The Most Popular Sci-Fi Book: An Evaluation of Reader Favorites

Choose the book you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 06:30
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular Sci-Fi books of all time! As an ardent Sci-Fi enthusiast, have you ever wondered which mind-bending, interstellar journey tops the charts? Well, now's your chance to be a part of this galactic quest by voting for your favorite Sci-Fi masterpiece. Our ever-evolving ranking system features thousands of polls, where you can not only vote for your all-time favorite but also suggest any missing gem from the infinite universe of Sci-Fi literature. So, embark on this exciting adventure with fellow bibliophiles and let's unravel the ultimate Sci-Fi bestseller that has captivated the hearts and minds of readers across the cosmos. Start voting now, and may the force be with you!

What Is the Most Popular Sci-Fi Book?

  1. 1
    "1984" by George Orwell
    Michael Kennar · Public domain

    "1984" by George Orwell

    George Orwell
    This classic dystopian novel has remained popular since its initial publication in 1949, and its themes of government control and surveillance are still relevant today.
    1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell. It portrays a totalitarian society ruled by the Party, led by Big Brother, where the government exercises complete control over its citizens. The story follows Winston Smith, a middle-aged man who rebels against the oppressive regime and questions the nature of truth, language, and freedom. 1984 is considered a classic work of literature that remains relevant in its exploration of surveillance, propaganda, and the erosion of individuality.
    • Publication Date: June 8, 1949
    • Genre: Dystopian fiction, political fiction
    • Setting: Oceania, a totalitarian state
    • Themes: Totalitarianism, surveillance, censorship, language manipulation
    • Protagonist: Winston Smith
    "1984" by George Orwell in other rankings
  2. 2
    This humorous and irreverent space adventure has gained a cult following since its release in 1979, and its iconic catchphrases have become part of popular culture.
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedic science fiction series written by Douglas Adams. The story follows the adventures of an ordinary human named Arthur Dent, who is swept off Earth just moments before it is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Arthur finds himself on a journey through space with his alien friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be a researcher for the titular guidebook. Together, they encounter various peculiar characters and visit bizarre planets, while unraveling the mysteries of the universe.
    • Genre: Science Fiction/Comedy
    • Publication Date: 1979
    • Main Characters: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, Marvin
    • Setting: Space and various planets
    • Writing Style: Witty and humorous
    "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams in other rankings
  3. 3
    "Dune" by Frank Herbert
    Sophocle · CC BY-SA 2.0

