16 Best Science Fiction Books for Beginners to Read in 2024

Discover the best easy-to-read sci-fi books for beginners in 2024! Explore dystopias, space adventures, and more novels perfect for first-timers.
With the growing interest in entry-level Sci-Fi literature, I have received numerous requests for recommendations. In response, I'm pleased to share my expert insights in this article.
Within this post, you will discover the best science fiction books for beginners, which are based on my in-depth study and testing in this field, including books like Dark Matter, Ender's Game, Flowers for Algernon, Replay, and Cat's Cradle. 

These aren't the only introductory Sci-Fi reads on this topic. Below, you'll find 16 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions in your journey through the easy-to-read sci-fi book genre.

A person holding a large, black sci-fi book in front of his face, standing in a living room or home interior.

16. Dark Matter: A Novel

What surprised me the most about this book is that it was originally just a science fiction novel, but the romance part is much better than some pure romance novels. 

The male protagonist's passion is so deep that he desperately wants to find his own wife in his own world, which is very touching. 

After losing everything, in order not to let himself forget, he tied a coil on his ring finger where he wore the ring, and sacrificed his career for the sake of his family. 

A choice you regret? A whole book just tells us the answer. There are really not many novels like this for a male writer to write such a delicate and affectionate story about the male protagonist from a male perspective.

Personally, I think the whole story frame is very clever and novel, and then filling in some daily things into it should be easy to write. 

After reading the postscript, the author said that writing this book was very painful and laborious. 

I couldn't help but laugh at myself for being so naive. It seems that the development of the storyline is towards the imagination, which means that it is really difficult to write within this framework. 

In addition, the escape part of this book is actually a bit delayed. Although it is confusing, it does not give readers a strong desire to read on. 

There may be something missing, and the characters gradually become more fleshed out and better looking later on.

15. Ender's Game

"Ender's Game" also starts with lies. The protagonist Ander thought from the beginning that he was just playing a game, so when he learned that he had inadvertently destroyed the Zerg, he felt so remorseful that he finally embarked on the road to redeem the Zerg.
The story background of the game is set in the future. At that time, the earth had suffered two consecutive invasions by alien Zerg. 

The second time was particularly disastrous. Humanity was almost wiped out. Fortunately, a legendary figure named Mazer Rehan appeared later. He was also Ender's life mentor. Under his command, mankind turned the tide of the war and the earth barely survived. 

After the Second Zerg War, the International Fleet believed that it was necessary to search for gifted children around the world and send them to a space station dedicated to training children, that is, a battle school. 

Only by shaping them into military wizards through professional training can mankind have hope of survival

14. Flowers for Algernon

"Flowers for Algernon" is a "soft science fiction" novel that shows the rich psychological state of the protagonist Charlie Gordon as he changes from a fool to a genius and then declines back to a fool, which is a one-sentence summary of this novella. 

With the help of first-person writing to accurately portray the character's spirit and thinking, the text presents an extremely rich four-dimensional space that simulates real life, like a complex material library, and any form of interpretation can reach a certain endpoint, just as we use Look at your life from a different perspective. 

First of all, this is a fascinating and good story. The components of gain and loss, memory and forgetting, growth and decline, and construction and disintegration are all painful and make people cry. 

Of course, experimental technology can also be discussed along the lines of science fiction works. Boundary, the bottom line of scientific ethics. 

However, in my opinion, science and technology in the story are only used as a means of promoting sudden changes in the story rather than as the core spirit. 

It takes Charlie's hand out of the cave and forces him to return to the darkness - the extremely smart mouse Algernon and Charlie What Gordon experienced together was a fable about human rationality. 

13. Replay

After reading the novel "Replay" by American novelist Ken Greenwood, I suddenly had a deeper understanding. 

The protagonist Jeff died of a heart attack one day when he was forty-three years old. However, when he woke up, he found that he was reborn at the age of eighteen. 

From this beginning, he continued to die and be reborn, but the age of each rebirth was closer to the age of death until the moment of his rebirth coincided with the moment of death. 

He experienced that repetitive era over and over again. He couldn't take away what he wanted to take away, but he would definitely lose what he would lose.

In his first rebirth, his second life, he quickly escaped from the panic of sudden rebirth. He used the historical events he knew to quickly become a casino tycoon and financial genius. 

Seeing others struggling with their ambitions and ever-losing desires, he became excited and felt that he had taken control of his life. 

However, things went against his expectations. He thought that he would be able to get rid of the stagnant marriage and dead-end job in his first life. 

However, he still failed to prevent Kennedy from being assassinated and his marriage continued to be unhappy. 

