Some of these books have helped shape the future and continue to do so today. They have influenced many generations of readers while offering a thrilling read. Here are some of the best sci-fi, space opera, and cyberpunk books to read for an amazing adventure.
Frank Herbert – Dune
Renowned as one of the best science-fiction novels ever written, Dune is set 20,000 years in the future where humanity is stuck in a feudal society, and technology is banned by the reining religion while nobles rule society. Most of the action happens on a planet called Arrakis, where different factions fight to get a mineral that is valuable to the rest of the galaxy. If you want to read the whole collection, there are 18 books set over the course of 34,000 years in the mammoth universe, as well as a movie adaptation. Dune is a must-read for anyone looking for classic science-fiction and a whole universe of stories. But be warned – it’s quite a lengthy read.
William Gibson – Neuromancer
This cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer, has created a realistically possible version of the future and made certain cyberpunk terms popularised, such as “cyberspace”. The protagonist, Henry Case, aims to pull off one last dodgy job in the hope of stopping a toxin that will prevent him from accessing cyberspace. The dystopian Japanese underworld the story takes place in is a very convincing setting that looks like it could really be our future, from cryonics to AI. The characters are engaging and entertaining, and the story is well-told. The impact this book has had on modern cyberpunk and sci-fi media is quite significant, and it is recommended for anyone who loves gritty character-driven stories. The novel is an addictive read and a great study into how people believe the future will really be.
Andy Weir – The Martian
This is a fairly recent novel from an author who has done his research into science to provide a realistic interpretation of what life on Mars could be like. From fertilizing potatoes in interesting ways to hacking life support systems in Mars rovers to survive, the detail the author has packed into this novel is nothing short of extraordinary. The style of the novel is new and refreshing, full of pop culture, and has sassy dialogue, so it’s always engaging. What’s more, the first-person perspective really makes you invested in the main character, who is full of dread, and a little hope. There is also a movie adaptation starring Matt Damon to enjoy after you’ve read the novel.
Philip K Dick – A Scanner Darkly
The author used this novel more as a detailed autobiography of his own life and the hallucinations he witnessed. The story follows a cop in the near future who is undercover with a group of criminals and has to blend in as best as he can. They are skeptical of his presence, and the protagonist, Bob Arctor, needs a specialized hazmat suit to cover his face and hide his voice when he comes into contact with other cops. The novel provides insight into the author’s own struggles as he grasps on to his sense of self. It’s a gripping read that will keep you engaged until the last page.