These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (2024)

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (1)

There is a wealth of great new science fiction out this June, with all tastes catered for. Want a wild ride to stop a volcano erupting and ending the world? The late Michael Crichton (and his collaborator James Patterson) have it nailed. Want a robot finding his way in the world? Head for Adrian Tchaikovsky and his robot servant Charles. Climate dystopia, poetically rendered? Turn to Roz Dineen.

I am also delighted to see a smattering of space-opera romances, from authors including Emily Hamilton and Rebecca Fraimow – hurrah for some light-heartedness in our sci-fi. That light-heartedness is exactly what we are currently enjoying at the New Scientist Book Club – sign up, and join us in reading Martha Wells’s wonderful All Systems Red, the first in her Murderbot series.

But back to June, where I have also cunningly managed to shoehorn in a mention of one of my top dystopian reads of all time, the criminally overlooked A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher.

Eruption by Michael Crichton and James Patterson

Crichton, who gave us novels including Jurassic Park (great fun) and State of Fear (less so), died in 2008. Eruption has thus been finished by the prolific James Patterson, taking a break from his usual collaborations with the likes of former US presidents and Dolly Parton.

The premise: the Big Island of Hawaii is about to be hit by a mega volcanic eruption. Unfortunately for the world, the US military chose to hide some very dangerous substances right by the volcano, and if their containers are broken, we are all going to die.

I have found the book silly but fast-moving and fun so far. Emily H. Wilson, our esteemed sci-fi columnist, was less enamoured (“The only mystery is: will these cardboard-thin characters be successful in their logistical efforts?” she wrote, in her May sci-fi column). Perhaps I am just a sucker for rugged volcanologists battling with lava flows, but I am enjoying this absurd quest to save the world for now.

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (2)

Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the second book of the year from the prolific Tchaikovsky, after Alien Clay. This time we are following the story of robot servant Charles, who is loyal to a fault until a malfunction causes him to murder his owner, and he sets out into the wider world. Tchaikovsky is an author our sci-fi columnist Emily H. Wilson describes as “a huge talent, writing at the peak of his powers”; she loved this latest.

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (3)

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The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton

Four twenty-somethings are investigating an old spaceship when the “stupid dark matter engine” starts on its own, and they find themselves on a one-way trip to Proxima Centauri. This is described as a mix of space odyssey and Sapphic romcom, and it sounds like just the sort of light-hearted read I need to read by the pool. The comparisons being made to the brilliant Becky Chambers are particularly appealing.

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (4)

Lady Eve’s Last Con by Rebecca Fraimow

More romance among the stars, as Ruth, a hustler on an interstellar cruise line, is out to get revenge on Esteban, the man who broke her sister’s heart. Ruth’s plan is to make Esteban fall in love with her, then break his heart right back. But then Ruth meets Esteban’s older sister Sol…

Any Human Power by Manda Scott

I have enjoyed Manda Scott’s novels ever since I discovered her historical Boudica books; her historical spy thriller A Treachery of Spies won the McIlvanney Prize for the Best Scottish Crime Novel of the Year when I judged it in 2019 (it is excellent). So, I am intrigued by this latest offering from a multi-talented writer – a “visionary thriller” that weaves together “myth, technology and radical compassion” according to its publisher, set in a world at breaking point, but where change is coming.

Gate to Kagoshima by Poppy Kuroki

As a die-hard fan of Diana Gabaldon’s time-travelling Outlander books, this is going to fill the gap nicely as I wait for book 10 (come on Diana…). It is 2005 and Isla is researching her Japanese ancestors when she travels from Scotland to Kagoshima. There, she is thrown through a strange white gate by a typhoon, and finds herself in 1877. There is romance with a samurai and decisions about whether or not to remain in the past. Honestly, this is right up my Jamie Fraser-loving alley. And the time-travel means we can definitely claim it as sci-fi – after all, time may only be an illusion created by quantum entanglement

Our writers pick their favourite science fiction books of all timeWe asked New Scientist staff to pick their favourite science fiction books. Here are the results, ranging from 19th-century classics to modern day offerings, and from Octavia E. Butler to Iain M. Banks

Lord of the Empty Isles by Jules Arbeaux

Five years after Idrian, an interstellar pirate, ordered a death curse (known as a withering) on Remy’s brother, Remy is out for revenge. He orders a withering on Idrian – only for the curse to rebound onto him. The only way Remy can slow the curse down is to be closer to Idrian, so Remy infiltrates Idrian’s crew, only to discover this pirate is in fact bringing supplies to thousands of innocents. Perhaps he is not as bad as he seems.

Briefly Very Beautiful by Roz Dineen

This is the latest in a stream of recent stories set in a world facing apocalypse that home in on how one individual faces catastrophe – think the Jodie Comer film The End We Start From, based on Megan Hunter’s 2017 novel, or (one of my all-time favourites) A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. It is a trope I love and, as a mother of three, I am keen to follow the story of how Cass, raising three children alone in a world on fire as her medic husband serves in a war overseas, sets off from the city for a place of greater safety.