He cherished the biological daughter he had no chance of having in his first life, but when the moment of death came, all of it was reduced to smoke.

In the third life, he began to want to cherish it. He had discovered how meaningless it was to use material achievements to measure the value of life. 

He changed the role he pursued in life and became a warm, responsible husband and father. 

But no matter how hard he tried, he could not prevent it all from becoming in vain, and his emotional investment ultimately failed to fill the loneliness and emptiness he felt after being reborn.

12. Cat's Cradle: A Novel

After reading the novel, a sentence on the back of the cover caught my attention: [ Reading Vonnegut is to use black humor to resist absurd reality]. 

This statement makes sense if you think about it carefully - just imagine that when the public is endlessly studying the bumpy life and experience of Oppenheimer, known as the "Father of the Atomic Bomb", who will shed tears for the recipient of the atomic bomb? 

Who would still think about how terrible the damage caused by atomic bombs to human beings?

This is the absurdity of reality. When the writer Vonnegut took this absurdity as a "joke" and wrote it into a story, the concept of "resistance" in the work was born. 

It's just that the prototype of his creation was replaced by another great man of science, "Owen Langmuir", and his brushstrokes turned away from the serious side.

11. Leviathan Wakes

In "Leviathan Wakes", the protagonist Holden is the deputy captain of an ice-harvesting ship. He accidentally encounters an abandoned spacecraft during a mission. 

While landing on the ship for search and rescue, he The ice ship is blown up by an unidentified stealth ship using heavy weapons, and Horton also discovers a shocking secret on the abandoned ship. 

Caught between multiple forces, Horton and his crew began to search for the truth of the incident. 

The second protagonist, Miller, is a police officer who receives a missing person mission after quelling a riot. 

The target is a missing girl. During the search, clues led Miller to the abandoned spaceship discovered by Horton and his team. 

He realized that this girl was the key to solving all the mysteries. The story unfolds under the intertwining of two main lines. 

The two protagonists must deal with the Earth government, the Martian government and the outer planet alliance, travel across the entire solar system, and uncover the largest conspiracy in human history. 

The series tells an exciting story with characteristics of Star Wars and Firefly in a completely new way.

The author of this book, James S.A. Corey, is actually a pen name shared by two authors, Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham. 

The latter once worked with the author of "A Song of Ice and Fire" George R. · R. Martin has been working together for a long time. 

With Martin's encouragement, Daniel Abraham created this set of novels with great enthusiasm and invited Martin to write a recommendation. 

George R.R. Martin once said that he had not seen such a wonderful space opera for a long time and praised the series as a great work. 

In fact, many book critics have compared "Leviathan Wakes" to a space version of "A Song of Ice and Fire." 

Currently, the novels in the "The Expanse of the Sky" series have been published in seventeen countries around the world, including France, Japan, Australia, Canada, and Germany.

10. The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

"The Martian" was originally a love letter to science written by geeks, but its influence has already crossed the gap between literature and science, becoming the best science fiction novel in recent years. 

There is no boring plot in this book, nor is there any shallow and deliberate villain setting. Its plot is extremely simple: How can a lonely astronaut survive on Mars? 

There are no bad guys in this book, the only villain that needs to be dealt with is the desolate red planet. 

And how can astronaut Mark Watney, who represents human wisdom, rationality, and optimism, "use science to kill this planet"?

9. Red Rising

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

YA novels have been in the spotlight in the past two years, The Hunger Games is undoubtedly one of the best, and RED RISING is likely to become the next popular series of novels. 

Although it is a YA novel, its setting is more adult than The Hunger Games. , the class differences established by the color scale are very interesting. 

In addition to highlighting the sharp class antagonism, it also has a hint of the proletarian revolution. 

The main line of revenge follows the style of the Count of Monte Cristo-style classical novels (but this is, after all, It is a science fiction commercial entertainment novel, but it is a bit less in-depth, everything is just to make the story more interesting). 

The names of the characters in the book are basically named after characters in Roman mythology or Greek mythology, which is ahead of The Hunger Games The scale of violence and gore is much larger. 

Although the setting is a science fiction theme, there is also standard science fiction equipment such as high-powered guns, anti-gravity boots, and star battleships. 

However, these cannot cover up the original bloody nature of the violent scenes in the novel. On the contrary, it is not suitable for teenagers to read. 

The author has been relatively successful in mixing various elements. It has also achieved very good sales results once it was released in the United States. 

It also received very good reviews on Amazon. Although there are some delays, it is still a good debut novel. 

This is a quite mature commercial novel (I personally think it is better than The Hunger Games). 

In January this year, the second Golden Son was still well received, and the film adaptation is also in preparation. 

If this continues, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes the second Hunger Games.

