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Top Ten Science Fiction Novels of All Time

Tough to Pick Ten, So I Cheated, Shhh!

I once came across a list when I was in my early twenties (I'm now 49) of the top fifty greatest sci-fi novels of all time. This list was polled from the readers of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Analog. Although I had read many of the top ten already, the lesser forty or so I hadn't read, so I endeavored to track down and read all of them. This lead me to write this article the top ten science fiction novels of all time.

I did exactly that and more, and although I haven't read a good sci-fi novel in years as my interests have taken me in a different direction, I can still remember fondly the books that made the biggest impression on me.

Without further ado I give them to you with a brief reason of why I liked them.


I consider Dune the best science fiction novel of all time because it delves into the spiritual aspects of mankind's future.

I consider Dune the best science fiction novel of all time because it delves into the spiritual aspects of mankind's future.

The Top Ten

1. Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

I first read Dune when I was 13 or 14 and most of the symbolism was a little over my head, but the description of the Navigators floating in a container of orange spice gas, literally immersed in the very substance they are addicted to, as they fold space to guide the heighliners (interstellar spacecraft) to their destinations, was classic concept that opened my mind to new ideas.

Growing up in the Seventies the son of an AF Officer allowed me to see the world and appreciate many cultures. Dune showed me the possibilities of a Galactic culture populated with humans while linking them to cultures from our planet. I was first introduced to the concept of a Religious Jihad and it's implications. Of the concept of becoming more than human, of evolving into a being capable of exploring the inner human and beyond.

If the complexities of the plot and the evolution of Paul Atreides from homeless refugee to Messiah wasn't enough, Dune introduced me to so many new concepts, that it left my young mind reeling with the possibilities. Considered by many to be the best science fiction novel of all time, It is the only book in my life I've ever read more than once.

This book is the first of a trilogy that includes Dune Messiah and Children of Dune and covers a story of the evolution and eventual Ascension of the human species. It was eventually made into a movie (1984) directed by David Lynch, starring Kyle MacLachlan.

The plot is your basic political intrigue, based 10,000 years in the future of humanity, and involves two royal households competing over the rights involved in the production of a drug (spice) only produced on the desert planet of Dune. This invaluable drug known as 'spice' allows for the expansion of human consciousness and the development of the folding of space that reduces the amount of time involved in travel throughout the Universe.

The book is a direct reflection of the current political paradigm on Earth in 1965 and is chalk full of symbolic innuendo but was also full of revolutionary ideas and concepts that enthralled my young expanding awareness.

Foundation Trilogy

This trilogy spans the depths of mankind's future as an intellectual mystery.

This trilogy spans the depths of mankind's future as an intellectual mystery.

Isaac Asimov

2. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov (1966)

If I thought Dune was mind boggling, this trilogy (and all the other books related to it) were simple staggering. This epic tale begins with a mathematician Hari Seldon who creates his own branch of mathematics using the laws of mass action. He calls this psychohistory and as he studies it , learns that he can predict the future on a large scale. He determines the fall of the current empire will result in 30,000 years of anarchy and chaos, which will happen soon. He also foresees a possible outcome in which the anarchy will only last a thousand years. He reveals to the current Galactic Empire his findings and implores them to allow him to set up a foundation in order to preserve all the knowledge mankind has accumulated to date, and to work on preserving civilization.

The Empire agrees and hence the story begins, with the creation of the first Foundation to be run by Seldon's hand picked staff known as the Encyclopedists. He foresees the need for two Foundations and separates the two by putting their locations on opposing ends of the Galaxy. This second Foundation location is kept a secret from all even the first Foundation.

Foundation as the first book is called, simple put, shows the rise of power of the first Foundation from it's location on Terminus. The location of the first Foundation creates the need for it to become self reliant and in essence creates the momentum necessary for Seldon's predictions to bear fruition.

Foundation and Empire the second book introduces us to a whole new list of characters, all playing their part in the grand scheme of things. The first Foundation because it is a compilation of all the knowledge known to mankind, creates sophisticated technology that the rest of the Galaxy doesn't have and uses this to become so powerful that they threaten the Empire itself, War ensues and the Empire is defeated. However another powerful intelligence is thrown into the mix and due to it's ability to manipulate emotion soon begins conquering known Foundation worlds, this power is known as the Mule.

The Foundation learns of the second Foundation and sends out it's best agents to learn of it's whereabouts, knowing full well that the Mule is searching also. Upon discovering it's location the agent is killed before he can reveal it, leaving both parties still in the dark to it's location.

Second Foundation concludes the trilogy with the first Foundation thinking it has located the second and destroyed them. As the first Foundation as grown in power due to it's sophisticated technology (the physical sciences), the second Foundation is built on the mental sciences. Using telepathy they confront the Mule and convince him that he has destroyed them and to return to his kingdom of world's and reign in peace.

