SF CORE Best Lists
- Best Modern Science Fiction Books
- Best Science Fiction Series
- Best Stand Alone Science Fiction Books
- Top 25 Underrated Science Fiction Books
- Best Science Fiction by Women
- Best Science Fiction Books for Young Adults
- Best Science Fiction Books for Children
- 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
- Best Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time
- Best Science Fiction Graphic Novels
SF ERA Best Lists
- Best Science Fiction Books of 2014
- Best Contemporary Science Fiction Books
- Best New Wave Science Fiction Books
- Best Classic Science Fiction Books
- Best Early Science Fiction Books
- Best Proto-Science Fiction
- Best Modern Science Fiction Classics
SF GENRE Best Lists
- Best Hard Science Fiction Books
- Best Cyberpunk Books
- Best Space Opera Books (OLD AND MERGED WITH NEW)
- Best Dystopian Science Fiction Books
- Best Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction Books
- Best Alternate History Books
- Best Time Travel Science Fiction Books
- Best Robot Science Fiction
- Best Artificial Intelligence Science Fiction
- Top 25 Best Mars Science Fiction Books
- Best Literary Science Fiction Books
- Best Books About Science Fiction
- Best Space Opera Books
- 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
- Best Science Fiction Comic Books
- Best Science Fiction Anime
- Top 25 Military SciFi Books
OTHER Best Lists
Sci Fi is an abbreviation for Science Fiction that was introduced in 1954 by Forrest J. Ackerman and influenced by the popularity of “hi-fi.” Initially, the term was used in a derogatory manner. At first, the abbreviation was not adopted by the Science Fiction community, rather it was used by journalists, other media types, and people who did not read Science Fiction, sometimes with a condescending tone. Members of the Sci Fi community, like Terry Carr and Damon Knight, began using the term to distinguish so-called Sci Fi hacks. The sci fi term was applied to works that were sensational and not well written. These works are filled with monstrous aliens, crude flying saucers, ill-thought out technology, a disregard for science, and is generally 'dumbed-down' for mass consumption. In opposition to the sci fi term, within the science fiction community the abbreviation 'sf' became popular.
In pop culture, SciFi often refers to films with some type of science fiction setting (Aliens, Star Wars, Star Trek, Minority Report, I, Robot, etc).
In recent years the derogatory tone of the term has regressed and sci fi has started to become the default term for Science Fiction. Regardless, the term sf, or just science fiction without abbreviation, is still in use within the science fiction community.
Insiders (i.e. those part of the Science Fiction community) tend to look at the Sci Fi term as science fiction that in not concerned with the technical aspects of the "science" but rather the story, characters, or setting. Outsiders see Sci Fi the same as Science Fiction.
Other Features of Sci Fi
- Level of Real Science
None. Works that fall into the sci fi category sensationalize futuristic science and technology and ignore scientific principles.
- Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications
None. These stories are pure entertainment and appeal to the lowest common denominator.
- Level of Characterization
Low. Stock characters are typical in sci fi stories and little time is spent developing them.
- Level of Plot Complexity
Low. Plots are simple and easy to follow.
- Level of Violence
Moderate. Violence is often used as a plot device and aides in the sensational feel of the story. Sci fi violence tends not to be graphic or particularly realistic.
Related Science Fiction subgenres
Pulp Science Fiction. Like sci fi, Pulp Sci Fi offers little intellectual stimulation and follows simplistic plot lines. The actual "Science" is not explained and assumed as is. Pulp Sci Fi does have its own unique style.
Note: this list showcases books that have characteristics that are not usually valued in the Sci Fi community and may be described by some with the term sci fi (in a condescending manner). This is not to say these works do not offer anything to the genre of Science Fiction or that some readers won't enjoy them.
- 1 Dancers at the End of Time
By Michael Moorcock. A lighthearted tale that is slightly absurd at times.
- 2 The Crystal Star
By Vonda N. McIntyre. Written by an award winning author, this Star Wars universe story resorts to common tropes.
- 3 Interstellar Empire
By John Brunner. A Space Opera novel that uses just about every Sci Fi cliché there is.
- 4 Planet of the Voles
By Charles Platt. A Military Sci Fi story with little scientific realism.
- 5 Star Winds
By Barrington J. Bayley. A book that has some debauchery, little character development, and the technology has little relation to real science.
- 6 Star Watchman
By Ben Bova. This 1964 novel brings up interesting and stimulating ideas, but does not explore them.
- 7 Jokertown
By George R.R. Martin An example of sensational Sci Fi, this novel features vivid violence and gratuitous sex.
- 8 Projekt Saucer series
By W.A. Harbinson. So it turns out the Nazis invented flying saucers.
- 9 Legends of Dune
By Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert. These novels don't compare to Frank Herbert's original Dune sequence and have been viewed as a money grab.
- 10 Space Train
By Terence Haile. Implausible aliens, a ridiculous villain, a disregard for science, and a huge space crab.