Audiobooks are perfect for long journeys, but because sci fi novels can be dense in their narrative styles, you need a book that is easy to listen to as well as fun to explore.
Here are 15 amazing sci fi books that are perfect for audio immersion as you travel.
What Is Sci Fi?
Sci Fi is short for science fiction. It’s a narrative style that focuses on either real or imagined science and how it can affect real or imagined societies.
Arguably the first ever science fiction novel was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a story of how a morally questionable failed science student created life through electricity and then abandoned it.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to suggest novels from the 1800s though. Instead, we will focus on easy listening sci fi books, perfect for your vacation.
1. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline – A World Where Virtual Reality Is The Only Reality
Ready Player One is a story about how the material world has become squalor, so everyone lives in a virtual reality instead.
The novel follows a boy called Wade Watts as he completes quests created by a VR game designer obsessed with the 80s.
The rest of the world is trying to complete these quests too, and whoever wins takes over the VR world.
This is a story about taking down corporate power, living in VR, and completing quizzes filled with 80s nostalgia.
2. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card – Psychological Warfare Through Games
Although Ender’s Game was first published in 1985, it still contains concepts that are intriguing today.
This story follows a young boy called Andrew Wiggin who lives in a world where insect creatures and humans are in an ongoing war.
Andrew is considered a bright and empathetic child which allows him to attend a special school for child soldiers.
The children are educated using games, but psychological warfare plays a part in the tactical and morally questionable teachings in this school.
3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams – Parodying Our Bureaucratic Life
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is an absurdist novel that will make you laugh out loud.
Unlikely hero, Arthur Dent is an anxious Englishman who becomes confused as builders try to demolish his house.
Completely unaware that the council had created this proposal months in advance, Dent is left flabbergasted that his home will soon be flattered.
To make matters worse, the whole planet gets told the same thing, as the world will soon be destroyed to make way for an intergalactic highway.
This hilarious story parodies the ridiculous bureaucratic issues of our life by taking Arthur on a trip across the galaxy.
4. They Both Died At The End – Adam Silvera – An App Which Tells You When You Will Die
This story follows two young adults who both receive a message stating they will die that day.
Neither have medical issues, and neither expected the phone call to come.
The sci fi element of this story is centered around this app, and how society changes now that people know when they will die.
You follow the boys as they come to terms with their death sentence, and ask yourself the question – what would you do if you knew you would die today?
5. The Declaration – Gemma Malley – If People Never Die, Then Pregnancy Becomes A Crime
In this world, science has advanced to make sure that people cannot die of old age. To make sure the world doesn’t become overpopulated, you cannot become pregnant without a family member volunteering to die in their place.
However, mistakes happen and surplus children are made.
Surplus children are taught to be slaves and showed that no one wants another mouth to feed. Despite their wretched lives, they are taught to be grateful they weren’t killed at birth.
Follow 16-year-old Anna who should never have lived, and watch her explore this world of control and unending life.
6. The Martian – Andy Weir – Stuck On Mars, What Next?
American astronaut, Mark Watney, ends up being stranded on Mars after a dust storm forces his crewmates to leave the planet without him.
Everyone assumes that Mark didn’t survive, and so they head back to earth. When Mark reemerges from his shelter he realizes what has happened, and needs to learn how to survive on this barren planet and how to communicate with his colleagues.
The story takes us through genius problem-solving, emotional distress, and a survivalist instinct.
7. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick – When Is An Android Considered Human Enough?
Written in 1968, some of the science fiction machines found in this novel now exist. For example, the idea of watches that tell us our emotions was once a ludicrous fantasy and are now a common fitness accessory.
In the story, a bounty hunter is tasked with “retiring” 6 androids. These androids contain organic matter.
Following the story, we watch the main character Deckard battle with the moral question of what makes something alive.
8. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins – To Control A Population, Give Them A Lottery They Cannot Win
The Hunger Games was an instant classic in 2008, as the post-apocalyptic land of Panem forced children to fight each other to the death in the name of peace.
In this version of the North American future, The Capitol has highly advanced technology used to create political control over the rest of the nation.
Katniss Everdeen volunteers to fight in the games when her 12-year-old sister is selected at random.
In the lead-up to the games, we learn about how hope is used to stop the lower classes from defending themselves. The games are more than Capitol entertainment, they are a political control mechanism.
9. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – No Pain, No Age, No Disease, No Discontent, Sounds Perfect Right?
In Brave New World, Huxley discusses the possibility of a world where pain, illnesses, and discontent are all issues of the past.
In this world, science has advanced and society has changed to make these advances acceptable.
Having sexual relations with multiple people is considered normal, as it allows your body to feel pleasure. While you sleep, you are forced to listen to affirmations that make you think that your current working environment is the best option.
Every problem in your life is removed, and all you can feel is contentment. But for this to work, freedom cannot be allowed.
This story breaks apart what it means to be perfectly happy.
10. The Book Of M – Peng Shepherd – The Power Of Memories
In this science fiction novel, the world starts the same as it is today, but soon shadows start to disappear. Those who lose their shadows lose their memory. Scientists rush to create a cure, but as people lose their minds on scale, chaos begins to brew.
11. Dawn – Octavia E Butler – Saving Humanity By Taking Over
In this world, the main character, Lilith Iyapo should have died in an atomic fire caused by a planet-killing war. However, a group of aliens saves Lilith and other humans, helping them avoid extinction.
However, these saviors are not as they seem. They see humans as primitive species and use them as hosts to survive.
12. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) – Dennis E. Taylor – Just A Normal Guy Told To Save The World
This sci fi novel is a space-themed comedy. The main character, Bob Johansson, is just a normal guy who managed to retire early. He sold his software company and planned to spend the rest of his days reading, traveling, and watching movies.
Those dreams were cut short when he was killed crossing the street.
Centuries pass, when Johansson reawakens. In his new state is considered an object, not a person, as his mind was uploaded to a computer. He can either agree to the company’s mission or be switched off.
13. The Fifth Season – N K Jemisin – Fantasy Mixed With Sci-Fi
In this world, the fifth season only happens every couple of centuries, and you can expect catastrophic climate change events.
Follow the story of three women in different periods tackling these events.
14. Artemis – Andy Weir – Political Struggle And Criminal Activity
In this story, a black-market smuggler is tasked with sabotaging the moon’s first city’s oxygen supply. As you can expect, it doesn’t go to plan.
15. Red Rising – Pierce Brown – Heist And Political Deception
Another story about a future on mars, this version of events puts people into color-coded tiers. We follow as a Red becomes an outcast, goes rogue, and infiltrates the Golds, all while trying to maintain his own sense of self.
Any one of these books will be a fantastic story to listen to as you travel through real-life amazing destinations.