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Top Ten Science Fiction Books to Read if You Think You Don’t Like Science Fiction
List, Science Fiction, Top Ten

Top Ten Science Fiction Books to Read if You Think You Don’t Like Science Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Despite its huge popularity on the screen, readers often shy away from science-fiction, but it’s not all aliens, technobabble and space battles. I would say I am a fan of science fiction but I don’t tend to read that hard SF that everyone thinks of when the genre is mentioned, there is so much scope in it. So here are ten books I would recommend to reluctant genre readers…

The Machine by James Smythe

This is one of my favourite books but you wouldn’t go wrong picking up any of James’ books. They are very much character driven but with plenty of thought-provoking themes. This one is particularly good if you like books about memory.

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

African centred science fiction, you must read Nnedi Okarafor, especially if you’re interested in reading about the effects of exploitation.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


It’s just the most wonderful, comforting, fuzzy feeling of a book. Honestly the description didn’t do it for me when I first heard about it but I was swayed by so many positive things and I beg you to read it!

The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

One for those of you who like philosophy or want to exercise your brain.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The science of oxytocin at play in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a self-combusting spore.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Weird and biological science fiction, the first instalment of the Southern Reach trilogy is also on the eery side.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Or any of Margaret Atwood’s speculative fiction works. There’s this one called The Handmaid’s Tale too…

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The most feelings I’ve ever felt for a robot.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan +Fiona Staples

(Contains graphic imagery) A tale of two parents from opposing sides of an intergalactic war trying to raise their mixed race child whilst running for their lives. It’s THE best comic out there.

The Humans

Warm and funny, with a serious message at its heart.

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25 Comments

  1. Greg

    I agree about Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, it was so good and I don't know, comforting is a good way to describe it, there was something about it. I'm so glad a third book is on the way.

    The Humans looks cute.

    http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.com/

    1. Ellie

      I am so excited for Record of a Spaceborn Few!

  2. Anastasia

    The Humans is good! I love anything Haig writes.
    Creative list! Happy TTT! πŸ™‚

  3. Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages

    The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet seems a great read. I have heard some good things about it.

    1. Ellie

      I haven't heard any bad words about it, and when you do love it there's another book already available (a sort of standalone sequel).

  4. Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales

    I didn't really think I was into sci-fi but I've been reading a lot more recently. I've only read Saga Vol.1 but I loved it and although I've not read The Book of Phoenix (yet) I really enjoyed Nnedi Okorafor's Binti.

    My TTT for this week.

    1. Ellie

      It's such a varied genre! I need to read the Binti novellas sometime.

  5. Alyce Hunt

    This is a great choice of topic. I always find sci-fi intimidating: I want to love it, but I find it hard to get my head around the new worlds. These recommendations all look great, though.

    I recommended books for reluctant readers, check it out if you're interested πŸ™‚

    1. Ellie

      There's plenty of near-future settings which are much easier to get into, but I agree hefty tomes with lots of made up stuff can be intimidating.

  6. Anonymous

    Oooh The Thing Itself has intrigued me. Going to add that to my TBR! Great list. πŸ™‚

  7. Vedika @ Poems and Poets

    I've heard a lot about the book by Becky Chambers. It'll be added to my TBR!

  8. Astilbe

    Ooh, I love the premise of your post. I'm also a huge science fiction fan, and it can be challenging sometimes to get people to read books from this genre if they haven't already found one they liked.

    Oryx and Crake would make a very good intro to the genre.

    I haven't read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet yet, but your discussion of it has piqued my interest.

    Here is my TTT.

    1. Ellie

      You must read Angry Planet, it's just wonderful and as far from angry as you can get!

  9. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    When I was in my early twenties, I read nothing but science fiction. But that was a long, long time ago. I miss it. Thank you so much for this list. I've added a few titles to my wish list and I requested one from the library. Let's see if I still love it!

    Here's mine: Can Books Improve Your Happiness?

    1. Ellie

      I hope you get back into it!

  10. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    When I was in my early twenties, I read nothing but science fiction. But that was a long, long time ago. I miss it. Thank you so much for this list. I've added a few titles to my wish list and I requested one from the library. Let's see if I still love it!

    Here's mine: Can Books Improve Your Happiness?

  11. Louise @ Monstrumology

    I don't really read hard SF either because it can be quite intimidating, but I do love the genre. I've been wanting to read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet since I heard about it and now I reaallly want to read it.

    1. Ellie

      And when you do love it, you don't have to wait for A Closed and Common Orbit!

  12. Barb

    Saga is such a great series. I still need to read Volume 7 to be caught up but I'm still loving it. The more I see it, the more I'm interested in reading Humans. I went back and read your review and it sounds pretty interesting. I just read Akata Witch by Okorafor and now I pretty much want to read a lot more by her. Great list!

    1. Ellie

      I have Akata Witch on my TBR and am really looking forward to it.

  13. Annemieke | A Dance with Books

    I'll admit that while I have watched a decent amount of Sci-Fi show I don't read enough Sci-Fi books. I'm hoping to get to Becky Chambers this month though and I've heard great things about Matt Haig.

  14. Lauren Stoolfire

    Saga is amazing! I can't wait for the next volume!

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway

  15. Cass

    Great list! Bookmarked this post so I can refer to it in the future. I don't think I read nearly enough sci-fi, but I certainly have interest in reading more! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Samantha@WLABB

    The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one I have had my eye on. The buzz is good too. I am NOT a scifi reader, but I like to mix something different in with my contemporaries every once in a while. I will definitely check some of these out.

  17. Jaime

    Ooh. This is a cool list. I've heard of Saga before and have it on my list for a while, but I haven't heard much about the rest of these. Thanks for the recommendations!

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