The field of science fiction is very diverse. There still appears to be no consensus among writers on what should amount to science fiction. They have, however, appreciated that any material that employs the use of “science” and “fiction” in narration or creating a story could fall under this category.
Generally, these books attempt to create stories around how man has been trying to interact with space and his attitude toward the changes that come with the interaction between the two. This article will look at the ten best-selling science fiction books of all time. In each book, we shall look at the authors, their storylines, and other general features such as their publishers and the number of copies sold.
10. The Martian (3+ Million Copies Sold)
According to the New York Times, the Martian has sold more than 3 million copies and is one of the most entertaining science fiction books you will ever come across. Analysts have agreed that it is one of the leading comparisons between nature and man.
The book’s storyline is that an astronaut is left behind on Mars, and they are supposed to survive by his intelligence and any other item that could have been left by missions that went earlier to the planet. Mark Watney is the main human protagonist, portrayed as intelligent and likable. The book will give a real experience of hard fiction science. The book was by Andy Weir and was published in 2011.
9. Stranger in a Strange Land (5+ Million Copies Sold)
Robert wrote the 1961 science fiction novel. Heinlein. G.P. Putnam’s Sons published the book, and it has 408 pages. It is based on Valentine Michael Smith, born o planet Mars, raised by Martians then sent to the Earth at the early stages of her adulthood. As the character tries to have her life on Earth, they try to understand how human beings have been living.
The setting is the U.S after World War three. Readers are taken through the interaction of religion and politics, with the religious institutions controlling the latter. Before World War three, a spacecraft (Envoy) is sent toward Mars and later loses contact after it lands.
‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ won the 1992 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book was the first fiction novel to be listed in the New York Times Book Reviews on best-selling books. The book first received a lot of criticism from church leaders who successfully lobbied for its exclusion from school lists.
This book has been edited more than 20 times, with the latest by the Suntup Press in 2021. The Los Angeles Times reports that more than 5 million copies have been sold.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (14 + Million Copies Sold)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is sometimes referred to as HG2G and is a comedy science fiction that Douglas Adams wrote. First published in 1979, the novel was later adopted in a 1981 Tv series and a 1984 text-based computer game. A 2005 film was also created based on the book.
The novel has acquired huge followership, and by 2005 different entities had translated it into more than 30 languages. The BBC’s Big Read poll has ranked it the fourth most-read book in the United Kingdom.
The narrative of the HG2G is based on Arthur Dent, the last surviving man after the world demolition. A Vogon constructor demolishes the world to create a way for a hyperspace bypass. Ford Perfect, who is narrated as a human-like alien, is the one who rescues the Dent.
After the rescue, the Dent enters the mission of exploring the Galaxy until it encounters the Trillian, who had been taken from the Earth by the Galaxy’s president, Zaphod Beeblebrox. According to the Book Series, the book won the 1984 Golden Pan Award for selling one million copies.
7. Foundation (20+ Million Copies Sold)
According to the Wertzone, the Foundation series has sold over 20 million copies. The novel was written by Isaac Asimov, an American Writer, and published in 1951. The original copy has 255 pages, and David Kyle covered the book. The book has five different but related stories published by Gnome Press as a single book.
Asimov uses a combination of psychology, history, and statistics to predict the behavior of large groups. It is arguably the first book to create a believable storyline of the Galactic empire. The five stories in the book are created around the Psychohistorians, Encyclopedists, Mayors, Traders, and Merchant Princes.
6. Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale (20+ million Copies Sold)
Not all the time when we hear Russia, we should think of its big gun market. Ivan Yefremov managed to produce a master class science fiction Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale, in 1957. The novel was later published in English in 1959.
The book helped to bring out the writer’s views on communist utopia and how it would be in the current day. The novel carries the story of a historian, two scientists, a starship captain, and an archeologist as they try to conquer the world.
One scientist tries to do an experiment that fails to work and inflicts damage on him. On the other side, the starship captain is involved in fights with aliens.
Members of the universe, even those on planet earth, are united by the Great Circle, where they exchange ideas on culture and scientific knowledge. Critics accused the novel of having excessively philosophical heroes. The book is the most science fiction in Russia.
5. Catching Fire (20+ million copies sold)
For young adults, worry no more; the list still has something good for you. Catching Fire was written by Suzanne Collins, an American novelist, in 2009 and was published by Scholastic and later released in audio and eBook format. It’s part of the Hunger Game trilogy.
The novel’s main themes involve rebellion, authoritarianism, survival, and a contradiction between interdependence and independence. According to the Web Archive, Catching Fire has so far sold more than 19 million copies in the U.S, with an estimation of more than one million copies in other countries.
The book is set in District 12, the poorest place in Panem, which is the home of Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen. After the 74th Hunger Games, the two characters return home, and President Snow goes to Katniss and informs her that during the games, she displays defiance.
