Best sci fi books

War_of_the_Worlds_original_cover_bw
War of the Worlds. Original artwork.

Arthur C Clarke once wrote that as a child, his was probably the last generation who were able to read every Sci fi story ever written.  certainly nowadays that would be out of the question.  So people often ask, what are the best sci fi books?

There are many people and websites that are eager to try and answer the question, and some will make excellent recommendations.  But I’ve always had a problem with this question.

By what criteria do you judge one book to be better than another?

  • By it’s technical quality?
  • By it’s author?
  • by it’s popularity?

There’s a lot of grammar police out there.  I’m not one of them, and I wouldn’t want to be even if I did understand all the rules.  One of the more famous writers regularly slated for bad grammar is Stephen King.  This doesn’t seem to affect the quality of his stories as far as his fans are concerned, and in my opinion he is a master of characterization.  So technical perfection doesn’t seem to be a necessity for a good book.

Choosing a book by author is not a bad idea if the author is known to you.  But this is definitely not a guarantee.  Also new writers are coming along all the time and producing some great books.

Ringworld

Popularity seems to be the most common way that books are ranked.  The media loves coming out with articles ranking the greatest song/book/car of all time.  Sometimes they seek expert opinion to decide their winners, but usually the decision is made by asking their readers to vote.  If a guitar magazine asks it’s readers to rank the best song ever, you can be certain that the wining song is going to be a guitar anthem of some sort.  Obviously this isn’t a fair representation of all the music in the world, and even among those that voted there will be disagreement.

I believe it’s not a case of what are the best sci fi books, but what books will I enjoy reading?

No two people are the same.  A book that doesn’t really grab one person may have a life changing influence on another.  Also if those same two people had read that book at different times in there lives, their opinions on it may have been different.

Fahrenheit-451-Ray-Bradbury-1st-ed-cover

I believe that the best way to find a good book to read is simply to go to your library or book shop.  Choose a book, and read the back cover.  If you like the sound of it, give it a try.   This is the reason I have started this website.  Here you will find books listed alphabetically by title, with a short outline of the plot.  I’ll comment on the ones I found particularly good, but the intention is simply to provide a place where people can come and browse.

Please be patient as I add more titles.  There’s a lot of books out there.  Hope you enjoy.

Mike.