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- The Alternative Top 25 Best Science Fiction List
- Top 25 Science Fiction Books
- Top 100 Best Science Fiction Books
- Top 50 Best Science Fiction Movies of All Time
- Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century
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SF ERA Best Lists
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SF GENRE Best Lists
- Best Hard Science Fiction Books
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- Top 25 Best Mars Science Fiction Books
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- Top 25 Post Human Science Fiction Books
- Top 25 Best Science Fiction Mystery Books
- Top 25 Best Science Fiction Books About the Moon
- Best Non-English Science Fiction Books
- Best Science Fiction Games of All Time
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- Top 25 Military SciFi Books
OTHER Best Lists
Detective Science Fiction
These stories are often set in a near-future and feature where technology aids law enforcement and criminals. Detective stories lend themselves well to Science Fiction because in many ways detective and scientists are similar: problem solving, questioning, following clues, tasked with getting to the truth.
You can view the crowd-ranked "Popular" Detective Science Fiction books list and vote and/submit entries to it.
Other Features of Detective Science Fiction
- Level of Real Science
Relatively high. Technology in Detective Sci Fi is a key feature—androids committing murder or cleaning robots killing someone or psychic abilities for crime stoppers—of the storyline and the science is therefore explained quite well.
- Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications
Moderate. Detective Sci Fi confronts ideas of guilt, innocence, and how technology interacts with these human ideas. The story can interact with these ideas obliquely or can delve into the depths seeking.
- Level of Characterization
Good. Characters are a key element in Detective Sci Fi—they are the detectives and the criminals (most of the time) and so readers get a good sense of who they are especially their motivations and thought processes.
- Level of Plot Complexity
High. Detective Sci Fi is all about the events and unravelling the events and arriving at the truth. As such, plot is well developed with sufficient twists and turns and explanations.
- Level of Violence
Moderate-High. Violence is often the beginning of an investigation for the Sci Fi detectives and there can be more violence as the detective gets closer to capturing the culprit. Sometimes though, the story is more deductive than violent.
Related Science Fiction subgenres
Cyperpunk is often crossed with Detective Sci Fi because its worlds have dark, bleak atmospheres and examine the downside of technology (see our Best Cyberpunk Books list). Of course, the various off-shoots of cyberpunk such as nanopunk, biopunk, ribbopunk might have Detective Sci-Fi elements. Add Detective Sci Fi to that mix and you have a detective solving a murder that was the result of technology.
SpyFy is similar to Detective Sci Fi in that they both are about, in part, how techonologial advancement has effected the profession.
Another branch that's related would be Hard Boiled / Science Fiction Noir / Tech Noir. Think Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, etc.
- 1 The Demolished Man
By Alfred Bester. Psychic police chase down criminals.
- 2 A Philosophical Investigation
By Philip Kerr. What happens when neurologists can test for sociopath tendencies? A list of names and a new serial killer.
- 3 Tea From an Empty Cup
By Pat Cadigan. A detective investigates the connection of individuals real deaths as their deaths within a game.
- 4 The Automatic Detective
By A. Lee Martinez. An indestructible robot gives up world domination in favour of driving a cab—but soon is on an quest to find his kidnapped neighbours.
- 5 Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
By Douglas Adams. A convoluted and twisted book involving murdering ghosts, time travel, and interconnectedness.
- 6 The Caves of Steel
By Isaac Asimov. This book pioneers the robot-buddy cop genre.
- 7 The Yiddish Policeman's Union
By Michael Chabon An alternate history Sci Fi story where a detective investigates a murder that turns into a chess game.
- 8 When Gravity Fails
By Alec Effinger . In the future technology allows a person to download the personalities and skills of others—this is the story of someone who downloads those of histories serial killers.
- 9 The Retrieval Artist novels
By Kathyrn Rush. A series of novels that take place in a future where humans who break alien laws they are subject to their punishment. These novels follow two detectives existing in this world and solve unusual murders.
- 10 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
By Philip K. Dick. A more complex and deeply meaningful story than others of this sub-genre it focuses on a bounty hunter who must hunt down fugitive androids.