Books Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels

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List of famous hard science fiction books, listed alphabetically with jacket cover images of the books when available. Information for these popular hard science fiction books is included as well, such as the author's name and the book's publication date. This list includes the best hard science fiction novels, textbooks, and stories, so use it to find books you haven't already read and add them to your reading list.

List features A Fire Upon the Deep, Rendezvous with Rama and more.

This list should answer the questions, "What are the best hard science fiction books?" and "What are the most famous hard science fiction books?"

Note that some books on this list might be currently out of print, but you can purchase most of these notable hard science fiction titles on Amazon with just one click.

1
/usr/bin/god is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Cory Doctorow /usr/bin/god was a planned hard science fiction novel by Cory Doctorow, originally intended to be published by Tor Books. The story was to involve an out-of-control artificially intelligent spam ...more

2
A Deepness in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Vernor Vinge A Deepness in the Sky is a Hugo Award–winning science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. Published in 1999, the novel is a loose prequel to his earlier novel A Fire Upon the Deep. The title is ...more

3
A Fall of Moondust is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Arthur C. Clarke A Fall of Moondust is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1961. It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel, and was the first science fiction novel ...more

4
A Fire Upon the Deep is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep is a science fiction novel by American writer Vernor Vinge, a space opera involving superhuman intelligences, aliens, variable physics, space battles, love, betrayal, ...more

5
Absolution Gap is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Alastair Reynolds Absolution Gap is a 2003 space opera novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds. It takes place in the Revelation Space universe and is a direct sequel to Redemption Ark.

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Across the Sea of Suns is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Gregory Benford Across the Sea of Suns is a 1984 hard science fiction novel by Gregory Benford. It is the second novel in his Galactic Center Saga, and continues to follow the scientist Nigel Walmsley, who ...more

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Ark is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Stephen Baxter Ark is a hard science fiction novel by UK author Stephen Baxter. It comes as the sequel to Baxter's 2008 novel Flood. Ark deals with the journey of Ark One, which Baxter has revealed to be a ...more

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Beggars in Spain is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Nancy Kress Beggars in Spain is a novella written by Nancy Kress.

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Between the Strokes of Night is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Charles Sheffield Between the Strokes of Night is a science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield. The story is divided in two vastly separated time periods: the near future of 2010, and the far future of 29,000 AD. ...more

10
Chasm City is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Alastair Reynolds Chasm City is a 2001 science fiction novel by author Alastair Reynolds, set in the Revelation Space universe. It deals with themes of identity, memory, and immortality, and many of its scenes ...more

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Day Million is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Frederik Pohl Day Million is a collection of science fiction short stories by Frederik Pohl, published in June 1970. It contains stories: "Day Million" "The Deadly Mission of P. Snodgrass" ...more

12
Deep Navigation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Alastair Reynolds Deep Navigation is a collection of short stories by Alastair Reynolds. It was published in February 2010 for the 47th annual Boskone Science Fiction Convention where Reynolds was the Guest of ...more

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Diaspora is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Greg Egan Diaspora is a hard science fiction novel by the Australian writer Greg Egan which first appeared in print in 1997.

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Fast Times at Fairmont High is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels

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Fifty Degrees Below is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Kim Stanley Robinson Fifty Degrees Below is the second book in the hard science fiction Science in the Capital trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It directly follows the events of Forty Signs of Rain, with a greater ...more

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Forty Signs of Rain is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Kim Stanley Robinson Forty Signs of Rain is the first book in the hard science fiction "Science in the Capital" trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. Robinson has been nicknamed the "Master of ...more

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In the Ocean of Night is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Gregory Benford In the Ocean of Night is a 1977 Fix-up hard science fiction novel by Gregory Benford. It is the first novel in his Galactic Center Saga. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in ...more

18
Kings of the High Frontier is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Victor Koman Kings of the High Frontier is a hard science fiction novel by Victor Koman, first published in 1996.

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Lecture Demonstration is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Hal Clement Lecture Demonstration is a short story by Hal Clement. It was first published in Astounding: The John W Campbell Memorial Anthology in 1973.

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Mars trilogy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Kim Stanley Robinson The Mars trilogy is a series of award-winning science fiction novels by Kim Stanley Robinson that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars through the intensely personal and ...more

21
Mission of Gravity is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Hal Clement Mission of Gravity is a science fiction novel by Hal Clement. The novel was serialized in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in April–July 1953. Its first hardcover book publication was in ...more

22
Perfect Imperfection is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Jacek Dukaj Perfect Imperfection: First third of progress is a science fiction novel published in 2004 by the Polish science fiction writer Jacek Dukaj as the first part of a planned trilogy. It was ...more

23
Quarantine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Greg Egan Quarantine is a hard science fiction novel by Greg Egan. Within a detective fiction framework, the novel explores the consequences of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which ...more

24
Raft is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Stephen Baxter Raft is a 1991 hard science fiction book by author Stephen Baxter. Raft is both Baxter's first novel and first book in the Xeelee Sequence, although the Xeelee are not present. Raft was ...more

25
Redemption Ark is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Alastair Reynolds Redemption Ark is a 2002 hard science fiction space opera novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds. It is the second book in the Revelation Space series, and it continues the story of Nevil ...more

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Rendezvous with Rama is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
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

27
Revelation Space is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space is a 2000 science fiction space opera novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds. It was the first novel set in the Revelation Space universe, although the then-unnamed universe ...more

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Sixty Days and Counting is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Kim Stanley Robinson Sixty Days and Counting is the third book in the hard science fiction Science in the Capital trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It directly follows the events of Fifty Degrees Below, beginning ...more

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The Cookie Monster is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Vernor Vinge The Cookie Monster is a novella by Vernor Vinge. It was first published in the October 2003 issue of Dell Magazines' anthology publication Analog, and has subsequently been collected in several ...more

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The Golden Age is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
John C. Wright The Golden Oecumene is a science fiction trilogy by the American writer John C. Wright. It consists of three books, The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant and The Golden Transcendence.

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The Hot Zone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Richard Preston The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story is a best-selling 1994 non-fiction thriller by Richard Preston about the origins and incidents involving viral hemorrhagic fevers, particularly ebolaviruses ...more

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The Killing of Worlds is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Scott Westerfeld The Killing of Worlds is a science fiction novel by Scott Westerfeld. The events detailed below immediately follow those of the novel The Risen Empire. Imperial Captain Laurent Zai is sent on a ...more

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The Risen Empire is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Scott Westerfeld The Risen Empire is a science fiction novel by Scott Westerfeld.

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The Two Faces of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels

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The World Is Round is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
Tony Rothman

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Thrice Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Hard Science Fiction Books and Novels
James P. Hogan Thrice Upon A Time is a science fiction novel by James P. Hogan, first published in 1980. Unlike most other time travel stories, Thrice Upon A Time considers the ramifications of sending ...more