They also predict that the first Foundation will try to destroy them and they use the same tactics on the first Foundation, convincing them by allowing them to locate 50 of their group located on Terminus and killing them, thus insuring their anonymity.

Asimov goes on to write many more novels relating to The Foundation Trilogy and is able to use them to unify his Universe, truly a bold accomplishment. The Foundation Trilogy is in most peoples top ten sci-fi novels list and is usually number one.

Stranger In A Strange Land

This is the traditional Cover art to the Book Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.

This is the traditional Cover art to the Book Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.

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Robert A. Heilein

3. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (1961)

Written in 1961 and heavily reflective of the new spiritual movement of the time, this enchanting tale chronicles the life of Valentine Michael Smith. The orphaned child of two astronauts from the first expedition sent to Mars. He grows up learning the Martian ways, after the crew dies. The Martians are a race of beings in complete control of their bodies and minds, skills that Valentine soon learns.

The second expedition, twenty years later discovers him and returns him to Earth, and the story begins. Although there is plenty of action, unlike the first two books on my list this book deals solely with the spiritual and is basically the second coming, science fiction style.

To love this book is to Grok it's essence, a term that introduces us to Valentines understanding of God as 'one who Grok's'. He, from the teachings of the Martian culture, believes all is one, hence his proclamation Thou Art God.

Due to Earth's gravity and atmosphere he is initially confined, but through the workings of a sympathetic nurse and reporter, he manages to elude the One World Government and hooks up with a writer willing to help. After exploring his new home and finding it perplexing and limited, he soon discovers religion and ultimately creates his own church, the Church of All Worlds. The ending is bitter sweet and I can still feel the emotions I felt back then.

For any of those that have yet to read it, I won't spoil the ending, however one only needs to look at a our sad history to realize his fate. It became apparent to me soon after reading this book that not only is ascension a worthy goal, it is necessary. A religion organization was started after the founders read this book a Stranger In a Strange Land and of course called it the Church of All Worlds, that is how profound an impact this book has made on many humans and why it also made my list of top ten science fiction books of all time.

Forever War

Joe Haldeman's preferred cover art to his futuristic War classic sci-fi novel.

Joe Haldeman's preferred cover art to his futuristic War classic sci-fi novel.

Joe Haldeman

4. The Forever War by Joe Halderman (1974)

To me the greatest science fiction love story of all time was the Forever War. I wish this novel would have been five times as long because it was so good. However most critics claim it was an autobiography of the authors Vietnam War experiences set into a science fiction scenario. It won the Hugo and Nebulae awards and has been heralded by Heinlein when he said "may be the best future war story I've ever read!" and coming from the author of Starship Trooper that is quite a compliment.

In retrospect it obviously was a reflection of the Vietnam War, from the alienation of returning to a world that doesn't care about you to fighting a useless war, the metaphor is easily recognized. However when I read it, I was young and in love, so I instantly made the connection to the main character's (Mandella) connection to his love interest (Marygay), two souls that connect and then are separated by time, not space, surrounded by a world that doesn't make sense to them.

Each time the main characters return from a mission, the world in which they are defending has changed so radically after 100's if not thousands of years having elapsed that the only people they can relate to are the other soldiers and so they keep reenlisting.

Easily the best War/Love story of modern science fiction, destine to be a classic and my favorite on my top ten science fiction list.

Chris Moore's Illustration of Guille Foyle

Guille Foyle is one of the most memorable characters from the classic sci-fi novel Stars My Destination .

Guille Foyle is one of the most memorable characters from the classic sci-fi novel Stars My Destination .

Star My Destination

This action packed novel explores the limits of one man's determination to overcome insurmountable odds which leads to holding mankind's future in his hands.

This action packed novel explores the limits of one man's determination to overcome insurmountable odds which leads to holding mankind's future in his hands.

Alfred Bester

5. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (1957)

As simple as the plot of The Forever War was, the plot of The Stars My Destination is complex and diverse. It introduces us to the concept of teleportation known as Jaunting and the problems that could arise from it. Gully Foyle the main character with a tattooed face that glows when he gets emotional is thrust into one incredible situation after another. But basically the one thing that motivates our hero is revenge. Revenge for being marooned on a wrecked spaceship drifting in the deep and when rescue arrives is ignored and left to die alone.

This act of abandonment motivates Gully to survive his ordeal in space and is rescued, after rigging the wreck and propelling it into inhabited space. His rescuers tattoo his face in their traditions, with the letters of the name of the ship he is found in NoMAD.

After many twist and turns in the plot our hero figures out that his marooning in the space wreck was all part of an elaborate plot to get him to reveal a talent he didn't know he possessed. Finally realizing his full potential he finds himself in the position to make a perhaps fatal decision on the destiny of mankind. The Stars My Destination is the story about whether one man can make a difference, but in doing so what sacrifices must be made. Faced with the question of service to others or service to self, he juants to the center of the Galaxy looking for answers.

