Science-fiction novels everyone should read


Getty Images

Old books on a library shelf background (Getty Images)

By Kyron Lewis, Lifestyle Writer

When talking about entertainment, no matter the formatting, people tend to have a liking for a certain genre, or even multiple genres. Whether it’s an action movie or a horror novel by Stephen King, there tends to be something for everyone.

Being able to escape into a fictional world and connect with different characters is one of the wonders of reading. This is very prevalent in the sci-fi genre. Sci-fi usually includes imaginative and futuristic concepts in unique ways, utilizing aspects of advanced technology, space exploration, time travel and more. 

If sci-fi films or shows aren’t enough to suffice, then there are plenty of classic novels that are recommended reading. Many classic sci-fi novels have actually laid the groundwork for many science fiction tropes and advanced technology within films that we watch today. Regardless of if you’re a fan of the sci-fi genre or not, here are four sci-fi novels you should read.

“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

Many are familiar with the story of this famous creature. Frankenstein’s monster is very recognizable and, ironically, is considered more of an icon in the horror genre. Even though this story has very gothic elements, it has been argued that Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the first sci-fi novelor at least one of the first notable examples of it. 

Peter Davis, in his 2008 academic thesis “Frankenstein, Science Fiction, and the Poetry of Science,” details how “Frankenstein” remains a novel about science. By today’s standards, it may seem mundane and often overlooked in the sci-fi genre, but still applies traits of the genre. The nature of the story itself explores the concept of humans being able to create artificial life and the consequences that arise with that type of scientific experimentation. 

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

“Fahrenheit 451” is about a dystopian world in which books have been banned and are deemed illegal to possess due to the government finding them to be offensive and dangerous. The novel follows a character named Guy Montag who is a fireman in this dystopian future, tasked with burning the remaining books and capturing book owners. Many of the things Bradbury wrote about have come to life. For example, how large TVs are and how we now use small earbuds to listen to music.

“1984” by George Orwell 

“1984” is another dystopian novel that has laid the groundwork for many dystopian tropes that are still used and seen today in both films and books. 

The novel deals with political control of information, propaganda, surveillance and psychological manipulation. This story was intended to be a cautionary tale of government oversight and totalitarianism. The books have been an inspiration and basis for many sci-fi movies and even music.

“Dune” by Frank Herbert

“Dune” is a classic sci-fi novel and the first in a series of six original novels spanning this space epic. The series has also spawned a media franchise consisting of films, television series and more spinoff novels by the author’s son Brian Herbert. It is set thousands of years in the future in which civilization has banned artificial intelligence and established colonies on different planets. This novel was made into a film of the same name in 2021 starring Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson.