Wired's profile image

The Best Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

5 Books | by Wired

The Blazing World

The Blazing World

Books

When a young woman is shipwrecked in the kingdom of the Blazing World, she befriends the natives, a highly intelligent and tolerant group of humanoid animals. With the help of the locals, the woman becomes the Empress of the island, and leads the Blazing World into a society of peace, equality, and understanding. Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World explores hot-button topics and themes, bringing a perspective that is still fresh modern-day. With imaginative and gripping prose, Cavendish advocates for philosophy over the material world, becoming a pioneer and strong advocate for peace, animals’ rights, feminism, and equality. Her work is considered innovative not only for the exploration of these topics, but also for the invention of a genre. This edition of The Blazing World is printed in a modern font and redesigned with a striking new cover, bringing Cavendish’s trailblazing literature into the 21st century.

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

Books

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, generally known as Frankenstein, is a novel written by the British author Mary Shelley. The title of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. In popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as "Frankenstein", despite this being the name of the scientist. Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the "over-reaching" of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. It is arguably considered the first fully realized science fiction novel.

The Stars My Destination

The Stars My Destination

Books

#5 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. “Science fiction has only produced a few works of actual genius, and this is one of them.” —Joe Haldeman #5 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. “Science fiction has only produced a few works of actual genius, and this is one of them.” —Joe Haldeman "Bester at the peak of his powers is, quite simply, unbeatable” —James Lovegrove Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel that had intended to leave him to die. When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero. He wrote radio scripts, screenplays, and comic books (in which capacity he created the original Green Lantern Oath). But Bester is best known for his science-fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for fifty years. (Bester fans should also note that iBooks has reprinted ReDemolished, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953.)

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Books

From the author of "Timeline, Sphere, "and" Congo, " this is the classic thriller of science run amok that took the world by storm. #1 "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER "Wonderful . . . powerful."--"The Washington Post Book World" An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind's most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them--for a price. Until something goes wrong. . . . In "Jurassic Park, "Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying technothriller. "Frighteningly real . . . compelling . . . It'll keep you riveted.""--The Detroit News" "Crichton's dinosaurs are genuinely frightening.""--Chicago Sun-Times"" ""Full of suspense."--"The New York Times Book Review"

Foundation

Foundation

Books

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation seriesTHE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.  The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are among the most influential in the history of science fiction, celebrated for their unique blend of breathtaking action, daring ideas, and extensive worldbuilding. In Foundation, Asimov has written a timely and timeless novel of the best—and worst—that lies in humanity, and the power of even a few courageous souls to shine a light in a universe of darkness.

Scroll to top