• 10 Best Science Fiction Books in 2022 (Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Science Fiction Books in 2022 (Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, and More) 2
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10 Best Science Fiction Books in 2022 (Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, and More)

Are you looking to escape from the world around us and to take a trip into space, the future, or an alternate world? Science-fiction books can transport you to all of these places and introduce you to aliens, dystopian futures, or societies ruled by artificial intelligence. If you're bored with the world, science fiction is a great way to inject a little adventure into ordinary life.


We've compiled a list of our top 10 science fiction books and a handy guide to help you navigate the infinite multiverse that is science fiction! We chose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick as our favorite because of its depiction of a bleak future and the questions it poses about what it means to be human.

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  • Last updated: 09-02-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Science Fiction Book - Buying Guide

There are many different types of books that fall under the genre of science-fiction. That's why we've divided the genre into some categories to help you choose the right book for you.

Look at Books Set on Our Planet

Science fiction has a ton of subgenres, ranging from serious tales of artificial intelligence taking over societies to humorous romps through foreign galaxies. Finding a subgenre that suits you can help narrow down your search for your next novel!

Explore Futuristic Technology With Artificial Intelligence or Robots

Explore Futuristic Technology With Artificial Intelligence or Robots

Humans and technology can be a lethal combination. The themes of AI, robotics, and digital technology recur in many major novels of science fiction. Writers such as Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, and Philip K. Dick have written numerous scenarios that question the humanity of the people that create and use this technology.


In this subgenre, technology uplifts humans above anything they could have imagined, but only to a certain point. It's usually the human flaws of greed, corruption, and lust that eventually stall the progress they were making. These flaws can corrupt their utopias, or even cause their creations to turn on them.


While not all books in the subgenre are bleak, they usually have a certain degree of lamentation. Despite the belief that technology will pull us out of the mud and into the heavens, both literally and figuratively, humans are inevitably the cause of their own downfall.

Dying Earth and Dystopian Novels Offer Drama and Hardship

Dying Earth and Dystopian Novels Offer Drama and Hardship

In the dying earth genre, the protagonist's people or nation are doomed. The place is ravaged by war, climate change, or alien invasion. These books are set in the far future with weariness, the loss of innocence, exhaustion, and glimmers of hope as major themes.


Books like The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner and Earthchild by Doris Piserchia are examples of this subgenre. Ice by Anna Kavan is an unsettling read as our world is consumed by an ever-growing ice shelf.


In dystopian novels, the protagonists live in a nightmare world where an amoral government, robots, or capitalism has seized control and forced people into a bleak existence. Happy lives and happy endings are never guaranteed. George Orwell's 1984 and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale are famous novels in this genre.

Utopian Novels Explore Philosophy and Social Analysis

Utopian Novels Explore Philosophy and Social Analysis

On the other hand, utopian novels analyze what would be the ideal world, and if it is even possible for such a thing to exist. What would a perfect justice system look like? Can a fair and just society ever come into existence?


The Terra Ignota series by Ada Palmer is an epic quartet of books that explores themes of the unnaturalness of geographic borders, gender, and taboos. In The Seep by Chana Porter, the world is under a blissful existence under the benign control of an alien entity known as the Seep.


On the surface, the worlds in these books may look perfect and idealistic, but there is usually something darker lurking underneath. Utopian books explore the facade of perfection and how fragile it can be.

Subterranean Fiction Explores Living Below the Earth

Subterranean Fiction Explores Living Below the Earth

What lies beneath our feet is another topic that has been wondered about over the centuries. The protagonist usually finds a more feral and brutal world existing without the warmth of the sun. Hidden parts of a person's psychology reveal themselves when veiled from the light. Monsters both physical and mental come out of the shadows and need to be dealt with.


Jules Verne's classic novel Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea both explore the uncharted territories on our own planet. They dig down into unknown territory to discover new creatures and new aspects of the human psyche.


Jeff Long's 1999 novel The Descent finds an entire sub-planet with a separately evolved ecosystem right beneath the Earth's surface. The Silo series by American writer Hugh Howey details a post-apocalyptic Earth where humanity survives deep underground. These are more modern takes but cover similar themes to those explored by Verne.

Time Travel Allows for Creative Stories

Time Travel Allows for Creative Stories

Time travel is a fascinating genre as it can take place at literally any point in time! Unlike other books, they aren't limited to a single timeline but can span lifetimes and cross worlds.


