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My Favourite Science Fiction

A list of my favourite Sci-Fi books in roughly descending order…

The Player of Games

by Iain M. Banks

My all time fave book from my all time fave sci-fi author. Delicious, inventive, well-written scifi.

Use of Weapons

by Iain M. Banks

My second fave book from my all time fave sci-fi author! I'd probably start at the beginning of the culture series but these two stick out as being superb.

The Sparrow

by Mary Doria Russell

A mind-bending novel of magnificent proportions. Deeply human, deeply weird and challenging to all kinds of ideas. No other book I've read has come close to being like this one.


by Italo Calvino

Magical. Feels like reading poetry. Inventive, playful and just a joy to read.

Pattern Recognition

by William Gibson

Near-future fiction that probably qualifies as sci-fi. Feels distinctly relevant to our modern age but also timeless. Fantastic writing, plots that intrigue and characters that leave you wanting more.

The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Deeply human stories told on alien worlds. The closest thing to a culture novel that wasn't written by Iain M Banks.


by China Miéville

Everything by China Mieville is staggering but this is the only one distinctly sci-fi (that I've read anyway). A story about spaceships and language, with incredible descriptions and memorable characters.

Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

Made me bawl my eyes out. The kind of sci-fi Steinbeck would have written.

The Dispossessed

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Literary sci-fi that's a joy to read.


by Jeff VanderMeer

More biology-fiction than science-fiction but a staggering work of damp genius none the less. This whole triology is one of my all time faves from the last few years.


by John Harrison

Farenheight 451



by Carl Sagan