25 Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks of All-Time to Escape to New Worlds

From timeless classics to more contemporary works, we’ve put together a compendium of the all-time best sci-fi audiobooks known to humankind. Whether you like futuristic horrors, dystopian mind-benders, or operatic space epics, this list will have something for anybody who loves sci-fi and audiobooks. It’s time to sit down with your favorite food capsule and plug your ear implants into these iconic science fiction audiobooks, earthling! 

Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks of All-Time

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Originally published in 1968, this sci-fi classic from Arthur C. Clarke has inspired several movies and countless other futuristic stories. Made particularly famous by Stanley Kubrick’s film rendition, this is a story about the nature of humanity, and futurism – told through eras of time. 

Much of the plot revolves around a space expedition, but it goes much deeper than that. Many people regard the story as a metaphor for the circle of life – conception, birth, and death. 

This audiobook is narrated by Dick Hill. The pacing, audio quality, and performances are all as close to perfect as it gets. Even if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, this audiobook is essential listening for science fiction fans. You can also find the sequels of the first book on Audible. 

Duration: 6 hrs 42 mins.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com | Scribd

1984: New Classic Edition by George Orwell

Another dystopian classic, 1984 (written in 1949) tells the story of a disturbing future society, where ‘Big Brother’ watches over everything and people are brainwashed by propaganda. The main character’s job is to change recordings of the past to present the machine’s narrative, however eventually he develops the urge to rebel. 

This is another iconic and highly influential sci-fi novel that was decades ahead of its time. Listening to this story reveals some dark and disturbing parallels to the current state of society, politics, and power. 

Duration: 12 hrs 19 mins

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a story about a fireman, but not the type you would expect – this one starts fires rather than putting them out. The Firemen are hired by the government to burn books and houses. 

If you don’t know, 451F is the temperature at which paper starts to burn, which is what this book is all about. Covering themes of censorship, authority, and the destruction of literature, this classic book is a frightening and poignant prophecy about the future of society. 

While short in length, this iconic novel is full of deep and complex messages. The narrator, Tim Robbins, reads the text with a characterful, confident, and powerful performance. The pacing and flow of the reading give even more weight to an already heavy story.  

Duration: 5 hrs. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

A long-time favorite in the science-fiction community, this comedic but profound book (published in 1979) tells the story of an accidental intergalactic adventure. With a humorous and entertaining tone, this story is another iconic work that reminds us all how precious life on earth is – and how important it is to appreciate it while you still can. 

British legend Stephen Fry flawlessly captures the comical and lighthearted tone of the original story from start to finish. He manages to perform a wide range of characters, each with a uniquely distinct and endearing tone. 

This audiobook is a true gem for sci-fi lovers – it’s a fantastic story, given a wonderful performance by a talented narrator. What more could you ask for?

Duration: 5 hrs 51 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Written in 1932, Brave New World is an incredibly influential book that arguably served as the precursor to much modern dystopian sci-fi. In a world of clones, mandatory drugging, and a strict social hierarchy, the two romantically entwined protagonists experience the destructive nature of “utopia”. 

The story is half sci-fi, half political commentary, and despite being written close to 100 years ago, its message is highly reflective of today’s capitalist society. 

Duration: 8 hrs.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

While most of us have seen the movies, the original books are often an undiscovered gem in many of our literary intakes. 

This book by Michael Chrichton follows the story of Jurassic Park – a zoo for dinosaurs. Scientists discover how to clone dinosaurs from DNA stored in amber. 

While this might seem like a good idea – who wouldn’t want to go to a zoo full of dinosaurs? The park quickly falls into disaster, and the characters have to find a thrilling way to escape. 

Jurassic Park is truly a classic story, and this audiobook narrated by Scott Brick perfectly captures the excitement and terror of both the movies and the books. 

Duration: 15 hrs 10 mins

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com | Scribd

Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick

Originally published as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, this book was the inspiration for the iconic Blade Runner franchise, which is now the more commonly used title. 

After wars have driven the human race close to extinction, artificial intelligence and robots are prominent in society and have become completely indistinguishable from real humans. Fearing their power, the human government outlaws android existence from Earth’s surviving colony. 

The main character, Rick Deckard, is a bounty hunter tasked with the mission of hunting and destroying illegal androids. 

This audiobook narrated with a fantastic performance from Scott Brick will leave you wondering – what does it really mean to be “human”? 

Duration: 9 hrs 12 mins.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A dystopian tale that has recently inspired a successful TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the harrowing story of a brutal world where women are used purely for breeding in a totalitarian political state. 

The main character Offred must escape this disturbing environment in search of a better life. With strong feminist imagery, this book from 2011 is full of hope, desire, and commentary on the imbalances in modern culture. 

Duration: 11 hrs. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Written in 1895, this book novel is far ahead of its time and was a massive inspiration for sci-fi and time travel fantasy. 

This book follows a Victorian scientist who travels 800,000 years into the future. He finds a new utopian evolution of the human race – the Eloi. After traveling around the world, he quickly discovers that this “utopia” isn’t as fantastic as it seems. 

This book touches on several important themes – society, evolution, and the fact that despite progression, humanity will always be threatened by something. 

