How do I find out what the best science fiction books are?

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Answered by: Chris, An Expert in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Category
Science fiction has long been one of the most popular forms of entertainment. In recent years, the field has become even more popular then ever, with hundreds of new books published every year. Whether you are a hardcore science fiction fan or just a casual reader, it can be difficult to wade through so many titles to find the ones that are most worth reading. How can a science fiction reader decide what to read next? Fortunately, there are a number of resources available that can help you find the best science fiction books.

One good place to start is with the various awards that are given every year to recognize the best science fiction books of the year. The two most prominent awards are the Hugo award, which is given by the fans at the World Science Fiction Convention, and the Nebula award, which is given by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America. These two awards are the best known, but there are a number of other awards as well, such as the John W. Campbell Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and many more. Lists of the winners of these awards are widely available on the internet, on sites such as the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards or Wikipedia. Many classic works of science fiction have won these awards, so picking a Hugo or Nebula winner is always a good choice.

There are also many science fiction bloggers on the internet who often post lists of their favorite books or run polls to determine which books are the best. Take a look at their blogs to see which authors they recommend most highly. If you try out a book and really like it, you may have similar tastes to this blogger, in which case you should keep an eye out to see which titles they recommend in the future.

Every year, there are several anthologies published selecting the best science fiction stories of the year. These always contain a lot of good shorter fiction, and if you enjoy a particular story, you will probably enjoy any novels that the author has written. The editors of these volumes often also include an overview of the year in science fiction, including a list of recommended novels and anthologies.

The magazine Locus is the news magazine of the science fiction field, publishing reviews, interviews, and more from around the field every month. Each February, they publish a special issue reviewing the previous year. As part of this issue, they provide a list of their recommended novels and short stories. By keeping track of these lists, you can find a lot of good reading.

Of course, the most direct way to find the science fiction books you most enjoy is just to dive right in and start reading widely in the field. Before long, you will be bound to find some books and authors that you really love. The more widely you read, the more likely it is that you will enjoy some great books.

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