This book has received high praise from many of the genre's best writers

"Our field has produced only a few works of actual genius, and this is one of them,"

wrote Joe Haldeman. While Robert Silverberg wrote that it is

"on everybody's list of the ten greatest SF novels"

The ultimate realization that he has been used, but is able to overcome this, rise above it and seek a higher purpose is why it made it into the top five of my top 10 sci-fi list.

Ender's Game

The classic cover of the awe inspiring book Ender's Game.

The classic cover of the awe inspiring book Ender's Game.

Orson Scott card

6. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)

Like Gully Foyle in The Forever War, Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin becomes a pawn of The Powers That Be a child prodigy of the (IF) International Fleet created to destroy the Formics, also known as the "buggers" a hive like alien species with a group consciousness. In the ongoing "bugger" Wars, as they are called, the IF recruits the brightest and most promising children to train them to become fleet commanders. These students are trained at an elite program called the Battle School in endless strategic games, that get harder and more grueling as the training progresses.

Enders success due to innovative strategies and a desire for the hardship of training to end at the school propels him to high rank, causing much dissension among his fellow classmates. He begins to doubt his sanity as exhaustion, fatigue and strange dreams become common to his daily routine. However he keeps winning the 'war games' and is quite unexpectedly promoted, without precedence, to Command School. It is about this time that he begins to suspect that perhaps these 'war games' are all to real and that he is not getting the whole story.

His final 'exam' is a no win situation in which he cleverly, so he thinks, cheats by using a 'special weapon' that not only destroys the buggers and their planet but his fleet as well. Later he is informed that all the war games were real and kept from him in order to protect him from the knowledge that the whole human race was riding on his decisions.

Realizing that he was solely responsible the destruction of a complete civilization of sentient beings, not to mention much of his own fleet, he becomes catatonic and falls into a complete depressive state. Upon awakening he and his sister (also a pawn used to keep Ender in line) leave to start the first colony on a bugger world. On this world he is given a chance to redeem himself, as it is revealed what his disturbing dreams during battle school really were. He becomes a writer and calls himself Speaker For The Dead . . . ah but that is another story entirely.

Battlefield Earth

Possible the greatest sci-fi novel of all time, it has everything a fan could want and more!

Possible the greatest sci-fi novel of all time, it has everything a fan could want and more!

L. Ron Hubbard

7. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard (1982)

Comes in number seven because of the all encompassing plot that goes from the humble beginnings of Jonnie 'Goodboy' Tyler, a remnant of the human race. Survivor of the massive world wide extermination program instituted by the Psychlos using cigar like drones airships to spray a grid of humanicide over the planet. This race of large humanoid Cat like aliens have occupied Earth for hundreds of years mining precious minerals and exterminating the native populace.

Captured initially as a pet, Jonnie soon learns their language through their computers and begins to calculate his ingenious plot to take back what belongs to the human race. Along the way we learn just how clever humans can be when faced with impossible odds. This book has everything a true sci-fi fan demands, cosmic justice all American style, twist and turns in the plot that you don't see coming, inter-galatic intrigue.

It uses a somewhat anti climatic style as you realize when victory is close at hand there are too many pages left, and that winning is only half the battle. The book is written in a very straight forward format, but with a complexity that leaves no loose ends.

Thoroughly entertaining page turner with plenty of pages to turn (over two thousand in paper back) and like Lord of The Rings cannot be made into just one movie. A must for every top ten list.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

One of the better adaptations of a great science fiction book to the big screen.

One of the better adaptations of a great science fiction book to the big screen.

1st British Edition

This was the first British edition to the Classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

This was the first British edition to the Classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Philip K. Dick

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (1968)

The movie Blade Runner starring a young Harrison Ford was based on this awesome novel by cult favorite Philip K. Dick. It chronicles the day in the life of Rick Deckard an Android bounty hunter who is very good at his job.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future where most animals are extinct due to radiation poisoning and owning a live one is considered a status symbol, the common man owns electric replicas. This novel attempts to focus our attention on the way we humans have a tendency to look at all life forms not of our species as insignificant and expendable, and how this view relates to our servants, whether they are real or artificial.

Dick, introduces us to such great concepts as Kipple and Kipplelization, the "Empathy Box" and "Buster Friendly" while reminding us of our human frailties and insecurities. In a world where replicas of animals are sophisticated and prized by the masses, the question of why a replicant animal should have more rights than an android slave becomes a prominent theme of the book.

Our hero begins to doubt himself and question his morality as he hunts for six Nexus 6 android renegades that have escaped their imprisonment on Mars and come to Earth. While tracking these renegade he enlist the help of a stunningly beautiful replicant and has sex with her, knowing full well she isn't human. The ending is truly stunning as predictable as the outcome is the emotions it reveals is empathy, the question is for whom.

