• Top 10 Best Sci-Fi Books in the UK 2021 (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Sci-Fi Books in the UK 2021 (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Sci-Fi Books in the UK 2021 (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, and More) 3
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Top 10 Best Sci-Fi Books in the UK 2021 (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, and More)

The term Sci-Fi was popularised during the 1920s and has since gone on to blossom into one of the most popular genres in all forms of media. Referred to as the literature of ideas, science fiction explores imaginative future concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, parallel universes and extraterritorial life, as well as the potential consequences on humankind.


While all that might sound exciting, it can be somewhat daunting to find a route into the science fiction canon. After all, the talk of wormholes, space warfare and shapeshifting creatures can be somewhat daunting. To help out, we’ve created a buying guide so help you find the best sci-fi novels, short stories and literary classics in the UK, including our ranking of the top 10 best on Amazon and eBay!

  • Last updated: 30-03-2021
  • 180 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose the Best Sci-Fi Book in the UK – Buying Guide

To make sure you’re suited and booted, ready to handle whatever lurks within outer space, we’ve prepared a short guide to help you pick the perfect science fiction book. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular sub-genres, among other important considerations, to help you nail down an adventure you’re interested in.

Find the Sub-Genre That Suits You

Sci-Fi is a broad genre. Defined simply, Sci-Fi refers to a fictional story that is based around plausible scientific theories - think, the invention of AI, populating or being populated by other creatures and dystopian futures. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular sub-genres to help you decide.

Alien Invasion Isn't All About War and Survival

Alien Invasion Isn't All About War and Survival

Alien Invasion is by far one of the most popular sub-genres of science fiction. It gained notoriety soon after H.G Wells' War of the Worlds debuted in the late 19th century, and has never left the public consciousness.


Expect stories about technologically-superior, extraterritorial societies invading Earth with the intent to either replace, or enslave humans. Sometimes, they even want to use us as food! Whichever way, they’re going to get what they want.


Although the main themes are usually invasion and survival, these stories often pose philosophical questions and ideas too, such as considering our place in the universe.

Cyberpunk Presents Future Technologies Against a Dystopian Backdrop

Cyberpunk Presents Future Technologies Against a Dystopian Backdrop

The cyberpunk genre contrasts technological advancements, with gritty stories of societal collapse. Within their pages, you can expect futuristic technology, such as rapid mechanical change or invasive human modification, set against the backdrop of a dystopian future.


More often than not, the protagonists are marginalised loners who live on the edge of society, only interacting with the world when they need to - hence, where the “punk” part of the name comes from. Alongside the central plot, you can expect some critique of modern civilisation too.

In Science Fantasy, Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable From Magic

In Science Fantasy, Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable From Magic

As you can probably guess from the name, science fantasy is a combination of these two popular genres. Arthur C Clarke, the famous sci-fi writer, once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, which we think perfectly rounds up this sub-genre.


Some of the most popular sci-fi franchises in the world can be attributed to science fantasy, such as Star Trek and Star Wars. Both not only include advanced scientific technologies, but also supernatural and fantasy elements, like "the force".

Cosmic Horror Takes Our Dread of the Unknown and Uses It Against Us

Cosmic Horror Takes Our Dread of the Unknown and Uses It Against Us

Space is big and old, and there’s no way of knowing what’s out there, so we think it’s fair to say that it should rightly be considered a scary place! Cosmic horror takes advantage of our dread of the unknown by putting us in the situations that we fear the most.


Films such as Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey popularised the genre in recent times, but the origins of cosmic horror can be traced back decades. The granddaddy author of cosmic horror is H.P Lovecraft (best name ever), who has plenty of novels based in this genre - one of which we might see later.

Choose Either a Credible Classic or a Modern Masterpiece

Choose Either a Credible Classic or a Modern Masterpiece

Next up, you'll need to decide whether to opt for a classic or contemporary sci-fi novel. Classic novels are those that piloted the genre, helping it become the juggernaut it is today. However, the language and references may be difficult to recognise, unless you have knowledge of the decade it was written. If you struggle with ye olde books, then we would recommend nothing written earlier than the 1960s. 


Contemporary books breathe new life into the genre. Where classics might feel a bit cliched (although still brilliant), you can expect more nuanced novels with modern twists and themes. Of course, it’s all a matter of preference, and there is no wrong or right. If you’re unsure, why not pick up one of each and see how you get along? Who knows, you might even like both!

Consider the Different Format Options Available

Consider the Different Format Options Available

The last thing to consider is the format of the book. The traditional paperback and hardback novels are arguably still more popular than the digital versions. We think this is because folk like to feel they've gotten their hands on something physical for their money. That said, if you read a lot, they can begin to clutter up your home rather quickly.


