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The Best Science Fiction Stories For Teens

Updated on August 19, 2014

Why Science Fiction

Science Fiction Sci-Fi or SF as the real fans call it is a great genre for readers of all ages to escape into. It has been around for a long time and some of the best is also some of the oldest. The problem is that most publishers place SF books into the Juvenile or YA category as they think adults don't want to read them. This is untrue and an insult to the real fans out there. With this said the positioning of these books into the YA category makes them easy to get hold of for the younger reader. But the problem is getting them interested in the older books. With Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Divergence all fighting for the YA readership it is hard for the older books to shine. It is up to parents to introduce their children to the best of the old guard and teachers should to. I remember the day I was introduced to the work of Harry Harrison by my college English teacher, I wish I'd known about him before that time, you will see why later.

What Does SF Need to Get Teens Hooked?

SF needs action, well YA fiction needs it in general as it is an essential hook to keep them reading. Each chapter needs to end at a point where there is still more to come and make the reader aware that reading on will bring more action their way. A lot of the modern works have managed to do this. Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are great examples. But sometimes the older fiction can be a little slow and outdated. There are however plenty of great older books out there that have stood the test of time and become classics.

Essential Ingredient's to Make a Great YA Book (most Genre's)

  • A Great Interesting Plot
  • Lots of Action
  • Great Realistic Characters that the reader can relate to

Now Lets Get Down To Business

Now lets take a look at some great Sub-genre's and the great Books and Stories within them.

Time Travel Fiction

Time Travel Fiction is a story where the main character/s travel forward or back in time. This can be be means of a Machine or Unexplained Phenomena. Some of the Greatest writers have tried their hand at this type of story and it is still popular for writers and readers today.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

This book is one of the oldest and best in the Genre published in 1895. It concerns an inventor who creates a time machine and then travels forward in time. It deals with society and the divide between two classes of people.

Other Books By H.G.Wells

The Island of Dr Moreau

War of the Worlds


H.G. Wells

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. He married twice and had numerous affairs. He first published The Time Machine under the title of The Chronic Argonauts in a school magazine that he had founded

Sequels by Other Authors

The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter

This story was commissioned by the Wells estate to mark the Centenary of the original story.

The story revolves around the Time Traveler trying to get back to Weena however he finds that because he told his story, he has changed the future. Stephen Baxter is another great SF Author who we will revisit later in the list.

The Man Who Loved Morlocks by David J. Lake

This story also concerns the Time Travelers return to the future. Again he cannot get back to Weena.

Other Time Travel Stories

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This book predates The Time Machine by over 50 years. It concerns a man who does not believe in the spirit of Christmas. He is visited by spirits who take him on a journey through his life to help him change.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Released a year before The Chronic Argonauts this book takes you from the 19th Century to King Arthur's Court.

Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis Nowlan

This is the story that eventually became Buck Rogers. The original work concerns Anthony Rogers, a War Vet who by 1927 was working for American Radioactive Gas Corporation. When he is investigating Gas in a cave there is an explosion and he is knocked out. The gas keeps him in a state of suspended animation and he does not wake up for nearly 500 years.

Later versions of the story have Anthony now known as Buck as an Astronaut who worked for NASA.

Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov

This story concerns a retired Taylor who is sent forward in time.

Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

The newest set of books in this section. See link to the right for a review of the first book. They are also the ones pacifically written for the YA audience.

Space Opera

Space Opera stories revolve around life in space or on another world. The Star Wars Movies are classified into this Genre. You will often find that an Author will write a series of books in this Genre that are all connected in one way or another. Basically they will write a complete history of a far off world or about the whole of a voyage by a Space Ship and its Crew like in Star Trek.

The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov

At first this Series started out as eight short stories that developed into a Trilogy of books which were published in the 1950's.

These stories were:

Foundation

Foundation and Empire

Second Foundation

Many years later in 1982 a fourth book in the series was published.

This book was called Foundation's Edge

Asimov published another sequel called Foundation and Earth before publishing two prequels called Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation respectively.

Asimov went further as he not only created an alien world and civilization but he also tied his other works into the series. I will talk about his Robot Series later in the article.

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