Needless to say, books offer a more immersive experience to its readers, than the movies. That is the reason why people sit and read 30,000 words rather than watching a 1-hour movie. This is applicable to the science-fiction genre as well. As a matter of fact, the chances are that your favorite sci-fi movie is an adaptation from a novel. Although a “picture is worth 1000 words”, the same picture when explained literally, in 1000 words adds a different experience to the story. Especially for sci-fi novels, you will know the scientific part clearly while reading the excerpt rather than watching it in a movie. That being said, here are 10 science-fiction novels that we believe would fascinate you!
1. Dune by Frank Herbert
“Dune” is the first of the six novels written by Frank Herbert under the “Dune” series. Released in 1965, “Dune” remains one of the best selling sci-fi movies to date. The essence of “Dune” is the depiction of futuristic life on a galaxy struck in the feudal ages wherein computers are banned. Emphasis is given to planet Arrakis, which holds a material used as currency through the universe for its obscurity and mind-bending powers. 65 years later, this series still remains a classic and we suggest you go through the entire series if time permits. After a failed attempt in a movie adaptation in 1984, “Dune” is currently being directed by Denis Villeneuve. However, the movie won’t release until the end of 2020 or 2021.
2. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Le Guin is hauled as one of the best science-fiction writers of all time. The reason for this is her presentation and a utopian approach to literature. In “The Dispossessed” Le Guin writes on two radically different societies from two close planets(Urras and Anarres). While the Urras have a government in each state, Anarres doesn’t have one. However, the protagonist, Shevek, a scientist, wants to leave Anarres to meet fellow physicists at Urras to discuss his theories. Now, it is up to you to find out whether or not he was successful.
3. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
This award-winning science-fiction masterpiece doesn’t need an introduction. One of my favorite series on this list, “Hyperion” is based on a questionable concept. According to Simmons, man’s conquering of the stars is inevitable, following which troubles and complexities arise. After colonizing hundreds of worlds, seven travelers then embark on a mission to find the “Shrike”. These seven travelers were chosen to travel to the outback planet of Hyperion, as pilgrims. Subsequently, a god-like creature tells that it will kill all pilgrims except for one, to whom they will fulfill their wish. I will spare the suspense so that you would get a better experience while reading.
4. Neuromancer by William Gibson
The Cyberpunk genre wouldn’t be this popular if it wasn’t for William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”. Despite being written in 1984, the novel explains a lot of futuristic technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Cryonics, and even cyberspace. Set in a dystopian Japanese underworld, the protagonist, Henry Case is trying to access cyberspace by reversing a toxin. While he sits through this process, the novel also introduces us to a whole set of the memorable cast of characters. In the end, you would be least concerned as to whether the Case accessed cyberspace or not, as the novel would grip you till the end just to find more about the characters depicted.
5. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov is a prominent figure in science and literature. He was the one to postulate the fundamental laws for robotics, that still remains relevant today. Above all, his “Foundation” trilogy is regarded as the best series ever. In fact, Hugo gave Asimov an award for this category. The best part about this trilogy is that the novels are more inclined to the science part rather than depicting an ambitious fantasy. If you read the novel, you will understand how Asimov’s attempt to make science as realistic as possible.
6. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
Elon Musk’s favorite novel, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” depicts a plausible life on our natural satellite, Moon. In the novel, the protagonist Mannie learns the mysteries of “Lunar Authority” and their computer being able to achieve self-awareness. Being a computer technician, he works through this system. Subsequently, he finds out that if the lunar colony doesn’t stop exporting hydroponic wheat, there would be starvation. Essentially, the novel explains a revolt by a lunar colony made of political exiles and criminals.
7. The Power by Naomi Alderman
One of the newest ones on this list, “The Power” was released in 2016 and gave the readers a look into the life of women who can emit electricity from their hands. This is easily one of the best novels of this time and there are rumors of a whole television series being made. Although it won’t be released anytime sooner, it is best for you to read the novel and get a vivid image before watching the series. Just to give you a gist as to how popular this novel is, there is a fierce 11-way auction to hold the rights for the television adaptation of this book.
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
Without “2001: A Space Odyssey” this list would be incomplete. Arthur. C. Clarke’s attempts to predict the future of mankind in 2001, was commendable. As a matter of fact, it was very accurate. Following the release of the novel, Stanley Kubrick made a film in 1968 based on Arthur’s story. Needless to say, it was one of the finest science-fiction movies ever released. In fact, we have detailed the scientific accuracy of this movie before. To sum up, “2001: A Space Odyssey” remains one of the best sci-fi novels and movies ever released.
9. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
“Red Mars” is one of the three installments in Stanley Robinson’s “Mars” trilogy. While Elon Musk and his company SpaceX are trying to put us on the Martian surface, Robinson’s “Red Mars” explains the incomprehensibility of life on Mars. The novel starts with a group of people landing on Mars only to find out how difficult it is to survive this inhospitable environment. If you believe life on Mars would be ambitious, then I suggest you read Robinson’s take on it.
10. The Time Machine by H.G Wells
Although it was H.G Wells’ “Invisible Man” that gained him the mainstream stardom, “The Time Machine” was equally regarded as one of his best works. Above all, “The Time Machine”, was in a way the start of modern science fiction. The story starts with the revelation of the Time machine, as invented by an eccentric scientist. Shortly after that, the story revolves around the future of our world and how innocent people “Eloi” live in harmony. Subsequently, he unravels the deepest mysteries surrounding the “Eloi” and “Morlock”, an underground community that feast upon “Eloi”. If you are hesitant to read the foretold novels, I highly recommend you to read this one!