What are the best hard science fiction novels?

asked by Anonymous
263 contributors
36 solutions
  1. 29

    #1Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

    Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

    Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson is the first book in the Mars Trilogy first published in 1992. This science fiction novel follows the story of a group of colonists about to create a new era of civilization on Mars.

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    Jane Peterson
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "I am a science fiction nerd! I recently started reading Red Mars, and have been enjoying it. I really look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy. "
  2. 28

    #2Revelation Space (Revelation Space)

    Revelation Space (Revelation Space)
    Revelation Space is the first book in the science fiction series Revelation Space written by Alastair Reynolds which centers on scientist Dan Sylveste trying to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats again. 
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    Sue Wu
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "This is a great book for this genre. This book will capture interest and will really give you scientific thought as you read it."
  3. 27

    #3Spin

    Spin

    Spin is a book by Robert Charles Wilson that tells the story of how a barrier changed the planet and the lives of human beings.Jason, a scientist will do everything he can just to know what is happening and how to stop it. 

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    Marcos González
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "Are you a fan of real science adventure books like me? Well, I couldn't put down Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson! I just loved the suspense and the character development here, in addition of course to all the worlds and stars we get to see. I also enjoyed the scientific relevance to our planet and how the decisions we make today can influence our Earth and what kind of a place we leave future generations. The science seemed sound and credible and coupled with the fictional adventure story following a scientist named Jason I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. A truly great hard science fiction book!"
  1. 24

    #4The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)

    The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)

    The Mote in God's Eye is a science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Set in the year 3016, it tells the story of the first interaction between mankind an alien species. It is the first book in the Mote series.

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    Helen Wong
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "The Mote in God's Eye is a series that I now must read all of. I started with this book which was set in 3016 and like that the ancient Motes (the aliens mentioned in the book) were in their system for a million years but weren't able to be seen until a probe finds them. I like that they have a dark secret but there are really no bad guys which is great because I always think bad guys are sort of cartoon like. I also liked that the humans make attempts to interact with the aliens rather than try to destroy them. The way women are portrayed in the book isn't great but this is a older book and times were different then. Overall this is a great read."
  2. 21

    #5Pushing Ice

    Pushing Ice
    Pushing Ice is a science fiction and space opera novel written by Alastair Reynolds. This book is about Bella Lind's journey and it is first published in 2005 by Gollancz.
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    Jose Weaver
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "First half started good. Liked the premise. However, midway through, characters took a wild swing in personality and loyalties. I couldn't believe "best friends" would act like that. Then the crew divide seems unrealistic. Especially lasting as long as it did. The dog people were the final nail in the coffin. Just stupid to me."
  3. 19

    #6Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas is the first book in the futuristic, comedic, science fiction series for young adults written by Iain M. Banks. It was first published in March 2008. It is about a future where Faith and Culture fight for supremacy.

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    Amanda Ramirez
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I would definitely recommend this book. It's hard science fiction, written by a well known author, and it's supposedly going to be turned into a tv show soon."
  4. 15

    #7Chasm City (Revelation Space)

    Chasm City (Revelation Space)

    Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds is a science fiction novel originally published in 2001. This book belongs to Reynolds' Revelation Space series. It is preceded by Revelation Space, The Prefect, and followed by Absolution Gap.

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    Jose Gomez
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I like space books, but not sure how I feel about this one. One thing though -- the book was too long. Author is a good writer but the book should have been shortened. Story felt like it dragged on."
  5. 11

    #8Blindsight

    Blindsight
    Blindsight is a book by Peter Watts that tells the story of extraterrestrial creatures surrounds Earth. They will send people on all parts of the universe to figure out what is happening and they have to pray they will do good to save the planet. 
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    Henry Jenkins
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "I love science fiction novels. They're always engaging and entertaining to me. The best hard science fiction novel that I ever found was "Blindsight." Its world is just amazing to read about. It drew me into the story right away and just wouldn't let up."
  6. 11

    #9Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)

    Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)

    Leviathan Wakes by James S.A Corey is a science fiction novel originally published in 2011. This is the first book in Corey's The Expanse series. It is followed by Caliban's War released in 2012 and five other sequels.

