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10 of the Best Classic Science Fiction Novels Everyone Should Read

The best science fiction novels

Science fiction is now a crowded genre and a popular field. The genre is characterised by speculative fiction and novels rich in ideas, especially about the future of human civilisation and the relationship between people and technology. But what are the best classic science fiction novels? Any list of top ten works of science fiction everyone should read is going to prove controversial, and we have no doubt that readers will disagree with our choices here. We’ve tried to give a sense of the range of the genre since its (arguable) starting-point back in the early nineteenth century, and to include as many big names as we can, but also to include some lesser-known cult classics which we think everyone who wants to explore classic science fiction should read.

H. G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895). Critic Bernard Bergonzi called The Time Machine a modern myth; V. S. Pritchett thought it the best of Wells’s scientific romances. It was published in 1895, though the novella had evolved over several years and a series of drafts, beginning with the very different story ‘The Chronic Argonauts’, published in 1888 when Wells was in his early twenties. Read the rest of this entry