The best sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks

Sci-fi and fantasy allows us to escape into weird and wonderful worlds completely unlike our own. Here is our pick of the best sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks to immerse yourself in.

19/09/2020
4 minutes to read

From space exploration in the near future to alternative histories full of magic and dragons, science fiction and fantasy stories open up a whole range of new worlds to explore. Hearing a book read aloud can bring the story to life in a whole new way, so immerse yourself in a new universe with our selection of the best sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks.

Discover our edit of the best science fiction books and the best fantasy books of 2020.

Best science fiction audiobooks

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

by Christopher Paolini

Book cover for 9781529046540

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is the highly-anticipated brand new epic science fiction audiobook from New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, Christopher Paolini. 

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars follows xenobiologist Kira Navárez as she discovers an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity ensue, taking her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her – but the entire course of history.

The Doors of Eden

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book cover for 9781509865901

A new audiobookfrom Adrian Tchaikovsky to get excited about in 2020, The Doors of Eden is a standalone sci-fi adventure set in the world of MI5 investigations and in the depths of Bodmin Moor. Following an attack on a government physicist and rumours of monsters and missing people, the British security forces are sent to investigate. When they discover that there are cracks between our world and countless others it shatters everything they previously thought about the universe.

A Memory Called Empire

by Arkady Martine

Book cover for 9781529001617

Arkady Martine's debut sci-fi novel is an immersive political space opera for fans of Ann Leckie and Iain M. Banks. A Memory Called Empire introduces the idea of a technology by which a select few can carry their predecessors in their minds and take advantage of their wisdom and memories - a fascinating theme for the reader to wrap their head around. The first book in the Texicalaan duology, fans will be eagerly awaiting news of the second novel from this exciting new science-fiction writer.

Salvation Lost

by Peter F. Hamilton

Book cover for 9781529009255

Salvation Lost is the second book in Peter F. Hamilton’s bestselling science fiction series, The Salvation Sequence. The comparatively utopian world of 23rd century Earth is about to change forever, as the alien race the Olyix, previously thought to be benign, plan to harvest humanity as an offering to their god at the end of the universe. With almost no time to fight back, some want to flee, but others refuse to back down. John Lee’s reading vividly brings the Salvation Sequence universe to life.

Buy Salvation, the first book in The Salvation Sequence

Here, Peter F. Hamilton introduces The Salvation Sequence

Children of Ruin

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book cover for 9781509865840

Set in the same universe as the Arthur C. Clarke award-winning Children of Time, Children of Ruin sees humanity return to the abandoned world called Nod, colonised by terraformers aeons ago. But the ancient terraformers awoke something that was better left undisturbed, and it’s been waiting for humans to return . . . Immerse yourself in the atmospheric audiobook read by Mel Hudson.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

Book cover for 9780230742062

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been a radio show, TV show, stage play, comic book and film, and is and a work of utter comic genius from Douglas Adams. One Thursday lunchtime the Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. It's the final straw for Arthur Dent, who has already had his house bulldozed that morning. But for Arthur, that is only the beginning . . .

In the seconds before global obliteration, Arthur is plucked from the planet by his friend Ford Prefect – and together the pair venture out across the galaxy on the craziest, strangest road trip of all time. All five books in Douglas Adams’s ‘trilogy’ are available as audiobooks read by Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman, both of whom appeared in the film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


Best fantasy audiobooks

The Unspoken Name

by A. K. Larkwood

Book cover for 9781529032789

The first book in the The Serpent Gates series, The Unspoken Name is an epic coming-of-age tale that follows Csorwe, who, on her fourteenth birthday will be sacrificed by the death cult who raised her. Offered a chance to escape her fate by a sorcerer who wants her as his assistant, sword-hand and assassin, Csorwe spends years living on a knife-edge until she is forced to confront her past . . . Let narrator Avita Jay transport you to a world of magic and danger. 

Blood of an Exile

by Brian Naslund

Book cover for 9781529016147

In Brian Naslund's must-read debut fantasy novel we meet Bershad, an adventurer sentenced to kill dragons for a living after being caught trying to assassinate a fellow noble. When the king who sentenced Bershad offers him a way out of his forced occupation and exile, Bershad sees a way to earn redemption, but it won't be easy. Blood of an Exile, the first book in the Dragons of Terra series is packed with adventure and of course, lots of dragons.

A Time of Dread

by John Gwynne

Book cover for 9781509881611

The Ben-Elim once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished Lands with an iron fist. When Drem finds mutilated corpses in the forest, he discovers that their ancient enemy may not be as crushed as they thought. And in the south, hot-headed Riv is faced with a dangerous rift within the Ben-Elim themselves.

by Jenn Lyons

Book cover for 9781509879526

Kihrin, a bard’s apprentice, has grown up with epic tales of legendary deeds. He is desperate to buy his way out of the slum where he lives, by stealing if necessary, but when a raid goes wrong he is marked by a demon and his life changes forever. He catches the attention of royalty, who claim him as the lost son of the immoral prince. Escaping from his new family and their ruthless ambitions, things get worse for Kihrin when he discovers he’s at the centre of an ancient prophecy and is destined to destroy the earth. Every side, from gods to dragons, want him as their pawn in this epic of imperial politics and magic. The audiobook of this hugely anticipated debut novel is read by Feodor Chin, Soneela Nankani and Vikas Adam, with each narrating a different timeline within the novel.

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Book cover for 9781529000559

Zélie remembers when Orisha was full of magic. When different clans ruled with unique powers, including her Reaper mother who could summon forth souls. 

But everything changed when the ruthless king had anyone with powers killed. Now only a few people still have the power to use magic, and they must stay hidden. Zélie is one of those people, but now she has the chance to bring magic back to her people and strike against the monarchy . . . 

Spinning Silver

by Naomi Novik

Book cover for 9781509899050

Influenced by classic folktales, Spinning Silver is a rich story inspired by the tale of Rumplestiltskin. Miryem comes from a long line of moneylenders, but her father is too kindhearted to collect the debts owed to him. Determined to keep her family out of poverty, Miryem takes over his work, and her success in the job starts a rumour that she can turn silver into gold. Hearing this, the fairy king of winter sets her an impossible challenge – to fail means certain death, but to succeed may mean an even worse fate. Read by Kate Sobey, the audiobook brilliantly brings to life this magical world.

Deeplight

by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for 9781529014723

Enter the world of Myriad – made up of a cluster of islands – each of which was once ruled by a powerful god. Since the gods died out, the hunt for and sale of ‘godware’, the last remnants of Myriad’s deities, has turned into a thriving trade. Meanwhile, Huck, a young ‘artful dodger’ type, survives the streets on small-time scams. Things escalate quickly however, when Huck’s mysterious friend Jelt ropes him into a far more ominous scheme. And so begins a richly woven adventure that perfectly balances light and dark.

Gilded Cage

by Vic James

Book cover for 9781509837939

A thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart, Gilded Cage is the astonishing debut novel from Vic James, and the first title in her electrifying The Dark Gifts Trilogy.

Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn. Abi Hadley is assigned to England's most ruthless noble family. The secrets she uncovers could win her freedom - or break her heart. Her brother Luke is enslaved in a brutal factory town, where new friends' ideals might cost him everything.

Then while the elite vie for power, a young aristocrat plots to remake the world with his dark gifts. As Britain moves from anger to defiance, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything, forever.

The Last Days of New Paris

by China Miéville

Book cover for 9781509838219

A thriller of a war that never was - of survival in an impossible city - of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer and occult disciple Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world for ever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts - and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, Thibaut must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties - to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.