The best sci-fi books always feel sort of new, that's part of their wide appeal. While many folks like to stick to classic sci-fi, there are many great new writers doing amazing things, and that's why the best new sci-fi books need to be read.
These writers take us everywhere. From near future situations on our climate-ravaged planet, to distant wastelands and unrecognizable landscapes, these stories have it all. It's a great time for new sci-fi books, and some of the writers are on the newer side, while others are well-respected titans of the genre.
With so many great options to choose from, narrowing down the best new science fiction books was rather difficult, so I'd advise that you save yourself some time and reference this list. Happy reading!
American War by Omar El Akkad
Set in the year 2075, American War is chilling. Akkad's fractured America is both frightening and fascinating, and his post-apocalyptic vision of the world rivals even the great Cormac McCarthy's. In the novel, the sun burns extremely hot and the country isn't much more than a series of war zones and refugee camps.
It follows the lives of the Chestnut family, who are forced to flee their home in the South and spend the better part of their lives in a dirty, impoverished encampment. Akkad poignantly describes what it's like to grow up in a country torn apart by war, and how in the end, war compromises us all — making this one of the best new sci-fi books.
Void Star by Zachary Mason
This near future sci-fi/suspense thriller will make you want to read it in a few sittings, it's that gripping. The plot centers around a billionaire seeking immortality in a crumbling world against a tech genius whose memory implant somehow allows her to communicate with artificial intelligence.
Because of her rare talents, Irene is a very expensive and highly sought after troubleshooter, and this is how she meets the billionaire. She becomes weary of his motives, and this sets her down a path which takes place mostly in a near-future version of San Francisco, where drones patrol the skies and forcibly keep out the poor — so, sort of San Francisco.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Many of our cities will one day be under water, this is a fact. That fear is very real for some people with property in those low lying areas, not to mention some of the third world island nations that will more than likely have to abandon their homes. In New York 2140, sea levels have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is covered in water. Most of the characters all interact in the Metlife building.
It's a dystopian novel that doesn't quite feel like a classic dystopian novel, because the situations Robinson describes will very likely one day be our reality. It's thrilling to see how the characters adapt to their new lives, and there is some hope in this novel along the way. New York 2140 is an important work of fiction, and one of the best new sci-fi books in recent years.
Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
Borne is a wonderfully strange new sci-fi novel from one of the best around, Jeff Vandermeer. The protagonist, Rachel, discovers the creature known as Borne on a giant, engineered bear named Mord. Mord was created by the Company, a powerful biotech firm that has lost control of its creations.
Odd things occur throughout this novel, such as beetles that can remove and add memories when put in someone's ear, and worms that can release drugs inside your body — it's out there. Vandemeer is one of the best sci-fi writers working today, and his work is complex while remaining accessible. All great reasons to read one of the best new sci-fi books.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
All Our Wrong Todays is one of those books you need to read to fully grasp the narrative. There is plenty of time traveling and nostalgia for the Jetsons in one of our best new sci-fi books. The novel is pretty funny, and has some amusing elements in this sort of utopia, such as avocados that never bruise or turn brown — definitely a shot at Brooklyn.
There is a love story at the center of this novel, and it is definitely one of the more lighter takes on the genre. Things never quite get that dire, but it is an interesting look into the future.
The Moon and the Other by John Kessel
In the 22nd century, more than three million people live on Earth's moon in 27 different underground colonies. The colonies are all hollowed into caves and volcanic rocks, and in one of these colonies — men can't vote. They are free to do whatever they please, they just can't hold any type of power.
It's one of the best new sci-fi books that deals with gender politics and the near future, while also being fun and lighthearted enough to make for an enjoyable read. It delves into the dangers of starting a utopian world, and at over 600 pages, The Moon and the Other is not short on things to say.
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Six Wakes is a murder mystery set in the year 2493, a thrilling premise and one of the best new sci-fi books. A spaceship is far from earth, and someone is murdering the crew. Now, the crew's newly awakened clones will have to find their killer.
We jump right into the action in this one, and it doesn't let up until the book's stunning conclusion. Lafferty also takes us back a few years, so we can get to know the characters before they became clones.
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
In Morning Star, the last of the Red Rising trilogy, the time has finally come for Darrow to tear down the world of the aristocratic, despotic Golds from the inside. It's an epic sci-fi series that is destined to be turned into a series of movies sooner rather than later.
It's multilayered and features characters who exist in a shadow world between history and myth — fans of Frank Herbert's Dune would certainly approve.
Infomocracy by Malka Older
The entire population is divided into groups of 100,000, known as centenals. Each centenal can vote for the government they wish to belong to. These governments are ruled by all sorts of strange and awful companies — like Phillip Morris.
A global organization called Information seeks to police elections and ensure that the many governments keep their promises and play by the rules. It's highly detailed and seems scarily possible, definitely one of the best new sci-fi books.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter is a mind-bending tale by the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy. Jason is knocked out and when he wakes up nothing is how he left it. In this new world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife, and his son was never even born.
It's a surprising science-fiction thriller about the power of choices, and how far some will go to get the life they've always wanted. Pick this one up, it's one of the best new sci-fi books you'll read.