There’s no better feeling than getting lost in a good book and no journey of this kind more beautiful than venturing off into space to explore some new and exciting worlds. Space exploration science fiction has always been popular due to its expansive nature and crazy tales you can have within the universe; the question is; where do you start?
Below, we’re going to explore some of the best space exploration science fiction books you need to know about; all of which deserve a place on your bookshelf.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) – Dennis Taylor
Released back in 2016, this novel follows Bob, a standard guy who sold his software company and now looking forward to a life of retirement. With so many plans on how he’s going to spend the rest of his life, he then abrupted dies crossing the street.
“However, things take a strange turn when he wakes up a century later and has been declared property of the state. His body and mind have been wired up to an AI system that is now looking for planets on behalf of the human race. It’s an exciting tale with so many twists and turns, it’s hard to know where to begin,” explains Sarah McDonald, a fiction writer at DraftBeyond and Last Minute Writing.
Ringworld – Larry Niven
No list of sci-fi space novels is complete without a mention of Ringworld, which is now hailed as a sci-fi classic you simply cannot miss reading. The book is a winner of Hugo, Locus, and Nebula prizes, and is followed by three sequels and four prequels. It’s an adventure series, unlike any other.
The Ringworld is full of surprises, especially for an artificial ring that spans a newly discovered star, and it’s likely to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. A 1970’s classic that still stands strong today.
Raft – Stephen Baxter
One of the older books on our list written back in 1991, Raft details the story of a crew of dedicated spaceship explorers who are wandering around the universe. Struggling to survive, the crew is subject to a world that has one billion times the gravity of our own universe; creating a space opera of so many kinds.
This is the first book Baxter’s Xeelee Sequence, a series that spans billions of years, and is well worth getting into.
Cibola Burn – James S. A. Corey
While this is the fourth book in the Expanse series (so I recommend starting at one), this story covers the tale of a stargate opening around Pluto that leads to potentially thousands of new worlds, and now humanity’s rush to colonize them all has begun.
Of course, when humanity is involved and racing in such a complex project, things are going to get tense, especially when you add in the arrival of alien worlds.
The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell
“A personal favorite of mine, and the first space exploration novel I ever read, The Sparrow, released back in 1996, follows Sandoz, a crew member of the ship sent to explore a newly discovered planet. Here, they are introduced to a new alien species that is so incomprehensible, it leaves the crew wondering what it actually means to be human,” shares Dan Harris, a book reviewer at Writinity and Research Papers UK.
While the priest is the only member of the crew to survive, it returns to Earth with his faith shattered, and his story so disturbing, nobody listens. Perhaps the Earth is simply not ready for a new life in this way.
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
When you think of the Canterbury Tales, you probably think something along the lines of ‘huh, boring. Next.’ At least that’s what I thought. But when you realize that Hyperion is basically the Canterbury Tales, but it kicks ass and is set in space, it leaves you wondering what else could be out there.
Hyperion is a nail biter, based on a world of the same name and revolves around the existence of a creature known as the Shrike. I won’t give too much away, but the story twists and turns until humanity as we know it is threatened entirely.
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Assignment Writer and GumEssays who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. In her spare time, she adores reading books from all genres, and is even in the process of writing her own!