Childhoods End

A great book and even better political statement by a brilliant author.

A great book and even better political statement by a brilliant author.

Arthur C. Clarke

9. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (1953)

Begins with the Overlords as they are soon called, arriving at the planet Earth when the two super powers America and Russia are competing in a military space race. These Overlords put a large spacecraft over every major city and assume control eliminating war and installing a new golden age to mankind of peace. They eliminate disease and hunger and stop all human suffering including Apartheid. Many suspect their motives not believing them to be benign and seek to discover their true identity, as they will not reveal themselves in person until they have been on Earth fifty years.

The price for this Golden Age is as you may have guessed by the title is an end to children everywhere as the human population becomes sterile, and the children that are left are eventually quarantined on their own continent. The Overlords eventual reveal themselves as the spitting image of the mythical demon complete with horns, bat-like wings and a forked tail.

Their ultimate purpose is revealed to be an intermediate race of beings working for the omnipotent Overmind to help sentient races ascend to oneness with this Overmind.

The ending is somewhat anti-climatic and sad, due to it's nature and is why it ended up so far down the list. A great book and definitely ahead of it's time, but kind of depressing in a very realistic way.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Although many sci-fi fans over look this classic to me it was a classic as it clearly shows how The Powers That Be have enslaved humanity.

Although many sci-fi fans over look this classic to me it was a classic as it clearly shows how The Powers That Be have enslaved humanity.

Robert A. Heilein

10. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (1966)

Is the story of a prison on the moon that is extensible run by a super computer which after becoming sentient is named Mike by his repairman. The repairman Mannie and Mike become friends and come to the conclusion based on the newly sentient computers calculations that the 'Loonies' as the prisoners call themselves on Luna will be out of food and water very soon and something must be done.

Although it is glaringly obvious that this story is written with a positive outlook on human behavior when confronted with a threat to their existence, probable a somewhat naïve perspective, it makes for a good story. The loonies have been supplying Earth with food supplies for far too long and combined with Mike's super sentient and incorruptible computer mind are able to form a plan to revolt and succeed from Earth's control.

Of course the noble revolutionaries try diplomacy first, but fail and then escape the clutches or Evil Earth and return to Luna. A battle ensues as Earth tries to retake their penal colony, complete with star fighters and laser beams, but is thwarted. Luna retaliates by dropping huge rocks bombs on uninhabited areas.

A final show down in space happens when Earth thinking they have knocked out the Rock Launcher, attack again, but the rebels prevail and the good guys win or do they as their hero 'Adam Selene' as the computer is known by his adversaries is either damaged and 'dies' or is unwilling to continue in his role as friend and severs the connection, we are left wondering.

I like the under dog, especially when they are being persecuted by evil overlords and rise above their evil suppressors to win the day. It was a little corny and staying true to his writing style had a happy ending of sorts.

That we were slaves I had known all my life — and nothing could be done about it. True, we weren't bought and sold — but as long as Authority held monopoly over what we had to have and what we could sell to buy it, we were slaves.

Considering the new revelations by whistleblower Corey Goode in his Gaiam TV series Cosmic Disclosure narrated by David Wilcock, this book has some prevalence to a Full Disclosure Event revealing Secret Space Programs (SSP) and bases on the Moon in our near future.

This rounds out my top ten science fiction list of all-time, and although I may have left out some greats such as More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon and the Gateway Series by Fredrick Pohl, these are the ones that left the biggest impression on me as a reader.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

These are my alternatives, and worth mentioning because they made picking the top ten so difficult. Putting two books by one author in the top ten was a consideration, also.

11. Ringworld by Larry Niven (1970)

This staggering novel expands the limits of the human mind with dimensions that are hard to conceive of let alone digest. But it gives the reader a great adventure into a world that is all too familiar, but beyond human comprehension in terms of scale and scope.

This book describes an ancient builder race that constructs a huge ring around a star in which is hollow with the interior side facing the star open to allow sunlight to reach the bottom interior. A group of Aliens and one human begin a voyage of discovery to this world which is the entire premise of the first book. The sequel Ringworld Engineers delves more into this ancient builder race and revisits our heroes from the first book.

12. Across Real Time by Vernor Vinge (1986)

Is actually two books for the price of one The Peace War and Marooned in Real Time and both books include Bobble Technology as their main premise, which is ancient technology discovered in America in 1800s, that exist today but has been censored from public knowledge.

The second book, Marooned In Real Time, is a murder mystery involving the disappearance of the human race and the one human that holds the key to reuniting the fragments of humanity. The first is the introduction of Bobble Technology to bring about lasting peace.

