In the grand expanse of literature, science fiction holds a unique place. Its compelling blend of scientific possibility with speculative imagination can deliver an unforgettable journey to alternate realities, future societies, and encounters with the extraterrestrial. It’s a genre that boldly questions the nature of reality, human existence, and technological progress. If you are seeking this journey of the mind with the best sci-fi audiobooks of all time, you’ve arrived at the right coordinates in the literary cosmos.
Audiobooks add a rich dimension to science fiction through their ability to create an immersive experience. With skilled narration and oftentimes stellar production quality, audiobooks transport us into the heart of the story, bringing characters, places, and plotlines alive. Further, they allow us to enter extraordinary worlds while navigating the ordinary aspects of our daily lives, such as a bustling commute, a workout at the gym, or winding down for the night.
These 42 selections for the best science fiction audiobooks encompass both timeless classics and modern masterpieces that have shaped and continue to impact the genre of science fiction. And it’s no accident we landed on this specific number, it’s a nod to one of our favorite titles on this list – do you know which one?
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
- Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- The Expanse by James S.A. Corey
- World War Z by Max Brooks
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Ender’s Game Alive by Orson Scott Card
- Hyperion by Dan Simmons
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- All Systems Red by Martha Wells
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- Foundation by Isaac Asimov
- I, Robot by Issac Asimov
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
- Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
- Columbus Day by Craig Alanson
- How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
- Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
- This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
- The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
- Ringworld by Larry Niven
- Wool by Hugh Howey
Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks of All-Time
Now that we have set the stage, let us venture into our list of the best sci-fi audiobooks of all time. From iconic tales that have shaped the science fiction landscape to contemporary narratives that continue to push boundaries, each of these audiobooks offers a unique exploration into the limitless possibilities of the genre. So, sit back, plug in, and get ready for an out-of-this-world auditory adventure with these amazing sci-fi audiobooks.
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.
1984 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
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 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?
And yes, it’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that inspired the number of titles in this list. After all, “42” is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.
Duration: 5 hrs 51 mins.
Listen 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.
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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
The Expanse 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.
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.
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 Stephen King audiobook will keep you busy for a while!
Duration: 47 hrs 47 mins.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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 and received several awards, including a 2022 Audie Award for Best Audiobook.
Duration: 16 hrs 10 mins.
Listen 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.
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.
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.
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.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti is an exhilarating interstellar adventure that dives deep into themes of identity, culture, and the power of diplomacy. The protagonist, Binti, is the first of her people to be accepted into a prestigious galactic university, and her journey there is anything but smooth.
Okorafor’s vivid storytelling, combined with impeccable narration, makes this audiobook an immersive experience. The rich world-building and the exploration of African culture set in a futuristic context give this novella a unique flavor, making it stand out among the best science fiction audiobooks of all time.
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a brilliant mix of hard science, philosophical pondering, and sparkling humor. It follows the story of Bob Johansson, a tech geek whose consciousness gets uploaded into a space probe with the mission to explore the universe.
The audiobook truly shines with its smart writing, witty humor, and absolutely splendid narration by Ray Porter that breathes life into the many ‘Bobs’ we meet along the journey. Taylor’s inventive storytelling is brought to life in this audiobook, making it a humorous, thought-provoking, and thoroughly enjoyable listen for any science fiction fan.
Duration: 9 hours and 56 minutes
Listen at Audible
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Children of Time is a grand, sweeping epic that explores the concept of evolution in ways that few narratives dare. The audiobook immerses listeners in Tchaikovsky’s meticulously constructed universe, tracing the evolution of an arachnid species on a terraformed planet. The narrative spans millennia but is kept engaging by skillful pacing and a powerful narration that deftly handles the scientific themes and the complex interspecies dynamics.
This audiobook is a testament to the genre’s potential, interweaving hard science with a moving exploration of the nature of intelligence and survival.
