Best of Science Fiction Literature

Editor: Piero Scaruffi

Note: Only one novel/tale per writer.
Note: Most lists of "best" science-fiction novels are actually lists of novels written by US writers, and mostly recent ones, which might explain the bad reputation that the genre has.


Stanislaw Lem (Poland, 1921): "Solaris" (1961)
William Gibson (USA, 1948): "Neuromancer" (1984)
Arthur Clarke (Britain, 1917): "2001 A Space Odyssey" (1968)
George Orwell (Britain, 1903): "1984" (1949)
Aldous Huxley (Britain, 1894): "Brave New World" (1932)
Cyrano de Bergerac (France): "L'Autre Monde: ou les Etats et Empires de la Lune/ Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon" (1657)
Isaac Asimov (USA, 1920): "Foundation" (1953)
Kurt Vonnegut (USA, 1922): "The Sirens of Titan" (1959)
Herbert-George Wells (Britain, 1866): "The War of the Worlds" (1898)
Evgeny Zamyatin (Russia, 1884): "We" (1924)
Vernor Vinge (USA, 1944): "A Fire Upon the Deep" (1992)
Bernard Wolfe (USA, 1915): "Limbo" (1952)
Ray Bradbury (USA, 1920): "Fahrenheit 451" (1953)
Ivan Efremov (Russia, 1907): "Tumannost Andromedy/ Andromeda Nebula" (1956)
Philip Dick (USA, 1928): "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (1968)
Jules Verne (France, 1828): "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" (1870)
Ernst Hoffmann (Germany, 1776): "Der Sandmann" (1816)
Yoshio Aramaki (Japan, 1933): "Yawarakai Tokei/ Soft Clocks" (1968)
Neal Stephenson (USA, 1959): "Snow Crash" (1991)
Maria Shelley (Britain, 1797): "Frankenstein" (1818)
Neil Gaiman (Britain, 1960): "American Gods" (2001)
Algis Budrys (USA, 1931): "Michaelmas" (1977)
Ernest Cline (USA, 1972): "Ready Player One" (2011)


Decent but overrated in the USA:


Frank Herbert (USA, 1920): "Dune" (1965)
Robert Heinlein (USA, 1907): "Stranger in a Strange Land" (1961)
William Burroughs (USA, 1914): "Nova Express" (1964)
Carl Sagan (USA, 1934): "Contact" (1985)
Samuel Delany (USA, 1942): "Nova" (1968)
Poul Anderson (USA, 1926): "Tau Zero" (1970)
Frederick Pohl (USA, 1919): "Space Merchants" (1953)
Roger Zelazny (USA, 1937): "Nine Princes in Amber" (1970)
Theodore Sturgeon (USA, 1918): "More Than Human" (1953)
Michael Crichton (USA, 1942): "Andromeda Strain" (1969)
Brian Aldiss (Britain, 1925): "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" (1968)


Very popular but IMHO very minor (listed in chronological order):


Anne McCaffrey (USA, 1926): "Dragonflight" (1968)
Orson-Scott Card (USA, 1951): "Ender's Game" (1985)
Robert Jordan (USA, 1948): "The Eye of the World" (1990)
George Martin (USA, 1948): "A Game of Thrones" (1996)
Kim Stanley Robinson (USA, 1952): "Red Mars" (1992)
Alfred Bester: "The Stars My Destination"
Dan Simmons: "Hyperion Cantos"
Samuel Delaney: "Dhalgren"
Larry Niven: "Ringworld"
Ursula LeGuin: "The Left Hand of Darkness"
Kim Stanley Robinson: "Red Mars" (1992)
Connie Willis: "Doomsday Book" (1992)


These are not quite science fiction but they are often included in lists of science fiction novels:


John Tolkien (Britain, 1892): "The Lord of the Rings" (1955)
Anthony Burgess (Britain, 1916): "A Clockwork Orange" (1962)
John Wyndham (Britain, 1903): "The Day of the Triffids" (1951)
James-Graham Ballard (Britain, 1930): "Crash" (1973)
Margaret Atwood (Canada, 1939): "The Handmaid's Tale" (1986)


Adaptations of radio and tv series include:


Douglas Adams (Britain, 1952): "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"