Arthur C. Clarke hub page, worth the read

Writing a Great Sci-Fi novel


somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 16, 2018:

Take L. Ron Hubbard for example, he worked for Naval Intelligence during WWII and his job for them was to learn the reasons behind mental illnesses in sailors. He then writes Dianetics, which is essentially a poor man's version of psychology (Psychology For Dummies) to help the public understand that 90% of all physical illnesses come from emotional childhood stress. He details how the public can recover from these emotional traumas through the recognition and exploration of these mental blockages and traumas and live healthy lives.

Of course this ticks the American Medical Association (AMA) off because their long term goals are to keep the American public ignorant of holistic and natural cures in favor of expensive treatments, creating return customers and money, money, money! The U.S. intelligence apparatus uses his book to create a cult called Scientology and go after him as a religious leader.

However what is little known about his work is that he was assigned after the War to infiltrate Aliester Crowley's Opus Deis Masonic Lodge and learn his secrets. This is where he hooked up with John Parsons of JPL fame (some think it stands for Jet Propulsion Laboratory but in reality it stands for John Parsons Laboratory) and participated in the infamous Babylon Working magical ritual that opened a rip in the space time continuum, allowing so many Alien Space craft into our dimension in 1947. Consider 1947 as the beginning of the modern UFO era.

The US Govt. wanted to know what he learned and L. Ron, felt it was too dangerous to put in the hands of ex-Nazi scientists (remember Operation Paperclip) and so fled the country . . . and that is the rest of the story . . . for the most part.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on July 12, 2018:

It don't think it's necessary in science fiction that a writer has to be an actual scientist or military man. A science fiction writer is essentially writing fiction. Many science fiction writers and fantasy writers have included scientific invention and military personal; they used their imagination and research. I think credibility is scrutinized in nonfiction work. But it's cool some writers wrote sf novels inspired from their military or scientist career.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 12, 2018:

It is important to emphasize that many Sci-Fi writers were also scientists/military intelligence officers that chose to share the information they had learned in their field of studies, through stories, so as to avoid contentious and negative peer reviewed analysis of some of the more "outlandish" theories and ideas.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on July 11, 2018:

I've read several of the novels you listed, somethingblue. They're all worth reading again. You listed some SF novels I'd like to read. I agree with you that it's difficult to pick out the top ten science fiction novels, there are many terrific stories.

Naima Major from Atlanta on July 06, 2018:

No Delaney, no Butler? Pshaw!

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on May 21, 2013:

Battlefield Earth could quite possibly go down as the greatest sci-fi novel of all time, it had everything a sci-fan could possibly want and it was long!

It covered a lot of ground and answered a lot of questions we have about aliens, the Psychlo's could have been the Annunaki, mining the Earth while using drones to exterminate the population.

The hero Johnny Good Boy Tyler, not only learns their ways but ultimately neutralizes their Empire and brings peace to the galaxy.

An incredibly good story, that not only got panned as a movie but doesn't get the credit it deserves as a book!

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on May 21, 2013:

Nice job on the list and kudos to you for including L. Ron's Battlefield Earth. It is a classic that has sadly been tarnished by L. Ron's dabbling in that Dianetics thing.

It was a shame that at the end of a great writing career he got flaky. But that Scientology baloney should not stop us from loving his real writings.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on May 19, 2013:

Enders Game is a classic and Card's style reminds me a lot of Vernor Vinge's Across Real Time that although did not make the list, was an honorable mention and great book.

EJ Lambert from Chicago, IL on May 19, 2013:

My first real sci-fi experience was Ender's Game. I didn't really understand it at first but as I moved through the story it began to tug at a lot of strings. It is a simple yet complex narrative that I've grown to cherish. I can't wait to see the movie coming out soon.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on May 10, 2013:

Well, Bradbury had a lot of really good sci-fi books but none that stood out as all time classics. Enders War/Game is a classic and that is why Card made the list, not too mention he has some really good books besides the Ender series.

Electric Sheep is actually a better title than Blade Runner in my opinion but hey put together your own list and write a Hub about it, I'd love to read it!

Will English on May 09, 2013:

I personally think that the works of Orson Scott Card and L. Ron Hubbard have no right to be anywhere near this list (I simply don't think either of them are good writers and I kinda loath Card), and I'm a little confused as to why anything by Ray Bradbury is not on here, but thats just my personal opinion. Because otherwise this is a good list. I love Dune, I love Blade Runner (which is a much better title than "Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep" in my opinion), I love Childhood's End, I love Foundation and love the Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land. Good list overall.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 21, 2013:

Thanks WN, I haven't reread them mainly because I have too many other great books line up that are quasi-historical sci-fi having to do with UFOs, Hollow Earth and ancient history.

WNJohns631 on March 21, 2013:

I've just finished a couple myself, specifically, Ender's Game. That was a really good read (for some reason, I hadn't been expecting that). A great list, although I do have to admit I'm not enthusiastic about reading dune (again, for some reason that I can't say! Lol) but that one's going to be next on my list. An amazing list of good reads!

