What are the best 20th century science fiction books?

asked by Anonymous
250 contributors
17 solutions
  1. 29

    #12001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a sci-fi film by Stanley Kubrick. The film follows a team of scientists in a space expedition to Jupiter, seeking signs of extraterrestrial life. They are guided by the artificial intelligence HAL 9000 who gains sentience. 

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    Frank Jones
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I thought this was a great book. It goes into depth more about the caveman monkeys at the beginning, which was interesting. But what was more interesting is that this was written after the movie. It's supposed to be sort of supplemental. I thought that was a cool little fact. Anyway, great writing. Good stuff as always from Clarke."
  2. 26

    #2The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is written by Douglas Adams. It depicts Arthur Dent's road trip with his alien friend Ford Prefect after his house and the Earth was demolished to create a way for a hyperspace express route. 

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    Howard Banks
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a really amazing book and the perfect read for a fans of 20th century science fiction novels. It is a very unique book with a film adaptation, so it is hugely successful. This is a book that you will definitely want to read. It will make you not want to pit it down!"
  3. 25

    #3Ringworld

    Ringworld

    Ringworld is the first novel in the Ringworld series written by Larry Niven. This science-fiction novel was originally published in 1970. This novel features aliens and the unexplored parts of the universe.

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    Carmen Méndez
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This really could be considered one of the best 20th century fiction books. Well loved by it fan following, a book that if you have not read it you need to give it a try, you wont be disappointed."
  1. 21

    #4Stranger in a Strange Land

    Stranger in a Strange Land

    Stranger in a Strange Land is a book by Robert Heinlein that tells the story of Valentine Smith. He is raised by Martians and as he arrived on Earth to live as a human the whole world will change because of him.

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    Jean Jacobs
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Stranger in a Strange Land was written back in 1961 but has acquired a cult following and is presumably the best science fiction book of the 20th Century. It has some religious aspects but with a sci-fi flair to it. I have read the book twice now, once as a young adult, and now as an older adult. I enjoyed the writing style and the moral lessons taught in this book."
  2. 20

    #5Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel wherein a totalitarian regime has ordered the burning of books in order to suppress the spread of subversive ideas. It preaches about the power and role of knowledge to see beyond the surface.

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    Philip Walters
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "My book club was having a discussion about the best 20th century science fiction books. The one book that kept coming up was Fahrenheit 451. Everyone agreed it's a great book and is very interesting."
  3. 18

    #6Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a utopian and dystopian fiction novel published in 1932. This book follows Bernard Marx living a perfect life in a scientifically engineered society until he visited one of the remaining old reservoirs.

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    Teresa Carlson
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "This book is shorter than other classics. It was easier to read because it wasn't too long."
  4. 17

    #7Dune (Dune Chronicles)

    Dune (Dune Chronicles)
    Dune by Frank Herbert is the story of Paul Atreides who becomes Muad'Dib and embarks on a journey to avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family, thus bringing to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.
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    John Burke
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I am always on the hunt for a science fiction book. This book is one of the best I have ever read. I will read it many more times. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. "
  5. 16

    #81984

    1984

    1984 is a utopian and dystopian fiction written by George Orwell. First published in 1949, it is included in the NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books.

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    Carolyn Turner
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I think this book is definitely a classic. It is not light reading by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is one of the best 20th century science fiction books."
  6. 12

    #9I, Robot

    I, Robot
    I, Robot is a series of short stories by the acclaimed author of science fiction, Isaac Asimov. It tells the story of robots outfitted with a "positronic brain" that allows them to feel what it is to be human, despite being made of metal.
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    Jean Freeman
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "Awesome modern sci-fi book. I love AI themed books and this is one of the best I think out there. It always makes me question the morality of creating them and makes me think about our future as a species. The stories in this book have stuck with me since I've read it, and has given me much to ponder about in my daily life."
  7. 12

    #10The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)

