Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books of the Sci-Fi Genre


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books of X Genreand I have chosen Sci-Fi because it’s such a broad genre. From space opera to the apocalypse to dystopia, Sci-Fi encompasses so many different genres and that’s what I love about it. It can be funny, harrowing, epic or terrifying, there’s just so much scope.

NB, where I list the genres of the novels below and write ‘Sci-Fi’, it means it’s set in space. If it doesn’t list ‘Sci-Fi’, then it’s not set in space.

So, in no particular order, let’s begin:

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The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin, Post-Apocalyptic / Science Fantasy / Horror: I’m currently on the final book of this series and I’m so sad it’s almost over for me. This series has been with me for years and I’ve loved it. It’s extremely well written with a huge cast of characters and such a detailed plot. Also, Stephen King loves it. Need I say more?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan, Post-Apocalyptic / Zombie Outbreak / Young Adult: This is a really harrowing and unique series, fraught with emotion and tension. These books had my heart racing so often that I thought I might keel over before finishing it. Thankfully, I’m still here to tell the tale.

Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, Sci-Fi / Dystopian / Young Adult: I’ve only read the first two books in this series and I’m waiting to get my hands on Morning Star but, so far, this trilogy has been exceptional. Great characters, a complex plot and amazing world-building.

Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, Science Fantasy / Horror: This is one of those novels that flits between science and the fantastical which I really loved. The first novel is amazing, and the others great too (I devoured them all one after the other, they were that good I didn’t want to read anything else) but the first novel was definitely the best in the way it was written. These books are terrifying and confusing, in a good way.

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Sci-Fi / Young AdultIlluminae was just too good. I don’t know how Kaufman and Kristoff pulled it off. This series had me laughing one moment and sobbing the next. It was ruthless and hopeful, a truly great, truly terrifying, Sci-Fi novel that would make such an amazing film. (But only if Ridley Scott did it, please).

Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggott, Post-Apocalyptic / Young Adult: I’ve raved about this series many a time on this blog because it deserves so much more recognition than it actually gets. The characters and writing in this book are amazing, with El Capitan being one of my favourite characters I’ve ever come across; I have such a soft spot for all of the characters in this series. It’s also a truly unique idea and these books don’t pull any punches. Seriously, read them.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, Post-Apocalyptic / Zombie Outbreak: This book has been made into a film which is being released this month! However, just in case the film is terrible, read the book first. Melanie is a brilliant character, full of hope, and the writing again is great.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Post-Apocalyptic / Zombie Outbreak / Romance (but good romance): This was such a good book, so philosophical and funny and poignant. As I’ve said before, one of my favourite passages ever written is in this book. I’d point it out, but it’s basically a major spoiler. However, the sequel to this novel is out the beginning of next year and I cannot wait.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Science Fantasy / Time-Travel: David Mitchell is one of my favourite authors and this is my favourite book of his. It’s another one that mixes science with the fantastical, and I love David Mitchell’s style. His writing is great, always funny but also emotional, and he weaves the threads of different people’s lives together in a complex, but ultimately satisfying, way. I don’t know how he does it, but it’s impossible not to become emotionally invested in his characters, even when they aren’t that nice. This book made me laugh and cry.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Dystopian / Speculative Fiction: Atwood is the queen of dystopian and speculative fiction. My teacher gave me a tattered copy of this book to read when I was in high school as she thought it would be something I’d like, and this is what kick-started my love for these kinds of genres. Beautifully written, deeply feminist, and with a unique world, I will never get bored of this book.

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What are some of your favourite Sci-Fi novels? Do you agree with any of my picks? I could go on, to be honest, but it’s Top Ten Tuesday, not Top 100 Tuesday. Anyway, let me know in the comments below!



32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books of the Sci-Fi Genre

  1. I’ve heard of the Forest of Hands and Teeth but didn’t know what it’s about, now I’m curious! I might have to get that one. And Southern Reach sounds intriguing. I liked Illuminae a lot ( a lot happened in that book) and am really excited for Gemina, to see what’s next.