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 13, 2013:

Oh agreed and many of them introduced us to technology, concepts and ideas that are prevalent today . . . plus they had the added advantage of being short and sweet and leaving the rest to our imagination.

They don't write like they used too!

Mitch Turnure from South Jersey on January 13, 2013:

I love the short story sci-fi anthologies of the 50's and 60's. They were so full of both technological and scientific awe, as well as a great psychological look at the human experience.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 13, 2013:

Thanks Mitch, there are many out there that deserve honorable mentions however those are the classics.

Mitch Turnure from South Jersey on January 13, 2013:

Great Hub...and I just added a few to my long list of "to reads". Battlefield Earth was great on many levels including the satirical look at the human species. (But, a horrible movie) Yes, Hubbard was a weird one, but his sci-fi is great. I loved the Foundation Series for the same reasons. Huge fan on Blade Runner, but have not read the book...yet. I just added my first Sci-fi Hub recently, but it's not a novel...haha.

Keep Hubbing! Voted Awesome and Interesting.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 09, 2012:

Awesome that will be really cool, I have often wondered how Ender's Game stacked up as far as what other science fiction fans thought about it.

Another book that I really loved was Across RealTime by Vinor Vinge and always wondered what other people thought of it.

Anny Silva from United States on December 09, 2012:

Their coming out with an Ender's Game movie starring Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 28, 2012:

I just never liked all the happy endings that Heinlein ended his novels with, it got old after a while but let's face it he was good remember Puppet Masters, wow.

there was just so many to choose from I may have to do the next ten just get it all out of my system, thanks for the comment . . . !

Kevin Leslie from The center of strange, Nevada, USA on October 28, 2012:

Interesting list, nice to see the Golden Age represented so solidly. Might quibble a bit with you over the naivete you feel that is present in Heinlein's works... his early juveniles, yes, but not the later works. And have to agree with you on Dune. While not my absolute favorite, I will give it my vote as perhaps the top sci fi novel yet written.

blake4d on October 20, 2012:

Wow. I am honored and have always thought your work was optimus primal. Yeah love stories, androids, sheep, you can't really beat a mix like that. Lulz. Keep on Hubbing SB. Blake4d

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 19, 2012:

It is interesting that your the first Hubber I followed when coming to these pages and now your the 64,000 person to visit one of my hubs . . .

The Man on the High Mountain was also a good one and their were others but what I liked about Androids was the question of what is life and I'm a sucker for love stories.

blake4d on October 19, 2012:

I would have chosen VALIS by Phillip K Dick instead of the Electric Sheep on Kool Aid Test, but that is a matter of taste. Electric Sheep is probably the more classically popular vote, but VALIS is more prophetic. Anyhow, I saw this one and since I rarely comment. You are it. LOL Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 19, 2012:

Aye Captain, can you imagine they even started a church and religion from Stranger In A Strange Land, wow what a book!

CMarie from York, Maine on October 19, 2012:

Grok'in it!

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 24, 2012:

So many good ones were left off the list, that I just tried to stick to the classics of the genre and of course the ones that I have read.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Sean M on July 24, 2012:

Wonderful list and lots of great reads. Thinking outside the box, I wonder about something like Vonnegut's 'Sirens of Titan', but as good as it is, perhaps its not top-ten-worthy. Anyway, great list.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 09, 2012:

Now you just gave away the ending, tsk, tsk!

He used their technology to defeat them, yes they were warriors but arrogant and their own confidence was their downfall, almost like The Powers That Be nowadays.

Supreme control for centuries keeping the masses in check and now as the playing field is becoming level and their deception is becoming transparent they no longer can control the truth.

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on July 09, 2012:

Well, as I say, I did enjoy Battlefield Earth. I just have a wee problem with a small band of savages on horseback taking on and destroying an interstellar race with technology far beyond what we have today. Beat them back off earth, maybe, but destroy the whole race?

An entire race of warriors and fighters that has developed star travel and conquered so many planets and yet is stupid enough to allow a band of horsemen to destroy the entire race? Beyond my comprehension, but a fun read in spite of that.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 08, 2012:

Heinlein has to many happy endings to his stories for my taste and the fact that he has two in there is more than enough.

BattleField Earth was a classic and I found the plot to be classic as well, Aliens intent on mining the planet for resources spray the Earth using humancide, then underestimate those remaining, which eventually leads to their own planets destruction.

Now Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep isn't Dick's best it is certainly original and a great movie 'Blade Runner"!

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on July 08, 2012:

A good list, although I haven't read your entry by Phillip Dick.

The only one I would disagree with is Battlefield Earth - I found the plot rather silly. Although it was fun to read, the basis of the story didn't make much sense.

