9 Phenomenal Sci-Fi Novels by Contemporary Authors

Readers and authors alike have been intrigued by science fiction for generations. The future holds endless possibilities, from deep space travel to powerful new technologies, and speculating about what the next few decades (or even centuries) might be like is both exciting and entertaining. The nine novels listed here are written by contemporary authors who can skillfully present you with worlds full of robots, spaceships, and time travel. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Phenomenal Sci-Fi Novels by Contemporary Authors

Title Author More by the Author
1. The Ophiuchi Hotline John Varley Steel Beach
2. Tomorrow's Kin Nancy Kress If Tomorrow Comes
3. Rewrite Gregory Benford The Berlin Project
4. Diving into the Wreck Kristine Kathryn Rusch City of Ruins
5. Barsk Lawrence M. Schoen The Moons of Barsk
6. Arena Mode Blake Northcott Assault or Attrition
7. The Red Hourglass Ashley Capes The Ruby Heart
8. Breakaway Michelle Diener Breakeven
9. Afterburn Scott Nicholson Earth Zero

Fun Activities For Sci-Fi Fans

5 Classic Works of Sci-Fi

The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many famous writers who came before them and influenced the genre. Here are a few works that made science fiction what it is today:

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. Dune by Frank Herbert
  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  5. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

How Science Fiction Can Influence the Future

In Depth

Whether it's alien lifeforms, time travel, or a post-apocalyptic world, the extraordinary phenomena and advanced technologies that fill science fiction stories can not only entertain readers, but make them think about what the real future may hold for humanity. If you're a fan of sci-fi, check out these nine phenomenal novels written by contemporary authors, listed here in no particular order.

First on the list at #1, is "The Ophiuchi Hotline" by John Varley. This novel takes readers to the distant future, where aliens hold Earth in captivity, and the only way for humans to survive is to flee to the Moon. For 400 years, humans have been receiving survival assistance from a star called "Ophiuchus," through a constant stream of data that enables them to acquire knowledge about developing new technologies. But when the mysterious helpers suddenly sends the bill for their services, the Earthlings face yet another threat.

Next at #2, is "Tomorrow's Kin" by Nancy Kress. An alien Embassy ship has landed in New York Harbor, causing panic and speculation. But the extraterrestrials are simply requesting to speak with the United Nations. They cannot leave their ship, due to Earth's gravity and atmosphere. Dr. Marianne Jenner is one of the scientists who gets invited to the ship, along with the UN Secretary General, and other ambassadors. When the truth is revealed, it's up to Dr. Jenner and the rest of the team to figure out how to prevent a catastrophe.

But the extraterrestrials are simply requesting to speak with the United Nations.

Coming in at #3, is "Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape" by Gregory Benford. Charlie is a history professor in his late forties going through a midlife crisis. After he gets into a car accident, he wakes up inside his sixteen-year-old body, back in 1968. He discovers others just like him, such as Albert Einstein, Robert Heinlein, and Philip K. Dick. He must figure out how to best utilize this advantage, and change history for the better.

At #4, is "Diving into the Wreck" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Boss is a spacecraft historian. She finds joy in exploring abandoned ships, and seeking stories of the past from artifacts. One day, she encounters a gigantic, ancient, man-made spacecraft, too old to have been able to travel faster than light. As she takes a dive with her team to explore the wreck, they uncover secret treasures that come with a bloody price.

Coming in at #5, is "Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard" by Lawrence M. Schoen. The story is set in a post-human world, and the successors are talking, sentient animals. One of these species is the "Fant," who are anthropomorphic elephants adept at developing medicine, such as a drug called "koph," which allows users to communicate with the deceased. Jorl, a Fant speaker, is determined to learn the past secrets of his friend who committed suicide. Pizlo, on the other hand, is led by his visions of the future. The two must join forces, unlock the truths they both possess, and prevent the shadow group from stealing the koph.

Pizlo, on the other hand, is led by his visions of the future.

In at #6, is "Arena Mode" by Blake Northcott. Matthew Moxon is exceptionally smart, but despite his above-average intellect, he lives a low-key life. When an accident lands him in the hospital, he finds out that he has a tumor in his brain. As he struggles to find a way to afford surgery, he ends up joining the "Arena Mode," a sporting event where superhumans battle against each other to win a multi-billion dollar cash prize. Since his opponents have superpowers, his chances of winning in his current condition seems slim to none. Still, he is determined to outlast his competitors, and uncover the mysteries hiding in the arena.

In at #7, is "The Red Hourglass: A Steampunk Adventure" by Ashley Capes. Siblings Thomas and Mia are trapped in a desolate land. The tyrant King Williams is after Mia for her supernatural ability of foresight. As they try to flee, they are pursued by a steam-powered war machine designed to recapture anyone who tries to escape. When they meet a group of rebels and hear about a lost airship, they begin to feel more hopeful about their situation.

At #8, is "Breakaway" by Michelle Diener. Sofie lives under hostile conditions, even though her father is the architect who built Felicitos, a way station for the planet Garmen's mineral wealth. Sofie works for the Resistance movement, which helps improve the lives of the unfortunate and impoverished. She then comes across Leo, a crime lord who swindles powerful companies. The two are forced to team up when they find out about a secret alliance that will endanger everyone they care about.

Sofie works for the Resistance movement, which helps improve the lives of the unfortunate and impoverished.

And lastly at #9, is "Afterburn" by Scott Nicholson. When a solar storm wipes out an entire civilization, the aftermath five years later is the spawning of a mutant race. Rachel is a half-mutant who has survived along with her family. As they slowly run out of food, they must choose whether to stay in hiding or join other survivors. But the nuclear plant radiation is transforming the world around them, and threats of a military attack get in the way. Rachel must decide whether she wants to live as a human survivor, or utilize the mutant way of life in order to thrive.