Audiobooks and eBooks, such as kindle editions, are both growing in popularity and will likely become the favoured way of enjoying literature very soon. These formats allow you to access thousands of texts and take up about the same room as one tiny novella. The only problem is that you may need a monthly subscription depending on the service provider.

Top 10 Best Sci-FI Books in the UK

Now that you know about some of the different styles of sci-fi novels let’s re-direct our attention to the books themselves. We have texts that range from the dawn of sci-fi to contemporary classics, with many others in between.  

10

N. K. JemisinThe City We Became

£13.00

Sub-GenreScience fantasy / cosmic horror
First Published2020
FormatHardback, audiobook, kindle
Pages448
9

H. G. WellsThe War of the Worlds

£5.85

Sub-GenreAlien invasion
First Published1898
FormatPaperback, hardback, kindle
Pages208
8

H. P. LovecraftThe Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

£7.40

Sub-GenreCosmic horror
First Published1926
FormatPaperback, audiobook, kindle
Pages420
7

Sam A. PatelData Runner

£11.61

Sub-GenreCyberpunk
First Published2013
FormatPaperback, audiobook, kindle
Pages258
6
Sub-GenreAlien invasion
First Published1985
FormatPaperback, audiobook, kindle
Pages352
5

Hailey PiperThe Worm and His Kings

£8.38

Sub-GenreCosmic horror
First Published2020
FormatPaperback, kindle
Pages124
4

George EffingerWhen Gravity Fails

£10.75

Sub-GenreCyberpunk
First Published1986
FormatPaperbook, audiobook, kindle
Pages288
3
Sub-GenreCyberpunk / science fantasy
First Published2020
FormatPaperback, audiobook, kindle
Pages512
2
Sub-GenreScience fantasy
First Published1965
FormatPaperback, audiobook, kindle
Pages592
1
Sub-GenreAlien invasion / cosmic horror
First Published2020
FormatHardcover, audiobook, kindle
Pages176

Compare the Best Sci-Fi Books

Image
1
P. Djèlí Clark Ring Shout 1

P. Djèlí Clark

2
Frank Herbert Dune 1

Frank Herbert

3
Robert Jackson Bennett Shorefall 1

Robert Jackson Bennett

4
George Effinger When Gravity Fails 1

George Effinger

5
Hailey Piper The Worm and His Kings 1

Hailey Piper

6
Orson Scott Card Ender's Game 1

Orson Scott Card

7
Sam A. Patel Data Runner 1

Sam A. Patel

8
H. P. Lovecraft The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories 1

H. P. Lovecraft

9
H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds 1

H. G. Wells

10
N. K. Jemisin The City We Became 1

N. K. Jemisin

Name

Ring Shout

Dune

Shorefall

When Gravity Fails

The Worm and His Kings

Ender's Game

Data Runner

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

The War of the Worlds

The City We Became

Features

Demons and Magical Swords Intertwined With Historical Accuracy

Possibly the Best-Selling Sci-FI Novel of All Time

Ancient Mysteries, Innovative Magic and Heart-Pounding Heists

If Raymond Chandler Had Written Cyberpunk

Subterranean Sci-FI That's Very Scary

The Gargantuan Series Starts Here

A Story-Driven, Fast-Paced, Page-Turner

The Granddaddy of Cosmic Horror

One of the Most Important Pieces of Sci-Fi Literature

Arguably the Best Sci-FI Writer of a Generation

Price£12.99£8.10£9.09£10.75£8.38£6.99£11.61£7.40£5.85£13.00
Sub-GenreAlien invasion / cosmic horrorScience fantasyCyberpunk / science fantasyCyberpunkCosmic horrorAlien invasion CyberpunkCosmic horrorAlien invasionScience fantasy / cosmic horror
First Published2020196520201986202019852013192618982020
FormatHardcover, audiobook, kindle Paperback, audiobook, kindlePaperback, audiobook, kindle Paperbook, audiobook, kindlePaperback, kindlePaperback, audiobook, kindlePaperback, audiobook, kindlePaperback, audiobook, kindlePaperback, hardback, kindleHardback, audiobook, kindle
Pages176592512288124352258420208448
Link

Loose Yourself in Your Next Adventure

Loose Yourself in Your Next Adventure

If you're an avid reader and devourer of books, you'll likely want to stock your shelves, or electronic library, with a few more page turners. Click the links below for some more of our literary recommendations, whether you're interested in thrillers, intergalactic wars, or just want something quick to read on a rainy weekend. 

Summary

We hope our buying guide and top 10 recommendations have provided you with plenty of noteworthy, Sci-Fi texts that you can add to your likely ever-growing reading list. All that's left is to pick up one of these exciting stories, settle down and step into the future!

Author: Lewis Clark

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