Yesterday, I posted Quarantine Reads (Fantasy), but on this site we also talk about science fiction so here is a list of the SF books I think would be great to burn through while stuck at home!
Number 1 – 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
I recently read the first book in Clarke’s classic Space Odyssey series and I loved it. It was a small book but it packed a huge punch. It wasn’t just the plot and the setting, but I could also see where modern sci-fi got its influences from.
Classic SF isn’t particularly character-driven, but the story and the universe is rich and complex. It was a joy to read and I think, even if you don’t read all four books in the series, you should at least read this classic gem.
Number 2 – Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Continuing with the classic SF theme, the foundation series is another classic. I have read the first two books, Foundation and Foundation and Empire. They were both incredibly filled with worldbuilding – something I rarely see in science fiction.
The galaxy is the setting and there is so much to be explored. Despite the lack of characterisation, you do get into the heads of a few characters and they are well realised, even though we may not spend a huge amount of time with them.
The books are short but are filled with story, so try not to read them too fast! Or reread them to get the full impact of the story – I feel like I need to reread the first two books before I get onto the third one as I might have forgotten a few important things!
Number 3 – Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel
Again, I have only read the first two books of the trilogy so far, but I intend on finishing the series soon.
Moving on to more modern SF, we see where the influences of 2001: A Space Odyssey have brought the genre. This is a story of exploration at heart, and the epistolary format is a wonderful way of bridging the gap between classic, world-driven SF, and modern, character-driven SF.
The first book is incredible in it’s own right and I believe it can be read as a standalone if you don’t want to get into a trilogy.
Number 4 – The Martian by Andy Weir
This book is hilarious! I’d never read a survival book before, but this book was certainly a great first in that genre.
Andy Weir developed a great voice and tone for comedy but also manages to still make you bite your nails all the way through this one.
This is a definite must-read for all SF fans.
Number 5 – The 100 by Kass Morgan
If you want a very easy, YA science fiction read, you should sink your teeth into The 100. It’s a fun story with a fantastic premise. The TV show might be better (don’t kill me) so you could always watch that instead!
But in all honesty, the first book was a solid read and if you want something quick and simple to pass an afternoon, this is a good book for that.
Number 6 – Elevation by Stephen King
I loved this novella. I know it split readers a bit, but to me this was a wonderful story. I think I read this is about two hours so it’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon.
Number 7 – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
You may not wish to get into a dystopian right now, but if you do then this is the best one (in my opinion!). Montag’s journey of discovery, not only of his own humanity but the exploration of what makes people more than mindless machines, will stay with me forever.
I love this book and despite the harsh setting, it gives me hope, and right now that might be what you’re after.
I am not as well read in science fiction as I am in fantasy, so they are all of my recommendations from books I have read. Here is a list of SF books and series that I plan on reading because they come highly recommended, so take a look at those if you want more ideas!
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
- Bobiverse by Dennis E. Taylor
- Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Takeshi Kovacs Novels by Richard K. Morgan
- Ringworld by Larry Niven
- Commonwealth Universe by Peter F. Hamilton
- Ender by Orson Scott Card
- Expanse by James S. A. Corey
If you have any more recommendations, please leave them in the comments below! I’m always looking for more SF and fantasy!