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Readers' Advisory: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Guide to finding reading recommendations.

Time Bending Sci-Fi

Classics of Science Fiction - Featured Titles

Best of 2022!

The best fantasy of 2022!

Best Fantasy of 2020 List - Featured Titles

Best of 2022!

The best Sci-Fi of 2022!

Asian Inspired Fantasy

General Resources

Fantastic Fiction

Bibliographies for over 40,000 authors. Use the browse menu on the left to find an author by surname, or use the search box above to search for an author or book.  Information on over 500,000 books. Throughout the site, just click on a book to see its cover picture, description and publication details.

WhichBooks

Whichbook enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests books which most closely match your needs. Click to open up to 4 sliders and move the to set your choices.

All Readers

AllReaders.com contains detailed book and movie reviews from many different genres of books!

Fantasy & Sci Fi Resources

Unbound Worlds "So You Want to Read"

Unbound Worlds specializes in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Fiction. "So You Want to Read" offers detailed recommendation lists meant to introduce readers to specific categories within these genres.

Locus Magazine

Covering the science fiction and fantasy field since 1968.  Locus publishes news of the science fiction, fantasy, horror, and young-adult publishing field, with extensive reviews and listings of new books, short fiction, and magazines.

SFF World

One of the oldest genre websites featuring the best in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

Worlds Without End

A non-profit fan-run web site and growing online community, dedicated to identifying, reading and sharing the best Speculative Fiction books the genre has to offer.

Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of technological and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three (collectively known as speculative fiction or science fiction/fantasy)

Terry Pratchett – fantasy and comic fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include the famous Discworld Series and other notable works such as the novel Nation and the collaborated novel Good Omens with Neil Gaiman.

Mercedes Lackey – fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include Elemental Masters series, Secret World Chronicles, and novels from the Valdemar Universe.

J. R. R. Tolkien – fantasy author. Series include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the beloved prequel The Hobbit.

Stephen King – horror, supernatural, and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include the Dark Tower series, Bill Hodges novels and classics such as It and Salem’s Lot.

Ursula K. Le Guin – science fiction and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include Earthsea and Catwings Collection and her noted novel Lavinia.

Neil Gaiman – science fiction, horror, and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Notable works include Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, and the collaborated novel Good Omens with Terry Pratchett.

Robert Jordan – fantasy author. Most notable series is the Wheel of Time series.

George R. R. Martin – science fiction and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Most notable series include A Song of Fire and Ice as well as the novel The Ice Dragon.

Urban Fantasy

Urban fantasy is a subset of fantasy, consisting of novels and stories with supernatural and/or magical elements set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings--as opposed to 'traditional' fantasy set in imaginary locations.

  • Paranormal books involve unusual experiences that lack a scientific explanation. Some popular subjects in paranormal books are supernatural creatures, ESP, clairvoyance, ghosts, UFOs, telepathy, and psychics.
  • Supernatural is fiction about witches, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, shape shifters, demons, angels, or anything else in the paranormal or otherworldly realm.

Patricia Briggs – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include the Alpha and Omega series and her well known Mercy Thompson novels.

Anne Bishop – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include The Others and novels such as Twilight’s Dawn.

Jim Butcher – urban fantasy and science fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera series.

Karen Marie Moning – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include Highlander Series as well as her Fever Series.

Stephanie Meyer – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include her well known Twilight Series as well as other notable titles such as The Host and The Chemist.

Ransom Riggs – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and other notable works such as Taking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past.

Charlaine Harris – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include Sookie Stackhouse Series, Aurora Teagarden Series, Harper Connelly and Lily Bard Series.

Kelley Armstrong – urban fantasy and crime author, see author’s website here. Series include The Darkest Powers trilogy, Cainsville series, and Women of the Otherworld series.

Richard Kadrey – urban fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include the Sandman Slims series and other novels such as Dead Set and The Everything Box.

