Top science fantasy / science fiction books

A definition, offered by Rod Serling, is that science fiction makes the implausible possible, while science fantasy makes the impossible plausible. The meaning is that science fiction describes unlikely things that could possibly take place in the real world under certain conditions, while science fantasy gives a veneer of realism to things that simply could not happen in the real world under any circumstances. Another interpretation is that science fiction does not permit the existence of supernatural elements; science fantasy does. Even the usage of this definition is difficult, however, as some science fiction makes use of apparently supernatural elements such as telepathy. For many users of the term, however, science fantasy is either a science fiction story that has drifted far enough from reality to feel like a fantasy, or a fantasy story that is attempting to be science fiction. While these are in theory classifiable as different approaches, and thus different genres (fantastic science fiction vs. scientific fantasy), the end products are sometimes indistinguishable.

Perdido Street Station

1. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
New Crobuzon: Book 1
Score: 102
Our rating: 9.8 | 4 positive reader reviews

All the Birds in the Sky

2. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Dune

3. Dune by Frank Herbert
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.4 | 5 positive reader reviews

The Martian

4. The Martian by Andy Weir
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

Ready Player One

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.3 | 2 positive reader reviews

The Obelisk Gate

6. The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin
The Broken Earth #2
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Scar

7. The Scar by China Mieville
New Crobuzon: Book 2
Score: 93
Our rating: 9.2 | 1 positive reader reviews

A Scanner Darkly

8. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Left Hand of Darkness

9. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Shadow of the Torturer

10. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf
Book of the New Sun
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.5 | 4 positive reader reviews

Cinder

11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles: Book 1
Score: 87
Our rating: 8.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

A Wrinkle in Time

12. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine LEngle
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Fifth Season

13. The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
The Broken Earth #1
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

Consider Phlebas

14. Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
A Culture Novel
Score: 81
Our rating: 8.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

Stranger in a Strange Land

15. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Bone Ships

16. The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
The Tide Child: Book 1
Score: 78
Our rating: 7.8 | 0 positive reader reviews