The best sci-fi books of 2020

We take a look at the most exciting new sci-fi books we can't wait to read in 2020, as well as the best science fiction novels of 2019. 

11/08/2020

From hugely anticipated series finales, to continuing adventures in science fiction's most popular universes and anniversary celebrations for a cult classic, read on for some of the best sci-fi books to look forward to in 2020. No matter what kind of science fiction fan you are, we're sure you'll find something to add to your reading list. For even more inspiration, we also look back at the best science fiction novels of 2019. 

Looking for your next fantasy novel? Read our edit of the very best new fantasy books, here.​

The best sci-fi books of 2020

The Doors of Eden

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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A new novel from 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.

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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

by Christopher Paolini

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September 2020 will see the publication of a highly-anticipated brand new epic science fiction novel 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.

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XX

by Rian Hughes

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Rian Hughes’s novel uses the full narrative potential of graphic design, using twenty-first-century visual culture to ask who we are, and where we may be going next. When an extraterrestrial signal is detected, artificial intelligence expert Jack Fenwick is sure he can decode it. But when he finds a way into an alien realm, he finds it already inhabited by ghostly entities that may come from our own past. This unique novel includes NASA transcripts, news and magazine articles and books within books. There is no book quite like this.

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Exhalation

by Ted Chiang

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Named in Barack Obama's 2019 summer reading list, this groundbreaking collection of science fiction short stories is the second from acclaimed author Ted Chiang. In these nine stunningly original and poignant stories, we encounter a portal through time in ancient Baghdad, a scientist who makes a shocking discovery that will affect all of humanity and a woman who cares for an AI ‘pet’ for over twenty years. Addressing, among others, essential questions around the nature of the universe and what it means to be human, this is science fiction writing at its most thoughtful.

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Children of Ruin

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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Following on from Tchaikovsky’s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning sci-fi novel, Children of TimeChildren of Ruin finds modern humanity dealing with the consequences of Earth’s ancient empire building. A terraforming program transforms the world of Nod, with unplanned and ominous side effects. Aeons later, an exploration mission finally discovers this part of space. They are hoping to find cousins from old Earth, but realise that something else entirely awaits.

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

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Towels at the ready and DON'T PANIC, but yes, Douglas Adams' science-fiction classic really is celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2020. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy began life as a Radio 4 show in 1978 and has since spawned adaptations across almost every format, making it a staple on every respectable list of the best sci-fi books. Following the galactic adventures of Arthur Dent after his house's untimely demolition to make way for a new hyperspace express route, this new edition of 'the Guide' features exclusive bonus archive material and a new introduction from Russell T. Davies. This classic science fiction novel is a must read for fans of the genre. 

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The Last Emperox

by John Scalzi

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In the conclusion to the Interdependency series from sci-fi great, John Scalzi, the pathways that connect the stars are collapsing rapidly, accelerating the fall of civilization, and threatening to leave billions of people stranded. The evidence is insurmountable, but many people are in denial and even seeking to profit from this disaster. 

Emperox Grayland II finally has control over her empire, but as she works to save her people, others are desperate to topple her from the throne . . . Will she save civilization?

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Invisible Sun

by Charles Stross

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The conclusion of Charles Stross's Empire Games trilogy sees America locked in a deadly arms race with the USA, America's high-tech parellel world. While America faces a crippling power vacuum folowing the death of its president-equivalent, an alien threat has been awakened which has already destroyed humanity on one version of Earth . . . 

Set in the same world and Charles Stross's Merchant Princes sequence, this high-octane sci-fi book is not to be missed.

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The Saints of Salvation

by Peter F. Hamilton

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The Olyix have laid siege to Earth, harvesting people for their god. Cities are falling to their devastating weaponry and millions have either fled to seek refuge in space or are fighting a war that seems unwinnable. As Earth's defeat draws evere closer, a team are sent to infiltrate the Olyix's arkship. Their plan? To signal its location to future generations and bring the battle to the enemy . . . This is the final novel in Peter F. Hamilton'ds stunning science fiction series The Salvation Sequence

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The Human

by Neal Asher

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The epic finale to the  Rise of the Jain trilogyThe Human opens with the fate of an entire galaxy hanging in the balance. A Jain warship has risen from a five million year old prison, determined to catch an old enemy, and willing to destroy anything in its path. Orlandine must once again fight the seemingly unstoppable Jain and their ancient yet lethal technology, to save humanity, and herself. 

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The best sci-fi books of 2019

Salvation Lost

by Peter F. Hamilton

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Out in hardback in 2019, and coming to paperback in 2020, 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,

Buy Salvation, the first book in The Salvation Sequence

Here, Peter F. Hamilton introduces The Salvation Sequence

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Recursion

by Blake Crouch

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This high concept sci-fi thriller asks the question: what if someone could rewrite your entire life? When Detective Barry Sutton is called to help a woman threatening to jump from a building, he’s unaware of the series of events the incident will trigger. Unable to stop the woman taking her own life, the last words she says to him are ‘My son has been erased.’ As Barry begins to investigate her case, he finds she’s not the only one making such claims. All over the country, people are waking up to different lives, an epidemic the media have dubbed ‘False Memory Syndrome’. But what if the cause is more sinister than a disease?

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A Memory Called Empire

by Arkady Martine

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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.

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