Science Fiction

Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and capitalization) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves speculations based on current or future science or technology. Science fiction is found in books, art, television, films, games, theatre, and other media. In organizational or marketing contexts, science fiction can be synonymous with the broader definition of speculative fiction, encompassing creative works incorporating imaginative elements not found in contemporary reality; this includes fantasy, horror and related genres.

Isaac Asimov – science fiction and mystery author, see author’s website here. Notable works include The Birth of The United States, The Robots of Dawn and Azazel.

Jules Verne – science fiction author. Notable works include Around the World in Eighty Days, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and The Blockade Runners.

Margaret Atwood – science fiction and speculative fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable works include The Handmaid’s Tale, The Heart Goes Last, and Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold.

Douglas Adams – science fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and notable work of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

Octavia E. Butler – science fiction author, see author’s website here. Popular titles include Fledgling, Parable of the Sower, and Clay’s Ark.

Anne McCaffrey – science fiction and romance author, see author’s website here. Series include The Dragonriders of Pern, the Acorna books, and the Barque Cats series.

Jack McDevitt – science fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable novels include Echo, Omega, Polaris, and Seeker to name a few.

Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction is a fiction genre speculating about worlds that are unlike the real world in various important ways. In these contexts, it generally overlaps one or more of the following: science fiction, fantasy fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.

Suzanne Collins – speculative fiction and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include The Hunger Games and The Underland Chronicles.

Margaret Atwood – science fiction and speculative fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable works include The Handmaid’s Tale, The Heart Goes Last, and Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold.

Ray Bradbury – speculative fiction and science fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Orson Scott Card – speculative and fantasy fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include the Ender’s Games series, the Mithermages series, and the Tales of Alvin Maker.

Frank Herbert – speculative fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include the famous Dune series.

H. G. Wells – speculative fiction author. Notable works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and Love and Mr. Lewisham.

Nnedi Okorafor – speculative fiction and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Notable works include Who Fears Death, The Book of Phoenix, and Akata Warrior.

Horror

Horror fiction is fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the audience. Historically, the cause of the "horror" experience has often been the intrusion of a supernatural element into everyday human experience. Since the 1960s, any work of fiction with a morbid, gruesome, surreal, or exceptionally suspenseful or frightening theme has come to be called "horror". Horror fiction often overlaps science fiction or fantasy, all three of which categories are sometimes placed under the umbrella classification speculative fiction.

Bram Stoker – horror fiction author. Notable titles include Dracula, and Midnight Tales.

Anne Rice – gothic and horror fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include The Vampire Chronicles and the Wolf Gift Chronicles as well as the novels Cry to Heaven and Violin.

Clive Barker – horror and fantasy fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable works include The Great and Secret Show, Mister B. Gone, and The Scarlet Gospels.

Edgar Allan Poe – horror fiction author. Notable titles include The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

Joe Hill – horror fiction author, see author’s website here. Notable works include The Fireman, 20th Century Ghosts, and Horns.

Dean Koontz – horror fiction author, see author’s website here. Series include Odd Thomas, Jane Hawk series, and notable titles such as Dragon Tears and Hideaway.

Bentley Little – horror fiction author. Notable works include The Walking, The Association, and The Vanishing.

Mary Shelley – horror fiction author. Notable titles include Frankenstein, and The Last Man

Stephen King – horror, supernatural, and fantasy author, see author’s website here. Series include the Dark Tower series, Bill Hodges novels and classics such as It and Salem’s Lot.

Other Subgenres

Superhero fiction is a genre originating in and most common to American comic books, though it has expanded into other media through adaptations and original works. Ms. Marvel by Willow Wilson is one example.

Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is one example.

Dystopia is a form of literature that explores social and political structures. It is a creation of a nightmare world - unlike its opposite, Utopia, which is an ideal world. 1984 by George Orwell is one example.

Apocalyptic fiction focuses on the end of civilization either through nuclear war, plague, or other global catastrophic risk. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is one example.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized).  Divergent by Veronica Roth is one example.

Alternate history is a subgenre of speculative fiction (or science fiction) and historical fiction that is set in a world in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. Temeraire series Naomi Novak is an example of this.