    The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)
    The Dispossessed, the 5th book in Ursula Le Guin's Hainish Cycle is about Shevek, a physicist out to reunite the people of Uras and the utopian anarchist people of Anarres, who have long been divided because of ideology.
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    Louis Lewis
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "What can I really say about Ursula Le Guin? She was an absolute legend in the fantasy and science fiction genres. There were a ton of great science fiction books that came out in the 20th century, but I believe that Ursula Le Guin deserves a place near the top. "
  8. 9

    #11We

    We

    We is a dystopian novel written by Yevgeny Zamyatin which is set in D-503 lives in the One State existing in glass apartments so the State can keep an eye on the citizens. This book is the inspiration for George Orwell's famous 1984.

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    Marie Cooper
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "This book was good, however not what I was needing. It is set in the 26th century, and I was looking for a book set in the 20th century."
  9. 8

    #12Watchmen

    Watchmen
    Zack Snyder directs this raw and disenchanting film based on acclaimed Alan Moore's graphic novel. It tells us the story about a group of superheroes that are part of everyday life in an alternate 1985 America. 
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    Cheshta Rao
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is the director's cut with extra footage. Absolutely an added bonus. You'll either like this movie or not. While it's close to the book, there are some twists that many find disappointing."
  10. 6

    #13Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Something Wicked This Way Comes is a fictional horror novel written by Ray Bradbury and was published in 1962. This book tells the story of two 13-year old boys and their unforgettable, horrifying experience with a traveling carnival.

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    Elizabeth Ford
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "After watching Stranger Things, I'm really on a 20th century science fiction addiction. I can't get enough! This book is a fantastic addition to my collection and wonderfully relevant to my interests, very spooky!"
  11. 6

    #14The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle)

    The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle)

    The Left Hand of Darkness, the 4th book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish Cycle series, is about a human ambassador sent to the planet Winter, where there is no sexual prejudice and inhabitants can change gender anytime.

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    Samuel Hall
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "If you love sci fi you must read this. Changing genders at anytime? Its addicting and hard to put down."
  12. 4

    #15The Caves of Steel (Robot Series)

    The Caves of Steel (Robot Series)

    In a time where hyperspace travelling has been discovered, Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaware living in the only overpopulated planet, the Earth, that has a total population of over eight billion. The protagonists of the novel are two police detectives, that are trying to clear a murder case in a futuristic environment. 

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    Crystal Medina
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "I was searching for the topic of best 20th century science fiction books and found the book The Caves of Steel. This book is written by Isaac Asimov who is one of the top Sci-Fi writers so this is a perfect solution. "
  13. 3

    #16Snow Crash

    Snow Crash

    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is a cyberpunk, science fiction novel originally published in 1992. This book was nominated for British Science Fiction Award in 1993 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1994.

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    Frances Webb
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "Snow Crash is the best 20th Century science fiction book on the market. It is authored by Neal Stephenson and was first published in 1992. This book has won several awards."
  14. 1

    #171984

    1984
    1984 is a dystopian novel by George Orwell that tells the story of Winston Smith, who lives under the rule of the tyrannical government ruled by the omnipresent Big Brother. It is a bleak portrayal of how society might become in the future.
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    Deborah Bell
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "1984 is the best 20th century science fiction book. It's amazing how this book is more applicable today than it was back when it was written. The dialogue and narration balances out to give a depiction of how the future may look. Ironically, several of these predictions have come to pass, in our real current world. This book really makes you think. You will really be deep into thought as you read this book.Orwell is a master of setting up a scene and having you feel as if you have to figure out the solution. It's a great read that transcends time."

Summary

Best What are the best 20th century science fiction books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
12001: A Space OdysseyMovies 29 Paid
2The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyBooks 26 Paid
3RingworldBooks 25 Paid
4Stranger in a Strange LandBooks 21 Paid
5Fahrenheit 451Books 20 Paid
6Brave New WorldBooks 18 Paid
7Dune (Dune Chronicles) Books 17 Paid
81984Books 16 Paid
9I, RobotBooks 12 Paid
10The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)Books 12 Paid
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