    "Dune" by Frank Herbert

    Frank Herbert
    This epic novel, first published in 1965, is set in a complex and detailed universe and explores themes of power, religion, and ecology. It has spawned numerous sequels, adaptations, and spin-offs.
    Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert. Set in the distant future, the story takes place on the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. It follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, a young nobleman, as he becomes involved in interstellar politics, religious prophecy, and the complex social and economic system of the interstellar empire.
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Published: 1965
    • Setting: Planet Arrakis (Dune)
    • Plot: Interstellar politics, religion, prophecy
    • Themes: Ecology, environmentalism, power
  4. 4
    This pioneering work of science fiction, published in 1898, was one of the first to depict an alien invasion of Earth. Its vivid descriptions of the Martian tripods and the destruction they caused have inspired countless adaptations and imitations.
    The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel written by H.G. Wells. It was first published in 1898 and has since become one of the most popular sci-fi books of all time. The story revolves around an alien invasion of Earth by Martians who use advanced technology to wreak havoc and devastation on humanity. The novel explores themes of imperialism, technological advancement, and the vulnerability of mankind. It has been adapted into various forms, including radio dramas, films, and television series.
    • Publication: 1898
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Setting: Late 19th century England
    • Themes: Alien invasion, imperialism, technological advancement
    • Adaptations: Radio dramas, films, television series
  5. 5
    "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
    BinaryPhoton · CC BY-SA 4.0
    This novel, first published in 1932, presents a chilling vision of a future society in which genetic engineering and conditioning are used to control behavior and maintain social stability. Its themes of individualism, freedom, and technology continue to resonate today.
    Brave New World is a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley. Set in the future, the story depicts a totalitarian society that is built on technologies and scientific advancements, where citizens are conditioned to accept their assigned social roles and maintain a superficial sense of happiness.
    • Genre: Dystopian literature
    • Publication Year: 1932
    • Setting: Future society
    • Themes: Totalitarianism, technology, social control
    • Protagonist: Bernard Marx
    "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley in other rankings
  6. 6
    This 1985 novel tells the story of a boy genius who is trained to lead Earth's military forces in a war against an alien race. Its focus on strategy, leadership, and morality has made it a popular choice for young adult readers.
    Ender's Game is a science fiction novel written by Orson Scott Card. It is set in a future where humanity is threatened by an alien species known as the Formics, and follows the story of Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin, a young boy recruited and trained at an elite military academy in preparation for an interstellar war.
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Publication Year: 1985
    • Setting: Futuristic Earth and space
    • Main Protagonist: Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin
    • Themes: War, leadership, morality, manipulation
  7. 7
    "The Martian" by Andy Weir
    Andy Weir · Public domain
    This 2011 novel, which was adapted into a successful movie in 2015, tells the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars and his struggle to survive and find a way back to Earth. Its use of hard science and humor has made it a favorite among fans of space exploration.
    The Martian is a popular Sci-Fi book written by Andy Weir. It follows the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who is left stranded on Mars after his crew mistakenly believes he died during a mission. The book portrays Watney's struggle for survival as he uses his ingenuity and knowledge to overcome numerous challenges and find a way to communicate with Earth.
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Publication Year: 2011
    • Setting: Mars
    • Main Character: Mark Watney
    • Themes: Survival, Ingenuity
    "The Martian" by Andy Weir in other rankings
  8. 8
    This 1992 novel is set in a near-future world where virtual reality and the internet have become dominant forces in society. Its action-packed plot and satirical tone have made it a cult classic among cyberpunk fans.
    Snow Crash is a science fiction novel written by Neal Stephenson. It was first published in 1992 and has since become one of the most popular and influential works in the genre. The story takes place in a near-future United States where society is heavily influenced by virtual reality, corporate control, and fragmented government.
    • Publication Year: 1992
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Setting: Near-future United States
    • Themes: Virtual reality, corporate control, fragmented government
    • Influential: Yes
  9. 9
    This 1951 novel is the first in a series that spans thousands of years and depicts the rise and fall of a galactic empire. Its exploration of history, politics, and psychohistory has made it a seminal work of science fiction.
    Foundation is a science fiction book written by Isaac Asimov. It is set in the distant future where mathematician Hari Seldon predicts the fall of the Galactic Empire, which results in a dark age spanning thousands of years. To shorten this dark age, Seldon creates the Foundation, a community tasked with preserving knowledge and rebuilding civilization. As the story unfolds, the Foundation faces challenges and encounters various empires and civilizations.
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Publication Year: 1951
    • Number of Books: 7
    • Plot Setting: Far future, across multiple planets
    • Themes: Sociopolitical, religion, psychology
  10. 10
    "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells
    Herbert George Wells · Public domain
    This 1895 novel tells the story of a Victorian scientist who invents a machine that can travel through time, and his encounters with the far-future descendants of humanity. Its themes of social evolution and the nature of humanity have influenced countless time-travel stories.
    The Time Machine is a science fiction novel written by H.G. Wells. It was first published in 1895 and has since become one of the most popular works in the genre. The story follows an inventor and time traveler known as the Time Traveler, who builds a machine capable of traveling through time. He embarks on a journey to the distant future, witnessing the evolution of human society and encountering strange creatures called Morlocks and Eloi.
    • Publication Year: 1895
    • Genre: Science Fiction
    • Setting: Primarily in late 19th-century England and the distant future
    • Protagonist: The Time Traveler
    • Themes: Time, evolution, dystopia

Missing your favorite book?


Ranking factors for popular book

  1. Critical reviews and awards
    The opinions of renowned critics, book reviewers, and the presence of prestigious awards (e.g., Hugo, Nebula, or Arthur C. Clarke Awards) can provide insight into the book's quality and impact in the Sci-Fi community.
  2. Reader reviews and ratings
    Popular platforms like Goodreads or Amazon provide readers with the opportunity to rate and review books. High ratings and positive feedback will often indicate a well-liked book.
  3. Adaptations
    Books that have been adapted into movies, television series, or other media may gain additional popularity through their new formats. By considering these adaptations, one can gauge the book's reach beyond its original literary form.
  4. Cultural impact
    A truly popular Sci-Fi book often transcends its genre and has broader cultural significance. Consider whether the book has introduced new ideas, technology, or inspired other works in the realm of science fiction or beyond.
  5. Longevity
    Books that remain popular over time, enduring through various cultural shifts and trends, are likely to be considered more highly in a ranking of popular Sci-Fi books.
  6. Influence on the genre
    The popularity of a Sci-Fi book can also be measured by its impact on the development of the genre. Books that have inspired other authors or led to the creation of new subgenres can be considered particularly influential and popular.
  7. International appeal
    Sci-Fi books that are successful across multiple countries and languages show that their popularity extends beyond regional boundaries.
  8. Author's reputation
    A well-known and respected author in the Sci-Fi community can boost the popularity of a book. Consider the author's reputation and their overall contribution to the genre.
  9. Word of mouth and recommendations
    Finally, consider the anecdotal evidence of a book's popularity. If it is frequently recommended by friends, family, or book clubs, this may be an indication that the Sci-Fi book is well-regarded.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Sci-Fi book. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or book is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 212 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each book once every 24 hours. The rank of each book is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular sci-fi book

Science fiction has always been a popular genre, offering readers a glimpse into futuristic worlds and innovative technologies. From classic works like H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” to contemporary hits like Andy Weir’s “The Martian”, the genre has seen a steady stream of captivating, thought-provoking books. But with so many great works out there, it can be hard to determine which one reigns supreme. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most popular sci-fi books of all time, as voted on by readers from around the world. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the genre, these books are sure to inspire and captivate you with their imaginative worlds and complex characters. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top sci-fi books of all time.

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