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (6)

The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to The Wastelands by Sarah Brooks

At the end of the 19th century, in a version of our world that is filled with marvels, the only thing that can cross the terrible Wastelands which lie between Beijing and Moscow is the Great Trans-Siberian Express. As a disparate crew step aboard for the journey, something uncontrollable is trying to break in. This is pitched as historical fantasy, but it is also being compared to a “steampunk Solaris” and a “steampunk Piranesi” by early readers, so I think there will be plenty here for sci-fi fans to enjoy.

We Speak Through the Mountain by Premee Mohamed

In this follow-up to Mohamed’s The Annual Migration of Clouds, 19-year-old Reid is travelling through Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, which are ravaged by the climate crisis, as she heads for safety at the fictional Howse University. But when she reaches one of the “domes” – the only places where pre-collapse society survives – she discovers that the inhabitants are holding back resources from the rest of humanity.

The Bound Worlds by Megan E.O’Keefe

This is the conclusion to O’Keefe’s Devoured Worlds space-opera trilogy, and her characters Naira and Tarquin have found a new home on Seventh Cradle. Unfortunately for them, Naira is seeing visions of a terrible future, while Tarquin discovers a plot to end the universe.

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  • New Scientist Book Club
These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024 (2024)

FAQs

These are the best new science fiction books to read this June 2024? ›

"Big Three"

For much of the later 20th century, Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein were informally known as the "Big Three" of science fiction writers.

What is the most sold science fiction book? ›

What are the best-selling science fiction books of all time?
Title (Year)Author
11984 (1949)George Orwell
2Dune (1966)Frank Herbert
3The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)Douglas Adams
4Foundation Series (1942-1993)Isaac Asimov
6 more rows
Oct 2, 2022

Who is arguably the greatest science fiction writer? ›

The 10 best sci fi authors of all time
  • H.G. Wells - September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946.
  • Robert Heinlein - July 7, 1907 - May 8, 1988.
  • Ursula K. ...
  • Arthur C. ...
  • Frank Herbert - October 8, 1920 - February 11, 1986.
  • Isaac Asimov - January 2, 1920 - April 6, 1992.
  • Ray Bradbury - August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012.
  • Philip K.

Who are the big 3 of science fiction? ›

"Big Three"

For much of the later 20th century, Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein were informally known as the "Big Three" of science fiction writers.

Who is the best science book in the world? ›

List of books
  • The Periodic Table (1975) by Primo Levi (winner)
  • King Solomon's Ring (1949) by Konrad Lorenz.
  • Arcadia (1993) by Tom Stoppard.
  • The Selfish Gene (1976) by Richard Dawkins.

What is the most advanced book to read? ›

The most challenging books you will ever read
  • A Time Outside This Time. by Amitava Kumar. ...
  • A Little Life. by Hanya Yanagihara. ...
  • Underworld. by Don DeLillo. ...
  • To The Lighthouse. by Virginia Woolf. ...
  • Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. by Andrea Lawlor. ...
  • Don Quixote. by Miguel de Cervantes. ...
  • XX. by Rian Hughes. ...
  • Finnegans Wake. by James Joyce.
Jan 22, 2024

Who is the famous science fiction writer? ›

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells (1866 – 1946) is often referred to as the “father of science fiction” alongside Jules Verne. He wrote in many genres and, as many of these great authors, was a social critic and wrote about politics.

What book should a new reader read? ›

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

At the same time, it keeps you wondering, “what would I do” at every decision point. The Alchemist is one of many books written by Coelho, and his works are considered among the best books to start reading habit.

Who are the three great masters of science fiction? ›

Originally Answered: Why are Isaac Asimov (author), Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein (author) called the Big-Three of Science Fiction? The big-three are very much representatives of their era.

Who is the greatest living American writer of science fiction? ›

Bio. Citation: For his incomparable contributions to American fiction as one of its great storytellers who, through his explorations of science and space, has illuminated the human condition. The author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury is the greatest living American writer of science fiction.

Who is known as the father of science fiction? ›

Jules Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking below Agatha Christie and above William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the "father of science fiction", a title that has also been given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.

What is the biggest sci-fi of all time? ›

Highest-grossing films adjusted for inflation
RankTitleWorldwide gross (2022 $)
1Avatar$3,824,000,000
2Star Wars$3,443,000,000
3E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial$2,815,000,000
4Star Wars: The Force AwakensTFA$2,491,000,000

Who is the most popular science fiction author? ›

Isaac Asimov: Regarded as the undisputed father of the genre, Asimov penned many hundreds of books, with many ranging across all aspects of science fiction. It's probably best to start with his stellar Foundation epic space empire series, but Asimov's 'Robot' series is also incredible, starting with I, Robot.

What is the biggest science fiction award? ›

First awarded to Alfred Bester in 1953, the Hugo Award is considered the most prestigious literary award in science fiction.

What is the best fantasy book of all time? ›

The Best Fantasy Novels Of All Time [Updated]
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. ...
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.
  • Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.
  • The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
  • A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
  • The Darkness That Comes Before by R.
Jul 21, 2019

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