Sci fi books

Science fiction cover art

According to a number of top 10 lists compiled by readers, librarians and reviewers, the top 10 most popular classic sci fi books include some of the 20th Century’s most famous sci fi authors.  Only one author appears twice in the top 10 overall: Isaac Asimov.

The Top 10 Sci Fi Books List

  1. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  2. Dune, Frank Herbert
  3. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  4. Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  5. 1984, George Orwell
  6. Stranger in a Stranger Land, Robert A. Heinlein
  7. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
  9. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov
  10. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick

Hard Science Fiction Featured on Favorite Sci Fi Books List

Today, fewer “hard science fiction” books are published than in previous decades, particularly during the Golden Age of Science Fiction (1940′s to 1950′s).  But the classic sci fi favorite books still include many “hard science fiction” books, with stories about scientific principles, including realistic speculation about space travel, alien civilizations, robots and future technology. Foundation and I, Robot by Isaac Asimov are considered hard science fiction, while 2001: A Space Odyssey by world-renowed scientist Sir Arthur C. Clarke is also a hard sci fi book.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card tells the story of a young boy, Ender, who believes he is playing a game, while in reality, he is fighting in a distant interstellar war.  The technology in Ender’s Game and emphasis on interstellar war and how Ender’s “game” works makes Ender’s Game also a hard sci fi book.

Soft Science Fiction and Humor on Favorite Sci Fi Books List

Only one funny book is included on the favorite sci fi books list: The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide follows confused hero Arthur Dent on his wacky travels around the galaxy, spawning an enduringly popular, hilarious series by much-loved author Adams. “Soft science fiction” is usually defined as a sci fi book that speculates on future societies, human relationships or adventure instead of focusing on science, technology and realistic descriptions of space travel. Dystopian stories can be either hard or soft sci fi, but sci fi books like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, which was the inspiration for the film Blade Runner, cross into all areas of future speculation.  Dune by Frank Herbert is also considered a soft sci fi book, because it focuses on the planet of Dune and the science of ecology, as well as the nature of the far-future Atreides dynasty and many other characters in the rich and complex as the one described in the Sci Fi books of the Dune society.

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