10 Sci-Fi Novels That Will Get You To Hook On The Genre

Science Fiction is one of the most intriguing Genre in Literature. However not many people know how to get into the genre.

Science Fiction is more elaborate than the common perception of being composed of Star Wars or Star Trek clones. Science Fiction is a genre that speculates about Mankind's future, other worlds, and things grounded in science. 

With the genre's roots dating back to ancient Greece; Science Fiction is a daunting genre to get hooked on. This problem is thanks to the genre's composition of many different books, both good and bad. 

Here is the introduction to Science Fiction through a list of ten great books that will get you hooked on the genre. 

1. Dune

The Original 1965 U.S. Cover for Dune. 
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Beyond being the source of 2021's big Science Fiction block-buster, Dune is worth a read on its merit alone.

The work succeeds on the grounds of science and fiction. On the science side of things, Frank Herbert crafts a realistic desert planet based on real-world-ecological theories. On the other hand, Frank Herbert crafts Dune as a compelling coming of age tale set within a larger galactic and religious conflict. 

Reading like a mixture of J.R.R Tolkein and Issac Asimov, Dune is an approachable work that introduced the reader to a complex galaxy. A feat completed through Dune's technical aspects appearing only in a glossary at the end of the book. 

2. Leviathan Wakes

original 2011 Cover for  Leviathan Wakes.
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Leviathan Wakes is similar to Dune in that it's worth a read beyond it being the source material of a popular tv series.  

Like Dune, Leviathan Wakes uses the familiar structure of Techno-Thillers and Mysteries to draw the reader into a more profound story of humanity's struggle to survive in the harshness of space. The story successfully mixes familiar genre tropes with some fantastical elements in a very grounded sci-fi setting. 

3. Solaris

Original 1961 Polish cover for
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Solaris is sentimental work of Polish Science fiction is most well-known for its 1972 Russian adaption of the same name. Unlike most book-to-film adaptions, the book is more approachable. 

Solaris, the book, primarily deals with how humanity reacts to encountering things beyond their comprehension. This theme appears through humanity's effort to contact and examined the living world of Solaris.

While this book deals with some heavy themes, it easily hooks you in thanks to its presentation. That presentation being that story presents itself as an atmospheric horror story set on an alien world.   

4. Red Mars

Original 1992 US cover for Red Mars:
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A similar work dealing with humanity's relationship to an alien world is the first installment in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy

Red Mars crafts a tale of humanity's colonization of Mars through its original colonists' perspective. The book's central conflict deals with a debate over changing Mars for humanity's need or changing humankind to live on Mars. 

Red Mars's approachability comes from its ability to take an ordinary Sci-fi tale of Martian colonization and evolve it into a tragedy. That tragedy being that humanity took its problem with them into the stars. 

5. The Female Man

2018 Kindle Cover for The Female Man
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Not all works of Science Fiction are concern with speculating about hard sciences. The Female Man, for example, contemplates more about soft science topics. 

The Female Man deals with the encounter of four different women named Joan from a different timeline. One is our world during the 1970s, another is a world where Second World War never occurred, another is a futuristic world where humanity is all extinct, and a world where the battle of the sexes becomes quite literal. 

Joanna Russ uses this cross-dimensional encounter to raise important themes about feminism and gender identity. It also creates an engaging tale of the personal impact of encountering an alternate version of yourself.  

6. The Dispossessed

Original 1974 Cover for The Dispossessed.
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A similar work of Science fiction dealing with soft science speculation is Ursula le Guin's The Dispossessed.

The Dispossessed is the tale of two worlds, Annares and Urras. The latter having sociality evolved to a state similar to Earth during the 1970s, the former seeing itself colonized by political radicals from Urras. 

The book frames itself around the travel of protagonist Shevek from Annares and Urras. Guin uses this tale as an examination of various forms of government. Overall this book's use of a single protagonist's journey help makes a book about political sciences very approachable.  

7. Blood Music

The Original 1985 Cover for Blood Music.
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Moving towards a book dealing with more concrete sciences, Greg Bear's Blood Music is an eerie book about a slow burn apocalypse. 

Blood Music tells the story of how a disgruntled scientist smuggling out some bio-computers in his body leads to humanity's destruction and possible rebirth. While that's the somewhat bleak premise, Greg Bear does some heavy lifting to make the book feel less grim. 

Primarily, Greg Bear used multiple points of view to examine how different people respond to this disaster. He also makes the bio-computers motive hidden till the final chapters. Bear does this to both build up a central mystery and reframe the book in less bleak terms. 

8. The Sheep Look Up

Orginal 1972 Cover for The Sheep Look Up
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A similar book that uses multiple points of view to paint a complex picture of humanity facing an existential threat is John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up. 

The Sheep Look Up deals with a near-future Earth ruined by human-made pollution. The book examined this state of affairs through multiple viewpoints. The novel's central conflict deals with how pollution affects not only nature but human society. 

While a very bleak and complex novel, it worth a read for two reasons. Firstly is that John Brunner uses multiple points of view to build a complex and plausible world. Secondly, Brunner uses the book's bleakness to teach the reader a crucial lesson about Humanity's relationship with its environment. 

9. Parable of the Sower

Original 1993 Cover for Parable of the Sower
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Octavia Bulter's Parable of the Sower shows a similar future to Sheep Look Up but comes across as less bleak in tone. 

Parable of the Sower is a coming-of-the-age story set in a bleak futuristic Los Angles. What makes Parable different from Sheep is that Parable's character chooses a more positive response to her world. 

While the book paints a bleak and disturbingly familiar vision of the future, Lauren's developing belief in Earthseed teaches a message on the importance of a more optimistic Science Fiction in the real world. 

10. Neuromancer

Original 1984 Cover for Neuromancer.
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A worthwhile book, thanks to its impact and content. William Gibson's Neuromancer made a massive impact back in 1984. 

Neuromancer presented a grim vision of the future similar to John Bruner, but with lower stakes. Instead of being a massive story that involves different people dealing with an existential threat, Neuromancer follows a single character as he tries to get by in a dark future. 

Beyond that, Neuromancer is a worthwhile read thanks to its entertaining Science Fiction meets heist premise. Beyond that, the book presents a fantastical vision of cyberspace that never came to be. 


With settings as varied as their ideas, these ten books provide a great starting point for anyone interested in the genre of science fiction. From novels that are the sources of some biggest franchises to more niche titles, these novels will get you to hook on the genre. 

After reading these ten novels, you will have an understanding of the sci-fi genre and its complexities. Your next Sci-Fi Novel should be based on which ones you have enjoyed the most.

History Major that loves to write about entertainment and history.

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