My Favorite Fantasy and Science Fiction Books


Why am I devoting an entire list to fantasy and sci-fi? Basically because I’ve always found imaginative fiction to be the most enjoyable. (You may have already noticed that most of the children’s literature books I listed are also fantastical.) I love how anything can happen and how these tales stretch the mind’s grasp of reality and possibility. What I like best when I immerse myself in a book is a story—and fantasy delivers in spades.

As mentioned in the previous book list, these recommendations aren’t current. Rather, I’m focusing on books that I grew up with—ones that might even be overlooked by today’s readers. I also do not mean these are books you should read—I enjoyed very few of the books I was forced to read in various English and literature classes. These are simply books I loved reading (and re-reading). I think you’ll enjoy them too.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Favorites

Adams, Douglas
  • The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide trilogy
Anthony, Piers
  • The Tarot trilogy
  • The Xanth series (first 6 or 7 books)
  • The Split Infinity trilogy
  • The Incarnations of Immortality series
  • Prostho Plus
Asimov, Isaac
  • The Robot series
  • The Foundation series
Asprin, Robert
  • The Myth Adventures series (first 5 or 6 books)
Beagle, Peter
  • A Fine and Private Place
  • The Last Unicorn
Bester, Alfred
  • The Demolished Man
Bradbury, Ray
  • The Martian Chronicles
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Many other short stories
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
  • The John Carter of Mars series (first 3 books)
Chalker, Jack L.
  • The Well of Souls series (first 5 books)
de Camp, L. Sprague and Fletcher Pratt
  • The Compleat Enchanter
Donaldson, Stephen R.
  • The First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
Eddings, David
  • The Belgariad series
Ellison, Harlan
  • Dangerous Visions
Farmer, Philip José
  • The Riverworld series
Forward, Robert L.
  • Dragon’s Egg
Gaiman, Neil
  • The Sandman series
Galouye, Daniel F.
  • Simulacron-3
Goldman, William
  • The Princess Bride
Heinlein, Robert A.
  • Time Enough for Love
Herbert, Frank
  • The Dune series (first 3 or 4 books)
Leiber, Fritz
  • The Big Time
  • Conjure Wife
MacAvoy, R.A.
  • Tea with the Black Dragon
May, Julian
  • The Saga of the Exiles series
  • The Galactic Milieu series
Miller Jr., Walter M.
  • A Canticle for Liebowitz
Moore, Alan
  • V for Vendetta
  • Watchmen
Munn, H. Warner
  • Merlin’s Ring
Myers, John Myers
  • Silverlock
  • The Moon’s Fire-Eating Daughter
Powers, Tim
  • The Anubis Gates
Robinson, Spider
  • Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon
Saberhagen, Fred
  • The New Dracula series (first 3 or 4 books)
Stallman, Robert
  • The Book of the Beast trilogy
Stewart, Mary
  • The Merlin trilogy
Tolkien, J.R.R.
  • The Lord of the Rings
Wangerin, Walter
  • The Book of the Dun Cow
Wolfe, Gene
  • The Book of the New Sun series
Young, Robert E.
  • Eridahn
Zelazny, Roger
  • The Chronicles of Amber series

…and a special shout-out to Famous Science Fiction Stories: Adventures in Time and Space, edited by Raymond J. Healy and J. Francis McComas. This anthology of Golden Age stories includes 5 of the greatest sci-fi tales ever told:

  • “By His Bootstraps”, by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Who Goes There?”, by John W. Campbell Jr.
  • “Nightfall”, by Isaac Asimov
  • “Farewell to the Master”, by Harry Bates
  • “He Who Shrank”, by Henry Hasse



You’re the second person to

You're the second person to recommend Wool! I checked it out of the library a couple of weeks ago and did enjoy it. Haven't read the others in the series yet.


Absolutely! Her Earthsea

Absolutely! Her Earthsea trilogy is on the Children's Literature list, although it could just as easily been here. I think I need to re-read Left Hand of Darkness… I have to admit it didn't make a great impression on me, but maybe I was too young or just in the wrong frame of mind. I know it's a classic.


Hugh Howey

It's been a while since I read Left Hand of Darkness too, but I remember being floored by Ursula's progressive ideas, especially those of gender.

A current favorite author of mine is Hugh Howey, his WOOL trilogy is amazing.


Grock the future through fantasy

This is a wonderful list, I haven't read most of these, and I look forward to bombarding my library with new requests. Have you ever read any of Ursula K LeGuin's books? The Left Hand of Darkness is one of her best.

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