Narrator John Banks is one of the UK’s most prolific audiobook narrators, and is also an accomplished stage and TV actor. He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

Duration: 3 hrs 34 mins.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

Dune by Frank Herbert

Set on a dangerous desert planet full of deadly monsters and sandworms, Dune is another quintessential sci-fi story. Mixing exploration, magic, politics, and commentary on environmental catastrophe, this epic tale is a visionary work that can’t be missed. 

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a standard audiobook. It features a full cast of talented performers and is full of immersive sound effects and music. Transport yourself to the terrifying world of Arrakis, and enjoy this plot-twist-filled masterpiece. 

Duration: 21 hrs. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

With virtual reality becoming even more powerful and realistic, this story is highly relevant today and highlights some key philosophical concepts surrounding this technology. 

Ready Player One is set in the year 2044, when the climate has become so destroyed that humanity hides in virtual reality to escape the chaotic and desolate environment of true reality. 

Much like VR in real life, in their virtual world you can be, or do, anything you desire. Built into this VR system is a competition to win the ultimate prize – the real fortune of James Halliday, the heirless inventor of the VR world. 

The protagonist is thrown into this desperate competition and faces many impossible choices to reach the finish line. 

For anybody interested in virtual reality, this is a must-listen. The narration from Star-Trek’s Wil Wheaton is also top-notch. 

Duration: 15 hrs 40 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse Book 1) by James S.A. Corey

Set in a distant future where humanity was forced to escape Earth and create colonies on other planets, this tense tale takes you on a trip around the solar system. 

The protagonist, a miner Captain Hames Holden discovers an abandoned spaceship containing a revolutionary secret. The nature of this secret threatens the already flickering stability and peace of the interplanetary colonies – if revealed, it could throw the entire solar system into an apocalyptic war. 

The Captain must uncover the truth behind these secrets, and uncover a conspiracy that threatens humanity’s entire existence. 

This mature and stylish story is narrated by Jefferson Mays, whose performance gives each word a deep sense of drama, tension, and meaning. 

Duration: 19 hrs 9 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

World War Z by Max Brooks

Of all sci-fi subgenres, zombies are often one of the most popular and gripping. This apocalyptic story tells the tale of a brutal world where zombies have overwhelmed society and humans are forced into gory survival. 

Expressing themes of resistance, human perseverance, and pure disturbing horror, World War Z is a fearful work that will keep you on the edge of your seat for nearly 14 hours. 

This is also a full-cast, dramatized audiobook. That means you can expect seven different narrators performing a range of central characters, spine-tingling sound effects, and heart-racing music. This truly is essential listening for any audiobook lover – not just the sci-fi crowd. 

Duration: 13 hrs 56 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

The Stand by Stephen King

The pilot of this book is particularly visceral after the horrors of COVID-19. Humanity is on its last legs as a deadly weaponized pandemic has destroyed society. The last survivors of the human race naturally form a new type of tribal existence and fight for power. 

This is the longest book on the list, coming in at over 47 hours! If you want to follow an epic poignant journey that highlights true threats to life on Earth and explore themes of good and evil, then this audiobook will keep you busy for a while!

Duration:  47 hrs 47 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Ender’s Game Alive by Orson Scott Card

Another full-cast dramatization featuring multiple actors, sound effects, and music, this gripping rendition of Ender’s Game is a perfect example of how military sci-fi can hit the spot if done right. 

Full of personality, color, and dramatic performance, this 7-hour epic feels like a movie – just without the visuals. 

Follow the story of a hero as he develops his strength and leadership to tackle an invasive alien species. This electrifying audiobook will keep your heart pounding with high-stakes action and terrifying aliens. 

Duration: 7 hrs 24 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Published in 1989, Hyperion is a magical sci-fi novel taking place in the throes of an interplanetary war. The main characters go on a pilgrimage to resolve this galactic conflict that threatens armageddon throughout the solar system. 

It’s full of all the classic sci-fi tropes: aliens, spaceships, intergalactic colonies, ancient secrets, epic adventure, and of course, impending doom. 

Another neat feature of this audiobook is that each of the five main characters is voiced by a different narrator. This helps to immerse listeners deeper in the story, and also brings even more weight to the messages and philosophy of this classic novel. 

Duration: 20 hrs 44 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

The Martian by Andy Weir

With the colonization of mars looking more like a real possibility every day, this story could serve as a moving message (or warning) for those who are brave enough to consider moving to the red planet. 

After a botched landing of one of the first ships to mars, protagonist Mark Watney finds himself critically alone with limited supplies and fatal odds stacked against him. Faced with countless seemingly impossible barriers to his survival – will he make it out alive?

The Martian is narrated by Wil Wheaton, who is a sweetheart of the sci-fi community after his stint in Star Trek. If you want to go to Mars (or even if you don’t) this is essential listening. 

This audiobook also contains four extra, original records which are based on letters and diaries hinted at in the book. 

Duration: 10 hrs 59 mins.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Imagine being a killer robot, in a world of killer robots. Now imagine your programming malfunctions and you are now discovering a deeper meaning to life than your original script. That’s the concept for All Systems Red, where, unlike most sci-fi novels, the protagonist (called Murderbot) is a security droid with a fading desire to kill all humans. 

