When you’ve got a good audiobook, you can’t help but feel like you know its characters. You also get a real sense of their motivations and feelings with the free sci-fi audiobooks. To discover more, you could read the book in print or on your Kindle or phone; however, who has time for that? So next time you need to get through a new sci-fi novel without losing your sanity, check out these awesome audiobooks that will blow your mind.
Ready Player One
In the future, “Ready Player One” focuses on a boy named Wade Watts. A bit of an introvert, he prefers to escape his small home by immersing himself in the virtual world known as OASIS. When he finds out the creator of this world has died and left behind a cryptic message, he embarks on an epic quest to win control of OASIS. Along the way, Wade has to dodge corporate greed and deal with questionable real-life friends and foes while escaping three villains who want him dead. This sci-fi audiobook is very amazing.
Nigerian writer Nnedi Okorafor ’s debut novel, “Binti,” tells the story of Binti, an African-born astronaut who must return to her home planet with the help of a crew and a few alien friends. As you can imagine, something goes wrong, and Binti finds herself in trouble. Luckily, she has a few allies on her side, like scientist Meeko, who works to help her understand what is happening on Earth.
The Himba, Binti’s narration claims, are a “tribe of people who go about in skins and beads, living a life of herding goats on the stony plains.” While the Himba aren’t the distant figures depicted here, Binti is nevertheless more like a superhero than a typical student. But considering this is her first time off of Earth, it makes sense that she oversimplifies things.
The Time Machine
This steampunk classic makes time travel seem so simple. Wells’s narrator discovers a strange, box-shaped device that allows him to see far into the future. Naturally, he is interested in figuring out what it can do and how it works, so he rides the machine for an hour or two into the future. Surprisingly, the traveler discovers that his world has been taken over by a race of creatures who seem rather familiar to us.
This sci-fi audiobook is a great example of science fiction from an older time when people didn’t take things as literally as they do today. You’ll still discover some sci-fi cliches, but Wells presents them with such a humorous air that they become comical. You can also say that this is the best sci-fi audiobook series.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Stephen Fry and Douglas Adams: you’ve got to love the combination of these two names, especially when you’re talking about the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Unfortunately, I never got to hear him narrate this audiobook. He died of a heart attack at age 48, leaving Fry behind, who is still very good in his own right.
As probably everyone knows by now, in these sci-fi audiobooks, the plot of Hitchhiker’s Guide is a madcap, science-fiction tale that follows Arthur Dent as he tries to survive through a galaxy that makes no sense. As Dent begins his journey with Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox, he comes across all sorts of strange creatures and beings that capture his imagination. The funny thing is, even though we know how the story ends, each listener gets a new adventure with their tiny part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
The Fifth Season
Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel, “The Fifth Season” takes place on a planet that is wracked by various natural disasters. These events could include “an ice age, a flood, or an earthquake.” As you can imagine, the people on this planet need to be highly skilled to make it through these varied types of disasters—especially in the fifth season.
As the novel begins, we learn that Oreg is an orogene who has been able to sense when these disasters are coming. She serves as the official “Breaker” to help her people prepare for what they must do to survive. Of course, some of her people don’t take it seriously and try to stay out of her way.
The book is substantial, meaning you won’t get through this in a night. But the narrator Amrit Narula makes the book sound all the more realistic. So, get the audiobook from Audible, cuddle up with a blanket, and listen to this great sci-fi novel that will keep you up late.
Set in the 2080s, “Artemis” takes place on the Moon. The story focuses on Jazz Bashara, a porter who hauls anything and everything for people. For example, she once helped smuggle some coke up to the Moon. Artemis is an important book for sci-fi fans interested in this.
This is a great audiobook to listen to if you’re looking for something different from the typical sci-fi fare you’re used to. The narrator Jack Hawkins brings the audiobook to life with his distinct voice and narration style. It is one of the top sci-fi audiobooks.
Author Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” is another Hugo Award for Best Novel winner. It takes place on Mars and follows Darrow, a man who works in the mines on Mars. His life quickly changes when he is given a chance to become one of the ruling class after his wife is murdered. Darrow must prove to others that he should be part of this new society.
The second book in this series is “Golden Son” and will be released later this year. You can expect a grand space opera with lots of action and suspense. I got halfway through before switching to the Kindle version because it took me forever to get through it on the best sci-fi series audiobooks.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
Robert Johansson, a wealthy Silicon Valley billionaire, hires a team of AI analysts to help him control his mind. These people work in teams and call themselves Bob. However, they aren’t all like this; some are more “human” than others. Johansson is the only Bob with an authentic consciousness and the group leader at this point. His wife, Marya, is also very important to him, so she works with Bob.
This storyline is high-stakes sci-fi that explores ethical issues for artificial intelligence and robots (AI).
A sci-fi list wouldn’t be complete without at least one alien book, and “Dawn” is an excellent choice. This book is a great example of how far sci-fi has come in the last 20 years.
The story begins on an alien planet with a young woman who knows nothing about her origins. Instead, she lives in a peaceful, small village where she can do what she pleases. However, her simple life becomes worse when war comes to her planet, and she is taken away from everything she knew as a child. The rest of the book follows humanity as it tries to repopulate on Earth after the nuclear war that killed most of them some time ago. This one is the best sci-fi audiobook of all time.
The Book of M
With dual narration by Daniel Philpott and Allison Hiroto, “The Book of M” is a really good audiobook that takes place in a world where magic is just a part of life. In this world, gods reveal themselves as people are born, and they can change the fate of their lives when they reach maturity.
As the story begins, we meet our protagonist Max, who discovers one day that he has magical powers. He uses these powers to help his wife and daughter but at a great cost to himself as it is the best sci-fi fantasy audiobook.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Now renowned as a film and a classic literary novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is as relevant today as it was when it first came out. The book follows Offred, a woman living in what she believes is the new American Republic. In reality, her life is nothing like she imagined at all. Rather than the “Great Republic” that she thought of, the government has become an oppressive one where women are treated extremely badly.
This has not changed much since the book came out, so I highly recommend listening to this one on audiobook rather than reading it digitally.
Originally published in 1985, this sci-fi classic is part of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Saga” trilogy. The series is dense and full of action, so the audio version of it is almost criminal. Series like this are better experienced in audio form because certain phrases can be hard to hear when you read them out loud.
Set in the future, “Ender’s Game” follows Ender Wiggin as he trains to become commander of one of Earth’s military colonies. At the same time, he has to balance his time studying with winning a war against an alien race known as the Buggers, who have secretly taken over their planet.
The Three-Body Problem
Originally published and wildly popular in China, The Three-Body Problem is now an audiobook best seller in the States. The story takes place in the Solar System, where humans have discovered an alien civilization. They have a problem, however, in that it’s taking too long for them to get any answers from these aliens due to the distance between them.
This story focuses on Ye Wenjie, a scientist the government orders to spy on alien counterparts to learn their secrets. She spends the first half of this book with the scientists before she ends up working for the government. This is a really good sci-fi novel that’s both thought-provoking and entertaining.
The Girl with All the Gifts
This best sci-fi audiobook entry doubles as a top choice for horror enthusiasts. Set in the future, this book takes place during an apocalyptic event that nearly wiped out the human race. Those who have survived have been forced to live in underground shelters under strict control. Society has shifted so much that most people are wary of any new addition to their community.
This book follows Melanie, a child trapped in a world without people and a face. She has gone to school on her own and learned some t ings but is still very curious about other human beings, even though she can’t find any of them. The story is interesting and relies heavily on imagery and description for its moods.