8. Childhood's End

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

After reading this book, one thing can probably be determined: for full-time science fiction writers, we should just pay attention to their hard science fiction. 

No matter how much fans of full-time authors praise the rich connotations of soft science fiction that is based on ideological content - in fact, in the eyes of real humanities researchers, most of the time it can be labeled as "superficial". 

On the contrary, only authors who are eclectic and engage in writing other types of novels besides science fiction can write first-rate soft science fiction. 

After all, just as a writer who writes pure literature rarely truly understands the cutting-edge of contemporary science and technology, a technical nerd writer who is bored all day long in scientific terms often does not really understand what humanistic care and ultimate value are.

7. 1984

1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

My opinion about 1984 is: that this is an extremely pessimistic work, the kind of desperate pessimism is like hunger, cold, or physical pain. 

You think you can grit your teeth and persist in the past with indifference, but the result is just to prove your weakness again and again.

What creates that kind of pessimism and despair is nothing else but human nature itself - politics is an extension of human nature, and the political system is the setting of our lifestyle. 

It is human beings who live for themselves, the fate of future generations, and a handful of loess or dry bones in the future. 

Remaining ideals and hopes. The social system and lifestyle envisioned by Orwell in the book did not scare me. 

What frightened me was the reasons for that lifestyle - "The purpose of torture is to torture, the purpose of torture is to torture, the purpose of power is Power."

6. We Are Legion

We Are Legion by Dennis E. Taylor

We Are Legion by Dennis E. Taylor

One issue that this book, as well as Superbody, Lucy, etc., ignore is that superintelligence will inevitably attach importance to the study of physics, and will inevitably devote energy to the study of mathematics. 

The lack of relevant background of the main creative personnel makes the style of these superintelligences very low. 

In this regard, Bradley Cooper's film is the worst (Addict), Lucy goes into metaphysics, and Johnny Depp's self-built laboratory is quite awesome. 

Bill in this book is pretty good (he developed "Ancebo"), but the author is a coder, so it's naturally impossible to describe the relevant details. 

It is a pity that an exponentially growing artificial intelligence community with an unlimited lifespan under (real!) instant communication conditions has unlimited potential in scientific research!!!

5. House of Suns

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

A super surprising reading experience! 

A series of space adventure stories about human clones with a lifespan of 6 million years as they travel to the Milky Way to reunite. 

During the journey, there are conspiracies and infighting, robot disputes, historical flashbacks, and a little bit of humanity... 

This is an exciting book A science fiction masterpiece that you won’t be able to put down!!! 

Whispered: Shatterling’s setting seems to be a bit like a Horcrux. And I haven’t read enough of Abigail’s story!!

4. A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

This book is about three periods of the history of a monastery that aims to preserve knowledge in the dark age after the nuclear war, from the dark age after the nuclear war to the rediscovery of modern science, to human civilization reaching its peak again but being destroyed by the nuclear war. 

Two thousand years of destruction - the final fate of this monastery is that the monks took scientists, books, and children on a spaceship and flew to the human colonial world in outer space, leaving the last words to the world, 'Sic transit mundus' ', "The world will disappear."

The book itself explores the relationship between human nature and knowledge/progress. Can humans, or rather intelligent beings, responsibly harness the immense power they have gained through scientific and technological advancement? Won't it self-destruct? 

Human nature is immutable, and modern man has unprecedented power and is probably destined to self-destruct. This is the most desperate explanation for the Fermi Paradox and the truth about the Great Filter.

3. To Your Scattered Bodies Go

This book seems a bit like desert island survival, but this story takes place in a situation where people from all ages and cultures are mixed together. 

Looking at the culture and age, you can also interact with aliens at the same time ( Anyway, it’s just an extra) Life Collision is still very good, and the character creation is also good and vivid. 

But other than that, the story itself may not be very attractive, and the settings are not detailed enough.

2. Dune

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

I have been admiring this masterpiece for a long time. Although there are various words created by the author in the book, it overall does not affect the reading experience. 

After adapting to the author's vocabulary habits, the reading becomes better. I have watched David Lynch's 1984 version of the movie before, and I am even more looking forward to Wa Shen's new work. 

After reading the book, I was worried that the Washen Sweet Tea Combination would also disappoint me. 

After all, the realistic representation of an Arab-style Muslim jihad background is not popular in Hollywood. I wonder if the movie will make corresponding adjustments. 

Perhaps influenced by the recent news, when I read the second half of the book, what I thought about repeatedly was the modern history of Afghanistan. 

And the geographical environment also has the shadow of the Middle East. This may be the reason why the Dune series is regarded as a classic by Western readers. 