In it's place I would substitute Time Enough For Love, by Heinlein. Enough action and interesting change-ups to keep me going, but filled with philosophy and thought-provoking scenarios to keep me going back to read again.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on April 07, 2012:

Rendezvous was good and the one that came after that I forget its name . . . maybe Rama 2010 something like that. His City and the Stars was also really good for the time period or was that Clifford D. Simack?

theframjak from East Coast on April 07, 2012:

Childhood's End is my favorite. I agree the ending is sad and depressing, with the end of the human race as we know it, but it is Clarke at his best. The concept that parapsychology will be the conduit to the next evolutionary leap is intriguing. I also think Rendezvous with Rama deserves and honorable mention. I haven't read all the books on your list. I'll have to check them out. Great hub!

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on February 25, 2012:

More Than Human was an awesome book and Sturgeon was a great writer, he actually wrote a couple of original Star Trek episodes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Christopher Price on February 24, 2012:

Although I agree with a number of your choices, no list would be complete without Theodore Sturgeon, one of the finest writers in any genre. Though he wrote mostly short stories, his novels are equally masterful..."More Than Human" being one example.


somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on February 01, 2012:

That was pretty good review you should copy and paste it into a hub article, that would kind of be cool, have a hub article reviewed as a hub article.

Plenty of people are willing to share their two cents in comment form, but to review a hub article and then link it to the original is certainly food for thought.

Thanks, you know anytime I've done a top ten or best of they end up being a lot of work, at least in the format I write in.

Thanks again!

Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on February 01, 2012:

@somethgblue, great list.

I've read some of these. I remember Dune when it was serialized in Analog and had to read the novel when it finally came out. I liked both of the first movie adaptations, but felt they left out so much. The most poignant moment for me was when Paul spat on someone, thinking he was insulting the guy who had been abusing him; but it turned out the be the highest complement -- almost like turning the other cheek.

Foundation Trilogy was a lot of fun, and the Mule had an understandable motivation. The stories made galactic civilization seem real. Like when I first saw Star Wars, I was left feeling let down when I came back to Earth and realized we can barely get off the planet.

I never finished Stranger in a Strange Land. Here and in his later novels, Heinlein seems to meander quite a bit. I love the beginning of Stranger and Number of the Beast, but about two thirds of the way through they ran out of steam for me.

Enders Game was sweet. I read that one twice. Card builds some beautiful characters -- some to love and some to hate.

Battlefield Earth is another one that I need to read again. That book was rich with inventiveness and detail. Like the bit about base-11 numbers and the technology for mining. The movie version was a terrible disappointment. Travolta may have felt a need to be a part of the picture, but he shouldn't have been cast as he was. His portrayal wasn't believable. And they trimmed out so much of the story, I had a hard time understanding the plot or the motivations. Three or four movies at least! Even then, they'd likely have to leave out lots of juicy details.

I never read Androids, but I loved the Blade Runner movie. I saw that perhaps 7 or 8 times in the original format and 2-3 times in the director's cut.

Childhood's End is eerie and left me feeling like I had the wind knocked out of me, but it seemed somewhat uplifting, too. We each have our attachments and seeing our civilization go to pot was a letdown, but the metamorphosis was inspiring.

Some of my favorite stories are older Heinlein -- Glory Road, Orphans of the Sky and Sixth Column (aka Day After Tomorrow). The inventiveness shown in these stories, plus the first half of Number of the Beast, is the type of thing my sense of adventure was hungering for.


somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 02, 2012:

Battle Field Earth is quite possible the greatest sci-fi novel of all time it has everything in it and it goes on forever. Hell, if I judged music on the band members I wouldn't like half the bands I think are great.

Isn't L. Ron Hubbard dead? Yeah the whole scientology thing is suspect but the book is great.

I don't like most Heinlien because all his books have happy endings, except the Moon is a Harsh Mistress but it is a really good twist, kinda leaves you hanging.

Childhood's End is just a little to close to reality, makes you wonder where he got that story from.

I reckon you are forcing me to read some of your stuff, really liked the reminder about Boiling Frogs!

David Hunt from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 02, 2012:

Actually, I haven't read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Childhood's End (so my credentials as an SF reader are suspect!). From your description, I will definitely be reading Childhood's End. The one I didn't finish, a long time ago, was Battlefield Earth-- but that may be because I dislike the author.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 02, 2012:

Which one haven't you read?

David Hunt from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 02, 2012:

Great list, somethgblue. I really like your reviews of each, too. I've read most of them and, except one, thoroughly enjoyed them. They define the genre.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 19, 2011:

I'm actually saving my Hub earnings to buy an island, although at this rate I'll have to live to be about 300 and buy near Iceland.

I meant Stalking not stocking, WOW! it must be the Xmas thing. I don't want to retire but just keep learning.

jenubouka on December 19, 2011:

Montana is beautiful and very serene, the drive is worth it really. I would be honored to have an autographed image, and I will email you address.