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    Jeffrey Gordon
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "It sounds like a rela sy fy adnebnture wioth pleanty of excitement and thrils I woukld certainly give it a try as the reviews are pretty stelar and if you like a series this has 7 books."
  7. 10

    #10A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)

    A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)

    A Fire Upon the Deep is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. It tells the story of Blight, awakened from its slumber and wreaking galactical havoc. It is the first book in the Zones of Thought series. 

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    George Arnold
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "I loved the histories of all the alien characters and species. Drew me more and more into the books"
  8. 6

    #11Ringworld

    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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    Jane Robinson
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "If you like Aliens, FTL travel, and awesome complex concepts, this is a great book. This novel is a classic of early SciFi and you can see in it the roots of many modern books."
  9. 6

    #12Dune (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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    Theresa Perry
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This magical book takes on Paul's quest to take on a noble family. It's an epic wrapped into science fiction, making the unattainable, attainable."
  10. 4

    #13Foundation

    Foundation
    Foundation is a responsive front-end framework that helps you to design the website that you need with amazing design looks for any device.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Denise Castillo
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "1. I am not a techie and do not design websites. 2, As an alien to this subject, I would say the layout of explanation in the website, it is clear and understandable 3. The color co-ordination, set up and seems user friendly"
  11. 4

    #14Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)

    Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)

    Pandora's Heart by Peter F. Hamilton is a science fiction novel and the second book to his The Commonwealth Saga. Set in the year 2380, The Intersolar Commonwealth is about to face a great danger that lies ahead of them.

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    Vishal Patil
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Peter F. Hamilton often compared to Issac Asimov has written another engrossing science fiction book. It's 2380 and the Intersolar Commonwealth needs a hero because it faces a great danger."
  12. 0

    #15Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch)

    Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch)

    Ancillary Justice, the 1st book in Ann Leckie's series titled Imperial Radch, is a science fiction story about a female soldier named Breq, who is on a quest for vengeance after she lost her place as a judge because of an act of treachery.

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    Kevin Qiu
    Written on March 16, 2018
    "If you are into hardcore sci fi then this is your book. I found this story to be very complex and hard to follow. It is very well written but i think you have to be a true science fiction lover to get into this one."
  13. 0

    #161984

    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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    Aaron Kelly
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Good sci fi book. It tells about a future where free thought is against the law and a government that has total control over people. I highly recommend it."
  14. 0

    #17Alas, Babylon

    Alas, Babylon

    In Alas, Babylon, a small town in Florida is spared from the nuclear war that decimates the world. Led by Randolph Bragg, the inhabitants of the town work together in order to survive and recover from the tragedy.

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    Theresa Hart
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "This is good fictional reading about a community working together in the face of tragedy. One can get this on Amazon Prime on paperback. Add this to your reading collection with free shipping as an Amazon Prime member."
  15. 0

    #18I Will Fear No Evil

    I Will Fear No Evil

    I Will Fear No Evil is a science fiction book by Robert Heinlein that tells the story of a rich and talented man who will discover that he can buy everything with the money he has. He will even afford a young and pretty woman to live with her.

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    Julia Brewer
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "I Will Fear No Evil by Robert Heinlein is a sci-fi book. It may be worth considering for fans of the genre."
  16. 0

    #19The Beholder (The Beholder #1)

    The Beholder (The Beholder #1)

    The Beholder is a book written by Ivan Amberlake. The Beholder was published on November 2014 by Breakwater Harbor Books. The Beholder is the first book of The Beholder series.

