Best Science Fiction Books of the 21st Century

In the pursuit of human progress, we have always tried to move beyond old boundaries and set new goals. Science fiction is a reflection of humanity’s quest for a better future. However, some of the greatest works in science fiction have also reflected our fears. These are mostly the concerns with regards to creating the very things that can destroy humanity. 

Over the years, many great works in the genre have been produced by the most influential authors. A few lesser-known writers have also come up with some masterpieces. Now, let’s explore some of the best books that fans of science fiction must read:

1. Exhalation 

This book is more of a collection of short stories. Written by Ted Chiang, real science and theory is brilliantly woven into the tales in the book. As a result, it feels more like a part of his world. Exhalation deals with a range of science fiction themes, which include robot pets and time travel. 

Even after you’ve finished reading the book, the stories and ideas would stay with you. The stories are refreshing and human. You’ll see that they’re unlike many of those other works of science fiction that delve into distant worlds.

2. Borne

Author Jeff VanderMeer showcases his unique gift for the surreal in his sci-fi book, Borne. The story begins with an unknown scavenger in a post-apocalyptic city. He plucks an object from the fur of a giant flying bear. As the story progresses, things get weirder. 

The main character of the book befriends an intelligent sea creature called Borne. While reading this work of science fiction, you’ll be taken through the most colourful dystopia.

3. The Martian

Written by Andy Weir, this book is his debut novel. In The Martian, Weir has put in some well-researched details about life on the red planet. At certain places in the book, there’s a mention of how to fertilize potatoes using your own excrement. It also has descriptions about hacking a life-support system. 

The movie adaptation of this book came nowhere close to this level of detail. It tells the tale of an astronaut who is stranded on Mars without any means to get back home.

4. The Three-Body Problem

Liu Cixin is among the most revered authors in China’s science fiction literature. He was already a big name in the country when he decided to write this full-length novel in 2008. The Three-Body Problem is a book that spans three different eras. 

This book is the first part of a trilogy and is an interesting departure from Western science fiction novels. You might end up learning something from this book as it is loaded with enough actual science.

5. Metro 2033

This epic sci-fi thriller is set in 2033. A nuclear apocalypse has forced the humans of Moscow to take refuge in underground tunnels. These tunnels are located below the city. In each metro station underground, they develop independent tribes, conduct trade, and fight against one another. Some terrifying flesh-eating mutants are hidden in the tunnels between these metro stations. 

This is the story in this immensely successful novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was later adapted into a series of video games. The translation of the novel follows a teenager named Artyom. He has to travel to the heart of the metro to save the humanity that remains.

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