The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

In the past years, the presence of science fiction and fantasy has grown immensely with streaming series such as Stranger Things or, more recently, Foundation and so has their fan community. Fact is, that science fiction and fantasy are two genres on the rise and they are aiming high!

We know that many readers on 24symbols have an unconditional love for science fiction and fantasy books. So we have selected a few classic works as well as new releases that will blow your mind.

Novels penned by established authors such as H.G. Wells, Ursula K. Le Guin or last year’s Nebula Award winner Sarah Pinsker will not only revive joyous memories of fans of the genre but also encourage all newcomers to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of science fiction and fantasy. But be warned, the following books are highly addictive! You will run the risk of becoming a science fiction or fantasy reader forever. Are you ready?


Susanna Clarke

Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 and nominated for the 2021 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

After disappearing from the literary scene for almost 15 years, the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell allows us yet again to enter another version of our world. This time, a strange house with only three floors that extend into infinity. The protagonist Piranesi, yes, a reference to the Italian artist, explores the endless halls and corridors of this world with scientific diligence and slowly discovers a past he has long forgotten. To elaborate would only take away from the novel’s mystery but we can assure you that you will wish to be able to join Piranesi one day.

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The Time Machine

H. G. Wells

Without a doubt THE TIME MACHINE is one of the most important books of the genre, its very title having coined the term for any sort of vehicle used for time traveling. First published in 1895, this futuristic dystopia portrays a fierce class struggle which at the same time is used to criticize the society of the author’s times. A true classic that is always worth (re-)reading.

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Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

A real wave of new science fiction writers is coming from China. Whether Cixin Liu, Ken Liu or Chen Qiufan, Chinese science fiction writers have found their way into the hearts of readers around the globe. For this selection, we recommend the Hugo award-winning Hao Jingfang, one of most recent stars of the genre, whose novel VAGABONDS was shortlisted for the 2021 Arthur C Clarke Award:

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George Orwell

When 1984 was first published in 1949, the date still seemed futuristic enough to serve as setting for this dystopian classic. Hard to believe that almost forty years have passed since we lived through the year Orwell depicts in his novel. Orwell was certainly right to predict an alarming increase in surveillance, as well as a shift of balance between personal freedom and security. He is the one who gave us Big Brother and one can only wonder what he would have to say about today’s reality shows and social media…

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A Song for a New Day

Sarah Pinsker

Winner of the 2020 Nebula Award, this novel was published before COVID-19 took a hold of our lives and envisions a grim social distancing scenario where musicians no longer give live concerts due to a pandemic and terrorists threats… Sounds familiar? You better start reading to see what else can be expected in the future!

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The Lathe of Heaven

Ursula K. Le Guin

From the grande dame of science fiction and fantasy, we recommend THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, a surreal novel where the protagonist’s dreams can change reality. Set in 2002 (again, the author’s future has turned into the readers’ past…), the world is plagued by war, climate change, and overpopulation. The idea to be able to change things for better sounds tempting but Le Guin makes clear that this is not as easy as it seems.

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The Annual Migration of Clouds

Premee Mohamed

Not surprisingly, contemporary science fiction writers are increasingly concerned with the impact of climate change on society. Set in the not too far future, where mankind is suffering the consequences of exploiting nature, THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS is a cli-fi novel about community and responsibility. Living conditions are hard and the people who have survived can only endure in communities where everybody has to play their part. In addition, a cureless fungus disease has developed which slowly but surely takes control over a person’s body and mind. Eerily dystopian, this is ultimately a story about hope and continuity.

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The People of the Crater

Andre Norton

If you are looking for a quick read, we have just the right thing for you! Andre Norton, aka Alice Mary Norton, is yet another pioneer of the genre and THE PEOPLE OF THE CRATER was the first science fiction short story she published. Discover, along with former Army Pilot Garin Featherstone, a whole world existing below a crater. Norton excels at describing this parallel world full of fantastic creatures that have their own culture, history and, of course, enemy. Featherstone has to find his place in this society and fight against the ultimate evil if he wants to return to his own world.

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Do you want to keep traveling in time, discover new universes or see what we might expect from the future? Follow our SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY bookshelf of our most fantastic ebooks. We will make sure to add the novelties of the genre that are worth reading.