Total Nerd The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People  

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List Rules Vote up the most intellectually challenging and satisfying science fiction novels you've ever read.

Sometimes you want to treat your intellect as well as your imagination. That's where these sci fi novels come in. These are the best science fiction novels for smart people, from the darkly comical to the expansive and epic. Some great science fiction books for smart people are travel tales while other good intelligent science fiction novels are about alien life forms. Many of the best hard sci fi novels have even been adapted into award-winning films.

What books will you find on this list of the best sci fi novels for smart people? If you're a fan of the classics, you might vote Brave New World by Aldous Huxley to the top. This timeless work appeals to intelligent readers because of its themes of class discrimination and psychological manipulation. It is largely considered one of the best science fiction works of all time. Dune by Frank Herbert is another intelligent sci fi book celebrated by readers all over the world. Other good books features on this must-read list include The Martian Chronicles, The Diamond Age, and The Man in the High Castle.

Which smart sci fi book is your favorite? Give the best novels a thumbs up and please add any intelligent science fiction works that are missing.

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31 4
1984 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
1984 George Orwell

The Best Sci-Fi Novels About Outer Space The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

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41 8
Dune is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Dune Frank Herbert

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27 8
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

4
27 11
Foundation is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Foundation Isaac Asimov

5
21 7
The Man in the High Castle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People

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18 9
The Martian Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury

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10 3
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
jess-hart added Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

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Stranger in a Strange Land is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Todd King added Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein

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7 2
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Todd King added Something Wicked This Way Comes Ray Bradbury

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15 10
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke

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12 8
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
The Martian Andy Weir

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8 4
Ringworld is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Todd King added Ringworld Larry Niven

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6 2
We is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added We Yevgeny Zamyatin

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19 16
Ender's Game is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Ender's Game Orson Scott Card

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15 12
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Todd King added Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein

The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time The Best Movies Based on Short Stories

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10 7
A Canticle for Leibowitz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
looksharp added A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller, Jr.

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9 6
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick

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5 2
Enemy Mine is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
jess-hart added Enemy Mine David Gerrold, Barry B. Longyear

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10 8
Rendezvous with Rama is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke

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8 6
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
jess-hart added Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

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6 4
The Mote in God's Eye is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Todd King added The Mote in God's Eye Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

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5 3
Red Mars is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson

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4 2
The Elementary Particles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Elementary Particles Michel Houellebecq

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4 2
Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Metropolis Thea von Harbou

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4 2
Tau Zero is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Tau Zero Poul Anderson

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4 2
The Ringworld Engineers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
jess-hart added The Ringworld Engineers Larry Niven

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3 1
Eumeswil is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Eumeswil Ernst Jünger

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3 1
Heart of a Dog is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Heart of a Dog Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Forever War is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
The Forever War Joe Haldeman

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Heliopolis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Heliopolis Ernst Jünger

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3 2
The Possibility of an Island is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Possibility of an Island Michel Houellebecq

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Ravage is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Ravage René Barjavel

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Use of Weapons is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Use of Weapons Iain Banks

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Le Grand Secret is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Le Grand Secret René Barjavel

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3 2
Alraune is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Alraune Hanns Heinz Ewers

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The Ice People is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Ice People René Barjavel

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The Glass Bees is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Glass Bees Ernst Jünger

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3 2
Blindsight is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Blindsight Peter Watts

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3 2
The Sparrow is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
jess-hart added The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell

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3 2
Les racines du mal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Les racines du mal Maurice G. Dantec

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3 2
Le voyageur imprudent is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Le voyageur imprudent René Barjavel

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3 2
The Camp of the Saints is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Camp of the Saints Jean Raspail

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2 1
Er ist wieder da is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Er ist wieder da Timur Vermes

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2 1
Une rose au paradis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Une rose au paradis

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2 1
The Iron Dream is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Iron Dream Norman Spinrad

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2 1
The Mind Parasites is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added The Mind Parasites Colin Wilson

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2 1
Der Tunnel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Der Tunnel

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2 1
Hellstrom's Hive is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Hellstrom's Hive Frank Herbert

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Ich werde hier sein im Sonnens... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten Christian Kracht

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2 1
Fugue for a Darkening Island is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People
Mollevangsvagen added Fugue for a Darkening Island Christopher Priest