10 Best Full-Cast Fantasy & Sci-Fi Audiobooks

There’s a certain magic in losing yourself in the imaginative world of fantasy and science fiction. The experience becomes even more immersive when new landscapes and realities are paired with full-cast narration. Full-cast audiobooks, or dramatized audiobooks, use multiple voice actors to play different roles, as opposed to only one person narrating the book. Full-cast audiobooks can also include theme or background music and noises like a bang or smack, but otherwise, they typically don’t deviate from the book.

Here are our picks for 10 of the best full-cast fantasy and sci-fi audiobooks.

Best Full Cast Fantasy & Sci-Fi Audiobooks

1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods audiobook

What it’s about:

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Why we recommend it:

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post). In 2011, a full-cast audiobook version of the tenth-anniversary edition was released. The performances really bring this story to life making it a perfect example of what a full-cast audiobook can be.

2. World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z audiobook

What it’s about:

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the pandemic.

Why we recommend it:

World War Z is another great example of what a full-cast audiobook can be. The narrators give outstanding performances and the star-studded cast includes Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more! Author Max Brooks is also part of the cast as The Interviewer.

3. Ender’s Game: Alive by Orson Scott Card

enders game alive audiobook

What it’s about:

Experience Ender’s Game as you’ve never heard it before! With an original script by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game Alive is a full-cast audio drama that reimagines the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic.

Ender’s Game Alive puts you into Battle School with young Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he trains to become the general who will lead Earth against the Formics, the alien “buggers”. Removed from his family at the age of six, Ender must prove his strength and his leadership, even as he fights his own doubts. The stakes are nothing less than the fate of humankind.

Why we recommend it:

Remember when we said above full-cast audiobooks typically don’t deviate from the book? Ender’s Game: Alive is fairly unique as far as audiobooks go, in that author Scott Card rewrote portions of the book, so that there would be more dialogue. With a stately musical score and video-game sound effects, this production offers an entertaining new way to enjoy one of science fiction’s best-loved stories.

4. Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon


What it’s about:

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell – and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating – and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on a new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors….

Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.

Why we recommend it:

The production and sound effects make this audiobook feel like you’re listening to a movie. The Ripley voice actor even sounds like a Sigourney Weaver clone! Officially sanctioned and true to the Alien canon, Alien: Out of the Shadows expands upon the well-loved mythos and is a must for all Alien fans.

5. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

hyperion audiobook

What it’s about:

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it.

In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope – and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Why we recommend it:

Hyperion is known as a masterwork of science fiction packed with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable series. This first book has a full cast while the remainder of the series has narrator Victor Bevine taking on full duties. The full cast works really well for this first book because it’s a framing story using the perspective of different travelers, inspired by The Canterbury Tales.

6. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

his dark materials audiobook

What it’s about:

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time”. 

Philip Pullman takes listeners to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal – including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other…

Why we recommend it:

The first volume in His Dark Materials trilogy, this Audie-winning listen transports you to Pullman’s carefully crafted world, with dynamic narration by Pullman himself and spirited performances from the rest of the cast. This wonderful adventure story is perfectly suited for full-cast narration and can be enjoyed by all ages. If you loved Harry Potter, you’ll also enjoy this audiobook!

7. Dooku: Jedi Lost (Star Wars) by Cavan Scott

dooku jedi list audiobook

What it’s about:

Delve into the history of the sinister Count Dooku in this audio original set in a galaxy far, far away…

Darth Tyranus. Count of Serenno. Leader of the Separatists. A red saber, unsheathed in the dark. But who was he before he became the right hand of the Sith? As Dooku courts a new apprentice, the hidden truth of the Sith Lord’s past begins to come to light. 

Why we recommend it:

This Dooku origin story is a must for Star Wars fans! Dooku is one of the most fascinating characters in the Star Wars canon, and this story successfully helps expand on him by describing his beginnings as a Jedi, and ultimately the defining moment that seals his fate as a Sith. Fans of the movies will get a new way to look at the character of Dooku and his tragic past. Having a full cast and production helps to bring the story to life with excitement. Our only complaint is the story felt a bit rushed as the audiobook is only 6 hours.

8. Dune by Frank Herbert

Publisher summary:

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud’dib.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism, and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. 

Frank Herbert’s death in 1986 was a tragic loss, yet the astounding legacy of his visionary fiction will live forever. 

Why we recommend it:

Nothing says sci-fi quite like Dune; the 1965 classic is the first in a best-selling series that changed the face of the genre forever. And with a team of narrators including Audible Hall of Fame narrators Scott Brick and Simon Vance accompanied by light music and sound effects, Dune is more engrossing and fully-fledged than ever before. Dune is an audiobook that you should be wary of — it’s the first in a twelve-book series, and once you start you may not want to stop.

9. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

illuminae audiobook

What it’s about:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents – including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more – Illuminae is the first audiobook in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Why we recommend it:

The first book in the Illuminae files, this is a rather entertaining mix of Battlestar Galactica2001, and 28 Days Later, with a dash of 10 Things I Hate About You. It has a full cast of 20 narrators (including Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, & Johnathan McClain) and won the 2016 Audie Award for Multi-Voiced Performance.

10. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

sandman audiobook

What it’s about:

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times Magazine as “the greatest epic in the history of comic books,” The Sandman changed the game with its dark, literary world of fantasy and horror—creating a global, cultural phenomenon in the process.

At long last, Audible and DC present the first-ever audio production of The New York Times best-selling series written by acclaimed storyteller Neil Gaiman (who also serves as co-executive producer). Adapted and directed by multi-award-winner (and frequent Gaiman collaborator) Dirk Maggs, and performed by an ensemble cast with James McAvoy (It, Parts one and twoX-Men: First ClassSplit) in the title role, this first installment of a multi-part original audio series will transport you to a world that re-writes the rules of audio entertainment the way that The Sandman originally re-defined the graphic novel.

Why we recommend it:

The Sandman is a fantastic, immersive, and highly polished audio production. Put your headphones on, close your eyes, and allow yourself to be pulled into this epic story combining fantasy and fiction, horror and humor, comedy and tragedy.

Check out the following lists for more great sci-fi and fantasy picks:

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