Thank you for thinking of me as "cool" there are so many other names I have heard that is a huge compliment. You never know, if by some miracle I get a billion hits I can retire and travel or buy my island and fly ya there.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 18, 2011:

Although I wasn't trying to imply that your not worthy of stocking, it's just not my style.

I actually think based on your writing that you are very cool and would love to meet you however the chances of that happening aren't very good.

I'm much more laid back in person than my writing might indicate.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 18, 2011:

yeah but now I work as a graphic artist for a national company and spend my time after work trying to enlighten the World and piss them off at the same time.

What is frustrating is all the people that know in their hearts that something is amiss and yet are still unwilling to take a stand on anything, let alone showing any true emotion or displaying any anger.

Everything has to be politically correct . . . oooh you called me stupid, you hurt my feelings.

Thanks for the compliment on the art, if you found any pieces you like and trust me enough to give me your address I'll send you an autographed hard copy . . . I'm not the stalking type as it would require to much effort, plus it would be a helluva drive, although I would like to see Montana before I kick . . .

jenubouka on December 18, 2011:

Don't shake your head in dismay for I turn the other way with media, but no I did not! Was there anything about it or damage?

It wouldn't surprise me about 9/11 the whole thing just reeks of wagging the doggy to hide the real shit, hey look over here!! Yah those middle east monkeys did this! Get them.

I am half Lebanese so I didn't take the news too lightly, and after 9/11 I went to Europe and just said I was Canadian, for American or Middle East would of not been good at the time.

Pretty awesome facts about the technology related to the sci-fi content, although it does not surprise me too much.

By the way, checked out your website, pretty talented as an artist and writer, what amazing medias displayed there!

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 18, 2011:

Often most Sci-Fi novels are a way of introducing the public to new concepts and technology that already exists as a way of getting them used to the concept and allowing for the truth to come slowly out.

The original Star Trek series in the 60's had these 'communicators' that look and behave exactly like modern day cell phones, this ain't just a coincidence!

Often the science introduced in these novels are revealed to the public year later, however the military has been using them for years.

Holographic technology has been developed since the late 50's and early 60's, they can make images that cast a shadow (no light passes through them) of humans, airplanes, automobiles, tanks they have been using them in all the wars!

So when folks claim no planes on 9/11 they maybe right, because we certainly have the technology!

did you know that a Hurricane the size of Katrina was 75 miles off the coast of NY on 9/11 . . . no worries hardly anyone else knows either!

jenubouka on December 18, 2011:

Oh man don't tell me that, I have the original Stand novel, now he has a revised copy with 100,000 more words, so I will consider myself lucky and just read the first one.

I did not know that about the story, it will be interesting who the new Hollywood movie credits then as the writer, some big Hollywood production is turning the novel into a movie, I saw the tv version long time ago.

I like the escape of science fiction and love the fact weird shit happens all around me when I delve into them.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 18, 2011:

I'm not a big fan of Mr. King, however The Stand was a good premise, although not very original as that scenario has been worn out in many sci-fi novels long before he 'borrowed' it.

The ending to that story was what turned me off to his writing, anyway many people really like his work I'm just not one of them.

Some of the above mentioned novels are rather short and quick reads and others are rather lengthy.

Thanx for leaving a good comment, I can see why your at level 7, of course now I will have to read some of your hubs . . .

jenubouka on December 18, 2011:

You know I wasn't into sci-fi much till I read one by Mr. King, and for some reason I got hooked on the guy, he can freak me out and make me laugh at the same time when I read his novels. I see he is not here, but with that being said, I am very intrigued with the authors and the novels you chose, so thanks a bunch for a cool new list of novels!

I hear Dune is an all time legend as far as long novels go, but I have to say all of these sound like an incredible adventure.

gryphin423 from Florida on October 21, 2011:

Dune was great, thanks for sharing the list! :-)

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on September 27, 2011:

I will have to read that hub, I saw it when I was visiting you profile, but wasn't sure what it meant, so I didn't read it . . .

thanx for the comment

Rachelle Williams from Tempe, AZ on September 27, 2011:

I am a huge fan of sci-fi, and I like most of the books you have listed on your hub. My favorite genre is dystopian science fiction. I even run a blog for dystopian sci fi nerds like myself. My all-time favorite sci-fi novel is "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. Great Hub btw.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on September 25, 2011:

thanx for leaving a comment as feedback is a good thing positive or negative as we only learn from our mistakes and positive feedback encourages all of us.

Really great hub on Cutting, keep up the good work!

Rehana Stormme on September 25, 2011:

Wow, this is a great hub! I love that you gave comprehensive summary for each of the books! What makes a good sci-fi novel - the plot, the characters, the concept - I ticked all of the above. Great list! Voted up and useful + awesome! ^-^

inaniLoquence from Singapore on September 25, 2011:

I have read some science fictions before (I read mostly historical romances) and I have to say that after reading this list, I could start reading that genre again. Thanks! Will look up the books in the library!