Duration: 16 hours and 31 minutes
Listen at Audible
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
In Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler paints a disturbingly plausible picture of a near-future America ravaged by societal and environmental collapse. The audiobook brilliantly captures the somber, dystopian atmosphere of Butler’s world while simultaneously celebrating the resilience of humanity through the experiences of the protagonist, Lauren Olamina.
With its rich, layered narrative, this audiobook offers an intense, thought-provoking experience that will linger in your consciousness long after the final word.
Duration: 12 hours
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae is a high-octane space adventure that pushes the boundaries of narrative structure. Told through a series of reports, transcripts, and emails, it chronicles the desperate struggle for survival after two mega-corporations clash over a remote planet.
The audiobook takes this innovative format to the next level, employing a full cast and sound effects to create an immersive, cinematic experience. The performances are stellar, highlighting the tension, emotion, and dark humor that permeate the narrative. It’s a groundbreaking example of how the audiobook medium can enhance an already exceptional story.
Duration: 11 hours and 40 minutes
Listen at Audible
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven is a hauntingly beautiful post-apocalyptic tale that intertwines the lives of various characters before and after a devastating pandemic. The audiobook breathes life into these characters, their struggles, and their hopes, with a narration that is both evocative and compelling.
The story is more about the human spirit, art, and the connections that bind us than the apocalypse itself. It’s a rich, atmospheric, and ultimately hopeful listening experience that leaves a profound and lasting impression.
Duration: 10 hours and 40 minutes
Listen at Audible
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
The Three-Body Problem is a tour de force in hard science fiction, laying the groundwork for Cixin Liu’s acclaimed Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. This intricately plotted story delves into astrophysics, politics, and alien civilizations, wrapped in a mystery that spans the Cultural Revolution in China to the farthest reaches of the cosmos.
The audiobook adaptation is particularly engrossing, with the narration expertly balancing the complex scientific theories with the human elements of the story. The depth and scope of the narrative, coupled with the poignant delivery, cements The Three-Body Problem as one of the best sci-fi audiobooks of all time.
Duration: 13 hours and 26 minutes
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter is a fast-paced, gripping story that delves into the realms of quantum physics and parallel universes. Blake Crouch masterfully crafts a tale of a man who is suddenly thrust into a world that is achingly familiar yet terrifyingly alien. The audiobook enhances this rollercoaster ride of a story, with a narration that effectively conveys the mounting tension, the protagonist’s confusion, and the staggering wonder of infinite possibilities.
It’s a deeply emotional and existential journey that probes the very nature of identity and reality, delivered in an engaging and thought-provoking auditory experience, earning it a spot in this list of top science fiction audiobooks.
Duration: 10 hours and 8 minutes
Listen at Audible
Columbus Day by Craig Alanson
Columbus Day, the first installment in the Expeditionary Force series, is a blend of military science fiction and adventure. The story follows Joe Bishop, an everyday soldier suddenly thrust into an alien conflict on a cosmic scale. Narrator R.C. Bray is perfect for Alanson’s blend of action, humor, and imaginative science fiction.
With its military tactics, alien encounters, and humorous banter, Columbus Day is one of the most entertaining sci-fi audiobooks you’ll come across.
Duration: 16 hours and 23 minutes
Listen at Audible
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
How High We Go in the Dark is a moving exploration of human resilience in the face of a global pandemic. The narrative spans centuries and unfolds from various perspectives, each offering a unique take on life, loss, and love in a changing world. The full cast of narrators effectively brings each perspective to life, drawing you into the emotional heart of each character’s experience.
With its captivating storytelling and poignant examination of humanity, How High We Go in the Dark is a stand-out in the universe of sci-fi audiobooks.
Duration: 9 hours and 20 minutes
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Seveneves is a masterstroke of hard science fiction, a tale of survival and rebirth that begins with an unprecedented catastrophe – the disintegration of the moon. This catastrophic event sets the stage for a grand tale of humanity’s resilience and innovation. The audiobook’s narration adds depth to the intricate plot, immersing you in the sweeping narrative.
