The Best Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books

This post is for science fiction and fantasy nerds. We have seen the movies of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia sagas but the books are actually better. Monsters, creatures, magic, time travel, machines and goblins (!) are just a few examples of what you can find on this books. We listed here what we think are the 50 must-read sci-fi and fantasy novels, some of them are classics, such as George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave new world and others are hidden gems from this century such as Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Go ahead and pick one for your next read!

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Ubik

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This Philip K Dick's novel is a brilliant classic. It's about our existence, conflict and unresolved realities and you won't want to stop reading and wanting a sequel, that unfortunately doesn't exist.

Ender’s Game

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You probably have seen the movie based on this sci-fi novel. Orson Scott Card managed to talk about war, politics, empathy, video games, manipulation, identity, and family in this great book you need to read.

The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy

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We HAVE to put Lord of the Rings on our list, but we couldn't pick just one book. This J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy classic is for many fans the father of this genre. Magic, creatures, love, and passion is everything our world needed.

The Handmaid’s Tale

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We are sure you heard of The Handmaid's Tale, at least because of the Hulu series that is winning every award possible. In this novel, Margaret Atwood describes a dystopia where women who can have babies are hunted and enslaved. It gives us the creeps!

Dhalgren

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If you love Greek Mythology and language you'll fall in love with this book. Delany's sci-fi classic is very controversial in the books critics world, Theodore Sturgeon called it "the very best ever to come out of the science fiction field." and Harlan Ellison threw it against a wall.

A Song of Ice and Fire

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You know nothing, Jon Snow. We absolutely love Game of Thrones (the show), but the books are what every fantasy books fan dreams of. If you read the books first, you can know what it's going to happen in the series and get all smarty-pants at watching parties.

Frankenstein

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This novel is a classic. It's brilliant, upsetting, beautiful and scary at the same time. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the first (or actually the first) science fiction stories ever made.

The Gormenghast series

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This Mervyn Peake's series is another one for fantasy lovers. Regency romance and Gothic literature are just parts of this incredible saga. But these books are not for everyone, go and try the first one if you like it you'll read the others in no time.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

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Robert Heinlein is a sci-fi master, it was almost impossible for us to choose only one of his books. The Moon is a harsh mistress is about a lunar colonies revolt against earth. You'll love it!

Kindred

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This Octavia Butler's novel is about a 26-year-old black woman who is suddenly and repeatedly transported back in time to a slave plantation in the antebellum South, where she has to protect the son of a slave owner.

The Left Hand of Darkness

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This title will draw the attention of every sci-fi fan. This book explores a planet populated by a race of unisex beings who are able to assume either gender during reproduction. It sure sounds interesting!

Nine Princes in Amber

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This Roger Zelazny's classic is often described as the cross of Harry Potter and the Bourne Identity series. the hero wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is and gradually discovers that he's part of a noble family, a deck of superpowered princes and princesses.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

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This one is a recent one from 2004. Susanna Clarke's debut novel mixes fantasy, adventure and what she calls "pastiche historical" with magic. It explores the tension between reason and madness and between good and evil.

Slaughterhouse-Five

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This is a classic sci-fi American novel. Kurt Vonnegut wrote about a narrator that has become "unstuck in time" and has been abducted by aliens from planet Tralfamadore. It has every item on the sci-fi list.

The City & The City

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China Mieville's fantasy novels are in fashion (or book fashion) nowadays. The city & the city This highly decorated book combines fantasy with crime in an incredible story set in two cities that occupy the same space.

The Once and Future King

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T.H White is another classic fantasy novel writer. Historian Lin Carter described this books as "the single finest fantasy novel written in our time, or for that matter, ever written… I can hardly imagine that any mature, literate person who has read the book would disagree with this estimate."

The Mists of Avalon

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This 800+ page book will feel like a short story. Marion Zimmer Bradley managed to retell the myths from the perspective of their female characters, usually marginalized. The future is female!

Zone One

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This sci-fi horror book will definitely get you hooked. Zone One takes place in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, and is about a crew of survivors sweeping the city for any remaining "skels."

The Harry Potter series

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If you don't like Harry Potter get out of our list! The Harry Potter saga and J.K. Rowling have millions of fans for the good reasons: magic. Everyone wants to believe in magic and you'll fall in love with every character and creature on this books.

The Time Quartet

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The Time Quartet features a great protagonist.Meg Murray is not a witch or a princess, is one of us: a super-geek. She has her family on the line and saves her father from the forces of evil, brilliant little brother and schoolgirl crush in tow.

The Chronicles of Narnia

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This other classic became a blockbuster. Lewis is a fantasy master, he will make you open every wardrobe on your way with the hopes of founding Narnia, Aslan and incredible creatures.

His Dark Materials

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This Philip Pullman's novel is called by some the "Anti-Narnia". This book features rips in time, daemons, armored bears, and one of the coolest fantasy protagonists of all time, the intuitive Lyra Silvertongue.

