Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Science Fiction Books

By June 12, 2018Authors, Literature

Neil Gaiman was speaking to the BBC’s Front Row last month about the film adaptation of his story How to Talk to Girls at Parties as it hit UK cinemas.

As many good writers know one key to great writing is a lot of reading- and Gaiman is no different. His love for writing goes hand-in-hand with reading, so the BBC asked for his favourite science fiction novels.

These are the books he decided upon…




“Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.”

Neuromancer by William Gibson

“It was the first great cyberpunk novel. It was the first time I actually felt like a future was being described that I understood.”

Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male or female at the peak of their sexual cycle. Genly Ai is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour, he reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians.”

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

“It’s a giant thought experiment that’s also a cracking good read about gender.”

“The Shadow of the Torturer is the first novel in the The Book of the New Sunseries. It is set when the earth is old and the sun is dying. The book, which was published in 1980, also counts George RR Martin and Ursula K Le Guin among its fans.” ~BBC

“In a thoroughly decadent world of the future, Severian the torturer is cast out from the torturer’s guild when he falls in love with one of his victims and allows her to die.” ~Amazon

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

“It’s set at the end of things – the sun is dying, everything is dying, and it’s glorious.”




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