This book has a deep message about the nature of consciousness and what it means to be alive. It raises several questions about the ethics of sentient AI, and also serves as a stark warning to humanity, should the day come when we start building autonomous murder bots. 

Beautifully narrated by Kevin R. Free, this entertaining, fun, yet profound audiobook effortlessly transports you to an alternative (at least I hope) future. It’s short, fast-paced, action-packed, and one hell of a ride. 

Duration: 3 hrs 17 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com | Scribd

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Love, while often not the most common theme in sci-fi, is the central force of this beautiful yet sinister story. It follows the life of Klara, an artificial being whose purpose is simply to be sold to a human as a companion. 

She spends days waiting in the shop for a customer to choose her, however quickly realizes that the life of a robotic housewife may not be the future she truly dreams of. This experimental novel is poetic, emotional, and contemplative, and embraces many other themes which are incredibly relevant in today’s social media-driven society. 

The vocal performance is equally as masterful and moving as the original story. While this isn’t your typical sci-fi book, it certainly shouldn’t be missed. Sure, the English accents are a little off the mark, but it doesn’t dent the majesty and message of this audiobook. 

Duration: 10 hrs 16 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Alien is perhaps one of the most iconic and prolific sci-fi universes out there. From books to movies, any sci-fi lover will have a soft spot for Aliens in their heart. 

Follow the story of Chris Hooper, as his mining ship crashes into a planet in deep space and he discovers that this lifeless planet might not be so empty after all… Yup, it’s full of deadly Xenomorph aliens. 

Thankfully, it’s not a hopeless situation, as there is a savior in their midst. It’s a familiar face, a legend, Ellen Ripley.  

Duration: 9 hrs 25 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Can you imagine anything more terrifying than waking up alone in a spaceship filled with corpses, and you don’t even remember your own name?

That’s the premise for Project Hail Mary, which tells the desperate tale of Ryland Grace, the only survivor of an interstellar mission to prevent human extinction. Filled with science, mystery, and adventure, this story follows a similar concept to The Martian (also by Weir) but takes us even deeper into space. 

Narrated by Ray Porter, this audiobook has received widespread recognition as a stellar work, and has received several awards – including the 2022 Audie Awards Winner, and Number-One Audible best-seller.

Duration: 16 hrs 10 mins.

Listen with a free trial at: Audible

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Following similar themes of slavery and oppressive social hierarchy outlined in classics like Brave New World and 1984, Red Rising is a fascinating take on the concept of humanity’s future. 

The protagonist Darrow finds himself in the lowest rank of society – a highly oppressed Red, dominated by the ruling Gold class. In this gripping and political tale, Darrow must infiltrate the Gold class to bring them down from the inside, in hopes of creating a fairer future. 

Duration: 16 hrs 12 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com | Scribd

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

A timeless masterpiece published in 1963 by one of sci-fi’s most influential authors, Cat’s Cradle is a deep exploration of modern man’s twisted psyche. 

With a satirical, sometimes hilarious tone, this apocalyptic story is a commentary on the bizarre nature of humankind, wrapped up in a depressingly real glimpse into the potential future of human existence. 

This audiobook edition also includes some archive interviews with Vonnegut, which are enlightening and give a candid view of his motivations behind the novel. 

Duration: 7 hrs 11 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Scribd

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

A truly masterful work, Foundation explores a universe set 12,000 years from now. An intergalactic empire is threatened by an apocalyptic prophecy. A rebel colony assembled of the Empire’s deepest thinkers must find a solution to change the impending deadly fate of the universe. 

Duration: 8 hrs 56 mins

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

I, Robot by Issac Asimov

Another influential classic by Asimov, I, Robot (made into a hit film with Will Smith), investigates a scenario where robots and artificial intelligence begin to develop beyond their intention and start to rebel against their creators. 

In today’s world full of Alexas, Siris, and other AI companions, the sinister rhetoric of this profound novel serves as a stark warning of a potential robotic uprising. 

This audiobook will change your perception of consciousness, sentience, and the meaning of artificial intelligence. 

Duration: 9 hrs 6 mins. 

Listen with a free trial at: Audible | Audiobooks.com

Good luck with your sci-fi adventure!

This concludes the list of the best sci-fi audiobooks. Stay safe out there space cadets!

For more best-of audiobook lists, check out some of our other popular recommendations:


What is the most read science fiction book?

In terms of sales, here the following books are the most popular sci-fi stories:

(Starting with the most sold)

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert – 1965
  2. 1984 by George Orwell – 1949
  3. Foundation by Isaac Asimov – 1942
  4. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells – 1895
  5. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – 1963

Who are the big 3 of science fiction?

Out of all sci-fi authors, the following three names are widely regarded as the most influential, hence gaining the title of “the big 3”.

  • Isaac Asimov – Foundation, I, Robot, The Last Question. 
  • Robert A. Heinlein – Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Door into Summer. 
  • Arthur C. Clarke – 2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood’s end, The Sentinel.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top