This page is meant to cover the basics works and stellar pieces of science fiction literature. While the bulk of Science Fiction is trashy genre-work there are genuine masterpieces. The purpose of this article is to illustrate those masterpieces as best as possible. As always however, this list is imperfect and always growing. If there is anything missing please add to it.

The Big ThreeEdit

Isaac AsimovEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov

In this novel, Isaac Asimov introduces Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, who would later become his favorite protagonists. They live roughly three millennia in Earth's future, a time when hyperspace travel has been discovered, and a few worlds relatively close to Earth have been colonized—fifty planets known as the "Spacer Worlds". The Spacer worlds are rich, have low population density (average population of one hundred million each), and use robot labor very heavily. Meanwhile, Earth is overpopulated (with a total population of eight billion), and strict rules against robots have been passed. The eponymous "caves of steel" are vast city complexes covered by huge metal domes, capable of supporting tens of millions each. The New York City of that era, for example, encompasses present-day New York City, as well as large tracts of New Jersey.

Asimov imagines the present day's underground transit connected to malls and apartment blocks, extended to a point where no one ever exits to the outside world. Indeed, most of the population cannot leave, as they suffer from extreme agoraphobia. Even though the Robot and Foundation series were not considered to be part of the same fictional universe until much later, those "caves of steel" resemble the planet Trantor.

The Complete Robot Isaac Asimov A collection of 31 of Isaac Asimov's short stories, they share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots and morality, and put together tell a larger story of Asimov's fictional history of robotics. Includes the story "Runaround" which outlines Asimov's laws of Robotics. 496
The complete robot
The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov The main plotline is a project by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe (the para-Universe) with different physical laws from this one. By exchanging matter with Earth, they seek to exploit these differences in physical laws. The exchange of matter provides an alternative source of energy in their dying Universe. However, the exchange of physical laws will have consequences. 304
The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov Orignally published as a series of novelettes, the foundation trilogy is regarded by many as a itself a key foundation of science fiction. Asimov published another three stories in set in this universe. Before finally wrapping together the timelines of these stories with those of his robots stories. 678
Foundation trilogy
The Naked Sun Isaac Asimov Another Science Fiction/Mystery Novel that features a protagonist who manages to circumvent the laws of robotics in order to have his wife murdered. 288

Arthur C. ClarkeEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke It's 2001. I shouldn't have to give an introduction 320
Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke Story regarding the future of mankind after the advent of a "devil-like" alien race appears and offers them a golden era of prosperity. 256
The Collected Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke Arthur C. Clarke A Collection of nearly every short story Arthur Clarke has ever published tallying at over 100. Includes: The Nine Billions Names of God, The Sentinel, and his flash fiction "God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist." 976
Collected shorts
The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke 332
Fountains copy
Rendevous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke Classic book featuring mankind's encounter with the alien vessel Rama. 274
Rama copy

Robert HeinleinEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
Friday Robert Heinlein The tale of a genetically modified female, designed to be superior physically, and mentally to normal human beings. The story follows her struggles with the prejudice against artificial humans and her attempts to assimilate. 368
Have Space Suit - Will Travel Robert Heinlein boy wins space suit in a lottery, goes to space and has adventures. 256
Have spacesuit
Methuselah's Children Robert Heinlein 183
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert Heinlein The moon is a penal colony declaring independence from Earth, with a spontaneously self aware computer to help. Lots of philosophy of government, alternate social organism, alternate marriage arrangements. 384
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (book)
Orphans of the Sky Robert Heinlein 224
Orphans of the Sky - Front Cover
Starship Troopers Robert Heinlein One of Heinlein's most famous pieces of science fiction, Starship Troopers follows the eyes of a human soldier going through the ranks in an alien war. 263
Stranger in a Strange Land Robert Heinlein Boy raised by Martians theoretically owns Mars, has strange powers due to his upbringing. Grok that. 528
Time for the Stars Robert Heinlein sup light interstellar travel and consequences, plus mental telegraphy and other odd ideas. 256
Time for the stars