After nearly sixty years, we can still read some reflections of reality from this science fiction work, as if like Paul, with the help of spice, the past, the present, and the future are mysteriously blended together. 

1. Shadow & Claw: The First Half of 'The Book of the New Sun

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of 'The Book of the New Sun' by Gene Wolfe

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of 'The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe 

One of the most acclaimed "science fantasies" ever, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is a long, magical novel in four volumes. Shadow & Claw contains the first two: The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator, which won the World Fantasy and Nebula Awards respectively.

This is the first-person narrative of Severian, a lowly apprentice torturer blessed and cursed with a photographic memory, whose travels lead him through the marvels of far-future Urth, and who--as revealed near the beginning--eventually becomes his land's sole ruler or Autarch. 

On the surface, it's a colorful story with all the classic ingredients: growing up, adventure, sex, betrayal, murder, exile, battle, monsters, and mysteries to be solved. (Only well into book 2 do we realize what saved Severian's life in chapter 1.) 

For lovers of literary allusions, there are plenty here: a Dickensian cemetery scene, a torture engine from Kafka, a wonderful library out of Borges, and familiar fables changed by eons of retelling. 

Wolfe evokes a chilly sense of time's vastness, with an age-old, much-restored painting of a golden-visored "knight," really an astronaut standing on the moon, and an ancient citadel of metal towers, actually grounded spacecraft. Even the sun is senile and dying, and so Urth needs a new sun.

Conclusion: Easy Sci-Fi Reads for First-Timers

We carefully selected the above high-quality science fiction novels for everyone. 

These works have attracted many science fiction lovers with their unique imaginations, fascinating plots, and wonderful world backgrounds. 

If you are interested in science fiction, these works are not to be missed. It is recommended to save them for future reading.

If you like the editor's recommendation, please collect it and follow it so that I can recommend more sci-fi books next time. Thank you!

Exploring the Best Sci-Fi for New Readers

Remember, these are just a few suggestions to get you started. There's a vast and diverse world of science fiction waiting to be explored!


  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
  • Uglies (Scott Westerfeld)
  • Matched (Ally Condie)
  • Feed (Matthew Iden)
  • Divergent (Veronica Roth)
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry)
  • Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • Unwind (Neal Shusterman)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

Space Opera:

  • Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)
  • Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)
  • The Martian (Andy Weir)
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Becky Chambers)
  • Children of Time (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
  • Skyward (Brandon Sanderson)
  • Artemis (Andy Weir)
  • Perilous Landing (Elizabeth Moon)
  • A Fire Upon the Deep (Vernor Vinge)

Young Adult:

  • The Maze Runner (James Dashner)
  • Legend (Marie Lu)
  • The 5th Wave (Rick Yancey)
  • I Am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)
  • The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury)
  • The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer)
  • The Chaos Walking Trilogy (Patrick Ness)
  • This Is How I Lied (Heather Demetrios)
  • The Girl with All the Gifts (M.R. Carey)
  • The Archived (Victoria Schwab)

Science Fiction Classics:

  • 1984 (George Orwell)
  • Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  • Dune (Frank Herbert)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
  • A Princess of Mars (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  • The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
  • Childhood's End (Arthur C. Clarke)
  • I Robot (Isaac Asimov)
  • The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury)

Time Travel:

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood 

Other Sub-genres:

  • Starship Troopers (Robert A. Heinlein) (Military Science Fiction)
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson) (Cyberpunk)
  • The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick) (Alternate History)
  • The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton) (Technothriller)
  • Amnesia Moon (Elizabeth Moon) (Space Opera/Romance)
  • The Calculating Stars (Mary Robinette Kowal) (Alternate History/Romance)
  • The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury) (Dystopian/Short Stories)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) (Humorous Science Fiction)
  • The Martian (Andy Weir) (Science Fiction/Survival)

Reading Rewards

Do you prefer to listen rather than read? If so, here’s a nice opportunity to try Audible for 30 days.

Need a bookish gift? Give the gift of reading to the book lovers in your life.

Get new posts by email

Your information is protected and I never spam, ever.

'ReadingAndThinking.com' content is reader-supported. "As an Amazon Associate, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.".

See Disclaimer.
Next Post Previous Post

Related Post

Book Recommender Tool

Looking For More Books To Read?

Explore and find your next good read - Book Recommendations for specific interests.

Get Book Suggestions

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Summary Tool

Instant Any Book Summary

Explore and find your next Book Summary for specific interests.

Get Book Summary

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Series Finder Tool

Looking For Books Series To Read?

Explore and find Book Series for specific interests.

Get Book Series

Recent Post

Book Reviews

Popular Posts