposed to the snowstorm transforms into white, crab-like creatures. Initially, they seem docile—until they get a taste of blood.

They Came With the Snow would likely make an excellent cli-fi movie.

Warning: don’t read during a snow day.

Get it on Amazon here.


Elsewhere (2020)

Dean Koontz

Genre: Science fiction, drama, thriller

Rating: 10/10

Dean Koontz is to science fiction books what Stephen King is to the horror genre. His bizarrely gripping storylines never disappoint, and Elsewhere is no exception.

In this outer-space novel, Jeffy Coltrane (sidenote: what grown adult is named Jeffy?) struggles to raise his daughter alone, seven years after his wife Michelle left.

One day, a local homeless man gives Jeffy a box he calls “the key to everything.” The man tells Jeffy to keep it safe, but never open it. Naturally, Jeffy dubs the man crazy and simply tosses the box aside…until some bad guys come and try to kill them.

Jeffy opens the package to find a phone-like device that transports himself and his daughter to parallel universes. Eventually, they decide to use it to try and get Michelle back. But messing with the past is never a good idea….

Get it on Amazon here.


Parable of the Sower (2014)

Octavia Butler

Genre: Dystopian science fiction, psychological drama, thriller

Rating: 9/10

Set in a dystopian past eerily similar to the real-life present, Parable of the Sower introduces readers to Lauren, a woman with the unfortunate power to feel other people’s pain.

In this psychological thriller, her intense empathy is overwhelming in a world ravaged by war, disease, drugs, and horrific effects of climate change.  After trouble hits home, Lauren decides to fight back.

Get it on Amazon here.


Zone One (2011)

Colson Whitehead

Genre: Science fiction, thriller, zombies

Rating: 9/10

With a pandemic plaguing the earth, people are separated into two groups: the infected and the uninfected. Survivors are tasked to get rid of the “stragglers” in New York City buildings, so on its surface, Zone One appears similar to most zombie media.

However, this one takes a different turn. The protagonist describes zombies in a unique and more human way. For example, he notes that one zombie wears a thong from the same brand his exes wore.

“Zombie apocalypse” meets “hero bored of his job,” this novel takes two overused tropes and braids them into an entertaining, fresh story.

Get it on Amazon here.


10:59 (2020)

N. R. Baker

Genre: Apocalyptic science fiction, drama, thriller

Rating: 9/10

After Louis wins a contest with his idea of how to lower the high population count, the company who set up the contest invites him to implement his idea…in a very scary and life-changing way.

While commentary on humanity’s stupidity makes the narrative drag at times, the novel is still a solid apocalyptic, sci-fi thriller that’s worth the read.

Get it on Amazon here.




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