The Sci-fi Fantasy Reader's Review

My Comments on Science Fiction / Fantasy Books and other related media.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sci-fi Month: 6 Top Science Fiction Must Read Books

The 6 top favorite Sci-fi books are ones that I have read over many times and hopefully they will be your favorites too. I was going to recommend just 5 books but I had to add one more that couldn’t be left out of the list. These are my science fiction must read books.

1. Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov, is a classic science fiction book with a twist, it also a murder mystery set in a futuristic Earth. It's centered around Elijah Bailey, a New York Police Detective and R.Daneel Olivaw, is humanoid looking robot as with the R in his name, both are assigned to solve the murder. It is one of my favorite books because of the interaction between Bailey and Olivaw. There's a theme that prevalent in most of Asimov's work, that humans seed the galaxy and that earth eventually will be uninhabitable.

2. This next book is a crossover between science fiction and fantasy, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight in the Dragonriders of Pern series. It's set in a planet Pern that was settled by Earthers, there the inhabitants encounter a spaceborne substance that plagues the planet in cycular intervals called the Thread that bombards the planet and kills in it's wake. The original settlers then genetically alter the native species into dragons. It is a fantastic story with love, treatery, comradeship, and dragons that can be ridden.

3. Neuromancer by William Gibson is the next on my list because it foretold the future with cyberspace (the internet). You can see some of Gibson future in the movie, The Matrix with jacking into the net. It's main character is a hacker named Case who jacks his consciousness into the cyberspace for information to sell.

4. My fourth pick is by David Weber, Basilisk Station the first book in the Honor Harrington series.  He portrays Honor as her name, honorable, straightforward, and a good officer in the Royal Manticore Navy. There isn't much romance or sex in this series but I haven't read all the books. It's not only a military novel where Weber regales his knowledge of battle and weaponry but there's the relationships among the crew.

5. Jack L. Chalker's Midnight at the Well of Souls is my fifth all time favorite science fiction book. It's about a planet called the Well of Souls that was a research lab for eventually seeding the best prototypes. The Marchovians have died off but left this planet operational where there are thousands of gateways into the planet. Once processed by the planet which changes you into a different being and you end up in one of the hive quadrants with similar beings. The main character is Nathan Brazil who has lived lifetimes, and he isn't what he appears to be, human.

6. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton has to be on this list. On July 4, 1993 I took my two girls to see the movie and we were blown away, dinosaurs really! But later I read the book and realize that the movie was good but the book is so much better. I delves into altering of frog DNA with samples of DNA of dinosaurs from insects petrified in amber. There’s also the relationships of the scientist who are caught in on the island and must survive their encounters with the dinosaurs. It was a fantasy that has become reality with the first cloned sheep, Dolly, in 1996 to the Japanese scientist today taking DNA from well preserved frozen Wooly Mammoth to eventually clone a living one.

Hopefully this list will inspire you to read one of these books and give you a sense of the variety in science fiction books.

Book cover provided by;


  1. Eeep, the only one of these that I've read is Jurassic Park! It's a favourite. The others I plan to read - a friend of mine loves the Dragonrider series so I'm sure I'll get round to those soon =)

  2. I'm loving your photo of the Pern Books, Well of Souls, and Honor Harrington. I haven't yet read any David Weber, but I have those same Pern and Well of Souls printings!

    Well of Souls has a special place in my heart. I'd read a lot of kid friendly Scifi when I was well, a kid, and then in high school and college I kind of got out of reading science fiction. Midnight at the Well of Souls was one of thebooks that got me back on to the science fiction bandwagon. When I'm feeling burned out, it's one of the books I go back to. I did eventually read the entire series, but that first book is such a perfect stand alone!

  3. That's a mighty varied list there. I have read them all, but would never have combined them into the same post. :)