Science fiction is one of the most exciting genres out there, imagining everything from time travel, to artificial intelligence, far away galaxies and beyond. Here, we take a look at some of the most iconic science fiction books of the 20th and 21st Century.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune is hailed as one of the best written science fiction novels in history, and it’s certainly one of the best-selling. Set in the Dune Universe, the novel and its sequels imagine radical advancements in technology and the way humans live. Dune explores the moral complexities of enhancing and modifying the human body and brain in this mind-blowingly imaginative and detailed universe.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxkey
Set in the year 2540, Brave New World imagines a dystopian society headed by ten World Controllers. Exploring what life might be like when we’ve developed technologies from sleep-learning to psychological manipulation, this book is as terrifying as it is fascinating in its grim predictions for our species.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
With its exploration of everything from evolution, to the perils of technology, to artificial intelligence, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a masterpiece of science-fiction. Spanning millions of years and moving from earth to space, this novel leaves no galaxy or huge idea unexplored.
Listen to Arthur C Clarke’s collected stories in our audiobooks collection here
The First Men in the Moon by H G Wells
Space has long fascinated and struck fear in the hearts of writers. Bedford and Cavorite of H G Wells’ The First Men in the Moon take a trip into outer space, thanks to a handy helping of “cavorite”, which negates the forces of gravity. Encountering a terrifying species, the Selenites, Bedford and Cavorite find themselves in a number of sticky situations in their inter-planetary travels.
Embassytown by China Mieville
In this gripping novel, author China Mieville imagines the city of the title, Embassytown, a whole different world with its own unique societal system. In Embassytown, the native alien residents live in relative peace until a new Ambassador arrives, using language so powerful the city’s population becomes addicted. This fascinating novel explores the relationship between language, lies and power, making it a must-read for sci-fi lovers.
Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie
First in the “Imperial Radch” space opera trilogy, Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice instantly became a sci-fi classic when it hit the shelves. Set far into the future, the novel explores an empire which uses AI as a means of control. The narrative jumps around in time to tell the story of ancillary, Breq and an officer from her past (1,000 years ago, in fact), Seivarden. Both find themselves marooned on an ice planet with only each other to depend on. Ancillary Justice is a tale of taking revenge and fighting for what is right.