The Top 13 Science Fiction Books in 2023

Looking for the best new Science Fiction books of 2023? 

Strap in: this list is packed with thrilling page-turners, mind-bending mysteries, and captivating characters who will whisk you away to far-ooff worlds. Did I mention sweet, heart-warming romance … in space? 

You’re about to find exciting new books from authors like Pierce Brown, literary masterpieces, and apocalyptic epics that will (strangely) give you hope for the future.

Featuring outstanding new space operas, burning-hot romances, mysteries of space and time—and so much more—this list includes the best new stories from authors including TJ Klune, Ann Leckie, Adrian Tchaikovksy.

Engage thrusters. It’s time to find your new, favorite book: 

1. Lightbringer (Red Rising Saga #6) 

In the second-to-last book in this thrilling series, Darrow continues his legendary rise to greatness. Now known as the Reaper, he is both a myth and a man—a savior, a leader, and a friend. The worlds face a new age, and Darrow is needed once again to bring light, victory, and hope. The chains must be broken …

Genres: Epic Space Opera, Underdog Revolution, Heroic Science Fiction

2. Translation State (Imperial Radch)

This is the story of three people: an alien translator. A fugitive who has been missing for 200 years. And one person who, longing to understand his identity, finds himself working with a political group claiming genetic ties that are too good to be true. When these three individuals collide, their story will send a tidal wave crashing across the galaxies. This is a surprisingly philosophical and light-hearted mystery set in Leckie’s richly detailed Radch universe. 

Genres: Space Opera, Futuristic Gender Fiction, Alien Cultures

3. Lords of Uncreation (The Final Architecture #3)

Lords of Uncreation, the thrilling conclusion to Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Final Architecture space opera trilogy, will take you on an epic journey of time and space and massive alien architecture. With humanity facing extinction, one man’s discovery holds the power to determine our fate. But what will he have to destroy to save us all? An exhilarating, epic adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Genres: Universe-Ending Space Opera, Epic Science Fiction, Aliens and Alien Architecture

4. The Ferryman

An enthralling standalone thriller from bestselling author, Justin Cronin. Prospera shields its citizens from the grim realities of the deteriorating world. In this idyllic haven, fortunate residents lead fulfilling lives until their implanted health monitors drop below 10%. They then retire themselves to the Nursery, where they are rejuvenated, memories wiped, and prepared for a fresh start. Proctor Bennett guides people through the retirement process and enforces it when needed. But lately, he’s been having forbidden dreams … And when retires his own father, Proctor hears a final, disturbing message. As discontent grows among the staff, a revolution starts to brew. Proctor’s beliefs are shaken as he delves into a vast conspiracy, discovering a cause greater than he imagined. Now entangled in a mission of truth, he embarks on a desperate journey, questioning everything he once knew.

Genres: Mystery Thriller, Sci Fi Dystopia, Dark Science Fiction

5. Critical Mass (Delta-V #2)

This is a hard science fiction story of humanity finally reaching for the stars. When an unauthorized commercial asteroid-mining mission goes awry and strands two crew members, the surviving team must organize a rescue mission amidst shifting global alliances and renewed Cold War tensions. Earth’s governments struggle with climate change and lack the courage to advance in space, so the crew must construct their own advanced spacecraft to save the stranded members before the asteroid’s next approach to Earth. But to undertake this rescue will require a feat of engineering never before seen. 

Genres: Hard Science Fiction, Futuristic Space Engineering

6. I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself

The United States’ Department of Balance implements a new form of law enforcement: instead of prison, offenders are given a “shadow” as a constant reminder of their wrongdoing. However, corruption and prejudice within the Department create an underclass known as Shadesters, who face public shame, disenfranchisement, and a lack of civil rights.

Kris, a Shadester and a new mother, grapples with the loss of her wife and the challenges of single parenthood. Overwhelmed, she spirals into a haze of alcohol, shame, and self-hatred. Yet, as her child grows, Kris finds resilience and raises a spirited child undeterred by the world’s harsh realities. Introspective, courageous, and strong, this debut novel will keep you thinking long after you reach The End.

Genres: Narrative-driven Science Fiction, Near-Future Dystopia, Queer/Lesbian Main Character

7. System Collapse (The Murderbot Diaries #7)

Murderbot is back again by absurdly popular demand. The Barish-Estranza corporation sends rescue ships and more SecUnits to a troubled, newly-colonized planet. But Murderbot, our beloved deadly (and deadly sarcastic) SecUnit, suspects Barish-Estranza is actually up to something unethical—as in, enslaving an entire colony unethical. While trying to protect the colonists, Murderbot faces a crisis of identity, and must solve them both quickly to save the day.