Early and Proto Science FictionEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Verne, Jules 426
A Journey to the Center of the Earth Verne, Jules 256
JourneyToCE cover
A Voyage to Arcturus Lindsay, David 274
Frankenstein Shelley, Mary 328
The Invisible Man Wells, H.G. 208
The invisible man
The Island of Dr. Moreau Wells, H.G. 160
The Last Man Shelley, Mary 352
Shelley Last Man 001
True History Lucian of Samosata 44
Micromegas Voltaire 48
The Time Machine Wells, H.G. 104
Time machine
The War of the Worlds Wells, H.G. 138

Golden Age Science FictionEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
A Princess of Mars Burroughs, Edgar Rice 160
A princess of mars
The Big Time Leiber, Fritz 152
The big time
The Day of the Triffids Wyndham, John 256
The Day Of The Triffids
The Demolished Man Bester, Alfred 256
Dorsai! Dickson, Gordon R. 288
The Martian Chronicles Bradbury, Ray 288
Martian chronicles
Mission of Gravity Clement, Hal good hard science about being on the surface of a 300 gravity world. 203
Mission of gravity
Out of the Silent Planet Lewis, C.S. 160
Out of the silent planet
Slan van Vogt, A.E. 272
Star Maker Stapledon, Olaf 232
Star maker
Stars My Destination Bester, Alfred 272
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Farmer, Philip Jóse 184
To your scattered bodies
Triplanetary Smith, Edward E. 240
The Voyage of the Space Beagle van Vogt, A.E. 224
Who? Budrys, Algis 158
Who Goes There Campbell Jr., John W. 168
The World of Null-A van Vogt, A.E. 272
The world of

Modern Science FictionEdit

Title Author Description Pages Book Cover
A Fire Upon the Deep Vinge, Vernor Three tiers of galactic civilization face a common threat from a malicious, sentient super-AI. Hard to describe. Basically a must read. Sequels not that great. 624
A Fire Upon The Deep
A Time of Changes Silverberg, Robert 304
A Time Of Changes
The Algebraist Banks, Iain M. Guy looks for secret formula to unlock wormhole travel in a varied and imaginitive universe. 434
The Algebraist
Babel-17 Delany, Samuel R. language determines the thoughts and ideas that can be conveyed efficiently. 158
Behold the Man Moorcock, Michael 124
Behold The Man
Beyond Apollo Malzberg, Barry N. 156
Beyond Apollo
Bill, the Galactic Hero Harrison, Harry Anti-War Military Satire and the cafeteria tray problem. 208
Bill The Galactic Hero
Blood Music Bear, Greg Hard science-fiction microbiology about a strange microorganism that a guy creates and willingly infects himself with. 294
Blood Music
Camouflage Haldeman, Joe 304
Consider Phlebas Banks, Iain M. 544
Consider Phleabas
Cryptonomicon Stephenson, Neal 1168
Darwin's Radio Bear, Greg Hard science-fiction. Hard to get into if you don't know anything about molecular biology, but this makes it awesome. Retrovirus based disease changes the genetic code of sex cells in women. 544
Darwins Radio
The Dispossessed Le Guin, Ursula K. 400
The Dispossessed
Doomsday Book Willis, Connie 592
Doomsday Book
Downbelow Station Cherryh, C.J. the Alliance/Union space and a station with resource problems on its associated planet, Downbelow, and its inhabetants. 352
Downbelow Station
Dune Herbert, Frank Fueding families fight over a precious resource that is only avaliable on a single planet. This resource, spice, is essential to galactic civilisation. Spice must flow. Classic. 544
Dying Inside Silverberg, Robert 304
Dying Inside
Ender's Game Card, Orson Scott Young boy selected for military service to fight off an invading force of alien ant like creatures. Must read. 352
Ender's Game
The Faded Sun Trilogy Cherryh, C.J. 784
The Faded Sun
Fire time Anderson, Poul 288
Fire Time
Flowers for Algernon Keyes, Daniel 324
Flowers For Algernon
Footfall Niven, Larry & Pournelle, Jerry 524
The Forever War Haldeman, Joe Preachy anti-war vietnam era science fiction about an interesting facet of slower-than-lightspeed intergalactic warfare. 384
The Forever War
The Forge of God Bear, Greg 480
The Forge Of God
Gateway Pohl, Frederik An abandoned alien space station is discovered that contains many capsules that go to random locations in the galaxy. 288
Halcyon Drift Stableford, Brian 175
Halcyon Drift
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams, Douglas 272
Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Hyperion Simmons, Dan A group of people are drawn to a planet, which links them all together. Heavy on the backstory. 481
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream Ellison, Harlan I have no words and I must describe. 20
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream
Ilium Simmons, Dan 752
The Illuminatus! Trilogy Shea, Robert & Wilson, Robert Anton 805
Kiln People Brin, David 336
Kiln People
The Left Hand of Darkness Le Guin, Ursula K. 320
The Left Hand Of Darkness
Lord Valentine's Castle Silverberg, Robert 528
Lord Valentine's Castle
Lord of Light Zelazny, Roger A starship breaks down and the on board in stasis passengers are decanted on to the planet below. The crew contends with the planet inhabitants to allow the humans to prevail then sets up Karma machines to control longevity, becoming a pantheon of god like powerful very old humans.

