Masterpieces: 25 of The Best Science Fiction Books Ever Written

This is a list of 25 science fiction books that will go down or already are considered masterpieces.

Throughout Science Fiction’s history there have been hundreds perhaps thousands of great novels.  Lots of these books were ground breaking in their approach and subject matter thereby adding to their appeal for readers.  Although I could easily have considered 50 or 100 books to be on this list I have decided to just focus on twenty five books that are definitely masterpieces of science fiction.   Now I know I will be excluding some books from this list that deserve to be on it but I am only putting on paper what I consider to be twenty five that deserve it.  In any list ever created there will always be some books/authors that get left off no matter how big the list is so please consider this before posting any comments. I also limited each author to only one book each for this list.  The list is no particular order so number one does not mean overall best.  Here are my twenty five masterpieces of science fiction:

  1. War of the Worlds    HG Wells
  2. Brave New World    Aldous Huxley
  3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea    Jules Verne
  4. The Foundation Trilogy     Isaac Asimov
  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey   Arthur C. Clarke
  6. Dune     Frank Herbert
  7. Fahrenheit 451   Ray Bradbury
  8. Stranger in a Strange Land   Robert Heinlein
  9. Man in the High Castle   Philip K. Dick
  10. World of Null A   AE Van Vogt
  11. The Forever War   Joe Haldeman
  12. Flowers For Algernon   Daniel Keyes
  13. Slaughterhouse Five   Kurt Vonnegut
  14. 1984   George Orwell
  15. A Clockwork Orange    Anthony Burgess
  16. Ringworld     Larry Niven
  17. Princess of Mars    Edgar Rice Burroughs
  18. Nueromancer    William Gibson
  19. Ender’s Game   Orson Scott Card
  20. Left Hand of Darkness   Ursula K. LeGuin
  21. Hyperion    Dan Simmons
  22. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy & Mostly Harmless   Douglas Adams
  23. The Andromeda Strain   Michael Chrichton
  24. Gateway     Frederick Pohl
  25. A Fire Upon the Deep   Vernor Vinge

Here are my personal favorite books not listed above (once again different authors) but all are probably considered or will be masterpieces too):

  1. Mote in God’s Eye   Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven
  2. Contact    Carl Sagan
  3. The Day of the Triffids    John Wyndham
  4. Solaris   Stanislaw Lem
  5. Red Mars   Kim Stanley Robinson
  6. A Canticle for Leibowitz   Walter Miller
  7. Startide Rising    David Brin
  8. To Your Scattered Bodies Go    Philip Jose Farmer
  9. Doomsday Book    Connie Willis
  10. The Speed of Dark   Elizabeth Moon
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8 Comments
  1. Posted August 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I don’t really get into reading

  2. Posted August 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Wow, I should really read some of them. Great work!

  3. Posted August 29, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Ender’s Game was awesome. Good picks.

  4. Jim K
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I was pleased to see A Princess Of Mars on your list.
    While no one will point to Mr. Burroughs as a great writer he possesed a great imagination and was a hell of a story teller.

  5. Posted September 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Jules Verne was a master writer. I love his books. He has people going to the moon and captains of 15 years young etc in the 19th century.

  6. freddy bluford
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I respond here in the hope for your responce. I have, book of the century, book of the decade, best seller for weeks runing, a book I must write in the service of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY WHOSE reality, the magnificance of which must be articulated with a deeper understanding so HIS greatnes and the properties of reality (E=MC (square) which apply to HIM can be better (Proverbs 4:7Kjv) understood and comonly spoken of globally. HIS reality and the magnificance of HIS person must be written of in “ROAD KILL” my book and to write my book I want to know what the primary eliments or component parts of a book that is a masterpiece are.I would like so much to hear or read these eliments or component parts of a book that is a masterpiece compared and contrasted in conversation so I can do with my book what is spoken of in such great conversations. I have a (Genesis 26:5Kjv) Charge to write this book which is more a text book or manual which must be as a Romans 12:1Kjv) living sacrifice holy and acceptable to GOD and ( Matt 5:48Kjv) perfecteven a the FAATHER which is in HEAVEN is paerfect and with out (Exodus 12:5Kjv) blemish so He will be pleased and bless me to write well when I fast beyond 36hours and get into, “deep thought” for a depth of understanding and clearness of mind with an acute ability to express myself plainly.

  7. dont like readin
    Posted November 15, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Don’t much like readin wurds n stuff. Book learnin never done me much good.

  8. Phil
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Some nice books there, including some of my favorites. Have you ever read any Philip Jose Farmer?

    I’d recommend giving his Riverworld series of books a try, plus Dayworld Rebel.

    Oops! Just reread your post, and I see you list ‘To Your Scattered Bodies Go’…. Cool! We have similar tastes in scifi – you’ve got some real classics there.

    Particularly glad to see A.E.Van Vogt in your list – seems he doesn’t usually get the credit he deserved.

    How about Gordon R. Dickson’s class Childe Cycle novels? (my favorites being ‘Tactics of Mistake’ and ‘Other’)

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