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    Christian Vargas
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "The Beholder is one of my favorite hard science fiction novels. Great read for anyone interested in the genre."
  17. 0

    #20This Immortal

    This Immortal

    This Immortal is a science fiction novel by American author Roger Zelazny. On its original publication, the novel was published in two parts in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1965 and won the 1966 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

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    Daniel Mitchell
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I love this genre of book, and Roger Zelanzy delivers with this action packed sci-fi novel. This has won an award for best novel, and I can see why. "
  18. 0

    #21Seveneves

    Seveneves

    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is a hard science fiction novel originally published in May 2015. This book was nominated for Hugo Award for Best Novel and Goodreads Choice Awards Best Science Fiction.

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    Frances Rose
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "The best hard science fiction novels was what i needed, and I found out about Seveneves from a friend. The book is by Neal Stephenson, and was published in May of '15. Its a great book that has won many awards."
  19. 0

    #22Reamde: A Novel

    Reamde: A Novel

    Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson is a techno-thriller novel originally published in September 2011. This book was published by William Morrow in the US and the Atlantic Books in the UK.

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    Jacqueline Lawson
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Not really how this was rated the best science fiction novel because it's terrible. Not even sure how it got put in this category. Wish i could return it because it's just that bad. "
  20. 0

    #23Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle)

    Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle)

    Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson is a speculative science fiction novel originally published in 2003. This is the first book in Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle series. It is followed by The Confusion. Quicksilver won the Arthur C Clarke award.

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    Rebecca Ray
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I have plenty of patience for Neal Stephenson because he's currently my favorite author; but I found this book, unlike even Cryptonomicon (which I adored), to be very difficult. I had to restart several times and definitely lost track of things along the way. It is helpful to be comfortable with the historic timeline of the English Civil War through the Glorious Revolution before you begin (and if I'd thought of that, it would have made my reading more enjoyable). And I'm not sure this is a good book for Kindle, if you're going to put it down for any length of time and come back to it. There is a list of names at the end that would be much more useful in paper form (or indexed when the industry gets around to insisting that such things be hyperlinked). So consider the paper book! But all in all I still HAVE to give it four stars if only based on individual passages, because the writing is often brilliant and illuminating, both about history and about science and the passions we have for both. I'm beginning the next book now and am excited about what may come in those pages. "
  21. 0

    #24The Drowned World

    The Drowned World

    The Drowned World is a fictional post apocalyptic novel written by James Graham "J.G." Ballard. The Drowned World was published on September 9, 1999 by Victor Gollancz.

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    Harold Fox
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Set in a future where the ice caps have melted and London has become a jungle, The Drowned World paints a picture of a future gone awry. Imagining the characters fighting jungle beasts adds excitement to every page."
  22. 0

    #25Contact

    Contact

    Contact is a science fiction novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. It was originally published in 1985, and it tells the story of mankind's first encounter with extraterrestrial lifeforms.

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  23. 0

    #26The White Plague

    The White Plague
    The White Plague is a science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It tells the story of a genetically engineered disease that decimates human population and ensures its extinction, as it proves fatal to women.
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    Shaurya Pawar
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "If you're tired of the usual hard science fiction offerings, "The White Plague" by Frank Herbert is a welcome relief. It offers a harrowing tale of mass extinction, while still being realistic enough that it makes the reader appreciate the real world for what it is. It might fly under a lot of people's radar due to lack of press, but it's one of my favorite science fiction novels. "
  24. 0

    #27The Coming of the Quantum Cats

    The Coming of the Quantum Cats
    The Coming of the Quantum Cats is a Science Fiction novel written by Frederik Pohl. It was published March 1, 1995 by Spectra publishing. It follows the story of a world that had a breakthrough in Quantum Physics.
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    Sharon Hoffman
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "When I first encountered the title of this book, I was intrigued by the wording. Seeing as how science fiction has historically not been a favorite genre of mine, I did pick up the book and read it on a whim. I can't say that it was a pleasure cruise. You really have to understand basic physics and higher level of mathematics to get the full gist of what's going on in the plot. Creatively presented for those who are in the know, a head scratcher for those who aren't!"
  25. -1

    #28The Left Hand of Destiny 1 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    The Left Hand of Destiny 1 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    The Left Hand of Destiny by J.G Hertzler and Jeffrey Lang is a space opera and military science fiction novel originally published in 2003. This novel belongs to the ongoing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series.