Sam starts the revolution.

Lord Of Light
Make Room! Make Room! Harry Harrison Soylent was neither green nor made of people in this book, which is quite a bit different (better) than the movie it spawned. This story is basically a murder mystery set in an overpopulated world. The tone of the novel paints a slightly goofy (but always sympathetic) portrait of humanity.
Make Room! Make Room!
Man Plus Pohl, Frederik Superhuman project for Mars colonisation. 320
Man Plus
The Man Who Melted Dann, Jack 274
The Man Who Melted
The Man Who Folded Himself Gerrold, David Ever wondered what would happen if you abused the everloving shit out of time travel? 144
The Man Who Folded Himself
The Mote in God's Eye Niven, Larry & Pournelle, Jerry Mankind discovers alien race with an extremely different method of using resources. 592
The Mote In God's Eye
Moving Mars Bear, Greg Something about rebellious students making a big fuss about losing their freedoms or some shit. 448
Moving Mars
Old Man's War Scalzi, John 320
Old Man's War
The Peace War Vinge, Vernor Post-war. A war that was ended thanks to the invention of an encapsulating technology, and now the populace lead a life monitored by an anti-technology faction. 304
The Peace War
Rainbow's End Vinge, Vernor Cyber-space avatar worlds clash with a real world developing increasingly deadly bioweapons. 368
Rainbow's End
Raft Baxter, Stephen Book 1 in the engaging "Xeelee sequence". A creative world where the laws of the universe are different, and life prevails. 264
Red Mars Robinson, Kim Stanley 592
Red Mars
Revelation Space Reynolds, Alastair 576
Revelation Space
Ringworld Niven, Larry Trip to the ringworld. 352
Rite of Passage Panshin, Alexei Coming of age on a generational starship. A young girl finds out what her real ambition is. A great read. 260
Rite Of Passage
River of Gods McDonald, Ian 599
Rivers Of Gods
Singularity Sky Stross, Charles 352
Singularity Sky
Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut Jr., Kurt A soldier with a time-travel problem survives a bombing, is abducted by aliens, and has a fat wife that he doesn't really care about. Makes you think a little about time and free will. 288
Slaughterhouse Five
The Snow Queen Vinge, Joan D. 448
The Snow Queen
Solaris Lem, Stanislaw 204
The Sparrow Russell, Mary Doria 408
The Sparrow
Spin Wilson, Robert Charles 464
Sundiver Brin, David Stars + explorers = sundivers. 352
Tau Zero Anderson, Poul 190
Tau Zero
Think Like a Dinosaur and Other Stories Kelley, James Patrick 275
Think Like A Dinosaur
This Immortal / ...And Call Me Conrad Zelazny, Roger 176
This Immortal
Timescape Benford, Gregory 512
The Time Ships Baxter, Stephen Time travel. Time machines powered by flubber or kryptonite or something travel into massively distant futures. 544
The Time Ships
The Troika Chapman, Stepan 256
The Troika
Ubik Dick, Philip K. 224
Vurt Noon, Jeff 342
World of Ptavvs Niven, Larry 192
World Of Ptavvs


