Some of the best science fiction novels you might see on fan lists are also part of a series. If you’re new to the genre, choosing from among the different titles can be overwhelming, that is why most science fiction fans will advise you to try one series first as an introduction.
Here are some of the best science fiction series for beginners.
Space Odyssey Series by Arthur C. Clarke
The series consists of four novels and two short stories detailing humanity’s foray into space exploration. The first book, 2001: A Space Odyssey, introduces the idea that aliens have influenced the primitive ancestors of humans and may be grooming them for a task in the future.
Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
The first book, Falling Free, was released in 1988 and serves as the backbone of the long-running series that details various themes such as politics, military and warfare, medical ethics, personal identity, bioengineering, and technology.
Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card
Also called the Ender Saga, the first trilogy is part of the Enderverse, a collection of novels, short stories, comics, and audioplay that chronicles humanity’s encounters with different alien species. The first novel, Ender’s Game, introduces Andrew Wiggin, a child soldier and genius schooled in the ways of battle to protect the Earth from the aliens.
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolf
The series, also called Solar Cycle, is available either as four separate books, or one novel with four volumes. The books detail the exploits of Severian after he was exiled from Thrax.
Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons
The first book in the series, Hyperion, features the different stories of a group of pilgrims on their way to the Time Tombs to make a request from the Shrike.
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Made up of five books, Ringworld, is also a part of the Known Space story set in the giant space artifact. Another five novels are the sequel to the last book of the Ringworld series, Fate of Worlds.
Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
Besides the trilogy, Asimov also wrote two prequels and two sequels. Foundation shows how a prophecy has propelled one mathematician to find a way to steer events into a favorable conclusion.
Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin
This series includes two of LeGuin’s most famous novels, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, the fourth and fifth books, respectively. They are all set in an alternate history of Earth.
Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
Although there are plenty of books about man’s attempt to settle on Mars, this series takes a different approach by discussing scientific advances, egalitarianism, ecological problems, and overpopulation.
Majipoor Series by Robert Silverberg
The first book of the series, Lord Valentine’s Castle, introduces the planet Majipoor, where humans have been living with other alien races for thousands of years.
The Culture Series by Iain M. Banks
Besides the usual aliens and humans, the series also features artificial intelligences trying to live in the fringes of a utopian space communist galaxy.