Total Nerd The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
460.6k votes 23.2k voters 355.9k views 201 items

This list ranks the best science fiction novels ever written, as voted on by sci-fi readers. Anyone can add their picks to this list of sci-fi books, making it an accurate, real-time ranking of the best sci-fi books of all time by the people who live and breathe Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, and Clarke.

Vote up the novels that you think best represent the greatest science fiction books ever written in order to determine the most popular science fiction books on the shelves. It doesn't much matter they're classic or modern, utopian or dystopian; if they're popular sci-fi books, this list is the place to rank them.

If you see a good book that's missing, add it whether it be a lesser-known classic or a new sci-fi book fellow readers need to try. Vote up your favorite literary slices of sci-fi. And for maximum impact, make your own list by reranking this one your own way, so that everyone can see whether your top rated sci-fi novels take place on Arrakis, Mars, or even Earth.

 

No matter what you geek out about, Loot Crate has a box for you! Exclusive pop culture gear delivered every month! Learn More.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
8,218 3,181
Dune is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Frank Herbert
Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is the world's best-selling science fiction novel ...more

2
9,051 2,657
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of ...more

3
7,562 1,852
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania ...more

4
4,744 2,190
Foundation is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Isaac Asimov
Foundation is the first novel in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. Foundation is a collection of five short stories, which were first published together as a book by Gnome Press in 1951 which, ...more

5
5,146 1,616
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. Wells is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an ...more

6
4,484 1,928
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Aldous Huxley
Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, ...more

7
7,030 2,215
Ender's Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the ...more

8
6,026 1,500
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and ...more

9
5,037 1,591
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about the young student of science Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature ...more

10
4,028 1,785
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. Clarke ...more

11
4,480 1,605
The War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells
The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells. It first appeared in serialized form in 1897, published simultaneously in Pearson's Magazine in the UK and ...more

12
3,553 1,472
The Martian Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles is a 1950 science fiction short story collection by Ray Bradbury that chronicles the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing from a troubled and eventually atomically ...more

13
4,338 1,487
I, Robot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Isaac Asimov
I, Robot is a collection of nine science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction ...more

14
3,842 1,795
Stranger in a Strange Land is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961 science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood ...more

15
3,728 1,732
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. First published in 1968, the book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner. ...more

16
4,484 1,409
A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone ...more

17
3,612 1,425
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Jules Verne
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen ...more

18
3,568 1,533
Flowers for Algernon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Daniel Keyes
Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine ...more

19
4,260 1,842
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Michael Crichton
Jurassic Park is a science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton, divided into seven sections. Often considered a cautionary tale on unconsidered biological tinkering in the same spirit as ...more

20
3,157 1,883
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess published in 1962. Set in a near future English society that has a subculture of extreme youth violence, the novella has a teenage ...more

21
3,385 1,574
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier named Billy ...more

22
3,730 1,800
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers is a military science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and published hardcover in December ...more

23
3,950 1,663
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Stephen King
The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story, "Night Surf". The novel was originally ...more

24
2,266 1,398
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells
The Invisible Man is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells published in 1897. Originally serialized in Pearson's Weekly in 1897, it was published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man ...more

25
2,157 1,670
Ringworld is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Larry Niven
Ringworld is a 1970 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, set in his Known Space universe and considered a classic of science fiction literature. It is followed by three sequels and four ...more