The Female Man

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Joanna Russ was one of the best female sci-fi writers in the world. The Female Man is her most known book and is about four women living in parallel universes who meet, changing her ideas of what it does and should mean to be a woman in her particular world.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Jules Verne may actually be the father of science fiction literature. He's the author of a lot of classics but we chose Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, which was written in 1870 and still accurate about pop culture today.

Brown Girl in the Ring

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Brown Girl in the ring is a sci-fi book by the author Nalo Hopkinson. It features a future dystopian Toronto and a young mother (Ti-Jeanne) who begins to have some disturbing visions.

Solaris

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Polish writer Stanislaw Lem is a sci-fi genius. Solaris is a philosophical novel that investigates the limitations of man and of communication. In this book, a team of scientists studies the planet Solaris and they are also being studied.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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This one is another television classic and hit. This Douglas Adams' gem set the standard for future goofy science fiction books. If you want to laugh and read a good space book then this is for you.

The Dune Chronicles

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The Dune Chronicles is one of the world's best selling science fictions series of all time. Frank Herbert managed to create a complex universe: sandworms, heroes, ecological intrigues and magical spices that prolong life.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

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We, this lists has a lot of classics but they are classics for a reason. This George Orwell dystopia doesn't feature any futuristic technology or aliens, it's what writers call social science fiction and shows the worst of our society and its future.

Snow Crash

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Neal Stephenson has some novels that are worthy of our list but you should start with Snow Crash. This book is about history, philosophy, and cyberpunk. If you love this one then you should read all of his work!

The Stars My Destination

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This classic is a sci-fi version of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, and an early anticipator of the cyberpunk genre. Bester managed to deliver an epic adventure, furious and darkly comic.

Neuromancer

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Neuromancer by William Gibson was the first book to popularize the term Cyberspace, as it's a cyberpunk gem. It won the "triple-crown" of major science-fiction prizes (the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award).

American Gods

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This book became a controversial and interesting tv show. Neil Gaiman wrote this theology novel with a sci-fi twist: American Gods it's about gods (duh) living in our present on Earth.

The Foundation series

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Some people say that Isaac Asimov was the first science fiction writer (and the best). The foundation series set the bases for others science fiction books. The series was awarded a special Hugo Award for "best all-time series".

Discworld

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Terry Pratchett knows how to deliver a hilarious fantasy universe and you won't stop reading it. This literary gem has a mythological universe and is both satirical and satisfying in its own way.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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We love both the animated and "real life" Alice In Wonderland films. This fantasy classic will make you wanna live in Wonderland as Lewis Carroll do know how to describe a beautiful scenario.

Among Others

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Among other is Jo Walton's masterpiece that made him win the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award. This novel is an ode to the fantastical as well as a compelling, complex fairy tale in its own right.

Brave New World

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Another dystopia. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World change the standards for science fiction books and films. You probably read it in high school but we assure you it deserves another read.

The Last Unicorn

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The Last unicorn, a fantasy novel by writer Peter S. Beagle, is about a unicorn (of course) on a quest to discover what has become of the rest of her kind. Colorful and dreamy, it's a story for all ages.

The Drowned World

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This post-apocalyptic fiction J.B- Ballard novel is going to blow your mind. The Drowned World is set in a futuristic London, where the apocalypse has turned the world into a sweltering dreamscape.

Witch World

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Andre Norton is a science fiction and fantasy master. If you haven't read any of his books you should start by Witch World, it blends both genres elegantly and kicks off a series chock full of more action.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Ray Bradbury is a sci-fi expert. Fahrenheit 451 and The martian chronicles are a few examples that should sound familiar. Something Wicked this way comes is the scariest carnival ever committed to paper.

The Time Machine

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Every kid once dreamt of having a time machine and travel through time. This book may be the one that popularized this idea which then leads to many sci-fi books and movies.

Never Let Me Go

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Never Let me go is a Kazuo Ishiguro novel. Mark Romanek's film adaptation did an amazing disservice to his great dystopian book, which follows the lives of three students at a boarding school for an underclass destined to die young after providing healthy organs to "normal" humans.

Little, Big

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This John Crowley's novel is a must-read. It's filled with love, magical and realistic scenes, prophecies, old houses and fairies. Who can say no to all that fantasy gold?

The Dragonriders of Pern series

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Anna McCaffrey managed to write a beautiful fantasy novel with dragons! The first book in this series is called Dragonflight and is comprised of two earlier novellas which made McCaffrey the first woman to win a Hugo and a Nebula award.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

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This contemporary science fiction book is an underrated gem. Charles Yu wrote a novel that pays homage to and transcends its own genre. It's meta and empathetic at once, and the triumph of family and time travel.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

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You may not know Patricia Wrede or her Enchanted Forest Chronicles but we are sure that you will love her books if you are a fantasy literature fan. Princess Cimorene is one of the most kick-ass heroines of all time and her fairy world is fascinating.

The Castle trilogy

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You must have seen Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. If you liked it, you should take a look at its original novel. The Castle Trilogy is filled with humor and color and will make you happy at least for a while.

The Giver

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Our last pick is one of the most surprising and quietly terrifying books for children ever written. This Lois Lowry novel will haunt you forever and give you nightmares but you still can't stop reading it.

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