If you enjoy reading about alternate worlds, epic quests, imaginative journeys, battles of good and evil, look no further because we have we have rounded up some of the best science fiction books of 2011. You’ll find everything from futuristic settings to strong characters. Take these captivating elements and start writing your own science fiction story!
Top 10 Science Fiction Books of 2011
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Author Ernest Cline engages science fiction fans and passionate readers in his book, Ready Player One, which is set in American in the year 2044. His main character, Wade Watts, is unhappy with his life and the world. He spends most of his time online in a virtual reality called OASIS. The creator of the OASIS offers ownership of this virtual universe to the first person who completes an epic in-world quest. Cline makes several references to American pop culture from the 1980s throughout the book, which makes it fun to read. Ready Player One appeals to both sci-fi nerds and science fiction newbies.
2. The Magician King: A Novel by Lev Grossman
The Magician King: A Novel is the sequel to The Magicians: A Novel and takes place two years later. Some of the book’s main characters–Quentin, Eliot, Janet, and Julia–are now the High Kings and Queens of Fillory, a fantastic realm. To combat his royal boredom, Quentin starts on a quest with Julia. Only, the quest goes horribly awry and they find themselves back in the real world of Chesterton, Massachusetts. Author Lev Grossman takes readers on a whirlwind trip into the world of magic in this book and introduces new characters along the way.
3. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance is the fourth novel in The Inheritance Cycle series written by author Christopher Paolini. Set in the fictional world of Alagaësia, the novel focuses on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they battle against Galbatorix, an evil king. The book’s plot is entertaining and imaginative. One thing Paolini does well in this book is leave readers with a clear idea on how the journey ends, but also hints at new beginnings. It’s a must read for science fiction fans.
4. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
In this new science fiction book, Akata Witch, a 12-year-old Nigerian-American named Sunny has albinism and discovers magical abilities. With the help of her classmate Orlu, who rescues her from a cruel world of bullying, she is taken into a magical world and discovers her identity. Author Nnedi Okorafor engages readers’ with her attention to details, making Akata Witch one of the most read science fiction books of 2011.
5. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
A Dance with Dragons written by George R.R. Martin, is the fifth book in the popular A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. It focuses strongly on the fledgling leaders of Danaerys and Jon Snow. With Martin’s ability to captivate readers with his epic fantasy tale, it’s easy to see why this is one of the top science fiction books. His complex story lines, consistent pacing, fascinating characters, and fun dialogue, will make it hard for you to stop reading.
6. Embassytown by China Miéville
In the science fiction novel Embassytown, written by China Miéville, readers will be taken on an adventure filled with aliens and war. The novel is set in the future, where humans live on a distant planet which houses Ariekei, who are creatures that speak a unique language that only a few humans can speak. Avice Benner Cho, is the main character in this gripping personal drama who has returned to Embassytown and gets caught in a catastrophe between aliens and the rest of humanity. Readers who enjoy fast-paced novels, will find this one easy to read and filled with mystery.
7. Among Others by Jo Walton
Among Others is set in Wales in the 1960s. Morwenna, who is a teenage girl, flees from her mother who is a crazy witch and loses her twin sister Morganna in the process. She finds her father but is sent off to boarding school, where she is very lonely. Morwenna’s thought-provoking and sometimes heart-breaking entries from her diary give readers insight into her point of view and her struggles, hopes, and dreams from her daily life. Science fiction and fantasy fans will enjoy this coming of age story.
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Readers will be transported into a colonized world within the solar system in Leviathan Wakes. The novel centers around two main characters—Jim Holden, who works in ice mining, and detective Miller—and a derelict ship called The Scopuli, which houses a valuable secret. Each chapter alternates between Holden’s and Miller’s points of views, which creates tension within the characters throughout the novel. Part old school space opera, part detective fiction, and part thriller, this book begins the new series, The Expanse, with an atmosphere of danger and keeps readers in suspense.
9. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man’s Fear, is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. In The Name of the Wind, the first volume of the trilogy, a traveling scribe named Chronicler tracked down the main character Kvothe in an inn set in the middle of nowhere. He convinces Kvothe to tell his story, which takes place over the course of three days. Hence, The Wise Man’s Fear begins on day two of Kvothe’s tale. Fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts will be captivated by the dual narrative of the present day taking place at the inn and the epic tale Kvothe is telling.
10. Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson
Vortex is the third book in this sci-fi trilogy, which began with Spin, followed by Axis. Written by Robert Charles Wilson, this science fiction novel is set in the future in outer space, with mysterious aliens called Hypotheticals. Each planet is connected by gateways except for Earth, which is on its own. Turk Findley, the protagonist introduced in Axis, and his friend named Isaac Dvali are taken on a journey filled with Hypotheticals and a passage to Earth.