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  26. -1

    #29More Than This

    More Than This

    More Than This is a book written by Patrick Ness. More Than This was published on May 1, 2014 by Walker Books Ltd. More Than This' paperback edition has 480 pages.

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    Charvi Verma
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Taking place in a world where there is an afterlife and a world outside of the one that we live in is definitely science fiction."
  27. -1

    #30Robots and Empire

    Robots and Empire

    Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov is a science fiction novel originally published in August 1985 by the Doubleday. This is the fourth book from Asimov's Robot series. It was preceded by The Robots of Dawn.

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    Donna Clark
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "It's impossible for science fiction lovers to go wrong with an Isaac Asimov novel. This is one that escaped me, years ago, when I first started reading the "old masters," so it was a true and absolute pleasure to finally read this one. Asimov has always had a perfect knack for making his characters seem real, which is more important to me than all the "science stuff" combined. I feel privileged to have been introduced to his books fairly early in life, as they made a positive impression on me that not everyone gets, these days. "
  28. -1

    #31The Return of Santiago (Myth of the Far Future)

    The Return of Santiago (Myth of the Far Future)
    The Return of Santiago is a space western novel by renowned science fiction author, Mike Resnick. It tells the story of Dante, as he tries to uncover the truth about Santiago, the legendary outlaw who vanished without a trace.
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    Rebecca Russell
    Written on March 16, 2018
    "The return of santiago tackles a western scifi movie. It is a very different take compared to the usual."
  29. -1

    #32Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy)

    Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy)
    Mechanicum is the 9th book in the famous young adult dystopian science fiction series, Horus Heresy. It was written by Graham McNeill and was published in December 2008. It is about insurgencies brewing on Mars.
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    Arthur Cruz
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "Mechanicum is very good science fiction book written by Graham McNeill, who is known for his sci-fi works. Mechanicum is also part of a series that is one of the New York Times best selling series. It tells a story of a civil war on Mars in a futuristic setting."
  30. -1

    #33Hellucination

    Hellucination
    Hellucination is a standalone horror science fiction written by Stephen Biro which centers on a journey to find God through the use and intake of psychedelic drugs detailing experiences while high on drugs. 
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    Barbara Lewis
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This book is a trip. Okay, I'm kidding and all. But it is about LSD trips and god and science. I saw this at our doctor's office and started to read it there. It's really bizarre, truthful, engaging. But hard science? I don't know. There's some science in here, but it's not hard science so much as a personal quest for truth through drugs. It's interesting and you'll probably love it. But if you're into hard science, perhaps not this book. "
  31. -2

    #34Rising Son (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    Rising Son (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    Rising Son by S.D Perry is a space opera and military science fiction novel originally published in 2002. This novel belongs to the ongoing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series.

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    Alfredo del Ángel
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "If you enjoy the series, you will really enjoy this book. I bought it to read on a flight while on vacation and I think I spend my entire vacation reading this book instead of actually going out and seeing the sights. It had a different feel than the rest of the series which I enjoyed."
  32. -2

    #35Unity (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    Unity (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    Unity by S.D Perry is a space opera and military science fiction novel originally published in 2004. This novel belongs to the ongoing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series.

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  33. -2

    #36A Stitch in Time (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    A Stitch in Time (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

    A Stitch in Time by Andrew J. Robinson is a space opera and military science fiction novel originally published in 2000. This novel belongs to the ongoing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series.

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    Christian Hoffman
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "This book was one of the best in the Deep Nine series!"

Summary

Best What are the best hard science fiction novels
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)Books 29 Paid
2Revelation Space (Revelation Space)Books 28 Paid
3SpinBooks 27 Paid
4The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)Books 24 Paid
5Pushing IceBooks 21 Paid
6Consider PhlebasBooks 19 Paid
7Chasm City (Revelation Space)Books 15 Paid
8BlindsightBooks 11 Paid
9Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)Books 11 Paid
10A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)Books 10 Paid
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