The president claimed that after people watched her, they started being rebellious toward his administration. Snow now directs Katniss to convince the people that her actions were out of love for Peeta and not his administration. Throughout the plot, Katniss becomes the leading voice of rebellion against the totalitarian rule of snow.
4. Mocking Jay (20+ million Copies Sold in the U.S)
After successfully releasing Catching Fire in 2009, Suzzanne Collins published Mocking Jay in 2010. As of now, the book has sold more than 20 million copies in the U.S, and in its first 7 days, it sold over 450,000 copies, a way far above Collins’s expectations. The writer said that she drew aspirations from the Greek mythology stories of the Minotaur and Theseus.
Along with other survivors from “Catching Fire,” Katniss moved from District 12 to District 13, forming a new base for rebellion in Panem. Katniss agrees to act as the ‘Mockingjay,’ the greatest propaganda tool for the district 13 government.
Upon reaching District 13, Katniss agrees to work with its government on the condition that the administration, under president Alma Coin, shall grant immunity to all survivors, including her friend Peeta Mallard. After many political struggles, the story ends with Katniss and Peeta marrying and having two children.
The new administration under President Paylor abolishes the Hunger Games. All arenas are replaced with memorials of people who died during the conflicts. The abolishment of the games brings to an end the Hunger Games series.
3. Dune (20+ million Copies Sold)
Dune is arguable the best-selling novel of all time in the United States. According to Britannica, the novel was written by Frank Herbert, who ran the book in a serialized analog from 1963 to 1965. The book’s storyline is based on Paul Atreides, a young nobleman.
The writer takes his readers through a delectable journey of how Paul grows to be a commanding messianic leader who takes charge of an arid desert planet named Arrakis.
The book has a background fertile with religion, ecology, and politics. So far, the book has sold over 20 million copies and is available in more than 20 languages.
The Dune was published by Chilton Books and was covered by John Schoenherr. Through its 412 pages, you will experience the great writing skills of Frank Herbert. The book won the award for Hugo Best Novel and Nebula Awards for Best Novel in 1966. After the Dune, Frank wrote the Dune Messiah.
2. Remembrance of Earth’s Past (29+ million Copies Sold)
Coming among the most recent days, the “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” is a trilogy that comprises three science fiction books: The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End. The book was published in Chinese from May 2008 to 2011 and later translated into English from November 2014 to July 2019.
Chongqing Publishing Group published the original works of Liu Cixin. The trilogy starts its narration from the Cultural Revolution in China, and it explains how the Chinese population first interacted with other intelligent beings belonging to other planets.
The author brings out how human beings organize themselves, especially when faced with the threat of coming to extinction. Interestingly, the trilogy brings out the role of science in our modern society and the threats that come with it.
So persuasive was the writing that Netflix placed its order with D.B Weiss, Alexander Woo, and David Benioff taking the leading role of producing the film. The high sales are attributed to the high Chinese population and its subsequent translation into English.
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four (30+ million Copies Sold)
Social science fiction readers will always be remembered as one of the greatest writers. He published “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in 1949 to warn readers of the emergence of totalitarian governments.
He followed the book with ‘Animal Farm.’ up to date, the book remains one of the best reference points for political science students who want to study abuses of human rights. The main set of the great piece of work was Oceania in 1984. The state is governed by an all-powerful leader, Big Brother, who defines the life of the people, even in private matters.
Through a mixture of politics and social science fiction, Orwell creates a hero named Winston Smith, who is among the minorities and was living in London during World War II. When a nuclear war strikes the city, Winston takes it upon himself to tell the ruling class the truth through the creation of his Ministry of the Truth.
Unknown to him is that together with his new love, Julia, they are being watched by Big Brother. The book has sold more than 30 copies with the Guardian, appreciating that it has ‘sold in millions.’
4 Benefits of reading Science Fiction Books
When you read science fiction books, you improve your:
- Analytical Skills- They have complicated stories which you must dot together.
- Emotional intelligence.-Some are built on powerful characters who undergo a lot of suffering.
- Mental and memory stimulation- Readers are taken through historical concepts related to topics and stories they learned in school.
- Stress Reduction- Science fiction books take you through in-depth stories and narrations that take your mind off the daily stressful activities.
Reading is among the healthiest activities you can undertake to either gain knowledge, pass time or while on holiday. The above collection of books has been filtered from the best science fiction books. Some of them even carry political agendas, which makes them more interesting.
Science fiction books are important in improving your creativity, and they help you predict future human behavior. These books have a deep historical understanding of early human life. Therefore, they help you to bring the past, the current, and the future. All these books are available on online platforms. You can also get them as eBooks or in audio form. Pick one today and enjoy.
You can also read: