My Top Ten Sci Fi Books Of All Time

Here are my top ten favorite science fiction novels, except it’s hard to make a list like this. First off, I didn’t want to repeat any authors, so even though I love most of Zelazny’s novels I had to pick one that was “best,” or at least a good representation of his work. Second, I only wanted to pick books that worked as stand-alone novels, so even though Michael Moorcock has a large and excellent body of work I couldn’t think of any one book strong enough on its own merits to make the list. Granted, four of the books on my list belong to larger series but they work on their own and sum up the author’s talent well, or well enough. Third, I wanted my list to be “science fiction” only, so that ruled out lots of great books that would be more correctly categorized as fantasy, horror or romance.

Why didn’t I pick Dune or Forever War? I just didn’t like them that much. Why didn’t I pick Stranger in a Strange Land or Foundation? I never made it through them (which is, by the way, the kiss of death for making my top ten list.) Why did I pick a Burroughs pot-boiler instead of an H. G. Wells classic? Well, because it’s my list.

Without further ado, here are my top ten favorite science fiction novels of all time, so far.

1) Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

Space Colonists fashion themselves after the gods of the Hindu pantheon and fight each other with their super powers.

2) The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Teleportation (or “jaunting”) figures heavily in this excellent tale of revenge and evolution.

3) Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Welcome to a nightmare of devolving objects, messages on gum wrappers and conversations with dead people. Don’t let anybody tell you the ending.

4) Nova by Samual R. Delaney

Moby Dick is retold spaceman-style in this precurser to cyberpunk.

5) The Humanoids by Jack Williamson

The Humanoids were created to protect mankind. Now try to make them stop.

6) The White Mountains by John Christopher

Help. The earth is ruled by giant robots (vehicles?) called the Tripods. Three teenage boys must escape to the Alps before they are “capped.”

7) To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer

What if everyone who ever lived were reincarnated all at once on a strange planet? Sir Richard Francis Burton wants to know who’s behind it.

8) The Moon Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Help. The earth is ruled by invaders from the moon.

9) A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Kids travel through time/space/dimension to rescue their father and stop an evil force from spreading throughout creation.

10) Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

The Overlords have come to cure all sickness, hunger and war. But why? Why?