There is H.G Wells' classic novel The Time Machine that is set in 1895 and jumps to CE 802,701. Daphne du Maurier's voyeuristic Gothic story The House on the Strand is set in Cornwall 1967 but travels back to 14th century England. Kindred by Octavia Butler is a cornerstone of Black American literature that involves a generational story.


Time travel stories can cover any other genre of literature you like. They can be romance, or horror, comedy, or action. No matter what type of novel you like, there is bound to be a time travel novel for you.

Consider Stories About Other Planets

Many associate the sci-fi genre with aliens and outer space, but did you know there are plenty of subgenres within that? Here are just a few.

Experience First Contact With Alien Species

Experience First Contact With Alien Species

The concept of first contact is both thrilling and frightening. If there are aliens out there, what are they and who are they? Novels in this subgenre grapple with the scale, type, and motivations of the otherworldly visitors. Discovering the true nature of a new species makes these books thrilling.


American scientist Carl Sagan wrote Contact, where a message is received from deep space with instructions to build a mysterious machine. In Micheal Crichton's novel The Andromeda Strain, the aliens are actually microbes, interfering with human physiology.


The novel Solaris by author Stanislaw Lem depicts human aggression towards what they don't understand, leading to the trauma of the crew involved. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, on the other hand, imagines benign alien overlords that exchange human identity for world peace.

The Red Planet Captures Our Imaginations

The Red Planet Captures Our Imaginations

Science fiction writers, much like scientists, have always had a love affair with Mars, our red neighbor. Compared to the rest of the universe it's very close to the Earth, yet we know so little about it. If you want to go to space, but not that far, there are a plethora of stories that involve the red planet.


H.G Wells in 1897 wrote the thrilling tale of an invasion of Earth by Martians due to their own dwindling resources in The War of the Worlds. On the opposite end, Ray Bradbury wrote of the human conquest of the planet in a series of linked stories in The Martian Chronicles.


Fans of hard science fiction loved The Martian by Andy Weir, an uplifting story of human tenacity, ingenuity, and generosity of spirit. It became so popular that it was adapted as a major Hollywood movie!

Aliens and Interstellar Humans Travel the Universe

Aliens and Interstellar Humans Travel the Universe

Ideas about human beings living on other planets, battling aliens, and finding new solar systems are in the imagination of every kid. But these thrilling tales aren't just in the realm of make-believe! Out of Orbit by Chris Jones tells the harrowing true story of three astronauts that were stranded in space in 2003 after the shuttle Columbia disintegrated before the very eyes of the American people.


Back in the realm of fiction, the upbeat and chaotic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a must-read for anyone interested in science fiction. It was originally a radio play for the BBC but was turned into a massive written opus. It's also been adapted as both a TV show and a movie.


The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin is a fascinating tale of a man that searches for his utopia on other planets. If you're interested in fighting aliens, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a popular novel that was also adapted into a movie. It's also an interesting commentary on war and the effects it has on its soldiers.

Seek Out Recommendations to Help You Choose

Seek Out Recommendations to Help You Choose

Once you've found some books that interest you, checking the reviews is a good next step. Websites like Goodreads or Kirkus Reviews let you engage in communities of other readers. These websites can help steer you to your next novel!


There are also a lot of YouTubers that dedicate their channels to reviewing the latest sci-fi releases, so try taking a look at them. Additionally, you can search for blogs that talk about science fiction or message boards, like Reddit, for recommendations. Even Instagram can give you some good ideas!


Don't forget to talk to the people around you. Your local bookstore will always be happy to recommend something, and librarians are can help you find novels you'll enjoy. You can also look at the social media of your favorite authors and see what their recommendations are.

Choose Between Single Stories and a Series

Choose Between Single Stories and a Series

Single novels usually resolve all of the story threads in one book. They have fully contained stories that introduce new characters and follow them throughout their story to a, hopefully, satisfactory conclusion. However, if when it's finished you find yourself yearning for more time in the book's universe, you'll be out of luck!


It's common for science-fiction stories to tell long and complicated stories that need more than one novel to finish. That's why you'll often find that the science-fiction novel you've picked up is the first in a series that is several books long. If you're looking for a definitive finish to these stories, you'll need to read the entire series to be entirely satisfied.


Whether a single novel or a series is best for you depends entirely on your preference. If you have the time to dedicate to a series, then they can be very rewarding. It can also be very frustrating to start a series before it's fully written, however, as the wait between novels to find out what happens next can be excruciating!

