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The Best Isaac Asimov Books

Updated September 9, 2021 1.4k votes 313 voters 17.5k views82 items

List RulesVote for the Isaac Asimov novels you just couldn't put down. If you haven't read a book, don't downvote it.

List of the best Isaac Asimov books, ranked by voracious readers in the Ranker community. What is Isaac Asimov famous for? With commercial success and critical acclaim, there's no doubt that Asimov is one of the most popular authors of the last 100 years. Considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, he is said to have written over 500 books in his lifetime. 

Among his biggest successes is the Foundation trilogy, which started simply with Foundation. Asimov is also famous for The Martian Way and Other Stories, a collection of novellas. Though it happened long after his lifetime, the I, Robot author had his famous series of short stories turned into a successful movie that starred Will Smith. It wasn't the first time either. The 1999 film Bicentennial Man is also among books by Isaac Asimov made into movies. 

If you're a huge fan of his work, vote on the best Asimov books below and make your opinion count. This poll is also a great resource for new fans who want to know which Asimov novels they should start reading first. With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there's no reason why you shouldn't check out this Isaac Asimov book list if you're a big reader.

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  • Photo: flickr / CC0
    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, together, form a single plot. Foundation saw multiple publications—it also appeared in 1955 as part of Ace Double's novel series as D-110 under the title The 1,000-Year Plan. Four of the stories were originally published in Astounding Magazine between 1942 and 1944, and the fifth was added when they first appeared in book form. A further two books of short stories were published shortly after, and decades later, Asimov wrote two further sequel novels and two prequels. Later writers have added...  more
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction
    • Author: Isaac Asimov
    • First Published: 1951
    • Subjects: Milky Way, Scientist, Spaceflight
    • Original Language: American English, English Language

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    #11 of 176 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time#260 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#169 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • Photo: flickr / CC0
    Foundation and Empire is a novel written by Isaac Asimov that was published by Gnome Press in 1952. It is the second book published in the Foundation Series, and the fourth in the in-universe chronology. It takes place in two halves, originally published as separate novellas. The second part, "The Mule," won a Hugo Award. Foundation and Empire saw multiple publications—it also appeared in 1955 as Ace Double D-125 under the title "The Man Who Upset the Universe". The stories comprising this volume were originally published in Astounding Magazine in 1945. Foundation and Empire was the second book in the Foundation trilogy. Decades later, Asimov wrote two further sequel novels and two...  more
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction
    • Author: Isaac Asimov
    • First Published: 1952
    • Original Language: American English, English Language, Spanish Language
  • The Caves of Steel is a novel by Isaac Asimov. It is essentially a detective story, and illustrates an idea Asimov advocated, that science fiction is a flavor that can be applied to any literary genre, rather than a limited genre itself. Specifically, in the book Asimov's Mysteries, he states that he wrote the novel in response to the assertion by editor John W. Campbell that mystery and science fiction were incompatible genres. Campbell had said that the science fiction writer could invent "facts" in his imaginary future that the reader would not know. Asimov countered that there were rules implicit in the art of writing mysteries, and that the clues could be in the plot, even if they were...  more
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Mystery, Fiction, Science Fiction
    • Author: Isaac Asimov
    • First Published: 1954-06
    • Subjects: Adventure
    • Original Language: English Language
  • Second Foundation is the third novel published of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, and the fifth in the in-universe chronology. It was first published in 1953 by Gnome Press. Second Foundation saw multiple publications. The stories comprising this volume were originally published in Astounding Magazine between 1948 and 1950. Two other books of short stories were published shortly before, and decades later, Asimov wrote two further sequel novels and two prequels. Later writers have added authorized tales to the series. The Foundation series is often regarded as one of Isaac Asimov's best works, along with his Robot series. The term also describes the organization by that name which is...  more
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Science Fiction
    • Author: Isaac Asimov
    • First Published: 1953
    • Original Language: American English, English Language