Best Distant Future Science Fiction Books

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I chose not to attempt to rank these books. Instead, I just present a list of some of the best distant future science fiction books that I am aware of in no particular order. I have only included one by each author, but many of the authors have a number of great books.

House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds

Set six million years in the future, House of Suns describes a future for humanity in which the population scattered across the galaxy has split into a vast and diverse collection that can barely be seen as a single species. In this context, a "line" of clones constantly circles the entire galaxy collecting information from the myriad post-human civilizations.

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Hyperion - Dan Simmons

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

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The Golden Age - John C. Wright

The Golden Age takes place 10,000 years in the future in our solar system, an interplanetary utopian society filled with immortal humans. Within the frame of a traditional tale-the one rebel who is unhappy in utopia-Wright spins an elaborate plot web filled with suspense and passion.

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Dune - Frank Herbert

Dune is a grand epic about the struggle between different factions of humanity for control of a resource important enough to enable whoever controls it to rule the universe. In Dune, human capability still reigns supreme over even the dazzling technology of the distant future and the various factions have each adopted their own strategy for honing those capabilities. Dune is undeniably one of the very best, if not the single best, science fiction book ever written.

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Foundation - Isaac Asimov

Foundation grapples with the possibility that one day science may be able to predict the future. The master of this field of study (called psychohistory) comes to realize that the future of the species is in peril and endeavors to retreat out to the edges of the galaxy with a team of brilliant minds from which he might launch efforts to steer the course of the galaxy towards a softer landing.

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Ringworld - Larry Niven

Ringworld is a fascinating story about an oddball collection of individuals that are recruited by a highly advanced, but timid, alien species to investigate a discovery that could have serious implications for all life in the known universe. What they discover is both alien and familiar and Mr. Niven uses that plot as a vehicle to tell an adventure tale while at the same time engaging in some fascinating distant future speculation.

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A Fire Upon The Deep - Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep's plot is engaging and entertaining, but what really stands out about the book is the creative setting- the galaxy, it turns out, is stratified into rings centering on the galactic core, and in each ring, different rules of physics prevail. The closer in to the core one is, the slower things- in particular, thoughts- move. The concept is oddly scientific while at the same time being scientifically absurd, and the bizarre universe Mr. Vinge creates opens up a wealth of creative opportunities for an exciting story.

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Consider Phlebas - Iain M. Banks

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

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