Think About Formats Other Than a Physical Book

Think About Formats Other Than a Physical Book

Books aren’t just physical anymore. The vast majority are now also available as eBooks and audiobooks. Depending on your reading style and the book itself, choosing a different format may be of more benefit to you.


An audiobook can transport you into the book's world with effective use of narration, character voices, and even music or sound effects. If you have a long and boring commute to make each day, then why not listen to a thrilling book while you drive?

EBooks offer a greater degree of portability than physical books. You can carry your entire library on your phone or tablet. It's also easier to search within an eBook, so if you need to look back at a certain character or plot device to see how they fit into the story, you can quickly find exactly what you need.

10 Best Science Fiction Books

Our top 10 list includes sci-fi classics and modern novels that are ready to transport you to another world! To help you pick the perfect novel, try thinking about what elements of sci-fi you enjoy.

Image
1
Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1

Philip K. Dick

2
Ursula K. Le Guin The Dispossessed  1

Ursula K. Le Guin

3
Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1

Douglas Adams

4
Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles 1

Ray Bradbury

5
Ada Palmer Too Like the Lightning 1

Ada Palmer

6
C.A. Fletcher A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World 1

C.A. Fletcher

7
Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go 1

Kazuo Ishiguro

8
Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone This is How You Lose the Time War 1

Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

9
Octavia Butler Kindred 1

Octavia Butler

10
Andy Weir The Martian 1

Andy Weir

Name

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The Dispossessed

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Martian Chronicles

Too Like the Lightning

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Never Let Me Go

This is How You Lose the Time War

Kindred

The Martian

Features

A Disruptive Dystopia Glimmering With Altruism

A Challenge to All Political Schools of Thought

One of the Funniest Sci-fi Works Ever Written

An Astonishing Vision of Mars

A Quartet of a Historical Future in the 25th Century

A Bittersweet Tale of Loyalty in the End of the World

An Unsettling Love Triangle Among Clones

Love Across a Temporal Battle

Explore Themes of Racial Inequality in This Time-Traveling Novel

Classic Tale of Survival on an Alien Planet

Price$7.29$8.99$8.07$7.49$14.39$12.15$13.29$13.49$10.49$9.36
eBook price$12.99$5.86$28.18$7.49$11.99$5.88$10.33$4.69$5.86$7.11
Publication year 1996199420022011201720202006202020032014
Pages240400832288448416288224264387
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, leather bound, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
Link
1

Philip K. DickDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Paperback

$7.29

eBook price$12.99
Publication year 1996
Pages240
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
2

Ursula K. Le GuinThe Dispossessed

Paperback

$8.99

eBook price$5.86
Publication year1994
Pages400
Available formatsPaperback, leather bound, audiobook, eBook
3

Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Paperback

$8.07

eBook price$28.18
Publication year2002
Pages832
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, eBook
4

Ray BradburyThe Martian Chronicles

Paperback

$7.49

eBook price$7.49
Publication year2011
Pages288
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
5

Ada PalmerToo Like the Lightning

Paperback

$14.39

eBook price$11.99
Publication year2017
Pages448
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
6

C.A. FletcherA Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Paperback

$12.15

eBook price$5.88
Publication year2020
Pages416
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
7

Kazuo IshiguroNever Let Me Go

Paperback

$13.29

eBook price$10.33
Publication year2006
Pages288
Available formatsPaperback, audiobook, eBook
8

Amal El-Mohtar, Max GladstoneThis is How You Lose the Time War

Paperback

$13.49

eBook price$4.69
Publication year2020
Pages224
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
9

Octavia ButlerKindred

Paperback

$10.49

eBook price$5.86
Publication year2003
Pages264
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
10

Andy WeirThe Martian

Paperback

$9.36

eBook price$7.11
Publication year2014
Pages387
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook

More Books to Escape Into

If you're looking for more literary recommendations, check out our recommendations below to find other books to enjoy. Explore different genres and add them to your home library!

Author: Amena Rahman


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    Looking for an engaging anime film? Netflix is an excellent option for streaming anime movies, whether you're watching for enjoyment or studying Japanese. The best anime movie for you depends on your personal tastes and the mood you're in at the moment. To help you pick a film, we've done our research and created a guide explaining common genres of anime.We've also carefully curated a list of the best 10 anime movies on Netflix. Our favorite is Spirited Away due to its beautiful animation and themes of courage. Be sure to check out the rest of our favorites as well! For ease of use, we'll be focusing on standalone movies you don't need to watch an accompanying anime show to enjoy. To get help picking a movie, be sure to check out the buying guide.
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