Have you ever dreamed of traveling through space
? Have you considered the possibilities of artificial intelligence? We
bring you the complete list of the best science fiction books, classic and essential books to ramble about the future.

What are science fiction books about
Some recognize that the term science fiction derives from a mistranslation of the English science fiction and that the correct term is science fiction. That gives us some clue about the subject on which these types of books will deal. Broadly speaking, it is a non-realistic narration in which scientific or social elements appear that do not correspond to reality.
In most cases, we are presented with a futuristic fictional world in which technology is much more advanced and opens up a range of possibilities, but also dangers for society. A dystopian and unwanted reality is frequently exposed.

  • To know more: Dystopia: definition, meaning and 8 examples.

The 10 best science fiction books
As you can see, most were published in just two decades, the golden age of the sci-fi genre.

Without a doubt, the books on this list are inspired by nineteenth-century works such as Journey to the Center of the Earth (Jules Verne, 1864) or Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus (Mary Shelley, 1823).
Although fantastic scientific elements such as self-contained diving suits, rifles with electric bullets or machines capable of bringing the dead back to life already appeared in these works, science fiction books as such did not become popular until the end of the century.

1. The Time Machine (HG Wells, 1895)
Herbert George Wells is often cited asone of the fathers of science fiction novels , and the clearest example is The Time Machine. The novel deals with travel through time, although the author does not emphasize the temporal paradoxes that often arise in this type of story.

2. The War of the Worlds (HG Wells, 1898)
It may sound familiar to you because of the dozens of film adaptations or the Orson Welles radio serial that had half the United States with a broken heart. But before all that there was a novel.
The War of the Worlds has the privilege of being the first work in history, whether in literature, film or television, dealing with an alien invasion.on Earth (more specifically in London). That gives us an idea of ​​the influence that Wells has had on later science fiction works and books.

3. 1984 (George Orwell, 1949)
Of the three great dystopias of literature , George Orwell’s is the first in chronological order. More than a science fiction book, 1984 is an almost prophecy of our present written in the middle of the 20th century.
The novel takes place in a future London that has been integrated into a huge collectivist state called Oceania. Society is divided into three strata that coexist under the subjugation of a control system that strictly punishes any hint of dissidence or critical thinking.

4. I, Robot (Isaac Asimov, 1950)
If we talk about science fiction books we cannot ignore one of the great geniuses of the genre like Isaac Asimov. This author of Russian origin wrote about 430 books , although many of them are essays and popular science publications.
More than a story with a solid plot line, the book is a collection of stories in which the three laws of robotics are established :

  • A robot may not harm a human, or through inaction allow her to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey the orders of humans, except when it conflicts with the first law.
  • A robot must protect its existence, except where this protection conflicts with the two laws above.

5. The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury, 1950)
Again, this is a collection of stories without a fixed plot line, although they all have as reference the colonization of the planet Mars by the human species . The poetic descriptions and the denunciation of the self-destructive impulse of humans are recurrent, as well as racism towards everything foreign (in this case, to the Martians).

6. Foundation (Isaac Asimov, 1951)
The first in a series of anthology books known as the Foundation Series. In this first installment, Asimov presents us with a society in which humans have spread throughout the galaxy and have established a government known as the Galactic Empire. Hence the weight that this work has had in the Star Wars saga.

7. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury, 1953)
The second great literary dystopia is that of Ray Bradbury, although it is also the least remembered. This literary work has Guy Montag as the protagonist, a fireman who must burn a series of books at the request of the government. Soon it will be considered whether it is ethical to continue obeying a tyrannical government that wants to oppress any contrary thought.
We must not forget these books were published in the years after World War II, in the midst of the Cold War. Therefore, many events and characters that appear have a certain similarity with the real war or with German National Socialism.

8. Dune (Frank Herbert, 1965)
More than a decade after the publication of Fahrenheit 451, Frank Herbert crafted the first novel in the Dune series, a breath of fresh air for science fiction books and a resounding success with the public.
Like so many other authors, Herbert introduces us to a galaxy subjugated by a feudal empire. The author places special emphasis on the value and management of natural resources , making clear his strong environmental character. After his death, his son Brian Herbert wrote two more trilogies, although they did not reach the level of the original.

9. Brave New World (Adolf Huxley, 1968)
It was not until 1968 that the third great literary dystopia in history was publishedthat of Adolf Huxley. The genius of letters poses the following question: what would happen in a society in which poverty or war are past concepts?
Surely that society would have a series of important shortcomings.
In the case at hand, this dystopian society is responsible for eradicating any hint of individualism and creativity. Brave New World is a fierce criticism of the communist system that gripped Europe at that time.

10. Do androids sound like electric sheep
(Phillip K. Dick, 1968)

The name of this work may not ring a bell, but if we tell you that its film adaptation is called Blade Runner, you may be connecting the dots. This is a post-apocalyptic novel that calls into question the limit between the artificial and the natural and addresses the ethical problems regarding androids.

  • For more science fiction: The 12 best movies about technological dystopias.