SScience fiction books are some of the best types of books you can read if you like to spark your imagination. It gives you a new way of seeing the world and increases your capacity for innovation. Personally, I like science fiction books more than any other genre. That’s why I’m going to give you the best series you should read. Attention, most of the series will be related to space and artificial intelligence!
#5 A Space Odyssey — Arthur C. Clarke
The plot begins with a mysterious monolith placed by an alien civilization on different worlds of a universe, to watch over and help future civilizations evolve. For mankind, this monolith was how they developed intelligence – in the form of building tools to aid their survival – in the prehistoric age when the first apes discovered it on Terra. The second was discovered on the moon and allowed space travel. I’ll let you discover the rest of the plot.
This series contains themes such as AI, space, space travel, aliens and many more.
The reading order is as follows:
- (optional) The Sentinel (1951), Meeting at Dawn (1953);
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968);
- 2010: Odyssey 2 (1982);
- 2061: Odyssey 3 (1987);
- 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997).
#4 Dune Series — Frank Herbert
Dune is the best-selling science fiction novel in history, by some accounts. There is also a older movie based on the novels and a new movie which you can watch before you start reading. But hey, if you love books, jump straight into the book series!
The Dune universe is set in the future, where all “thinking machines” have been banned from construction or use. A lame future if you ask me (I love artificial intelligence) – but the show is so good I’ll compromise.
In place of these “thinking machines”, superior individuals called “liars” have been created, who have advanced mental and physical abilities.
These abilities are based on a substance called “Spice” which is only found on one planet – Arrakis. The “Spice” is also used in space travel, making it essential for the Galactic Empire. This spice is created by certain creatures called Sandworms. As you can imagine, the whole universe is fighting for this planet and its inhabitants, the Fremen, who want to free their planet from all oppressors.
I highly recommend that you read the Dunes (1965) book before diving into the series in chronological order of Dune-universe.
The rest you will read in the series of books, which you should read in the following order:
- The Butlerian Jihad (2002);
- The Crusade of the Machines (2003);
- The Battle of Corrin (2004);
- Brotherhood of Dune (2011);
- Mentats of Dune (2014);
- Dune Navigators (2016);
- Atreides House (1999);
- Harkonnen House (2000);
- Corrino House (2001);
- The Duke of Caladan (2020);
- The Lady of Caladan (2021);
- The Heir of Caladan (2022);
- Dune (1965);
- Paul of Dune (2008);
- Dune Messiah (1969);
- The Winds of Dune (2009);
- Children of Dune (1976);
- God Emperor of Dune (1981);
- Heretics of Dune (1984);
- Chapter House: Dune (1985);
- Dune Hunters (2006);
- Sandworms of Dune (2007);
Quite a long list, I know! So read on!
#3 Asimov’s robots
Asimov is my favorite science fiction book author. It’s mainly because he writes about my 2 favorite topics – artificial intelligence and space. He has written over 500 books in his career and is the most influential artificial intelligence science fiction novelist.
If you love artificial intelligence and robots, like me, I highly recommend reading the Robots series. The stories in the book follow the “life” of R. Daneel Olivaw. I let you find out what it is!
The reading order of the Robots series according to Asimov himself is:
- (optional) Robot Dreams (1986), Robot Visions (1990), The Rest of the Robots (1964), Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection (1995), Nemesis (1989);
- Me, Robot (1950);
- Mother Earth (1949);
- The Positronic Man (1992);
- The Complete Robot (1982);
- Steel Caverns (1954);
- The Naked Sun (1957);
- Dawn robots (1983);
- Robots and Empire (1985).
#2 Asimov’s Empire
If you like Asimov’s writing, you can keep reading the Empire series. This series explains follows the world where a human galactic empire exists. It has themes centered around technologies such as Hyperdrives, Blaster Guns, Neuronic Whips, and other sci-fi technology. It also describes space and planets, if you like that.
The reading order for this series is:
- The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
- The Currents of Space (1952)
- Pebble in the Sky (1950)
- The Impasse (1945)
#1 Asimov’s Masterpiece — The Foundation Series
Last but not least, the series that Asimov is best known for, the Foundation Series. The story centers around a mathematician named Hari Seldon. This mathematician is working on a new science called psychohistory, a type of sociology that uses mathematics to predict the future of human civilization. He predicts that the Empire (from the Empire series) will fall, giving rise to a Dark Age of 30,000 years. He wants to “deflect” the series of events a bit, so he creates an organization called The Foundation – made up of the best living scientists and engineers.
I hope I have intrigued you enough to read this series. These books are absolute masterpieces! The reading order is as follows:
- Prelude to Foundation (1988)
- Transfer the Foundation (1993)
- Foundation (1951)
- Foundation and Empire (1952)
- Second foundation (1953)
- Edge of the Foundation (1982)
- Foundation and Earth (1986)
- The End of Eternity (1955)
We all need a break from the real world sometimes. I hope the series I’ve featured here gives you a few dozen hours of joy in this weird life and puts you on the right path to truly enjoying sci-fi literature – if you aren’t already.
I realize that 3 of the 5 series in this article are about Asimov. I am biased on this aspect since, as I said at the beginning of the article, he is my favorite sci-fi novelist. I hope you will enjoy reading his books as much as I do.
Go ahead! You have a little reading and imagination to do!