Classic sci-fi books on sale on Amazon through May 20

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Starting today and running through May 20, Amazon is holding a giant book sale with tons of great book deals.

You can get new bestsellers and hardcover classics for 40% to 60% off. And, my favorite type of book to buy and own — classic sci-fi.

I scoured through all the lists and waded through hundreds of pages of Amazon search results to bring you my top picks.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

I’m putting this book at the top of my list because it’s one of my all-time favorites, and I believe that everyone should read it. It hasn’t been made into a million movie adaptations or television shows or video games. But you know what? It should be. Hollywood, give me a call. Not to write the adaptation — I’ve never written a screenplay before, and I’d hate to be the one to ruin a book this good. But, you know, just to chat.

This paperback is on sale now for $10.49, 45% off the usual price, so there’s no excuse not to pick up a copy.

From the publisher:

Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature — a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.

Get the book on sale here.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A vision of a dystopian future that seems to be all-too near, this paperback edition is now just $8.36 — 51% off the original price. Fahrenheit 451 is the Ray Bradbury book that everyone knows and that they made a movie of. But I actually prefer The Martian Chronicles, which is also on sale today for $9.89, 48% off the original price. Bradbury’s writing is absolutely beautiful. Poetry in sci-fi form. Ray Bradbury is the author who inspired me to write, and to see writing as something beautiful.

From the publisher:

Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is a must-read for any fan of science fiction or fantasy, a crucial precursor to films like Avatar and Alien and books like Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars and Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, and a haunting prophesy of humanity’s destiny to bring our old dreams and follies along with us wherever we may venture forth.

Soar above the fossil seas and crystal pillars of a dead world in the pages of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. A milestone of American literature, Bradbury’s classic collection of interconnected vignettes about life on the red planet diverges from the War of the Worlds theme, in which humanity must defend its shores against its neighbors, for in Bradbury’s prismatic vision, humanity is the conqueror, colonizing Mars to escape an Earth devastated by atomic war and environmental catastrophe.

Get the book on sale here.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

The paperback is normally $19 but it’s $9.50 today. The hard cover is also on sale, down from $28 to $21.

This book won all the sci-fi awards and helped create the cyberpunk genre — and paved the way for how we think about the universe.

It’s a bit of a dystopian vision of the future but one well worth revisiting, especially today, when that future seems to be coming ever closer.

From the publisher:

Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer is a science fiction masterpiece—a classic that ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most potent visions of the future.

Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.

Get the book on sale here.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

And speaking of dystopian metaverse futures, this book started it all. And, today, it’s 44% off — just $10.70 for the paperback. And the hardcover is also 44% off, down to $22.60.

Myself, I prefer his book The Diamond Age. But that one, too, is on sale today — down 36% to $12.79.

But back to Snow Crash.

From the publisher:

Hiro lives in a Los Angeles where franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the autonomous city-states, where law-abiding citizens don’t dare leave their mansions.

Hiro delivers pizza to the mansions for a living, defending his pies from marauders when necessary with a matched set of samurai swords. His home is a shared 20 X 30 U-Stor-It. He spends most of his time goggled in to the Metaverse, where his avatar is legendary.

But in the club known as The Black Sun, his fellow hackers are being felled by a weird new drug called Snow Crash that reduces them to nothing more than a jittering cloud of bad digital karma (and IRL, a vegetative state).

Investigating the Infocalypse leads Hiro all the way back to the beginning of language itself, with roots in an ancient Sumerian priesthood. He’ll be joined by Y.T., a fearless teenaged skateboard courier. Together, they must race to stop a shadowy virtual villain hell-bent on world domination.

Get the book on sale here.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

And here’s another dystopian vision of the future. The hardcover is on sale now for $14.69, down 48% from its usual price. I was stunned by the book when it was first released. What a horrible, but powerful, dystopian vision of a very unlikely future! Now I see it as more of a too-scary vision of a potential near present.

The paperback is also on sale, for $9.22, but you might as well get the hardcover for just four dollars more.

The hardcover will also make a better defensive weapon. You know, just in case.

From the publisher:

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.

Get the book on sale here.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

I watched the OpenAI and Google AI announcements this week, and let me tell you, their chatbots are getting pretty darn realistic. And Philip K. Dick predicted all this back in 1968. That was before I was born. That was before the moon landing. Lyndon B. Johnson was still president and the Beatles were still together. Philip K. Dick predicted a lot of weird things. He was a pretty weird writer. I’m constantly surprised by how many of his stories got made into big-budget films.

From the publisher:

A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film Blade Runner.

One of The Atlantic’s Great American Novels of the Past 100 Years.

By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.

Get the book on sale here.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin was writing about gender fluidity all the way back in 1969 — and forging a path for feminist science fiction at a time when it was mostly a boy’s club. Both the hardcover and the paperback are on sale now. The paperback is 43% off, down to $10.89, and the hardcover is 39% off, at $15.99.

From the publisher: 

Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters…

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

Get the book on sale here.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Another classic of my childhood, and that of many other people. Now the hardcover edition is available for just $10.49, down from $15.99.

From the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game―adapted to film in 2013 starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford―is the classic Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction novel of a young boy’s recruitment into the midst of an interstellar war.

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers.

A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut―young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders.

Get the book on sale now.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

This book is a part of sci-fi history and was one of the books that made me fall in love with hard sci-fi back when I was a teenager. Was I drawn to Arthur C. Clark because I liked math and physics? Or did I like math and physics because of books like his? The world will probably never know. But, to be honest, the world probably doesn’t care.

From the publisher:

Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a science-fiction classic that has changed the way we look at the stars—and ourselves. On the moon, an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent deep into our solar system. But before they can reach their destination, things begin to go very wrong. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn at the turn of the 21st century, Arthur C. Clarke takes us on a journey unlike any other. Brilliant, compulsive, and prophetic, and the basis for the immensely influential Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man’s—and technology’s—place in the universe and lives on as a landmark achievement in storytelling.

Get the book on sale here.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

All five books for just $11.47 — down 43% from its normal price. Douglas Adams is one of my top writing inspirations. Because I’m unique and special. Just kidding — he’s probably an inspiration for 99% of writers out there.

This box set includes the books The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Mostly Harmless, and also includes the bonus story “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe.”

My favorite part of these books is the Genuine People Personalities. I just know that all our appliances are about to start talking to us in fake cheerful voices.

Get the book on sale here.

Dune Saga 6-Book Boxed Set by Frank Herbert

This series blew my mind when I first read it as a teenager, and it’s still blowing people’s minds, considering all the movie adaptations.

This six-book paperback boxed set is just $64.48 today, down from $108.

And there’s also a three-book box set for $16.28, down from $30.97. The hardcover version of that one is on an even bigger discount — down 61% from $127 to $49.81.

I don’t think I need to explain to anyone what these books are about. If you read MetaStellar, you’ve probably already read them.

But do you own them or did you, like me, just borrow them from the library? As a teenager, I couldn’t afford to buy all the books I read. As an adult, not only can I afford them, but I do a lot of Zoom meetings — I need books to fill up the shelves behind me. If you’re in the same boat, this is your lucky week.

Get the six-book box set on sale here. Get the three-book box set on sale here.

And here are a few bonus books. Maybe not classics yet, because they’re relatively recent, but definitely part of the cultural zeitgeist.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: 59% $7.35 (59% off)
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu: $6.99 (63% off)
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir:
The Dark Tower 8-Book Boxed Set by Stephen King: $68.54 (57% off)


MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

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