Escape Reality and Earth with These E-Reads

By Joshua Soule, Spuyten Duyvil
April 10, 2020

Whether you're a longtime fan looking for a re-read or new to the genre, here are some classic science fiction selections to help you pass the time and temporarily transport you to another reality. All of these are also available in e-book format. 


book cover

The Foundation Novels by Isaac Asimov

A classic trilogy about the downfall and rebirth of galactic civilization. Witness the rise of Hari Seldon's Foundation as the Galactic Empire collapses under its own weight.









book cover

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

A cyberpunk classic, written before the term was coined to describe the genre, sees a woman in an insane asylum communicating with the future.








book cover

American Science Fiction, 1960-1966 : Four Classic Novels

This includes Poul Anderson's classic The High Crusade about alien plans to conquer our world during the Hundred Years War. Also by Anderson, check out Orion Shall Rise, the post-apocalyptic novel featuring the Orion Project.







book cover

Tales From High Hallack : The Collected Short Stories of Andre Norton. Volume 1

From the grand dame of science fiction! Explore the limits of Andre Norton's imagination in this classic omnibus.


See also how the Cold War could have evolved into a conflict over time and space itself in The Time Traders.




book cover

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  by Douglas Adams

Wise words for this crisis from Douglas Adams: "Don't Panic." I'd rather face a Vogon demolition than this virus.










book cover

Triplanetary by EE Doc Smith

Read the origins of the Lensmen in these classic space opera novellas. The Lensmen are often cited as one possible inspiration for George Lucas' Jedi Knights.







book cover

Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

This futuristic yarn about interstellar war between Earth and its distant colonies was a Hugo winner in 1982. Follow the Company War through the eyes of the merchant crewmen just trying to make a living as they're caught in the middle of the conflict.








Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!