Monday, August 21, 2017

My Favorite Sci-Fi/Dystopian Novels

I had so much fun sharing my top ten list of non-fiction books that I thought I'd throw out another one to see what would happen. I also want to say a big Thank You! to everyone who shared their own personal lists. I added several titles to my Need-to-Read list, and that's always a good thing!

This time, I'm going to share my ten favorite Sci-Fi and/or dystopian novels. I've had a penchant for well-written "end of the world" tales since I was a teenager, although I'm not quite sure why. Probably because they're the ultimate in survival tales. No matter what gets thrown at us humans, we're determined to live. Half the list I've loved for decades which means they struck a very deep chord within me. 

Without further adieu, I'm going to share the titles with you. The only order they're in is the order in which they popped into my mind. If you click on the caption beneath the book cover, you'll be taken to Amazon to read more about it.

An 8.4 earthquake hits the New Madrid fault line.

Nuclear holocaust ravages the U.S.

A father & son try to survive during the post-apocalypse.

What if JFK were cloned shortly after his assassination?

An asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth.

What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon anyway?

Water is power, and the western U.S. is fighting over what little they have left.

The best purely Sci-Fi book I've ever read.

Which book would you memorize?

The Lottery is chilling-- and the best short story I've ever read.

It's going to be interesting to find out how many of you mystery lovers will have anything to do with Science Fiction and/or dystopian novels. The way I look at it, many of the books in this list I've compiled have had something go wrong, and it's up to the characters to come up with deductions and solutions. Yup, just an offshoot of my passion for solving mysteries!

Now my burning questions are: how many of you read Sci-Fi or dystopian novels? Have you read any of the books on my list? Which ones did you like? Did I leave any of your favorites off my list? Please share-- you know how I love to add to my Need-to-Read list!


  1. I used to read a lot of these when I was younger...a lot less as I have gotten older.

    I haven't read many on your list though do love Farenheit 451. Other favourites of mine are Stephen King's THE STAND (a lot less "horror" than most of his earlier books) and Nevil Shute's ON THE BEACH (a rare novel on this theme set in Australia which made it seem more realistic and scary for me). A recent read that I adored was Antti Tuomainen's THE HEALER which is sent in Helsinki - ostensibly it's crime fiction but only on the edges, much more of a dystopian novel - with some poetry for good measure.

    1. I've seen the movie but not read On the Beach. I've always meant to rectify that. A couple of the books on my list hit home for me because they either mentioned where I grew up or happened scant miles away-- like 8.4, since the New Madrid fault line (the second worst in the U.S.) is roughly where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet. I had a very strong mental picture throughout most of the book-- and it was scary!

      Thanks for telling me about The Healer. I'm going to go take a look now!

  2. Oh, this is a great list, Cathy! I loved Fahrenheit 451 and The Lottery..., too. And Bernadette's right about The Healer. If you haven't read it, I recommend it.

  3. I like sci-fi, although crime books have definitely trounced them in my affections. Not keen on Dystopian sci-fi though, I think they scare me. LOL! I'll list a few of my favourite non-dystopian sci-fi novels though.

    Grass - Sheri Tepper
    A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
    The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
    The Helliconia trilogy - Brian Aldiss
    Hyperion - Dan Simmons
    The Gate to Women's Country - Sheri Tepper
    The Birthday of the World - Ursula K. Le Guin
    Downward to the Earth - Robert Silverberg
    Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
    Cosmic Engineers - Clifford D. Simak
    The Chrysalids - John Wyndham

    1. A list with several new-to-me titles-- thanks so much, Cath!

    2. I've suddenly realised... how stupid is this... that Gate to Women's Country by Sheri Tepper *is* actually dystopian. And so is The Chrysalids. *DUH* ;-)

  4. Kathleen from NY said:

    "You know I love A Wrinkle in Time. Could be considered sci-if though probably not dystopian.

    Have you ever read a totally different Sci-Fi/dystopian book: a Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller? Fascinating multiple interrelated stories."

    1. All I've heard over the years about A Wrinkle in Time, and I still haven't read it. Shame on me!

      I have heard of "Canticle," but I haven't read that either. Definitely going to add both to my list. Thanks!

  5. I've read Dune, and I think we read Fahrenheit 451 in school.

    You know, I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy growing up, but I can't remember a lot of them. I tended to read very quickly and move on, so not much is left in my memories of plot and storyline. I'm beginning to think maybe I shouldn't try to answer this type of post, lol!

    1. I tend to read quickly and move on, too, so what sticks in my mind after three decades or so certainly made an impression at the time!

  6. Nope, no dystopian fiction or science fiction for me. Purely a "foot planted firmly on the earth" type person and an optimist who wants to think that the earth goes on forever -- or at least for a billion more years. And I don't have to worry about it, except I do now with climate change and global warming.

    1. I would've bet every cent I had that this would be one genre that you wouldn't touch with a barge pole-- and there's nothing wrong with that!

  7. You already know you have some of my favorites on there, I would also add;

    The Emberverse series by S.M. Stirling
    Pandemonium by Daryl Greogry
    The Suicide Collectors by David Oppegaard

    1. I'll definitely look into the Stirling because I know I've already read (and enjoyed) one of his books. I also think I have The Suicide Collectors waiting on my TBR shelves. I'll have to take a look. Thanks, Ryan!

  8. Well, there are occasional forays into crime fiction which have an element of mythology or the paranormal which I like.

    For instance, any book by Fred Vargas, although she almost always has scientific explanations of everything. And Asa Larsson's "Until They Wrath Be Past," an excellent book albeit a ghost character is telling her story.

  9. Interestingly, my sister and I both don't read fantasy or science fiction, although her son does.

    But give us a good legal mystery and we're happy. I think this is from watching Perry Mason and The Defenders while we were growing up.


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