The 10 best science fiction books in history

The 10 best science fiction books in history

In this short list of 10 titles we wanted to include what we consider to be the 10 best science fiction books ever written.

#1 – The Time Machine – Herbert George Wells (1895)

The Time Machine By Herbert George Wells

It is the year 802,701. A time traveler learns of the existence of Morlocks and Eloi. Both are species that have arisen from human beings and from a society – ours – marked by growing inequalities.

The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by British writer Herbert George Wells. It was first published in London in 1895. The plot of the novel is based on the theory of Eternalism.

The Time Machine was the first novel by one of the fathers of science fiction. The sales success was such that, since then, Herbert George Wells could devote himself fully to writing.

A part of the book, which deals with the explanation of the invention and in which the fourth dimension is discussed, was published in the year 1893 in Henley’s National Observer”.

The writer developed the rest of the novel, which deals with the adventures of the Time Traveler in the future two years later, a task which took him barely a fortnight.

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#2 – I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (1954)

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

A bacteriological war that has ravaged the planet. All of humanity has been turned into vampires…except Robert Neville, the sole survivor.

Neville’s life has been reduced to murdering, every day, as many bloodthirsty beings as he can…and that, at nightfall, they do not kill him.

In the end, the protagonist himself becomes a kind of monster struggling to survive in the new order.

A classic in its genre, this is a disturbing tale of loneliness and isolation and a reflection on the binomials of normality and abnormality, good and evil, which are evidenced as a mere convention derived from fear and bewilderment in the face of what is different.

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#3 – At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft (1936)

At the Mountains of Madness

A disturbing and fascinating work about a geological expedition to Antarctica that discovers an extraterrestrial civilization in prehistoric times.

In the mountains of madness narrates the disastrous expedition of a group of experts to Antarctica, in which they discover some biologically extraordinary beings that came to earth from another star long before the appearance of mankind, and that were almost extinguished by a species of robots of their own creation.

The visionary, solemn and mournful style of Lovecraft -undoubtedly one of Poe’s most legitimate heirs- gives the hallucinatory narrative a singular poetic splendor.

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#4 – 1984 – George Orwell (1949)

1984 - George Orwell

It all takes place in the London of the year 1984 -George Orwell, its author, wrote the novel in 1948-. Winston Smith, the protagonist, rebels against a government that controls all the thoughts and movements of its citizens.

Aware of how dangerous it is to become a dissident. Winston joins the ambiguous Brotherhood through the mediation of leader O”Brien.

Gradually, however, our protagonist realizes that neither the Brotherhood nor O”Brien are what they appear to be, and that rebellion, after all, may be an unattainable goal.

For its intelligent analysis of power and human interrelationships, 1984 has come to be considered one of the most disturbing and engaging novels of the science fiction genre.

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#5 – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (1953)

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

This novel depicts an absolutely bleak and harrowing future.

The book stars Montag, a member of a strange fire department: he sets fires to burn books. The reason? In Montag’s country, reading is strictly forbidden.

The reason for this prohibition is that reading leads to thinking…and in Montag’s country it is forbidden to think.  Reading prevents you from being naively happy, and in Montag’s country you have to be happy by force…

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#6 – The End of Eternity – Isaac Asimov (1955)

During the 18th century, an organization called Eternity was founded on Earth. The group, in order to create trade relations between epochs, sends emissaries to the past and the future. This alters, sometimes tragically, the history of the human race.

The project consisted of only the best and brightest exponents of each century: people who set aside their own lives to dedicate themselves to serving others.

Andrew Harlan, married and loving his wife, travels to the 482nd century and cannot help but fall madly in love with a beautiful non-eternal named Noÿs Lambent.

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#7 – The stars, my destiny – Alfred Bester (1956)

The Stars My Destination

In the 25th century, when teleportation techniques have radically changed Earth’s society, a man driven by extreme passions embarks on a desperate race to change himself.

Gully Foyle was abandoned to his fate and managed to miraculously survive a hopeless situation; since then he has been accumulating wealth and power with a single goal: revenge. The Stars, My Destiny is a perennial science fiction favorite, a bedtime novel for every generation of readers that has existed since its original publication in the 1950s.

A pyrotechnic book, intense and brimming with ideas to which one returns, again and again, with renewed pleasure.

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#8 – Solaris – Stanislaw Lem (1961)

Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

The immortal novel Solaris made Stanisław Lem a cult writer. The plot begins with Kris Kelvin arriving on Solaris, a fictional planet. Kelvin has a mission: to shed light on the behavioral problems of the three crew members of the only observation station located on the planet.

On Solaris there is no solid ground, only an immense ocean in which life and intelligence grow.

Stanisław Lem presents us with a claustrophobic novel, in which he makes a deep study of human psychology and affective relationships through a planet that confronts the inhabitants of the station with their innermost fears.

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#9 – Dune – Frank Herbert (1965)

Dune - Frank Herbert

The planet Arrakis is a total desert. There, water is the most precious commodity and mourning the dead, the symbol of maximum prodigality.

However, Arrakis has something that makes it especially appetizing for the Emperor, the Great Houses and the Guild, the three great powers of the galaxy. Arrakis contains immense quantities of melange, one of the most coveted substances in the universe.

A fascinating mix of adventure, mysticism, political intrigue and environmentalism, Dune became, from the moment of its publication, a cult phenomenon and the greatest science-fiction epic of all time.

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#10 – Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut had long wanted to write a novel about war. However, two obstacles prevented him from doing so.

  1. He had to return to his own sufferings. He survived the bombing of Dresden, the bloodiest bombing of World War II, and was taken prisoner of war.
  2. He was afraid that the novel would be made into a movie and the film would be played by a big star. Then children would want to go to war, too, and the wars would never end.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote the novel, promising her that it would be different from all the others. That it would be about “the children’s crusade”. And that there would be fear and laughter and time travel and tenderness and wonder and surprise and fragility.

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