Its grand scope, meticulous scientific detail, and exploration of human tenacity in the face of extinction earn Seveneves its spot among the best sci-fi audiobooks of all time.
Duration: 31 hours and 55 minutes
This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
This Is How You Lose The Time War is a beautifully crafted tale of rivalry and love that transcends time and space. Authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone weave a poetic narrative that unfolds through letters exchanged by two time-traveling agents on opposing sides of a cosmic war. Dual narrators Emily Woo Zeller and Cynthia Farrell deliver a passionate performance that brings to life the unique voices of the two protagonists, capturing their longing, rivalry, and evolving relationship.
This audiobook stands out as a unique blend of espionage, time travel, and romance, making it an essential listen for any sci-fi aficionado.
Duration: 4 hours and 16 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land is a classic masterpiece by Robert A. Heinlein that has shaped the landscape of science fiction. The story follows Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised on Mars, as he returns to Earth and struggles to comprehend human culture. The audiobook shines in its exploration of social mores, human nature, and identity, all wrapped up in a compelling narrative. The narration imbues each character with a unique voice and persona, making this complex and thought-provoking novel an engaging listen.
Its impact on the genre secures Stranger in a Strange Land its place among the best science fiction audiobooks of all time.
Length: 16 hours and 17 minutes
Listen at Audible
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is an audacious space opera that redefines the norms of the genre. You’ll journey with Breq, who used to be a starship with an AI linking thousands of corpse soldiers, as she navigates a complex interstellar empire.
The novel’s innovative use of language and exploration of identity, combined with the audiobook’s adept narration, make it an immersive and thought-provoking listening experience that resonates long after the last word.
Duration: 12 hours and 41 minutes
Listen at Audible
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Forever War masterfully blends military science fiction with a profound exploration of human emotion and societal change. Through the experiences of William Mandella, drafted into an alien war stretching across eons, you’re drawn into a narrative that showcases the profound impacts of time and distance on a soldier’s psyche. Narrator George Wilson will make you live each moment, from fierce battles to heartfelt reunions.
Its depth and poignancy make this an audiobook experience hard to forget.
Duration: 9 hours and 18 minutes
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Ringworld is a pioneering masterpiece that captures the grandeur of space exploration like few others. As you journey alongside a quartet of diverse explorers, you’ll discover the mysteries of the vast artificial habitat known as Ringworld. The audiobook’s evocative narration places you right in the heart of this grand adventure, navigating its intricate landscapes and unrivaled wonders.
By effortlessly merging breathtaking settings with riveting plotlines, Ringworld earns its reputation as a must-listen in the canon of sci-fi audiobooks.
Duration: 11 hours and 15 minutes
Listen at Audible
Wool by Hugh Howey
Wool by Hugh Howey is a profound exploration of survival, society, and human nature set within the confining walls of a post-apocalyptic bunker known as the Silo. Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, his emotive performance captures the desperation and resilience of the characters, making the desolate world of the Silo all too real.
As you listen to the story unfold, you’ll experience the suspense, the heartache, and the triumphs that make Wool a modern science fiction classic.
Duration: 15 hours
Listen at Audible
Good Luck With Your Sci-Fi Audiobook Adventure!
From timeless classics to contemporary masterpieces, the best science fiction audiobooks we’ve featured span a myriad of themes, styles, and narratives, echoing the vast diversity of the genre. Each of them offers a unique journey, inviting us to explore uncharted territories, contemplate existential dilemmas, or simply lose ourselves in worlds beyond our own.
In the end, these picks for the best sci-fi audiobooks of all time remind us of the power of imagination, the thrill of discovery, and the captivating allure of the unknown. They are more than just stories read aloud – they are experiences that transport us, provoke us, inspire us, and stay with us long after the last word has been spoken. If you’re eager to embark on an auditory adventure that’s out of this world, the titles on this list are your perfect launchpad. Happy listening!
FAQs About Science Fiction Audiobooks
What’s your favorite science fiction audiobook of all time? Let me know in the comments below.
PS – for more best audiobooks recommendations check out: