There’s nothing like science fiction. Across all genres — from horror to comedy to drama to romance and everything in between — nothing gets our imagination going like science fiction does. Better yet, it can be found across so many different types of media. Literature, film, television, podcasts… Wherever stories can be told, science fiction can be found. These 10 titles below are the best books about science fiction in all its glory.

No matter what your preferred method of sci-fi delivery may be, there’s likely a book about it. From science fiction novels to science fiction movies, science fiction comics to science fiction poems, these 10 titles we’ve compiled below run the gamut across all the different shapes and sizes of the genre. Here’s a rundown of what we found:

Best Book About Sci-Fi Novels: Science Fiction: A Literary History

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Science Fiction: A Literary History
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 05/01/2018 (Publication Date) - British Library Publishing (Publisher)

Stretching from the early scientific romance of the 1880s to the “Golden Age” of sci-fi literature in the 1930s to the new direction sci-fi writing took from the 1950s to today, editor Roger Luckhurst compiles essays and research from a great number of different sources to track the complete literary history of the sci-fi genre. His book, titled Science Fiction: A Literary History, is undoubtedly the most comprehensive work on science fiction novels ever written. Plus, given its recent publication in 2018, there’s no doubt you’ll be getting the most up-to-date information. Luckhurst’s work is the best book on this particular subject imaginable, and the rest of the competition’s not even close.

Check out Science Fiction: A Literary History on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi Movies: The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from Alien to Zardoz

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The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from Alien to Zardoz
  • Barsanti, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 10/14/2014 (Publication Date) - Visible Ink Press (Publisher)

Author and critic Chris Barsanti’s encyclopedic The Sci-Fi Movie Guide contains close to a thousand different must-see sci-fi movies from across movie history. No matter the sci-fi subgenre, The Sci-Fi Movie Guide has plenty of information on the best movies that exemplify it. Whether it be sci-fi comedy, sci-fi romance, sci-fi horror, or something in between, Barsanti has done extensive and exhaustive research on the entire history of sci-fi films to create this incredibly helpful guide. Published in 2014 and stretching back to the very beginning of film, the book might as well be a bible for sci-fi movie lovers of all kinds.

Check out The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from Alien to Zardoz on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi TV Shows: Science Fiction Television

Science Fiction Television (Praeger Television Collection)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Booker, M. Keith (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 07/30/2004 (Publication Date) - Praeger (Publisher)

Of all the different forms of sci-fi media, perhaps none has had a wider reach than sci-fi television. Author M. Keith Booker understands this, and as a result, his book Science Fiction Television covers every corner of the medium. The Twilight Zone, Doctor Who, Star Trek, The X-Files, Stargate SG-1… No matter if it’s a sci-fi show you love or one you’ve never even heard of in the first place, Booker’s book is both thoroughly researched and deeply felt. There is little doubt sci-fi TV lovers will latch onto Science Fiction Television and hold it tight as they get to binging.

Check out Science Fiction Television on Amazon.

Best Book About 1950s Sci-Fi: The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books
  • Wade, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 11/13/2019 (Publication Date) - Pen and Sword History (Publisher)

Throughout the decades, there’s no denying that one period has had more of an impact on the genre of science fiction than any other. That period — the so-called “Golden Age” — is none other than the 1950s. John Wade’s book The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books is the very best work on the formative time period around. Published very recently in 2019, Wade’s book is extensively researched and expertly crafted to present readers with a resource that is both entertaining and informative. It’s a definite must for any sci-fi fan.

Check out The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi Filmmakers: Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998

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Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998
  • Fischer, Dennis (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 767 Pages - 06/17/2011 (Publication Date) - McFarland (Publisher)

With his book Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998, author Dennis Fischer seemingly did the impossible. He contained more than a century of sci-fi filmmakers in just over 750 pages, stretching from the major names to the ones you’ve never even heard of. If they’ve helmed even the most obscure sci-fi short or low-budget film, you can bet their name can be found in Fischer’s book. The same, of course, applies to the titans like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Roland Emmerich, and the like. Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998 is a must-own for any individual who calls themselves a sci-fi movie lover.

Check out Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998 on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi Authors: The History of Science Fiction

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The History of Science Fiction (Palgrave Histories of Literature)
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • Roberts, A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 11/28/2005 (Publication Date) - Palgrave Macmillan (Publisher)

If you’re a sci-fi fan who wants to know more about the trailblazing writers who started the genre, look no further than Adam Roberts’s The History of Science Fiction. Going all the way back to Ancient Greece and pushing all the way to the present day, The History of Science Fiction is a truly amazing encyclopedia of the writers, thinkers, and authors who shaped sci-fi as we know and love it. Better yet, it’s not written like a textbook. The History of Science Fiction and Adam Roberts’s accessible tone make it both educational and enjoyable at the same time.

Check out The History of Science Fiction on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi Short Stories: The Big Book of Science Fiction

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The Big Book of Science Fiction
  • Vintage
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1216 Pages - 07/12/2016 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

Science fiction short stories have helped morph and mold the sci-fi genre for decades now. Editors Jeff and Ann Vandermeer understand this better than most. At more than a thousand pages, their anthology The Big Book of Science Fiction attempts to contain all the most important sci-fi short stories in one single volume. From H. G. Wells to Ursula K. Le Guin, Kurt Vonnegut to Octavia E. Butler, and countless other names in between, The Big Book of Science Fiction is the biggest and best book about sci-fi short stories on the market today.

Check out The Big Book of Science Fiction on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi Poetry: Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology Of Science Fiction Poetry

Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology Of Science Fiction Poetry
  • Goudsward, Ken (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 73 Pages - 04/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Dimensionfold Publishing (Publisher)

Science fiction is a genre full of ideas and imaginations that are often hard to put into words. That’s what’s so beautiful about sci-fi poetry: It manages to express the inexpressible. Describe the indescribable. Speak to the unspeakable. And it accomplishes these things in the most moving way possible: Through the art of poetry. Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology Of Science Fiction Poetry compiles the best of the best of the art form for our reading pleasure. And, with a 2020 release date, it’s just about as up-to-date as can be. If you’re a lover of sci-fi and a reader of poetry, then you have to check out Eccentric Orbits.

Check out Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology Of Science Fiction Poetry on Amazon.

Best Book About Sci-Fi History: James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction

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James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction
  • Hardcover Book
  • Frakes, Randall (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 05/15/2018 (Publication Date) - Insight Editions (Publisher)

James Cameron is one of the most recognizable names in the sci-fi genre. From Aliens to Avatar, Cameron has been a steady and dependable voice in science fiction filmmaking since the 1980s. In James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction, the filmmaker uses his authority on the genre — as well as some help from some of his friends and contemporaries — to present a complete history of the genre itself. His book is fantastic, and once you finish reading it, there’s a 2018 miniseries of the same name from AMC that you can watch. With James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, we can officially add “historian” to Cameron’s long list of accolades.

Check out James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction on Amazon.

Best Book About Real Life Sci-Fi: Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

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Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
  • Hardcover Book
  • Al-Khalili, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 05/09/2017 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

The term “science fiction” is somewhat at odds with itself, if you think about it. It’s practically an oxymoron, sort of like “jumbo shrimp” or “definitely maybe.” As it turns out, there might be some factual basis for a lot of the so-called science “fiction” out there. Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life is one of the best books on the real-world truths that may or may not exist in our favorite sci-fi movies. Not to mention, editor Jim Al-Khalili’s book is simply fascinating in its own right. After reading this one, perhaps we could start a new genre called science nonfiction?

Check out Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life on Amazon.

Finding the Best Books About Sci-Fi: Step by Step

When trying to locate the best books about science fiction, there are a few places you can look. First, you just have to know how. These three sources are a great place to start:

  • Searching the library
  • Searching a book store
  • Searching online

Searching the Library

If you’re looking for the best books about science fiction, a great first step is to venture out to your local library. Either by asking a librarian or searching the computer yourself, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some great sci-fi books available to you completely free of charge. (Just make sure you return it on time!)

Searching a Book Store

If you’re looking to do more than just borrow a sci-fi book, you can try a local book store instead. While the selection might be limited to only the most recent sci-fi books on the market, your local book store is still likely to have a nice little selection of sci-fi books to choose from and enjoy. (Plus, no late fees.)

Searching Online

If you’ve come up empty both at the library and at a local book store, there’s always the internet. Amazon or other online retailers will have sci-fi books new and old, big and small, popular and obscure for you to browse through. Plus, you can probably find some cheaper used copies so that you don’t have to shell out the full price if you don’t want to.

What to Know Before Buying Books About Sci-Fi

Before you buy one of the best books about science fiction, it’s worth mentioning that some of these titles might contain ideas that are a little beyond the basics. In other words, they might be a little heady. (All great science fiction is at least a little unfathomable, right?) Fear not: While some science fiction can get a little complex, it almost always works hard to help walk you through it as you go. Don’t give up — If a sci-fi author or historian leaves you feeling confused at first, it’ll almost always be worth the struggle in the end. (If all else fails, you can always turn to Google.)

Reading Books About Sci-Fi: What It’s Like

When reading one of the best books about science fiction, you can expect to see familiar concepts from the real world of science shifted and reshaped into unique fictional forms. After all, that’s the great and enduring appeal of science fiction, isn’t it? Factual science pushed to its most fantastical limits, reworked, and reworded to present scenarios that might possibly happen in the future. Reading about sci-fi engages our intelligence and imagination simultaneously. That’s what it’s like, and that’s why we love it so much.

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 10 Best Books About Science Fiction FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Who is the best sci-fi writer of all time?

While it’s hard to narrow down such an expansive list of writers to one single winner, there are a couple of names that come up again and again: Isaac Asimov and Ursula K. Le Guin.

What was the first science fiction book?

While this is another question with a difficult — and often subjective — answer, many critics and historians agree that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) was the first science fiction book.

What was the first science fiction movie?

The first science fiction movie ever made is an honor widely considered to belong to George Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon (1902).

Has science fiction ever come true?

Because all good science fiction is based on ideas that have the potential to come true one day, science fiction has become science reality on numerous occasions: Early filmmaker Georges Méliès predicted space travel with A Trip to the Moon (1902), German filmmaker Fritz Lang predicted robots with Metropolis (1927)… the list could go on and on.

What was the first science fiction comic?

According to historians, the first science fiction comic was Mr. Skygack, from Mars: a serialized strip by A.D. Condo that began appearing in newspapers in 1907.

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