Total Nerd The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
449.2k votes 22.2k voters 329.3k views 176 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.

list ordered by

1
7,960 3,082
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
8,839 2,528
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
7,335 1,768
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
4,369 1,846
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
4,536 2,133
Foundation is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
6,856 2,136
Ender's Game is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
4,995 1,572
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
5,875 1,442
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
4,913 1,534
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
3,898 1,733
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
4,349 1,569
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
3,432 1,440
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
3,739 1,741
Stranger in a Strange Land is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
4,202 1,462
I, Robot is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
3,582 1,688
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
4,409 1,333
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
3,522 1,392
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
3,467 1,493
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
3,067 1,829
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
4,150 1,783
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
3,628 1,763
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
3,297 1,535
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
3,848 1,617
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
1,848 1,647
Rendezvous with Rama is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke Rendezvous with Rama is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre cylindrical alien starship that enters ...more

25
2,081 1,642
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

26
2,199 1,371
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
1,588 1,683
Hyperion is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons Hyperion is a Hugo Award-winning 1989 science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It is the first book of his Hyperion Cantos, and is the only book in it to extensively employ the ...more

28
1,910 1,757
Neuromancer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
William Gibson Neuromancer is a 1984 novel by William Gibson, a seminal work in the cyberpunk genre and the first winner of the science-fiction "triple crown" — the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick ...more

29
2,012 1,534
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, who called it "an exercise in youthful blasphemy". The text of the novel is the narration of Edward ...more

30
2,026 1,439
Contact is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Carl Sagan Contact is a 1985 science fiction novel by Carl Sagan. It deals with the theme of contact between humanity and a more technologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form. It ranked No. 7 on the ...more

31
1,250 1,629
A Canticle for Leibowitz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in 1960. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the ...more

32
2,488 1,162
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
midnightq2 added Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known ...more

33
1,935 1,530
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Robert A. Heinlein The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony's revolt against rule from Earth. The novel expresses and discusses ...more

34
2,864 1,221
The Andromeda Strain is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton, is a techno-thriller novel documenting the efforts of a team of scientists investigating the outbreak of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism in ...more

35
1,153 1,762
Snow Crash is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Neal Stephenson Snow Crash is Neal Stephenson's third novel, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, ...more

36
2,381 1,341
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
pontus-söderlund added Andy Weir The Martian is a 2011 science fiction novel written by Andy Weir. The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035 and must improvise ...more

37
1,532 1,673
The Road is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Cormac McCarthy The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted ...more

38
2,394 1,444
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Stephen King The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable ...more

39
1,344 1,444
The Mote in God's Eye is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle The Mote in God's Eye is a science fiction novel by American writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first published in 1974. The story is set in the distant future of Pournelle's CoDominium ...more

40
3,347 1,378
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic ...more

41
1,701 1,377
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
midnightq2 added H. P. Lovecraft The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories is Penguin Classics' first omnibus edition of works by seminal 20th-century American author H. P. Lovecraft. It was released in October 1999 and is ...more

42
2,257 1,309
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel, a work of speculative fiction, by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Set in the near future, in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown ...more

43
1,696 952
The foundation trilogy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Isaac Asimov

44
1,599 1,361
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Kurt Vonnegut Cat's Cradle is the fourth novel by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1963. It explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other ...more

45
1,797 1,074
Around the World in Eighty Day... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet ...more

46
1,252 1,375
The Left Hand of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness is a 1969 science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is part of the Hainish Cycle, a series of books by Le Guin set in the fictional Hainish universe, which she ...more

47
2,357 1,208
Catching Fire is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Suzanne Collins Catching Fire is a 2009 science fiction young adult novel by American novelist Suzanne Collins, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. As the sequel to the 2008 bestseller The Hunger ...more

48
2,129 1,531
Speaker for the Dead is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead is a 1986 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card and an indirect sequel to the novel Ender's Game. This book takes place around the year 5270, some 3,000 years after the ...more

49
2,209 1,674
Ender's Shadow is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow is a parallel science fiction novel by the American author Orson Scott Card, taking place at the same time as the novel Ender's Game and depicting some of the same events from the ...more

50
1,751 1,231
Childhood's End is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke Childhood's End is a 1953 science fiction novel by the British author Arthur C. Clarke. The story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival begins ...more