Genres: Space Opera, Killer Robots who grapple with Mental Health, Heartwarming Thriller

8. The Deluge

When the world collapses, how can the spirit of humanity thrive? 

America is in turmoil, grappling with extreme weather and divisive politics. In 2013, scientist Tony Pietrus receives a death threat while studying undersea methane. His fate intertwines with a captivating ensemble—an addict seeking redemption, a brilliant advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a clever eco-terrorist, a religious zealot turned actor, and a bold young activist. Against the backdrop of mounting chaos, each one must face a crucial question: what are they willing to sacrifice to salvage humanity’s last chance for a future? The Deluge is a thrilling, prophetic epic about the resilience of human nature across 25+ years of political upheaval and ecological disaster.

Genres: Ecological Apocalypse, Epic Thriller, Hard Science Fiction

9. Some Desperate Glory

Earth is dead. Kyr, one of the greatest warriors of her time, has been training all her life to avenge this murder. Raised in Gaea Station, she’s determined to confront the all-powerful Wisdom, the weapon that led to humanity’s defeat. As one of the finest warriors, Kyr fights to survive alongside her brother’s rebellious friend and a captive alien. After escaping a life of sickening imprisonment, they dive into a universe beyond her wildest dreams. This thrilling queer space opera explores the aftermath of war, the importance of found family, and the transformative power of difficult choices.

Genres: Dark Epic, Space Opera, Thrilling Science Fiction

10. Infinity Gate

Humanity’s vast expansion across countless dimensions is at stake as a dangerous AI technology emerges. The Pandominion, a million-world alliance, is actually multiple versions of Earth existing in different dimensions. When faced with the threat that could unravel their achievements, they will do whatever it takes to eliminate it, even if it means sacrificing human lives. Full of rich relationships between humans, strange creatures, and machines (both lovable and terrifying), this is a huge story unlike anything you’ve ever read—and it’s only the beginning. If you’re looking for new, mind-bending science fiction to wrinkle your brain, this is your book.

Genres: Idea-driven Science Fiction, Mind-bending Worlds, Multi-book Space Opera

11. Defiant (Skyward #4)

In the thrilling conclusion of the bestselling Skyward series by Brandon Sanderson, a determined (and uniquely gifted) pilot ventures beyond the stars to save her beloved world from destruction. Having earned the answers to her Cytonic abilities, Spensa is forever changed. However, the the fate of humanity and the entire galaxy hangs in the balance. The final installment in the Skyward series will either deliver freedom to humanity or … its everlasting downfall.

Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction, Spaceships and Aliens and Star Magic, Space Fantasy

12. The Deep Sky

In The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei, a thrilling sci-fi debut, a deep space mission is marred by a deadly explosion, raising doubts about the crew’s loyalty. 

Earth is collapsing, and humanity’s final hope resides in a lone ship carrying eighty elite graduates. Their mission: to birth a new generation in the depths of space. But when a fatal bomb kills three crew members and alters The Phoenix’s trajectory, suspicion falls on Asuka, the sole witness. Even before the explosion, Asuka felt like an outsider. She was the mission’s last choice, struggled in training, and represented a country she only partly knew as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. With an estranged mother and the crew turning against one another, The Phoenix becomes her sole source of connection.

Determined to preserve faith in the mission and prevent further attacks, Asuka embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind the explosion before the bomber strikes again…

Genres: Deep Space Mystery, Dark Thriller, Intrigue and Betrayal

13. In the Lives of Puppets 

In a home nestled among trees, live three robots: the caring inventor Giovanni, a somewhat mischievous nurse, and a longing vacuum. The three are joined by Victor, a human, helping them form a hidden and secure family. 

When Victor fixes a mysterious android named HAP, he uncovers a dark past connecting HAP and Giovanni—both hunters of humans. HAP inadvertently exposes their location, leading to Giovanni’s capture. To save him from being altered, Vic’s makeshift family embarks on a challenging journey across an unfamiliar land. Amid conflicting emotions, Vic must decide if love comes with conditions. 

Genres: Fantasy Science Fiction, Found Families and Ex-Murder Machines, More than a Touch of Romance

Find Your Favorite Science Fiction Books in 2023

Whether you’re looking for a light-hearted romp across the worlds unknown, or a dramatic deep-space mystery, this list has all the best new Sci Fi books of 2023. These books will make you think, make you laugh, make you cry … and make you want to dream bigger.

Look to the stars, dear readers, and keep reading. 


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