Five Great Science Fiction eBooks.

I have always loved a good science fiction yarn, and if you’re reading this blog then you probably feel the same way. The eBook revolution is upon us, but it can be difficult to sort through the dross. With that in mind, I present you with my list of five excellent Sci-Fi stories available on the kindle store. If any of these take your fancy, I’ve provided links straight through to Amazon.

5) Lacuna: Demons of the Void – David Adams

Lacuna Demons of the Void book coverLacuna is a novel that feels classic and brand new at the same time. It belongs very much to the Star Trek mould, following the exploits of a starship captain in Earth’s future. When Lacuna sets itself apart is in a more nuanced interpretation of that future. After the planet is attacked by a mysterious enemy, mankind sets out into the stars to strike back, but this is a humanity far from united. Back home, the planet is divided into massive power blocks that have enough problems without alien invaders.

The Lacuna story does not end here, and Adams’ follow up novels are even better, but this is a great opening chapter and really worth picking up.

4) The Time Machine – H.G Wells

H.G Wells The Time Machine CoverH.G Wells classic story of a lone time traveler. This novella is absolutely one of the finest time travel stories ever written. It features all the classics of the genre; a fish out of water protagonist, a troubling future, commentary on the human condition, and even a couple of good plot twists along the way. For a writer of his time, Wells remains unbelievable readable, and this is one of his best stories. An absolute must for any Time Travel lover.

As a bonus, the Enriched Classics version (linked above) is currently free!

3) Yesterday’s Gone: Season One – Sean Platt and David Wright

Yesterday's Gone Season One Book CoverThe eBook market is a great place to try out serialised fiction. With Yesterday’s Gone, Sean Platt and David Wright have really owned the format. A thrilling story that owes a lot to Stephen King and Left Behind (without the crazy religious element), Yesterday’s Gone is one of my favourite books in ages. Originally released in a series of short parts, the collected Season One ebook is definitely the best way to start experiencing this story. It begins when the majority of the world’s population suddenly vanished. From there, an eclectic group of characters all over America are gradually drawn together. The story doesn’t end with Season One, but there’s a lot in this eBook and you’ll definitely be left wanting more. There are a lot of great books on this list, but this is the one that most exploits the eBook format to tell a great story.

2) Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune Kindle Edition CoverI should probably apologise for putting Dune on this list. After all, it’s a classic that you can probably find cheaper in any second hand bookstore in the english speaking world. However, it’s a decision I stick by. Dune is one of my favourite books, but it’s hardly an easy read, and it’s a weighty tome that doesn’t lend itself well to reading on the train. Since picking up the kindle, I’ve really enjoyed re-reading Dune for the first time in a very long time.

Most people will have some familiarity with Dune by now, but unless you’ve read the book then you haven’t really experience it. Set on the hostile desert world of Arrakis, Dune follows the messianic path of Paul Atreides. The son of a noble household, Paul is cast out into the sands of Arrakis and must lead the savage Fremen who live there in order to save the planet from the vicious Harkonnen family. It sounds complicated, and it is, but it has a lot in common with the complex mythic worlds of Tolkien and George R. R. Martin.

1) Wool – Hugh Howey

Wool by Hugh Howey CoverWool doesn’t need much promotion these days. What started off as a self published short story has become a smash hit since then, with talk of a movie adaptation on the horizon. I’m going to promote it anyway, because from the first page until the last, I enjoyed Wool. In the future, the last of the human race lives in the Silo. This vast bomb shelter is little more than a pill box on the surface, but descends deep under the surface. Within this vault lives an entire society with a single giant staircase the only route from the bottom to the top. The law is harsh, but there is one crime more serious than any other, wanting to leave.

The book is actually comprised of a series of smaller books the become longer until the fifth and final. We open with a great little short story that would have made Philip K. Dick proud, from there Howey builds on his initial story and creates a truly great fictional world. This is the kind of science fiction that just isn’t being written anymore, and I hope Wool leads to a comeback.

That’s all folks. These are the five eBooks that I think every Sci-Fi fan should have on their eReaders. If you’d like to make your own suggestions or just disagree with me, you can leave a comment. 

  • It may be a YA title and may be more cyberpunk than anything but I always suggest Feed by M.T.Anderson whenever sci-fi comes up.

  • Y’know, I’ve heard a lot about Feed but I’ve never read it. I’ll have to give it a go.

  • How could ignore ALL female sci-fi authors???? Really? Ursula K. LeGuin? James Tiptree, Jr.? Zenna Henderson? Kate Wilhelm? Octavia Butler? Andre Norton? Doris Lessing? Seriously? Frank Hebert and Hugh Howey before these? NO.

  • You’re absolutely right, it wasn’t a conscious decision, but the results are pretty much the same.

    In the case of some authors you’ve mentioned, it couldn’t be helped. Unfortunately, I had to draw from what was available. I would happily have stuck in Rocannon’s World by LeGuin, one of my favourite SF books ever, but it’s not available on the kindle. (At least, not on Amazon UK, which is the only place I can buy my ebooks.) James Tiptree doesn’t have a single book on the UK kindle store. Zenna Henderson I haven’t read much of, but similarly, nothing on the UK kindle store. I love Octavia Butler, but again, she’s not that well represented on the store.

    Others, it’s a case of less familiarity, I picked from books in my kindle library, and to my shame, I haven’t read Kate Wilhelm or Doris Lessing. I’m not avoiding them, I just tend to work through authors in big chunks and haven’t got to them yet.

    Which I hope is something of an explanation, not an excuse. I did not set out to be exclusionary, though obviously I have been. I could certainly have included some great books by Anne McAffrey or even Mary Shelley (the one that began it all).

    Anyway, let me apologise completely for that. It might be harder to find the great female SF authors on Amazon UK, but they are there, and putting a list out without any of them is unacceptable. Thank you for calling me out on it.