daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 17, 2023

Year! Review! Read our 2022 Year in Retrospect Issue!

Sci-fi book recommendations to take you to another world

article image

MICHAEL SAUERS | CREATIVE COMMONS

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

NOVEMBER 28, 2022

With the fall semester coming to a close and the stress amping up as we get toward finals season, you may want to escape this world for a bit. Luckily for you, we here at the Daily Clog have the perfect list of science fiction novels you can read to take you to galaxies far away. With novels from the 1800s up to today, there’s something for everyone on this list! 

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick

With Androids, mood boxes that produce emotions for humans, and goats, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” has everything you may want out of a science fiction novel. The novel focuses on Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter for androids that is given the hard task of deciding what makes something truly human. With a ton of twists and turns in the novel, I found myself fully immersed in the story and found it a really great read. 

“The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. LeGuin

Ursula K. LeGuin is one of the most iconic authors in sci-fi, which is why one of her most well-known novels “The Left Hand of Darkness” had to be on this list. Unlike most sci-fi novels that focus on aliens coming to Earth, this novel focuses on a lone human emissary who travels to Winter, a planet where the inhabitants can choose and change their gender at will. While trying to handle the changes that come with a society that lacks gender limitations and boundaries, we as readers become swept up in the fantasy worldbuilding that is essential to all of LeGuin’s writing. If you love science fiction novels that push you to ask questions about our own society and world in comparison to an alien one, this is the perfect book for you. 

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams 

Unlike the other novels in this list, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is one of the most unique since it pairs sci-fiction and comedy. Fully embracing the absurdity that can be tied to comedy, Adams adopts some of the common tropes in sci-fi novels and turns them on their head, with characters such as a paranoid and depressed robot named Marvin and a three-armed ex-hippie alien named Zaphod Beeblebrox. For those who are wanting a lighthearted novel that is sure to make you laugh, this is the best option for you. 

“The City & The City” by China Miéville 

“The City & The City” focuses on the two cities Beszel and UI Quoma who, although they are neighbors, refuse to acknowledge each other’s existence. Once detective Tyador Borlú finds a murdered woman in Beszel, his search for clues leads him to the more affluent and luxurious UI Quoma, where he is forced to “unsee” his own people. Borlú quickly becomes dragged into the world of nationalists wanting to destroy the neighboring city and unionists who want to bring the two together as he realizes this dead woman was hiding secrets that cost her her life. If you are looking for an intense murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your toes, pick up this novel. 

“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley 

Ending this list is a novel that is said to be one of the first sci-fi novels written in 1818 and a timeless classic that is perfect for the fall season. “Frankenstein” focuses on a mad scientist who creates a monster that becomes uncontrollable. Focusing on what makes something human and how the environment we are in shapes who we become, this classic novel is perfect for those who are new to science fiction and are looking for something iconic to start their journey into reading the genre. 

As this semester is coming to an end and you might want to take a break and escape into another world, we hope this list gives you some new sci-fi novels to read! Hopefully, you find your newest favorite novel from this list!

Contact Samantha Herrera at 

LAST UPDATED

NOVEMBER 28, 2022