Title Author Description Book Cover
Accelerando Charles Stross
Altered Carbon Richard K. Morgan Planets are colonized and people's minds are digital. Intelligent soldier-turned-criminal is bailed out of mental prison and sent to Earth to investigate a murder. Of course, there are those who don't like him investigating.
Altered Carbon
The Diamond Age Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Philip K. Dick the book Blade Runner was made from.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep
Islands in the Net Bruce Sterling
Islands In The Net
Neuromancer William Gibson The beginning of cyberpunk, the invention of the words cyberspace, an many of the memes of the Internet, plus AI and some of the consequences of an insane AI.
Permutation City Greg Egan
Permutation City
The Shockwave Rider John Brunner
The Shockwave Rider
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash
Software Rudy Rucker

Post ApocalypticEdit

Title Author


Book Cover
A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Humanity fucks itself with nukes and decides that knowledge is evil. Order of Catholic monks decides to preserve knowledge until humanity unfucks itself. Contains three shorter stories. One taking place in Dark Ages II, Renaissance II and the build up to WWIV. Also Latin.

A Canticle For Leibowitz
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle In Time
The Chrysalids John Wyndham
The Chrysalids
Cloud Atlas David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas
The Deep John Crowley
The Deep
Dies the Fire S.M. Stirling
Dies The Fire
Dr. Bloodmoney Philip K. Dick
Dr Bloodmoney
Dreamsnake Vonda M. McIntyre
The Dying Earth Jack Vance
The Dying Earth
Earth Abides George R. Stewart
Earth Abides
The Elfin Ship James Blaylock
The Elfin Ship
I Am Legend Richard Matheson
I Am Legend
Lucifer's Hammer Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle A comet strike, and its aftermath in California.
Lucifer's Hammer
The Mount Carol Emshwiller
The Mount
The Nightland William Hope Hodgson
The Night Land
The Planet of the Apes Pierre Boulle
The Planet Of The Apes
The Postman David Brin
The Postman
Ravage Rene Barjavel
Riddley Walker Russell Hoban
Riddley Walker
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Road
Shadow and Claw Gene Wolfe
Shadow And Claw
The Sheep Look Up John Brunner
The Sheep Look Up
The Tripods Trilogy John Christopher
The Tripods


Title Author Description Book Cover
1984 George Orwell Where actions, words, and even thoughts are regulated by a small aristocracy, a man begins to rebel against the enforced social norms. Rather long but a classic dystopian novel.
A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Brave New World
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Firemen don't put out fires anymore, they start them to burn books since all books are now illegal. A few shocking events begin to make a fireman question why he does what he does and why his society is like it is.
Fahrenheit 451
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said Philip K. Dick
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
The Giver Lois Lowry
The Giver
The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
The Handmaids Tale
Logan's Run William F. Nolan & George Clayton Johnson A twenty-year-old, living in a future-Earth that calls for euthanasia of people at or over twenty-one, hunts down people who, instead, run. Then, when he turns twenty-one, he runs too.
Logan's Run
The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle
Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner
Stand On Zanzibar
We Yevgeny Zamyatin
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang Kate Wilhelm
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang
The World Inside Robert Silverberg
The World Inside
This Perfect Day Ira Levin
This Perfect Day