    • Both The Forest of Hands and Teeth series and the Southern Reach series are really good, I highly recommend them, they’re both very different though haha. Yeah so much happened in Illuminae but it never felt like too much, I can’t wait to find out what happens next either!


  2. Ooh lots of zombies and vampires in this list. Excellent choices! (I too liked Cloud Atlas, but my preference was actually for his later novel, The Bone Clocks.)

    The Handmaid’s Tale is just awful. Brilliant, but one of those stories that sticks with you for years after that you can never quite be rid of. (I heard someplace that this was the original dystopian, but I can neither confirm nor deny that as its out of my genre and I regrettably haven’t done the footwork.)

    My TTT‘s over here. 🙂


    • Haha yeah I do have a bit of a thing for zombies. Thank you! I really loved Bone Clocks but Cloud Atlas was my first David Mitchell novel so I’ll always have a soft spot for it. Yeah The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely a harrowing book, but yeah it was one of the books that kickstarted the dystopian theme in earnest, along with things like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in the 1930s! I’ll be sure to check out your TTT! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always regretted not finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy, I stopped in the middle of the last book. I also loved Illuminae and Red Rising as well! cool list~

    My TTT


      • I think I stopped when they are crossing that weird border? And one of them goes in and one of them goes out. I’m pretty sure that’s it. I remember it gave me a lot of anxiety lol and I had to put it down. I just never picked it back up after that.


      • Oh god it’s been so long since I read it I can’t even remember that bit haha! The only bit I remember that was really tense is near the end and takes place in the old New York subway system. I’m gonna have to reread the series now! The first book was definitely the best though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m thinking I need to reread it as well now! And I definitely agree, I loved the first book so much. I’m not usually into trilogies where the main character changes for each book, but I didn’t mind the changes in these ones that much.


      • yeah, I think that’s what made the difference for me, how intertwined it was. I’ve read some that just didn’t work for me, like the Graceling trilogy :<


  4. I really need to read more sci-fi! I only recently got into the genre, but it’s quickly become one of my favourites.

    Illuminae is one of my all time favourite books 😍 I loved Warm Bodies too! So many of the other books you mentioned are on my TBR too 😊 I really want to read Red Rising, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Girl with All the Gifts. I also just added Annihilation to my TBR! It sounds super interesting.


    • I think sci-fi gets a bad rep, people think it’s really geeky and corny, but it’s not at all, there are so many sub-genres, it’s not all about space haha! I hope you manage to read those other books soon, they’re really good. 😊 I’ll warn you though, Annihilation is really creepy haha!


  5. I haven’t read any of these! But I am so dying to read Warm Bodies. I have wanted to for a long time, but even the ebook is expensive, and they have don’t have it at my library or on Hoopla 😦 And I think the Pure trilogy is also on my TBR. But why everything gotta be so expensive?!


    • Oh that’s so annoying! It’s pretty cheap here in the UK so I don’t understand why it’d be expensive elsewhere, the author isn’t even English! Maybe try a second hand copy on Amazon or even eBay? The Pure trilogy is sooooo good, I really recommend it. And I know right, I buy two books and it feels like I’ve just spent all my life savings! Worth it for books though haha


  6. Ahhh sci fi has ALWAYS been a hit or miss for me, almost no in between! :’) but I do really love Illuminae. In fact, I’m obsessed with it hahaha it’s just too good to be true 😛 I can’t wait to read Gemina! I also have Red Rising on my TBR but I still haven’t got around to it. Heard so many good things about it though 😛


    • Haha yeah sci-fi isn’t always for everyone, but I think Illuminae is definitely one of those books that everyone should read because it’s so interesting and so well written! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over how good it was! And yeah, I’m so excited for Gemina too! Red Rising is really good, the characters are brilliant and it’s really unique, hopefully you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. oh my, those post-apocalyptic recs. I’ll definitely be checking those ones out — I LOVE that stuff 🙂 Thanks for the list!


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