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.
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons, read by Feodor Chin, Soneela Nankani and Vikas Adam
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.
Buy The Ruin of Kings
Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky, read by Mel Hudson
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.
Buy Children of Ruin
Read an extract from Children of Ruin
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, read by Kate Sobey
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.
Buy Spinning Silver
The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read by Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman
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. The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is available in a CD pack including all five books in Douglas Adams’s ‘trilogy’, read by Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman, both of whom appeared in the film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The series is also available as individual audiobooks.
Buy The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Discover 7 facts you may not have known about Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton, read by John Lee
In AD 2204, a team is sent to investigate an alien shipwreck discovered at the limits of human expansion. The ship’s sinister cargo raises questions that the team must answer, and what they find may change everything . . .
In the far future, a group of genetically engineered soldiers are trained to destroy an ancient alien threat. This enemy has already caused humanity to flee across the galaxy – will mankind be wiped out forever? John Lee’s reading vividly brings the Salvation Sequence universe to life.
Watch Peter F. Hamilton talk about Salvation
Gilded Cage by Vic James, read by Avita Jay
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.
Buy Gilded Cage
False Hearts by Laura Lam, read by January Lavoy
To save her twin, she must take her identity.
One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She's then arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila's identity and gather information to bring down the drug syndicate. The police may then let her sister live. However, Taema's investigation raises ghosts from the twins' past.
The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine - yet as conjoined twins, they needed life-saving surgery to replace their failing heart. And with help from co-conspirators, they escaped. Taema now discovers that Tila had found links between the cult and the city's criminal underworld. The twins were once unable to keep secrets, but will learn the true cost of lies.
Buy False Hearts
The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville, read by Ralph Lister
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.
Buy The Last Days of New Paris
Ready for your next read?
Sign up to the Best of Pan Macmillan newsletter to discover the best of our books, events and special offers.