Below are the 20 best sci fi audiobooks for all time, mandatory reading for any science fiction fanatic. These are the books (and audiobooks) that people have been talking about for years. They have stood the test of time and remain remarkable today.
Audiobooks are a great alternative to standard books. You can listen to the best sci fi audiobooks whilst driving in your car, whilst going for a run or even while you are at the gym.
It is a much quicker way to get through a novel and you can probably get through this entire list in audiobook format in the time it would take you to read one standard book.
Throughout this article I will link to downloadable versions that you can get through Audible. Audible is Amazon’s audiobook network and has over 100,000 titles. There is also a great audiobook app that is free to download. By signing up to Audible using any link on this page you can get your first audiobook absolutely free.
The 20 Best Sci Fi Audiobook Of All Time
It was hard for me to create such a list, with some great titles not making the cut. Each title is chosen for a different reason.
The majority of these books are extremely famous in the sci fi community and have stood above all other sci fi audiobooks for the originality and quality. Books like “War of the Worlds” ushered in a new era of science fiction and many of these books have been converted into major motion pictures (or soon will be).
This list cannot be perfect, because everyone’s taste is different. But each and every one of these sci fi audiobooks is special and worth being on this list. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you make the decision the read or listen to as many of these titles as possible.
1. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Claiming the #1 spot of all the best sci fi audiobooks out there Ender’s game is a military sci fi novel that has almost everything you could want in a sci fi adventure.
Set in the future (as almost all sci fi novels are) Earth is stuck in a 100 year battle with the “Buggers”, an insectoid alien species. In preparation for the next invasion Earth begins raising child geniuses and training them to be future fleet commanders.
‘Ender’ Wiggin is one of these children. Despite much teasing and hardship he proves himself to have great tactical skill. Will he become the perfect general that the earth is looking for? Can he lead Earth to victory?
Length: 11 hours 57 minutes
First Published: 1985
2. Dune – Frank Herbert
Complex novel in which the human forces of love, hate, envy , greed are layered against a backdrop of politics, religion and technology.
The battle is on to control the all important spice (Melange) trade. Engaging story with many different plot lines.
Length: 21 hours 8 minutes
First Published: 1965
3. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A Heinlein
This great satirical novel follows his journey through Earth’s culture, his grokking it and his changes of perception which lead to transformations in the planet’s culture.
A very compelling story.
Length: 16 hours 21 minutes
First Published: 1961
4. 1984 – George Orwell
Dystopian vision of western culture published in 1949 in an environment of oppressive public surveillance by the government headed by Big Brother who sees all and persecutes those guilty of thought crimes.
Even historical records are doctored to keep everyone in line.
Winston Smith is the main character who tries to find love and individuality in this world of perpetual war.
Length: 11 hours 26 minutes
First Published: 1949
5. Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Poor Arthur Dent gets hopelessly muddled in his attempts to find his way across the universe aided by Marvin the paranoid android and meeting some very interesting characters like a man with two heads and a pig that wants to be eaten.
Length: 5 hours 51 minutes
First Published: 1979
6. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The title of the book refers to the ignition temperature of paper.
Book burning becomes a spectacle and a form of public entertainment.
The novel is presented through the protagonist fireman Guy Montag who is in conflict about what he does.
Length: 5 hours 8 minutes
First Published: 1953
7. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Five castes are in place, the highest being Alpha. Chemical interference produces the lowest castes.
All children are controlled through education and a substance known as soma. Bernard Mars feels he is a misfit who dislikes the society and the controlling soma substance.
Length: 8 hours 5 minutes
First Published: 1931
8. The Foundation Trilogy – Isaac Asimov
Seven volumes in this series where mathematician Hari Seldon develops maths that predict the future using psycho history in which he foresees the Galactic Empire will cease to exist and will be followed by a dark age therefore Seldon creates two havens or Foundations at opposite ends of the Galaxy.
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes
First Published: 1951-1953
9. Starship Troopers – Robert A Heinlein
Narrated by Juan Rico who is part of the mobile infantry in the futuristic military service branch. The novel explores his rise from recruit to officer. It’s themes are the moral and philosophical aspects of life as well as a war between an arachnoid species and humankind.
Length: 10 hours 4 minutes
First Published: 1959
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke
Monolith of large crystalline investigates Galatical worlds, the novel shows one appearing in Africa where it encourages intelligent life amongst the homoids, it then leaps forward to the travels of Doctor Heywood Floyd.
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes
First Published: 1968
11. The Time Machine – H G Wells
This is a great and classic story that has since been converted into more than one film.
Length: 4 hours 10 minutes
First Published: 1895
12. The War Of The Worlds – H C Wells
This novel follows the adventures of an unnamed character and his brother as earth is invaded by martians.
What makes this novel special and one of the best sci fi audiobooks of all time is that it was one of the very first stories about war and conflict between humans and an alien race.
A concept that is now played out in thousands upon thousands of stories.
Length: 5 hours 59 minutes
First Published: 1898
13. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
This novel provides a satirical look at youth culture and society.
Length: 7 hours 45 minutes
First Published: 1962
14. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The novel is narrated by Victor Frankenstein who abandons the monster fearing murder only to be found and pleaded with later by the monster for the right to life and a mate.
A Gothic classic.
Length: 8 hours 21 minutes
First Published: 1823
15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K Dick
Replicants are man created.
Roy Batty leads the rebellion to find more life resulting in violence and the struggle between life and death.
First Published: 1968
16. i Robot – Asaac Asimov
The narrative of a psychologist Susan brings in morality and ethics and the robots quest for recognition in society as more than just a worker but someone with equal rights and autonomy.
Length: 8 hours 25 minutes
First Published: 1950
17. Ringworld – Larry Niven
It is the year 2850 A.D. Age is extended in humans.
Louis Wu although in prime health at 200is bored and decides to go on a space exploration voyage with others to investigate a ringworld which encircles a star.
However after a disaster sinister human breeding experiments are revealed to be happening.
Length: 11 hours 22 minutes
First Published: 1970
18. I Am Legend – Richard Matherson
Vampires scavenge and hunt in Neville’s world in Los Angeles, he spends his time trying to cure the ‘disease’ which killed his wife and daughter.
Some of the story is told in flashbacks, the vampires are intent on creating a new society but will Neville join them?
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes
First Published: 1954
19. Battlefield Earth – L Ron Hubbard
Set in the Rocky mountains, tribal society on Earth is ruled by the Alien race The Psychlos.
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler wants rationality and is enraged by the disease and ravages of their life decides to leave the village and find some solutions, he is captured but strikes a deal to overthrow the Psychlos.
Length: 8 hours 4 minutes
First Published: 1982
20. Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
Bizarre attacks by animals start taking place and the animals found are strange.
Ellie and Alan are taken by a billionaire to examine the coastal island he has created where biological experiments are taking place.
The amusement park of the title is there, it collapses and all hell breaks loose.
Length: 15 hours 19 minutes
First Published: 1990
So there you have my list of the 20 best sci fi audiobooks of all time. I hope it has proved helpful to you and I hope you take the time to head over to audible and start listening.