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Orson Scott Card's Top Book Recommendations


Want to know what books Orson Scott Card recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Orson Scott Card's favorite book recommendations of all time.

If you own only one anthology of classic science fiction, it should be The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964. Selected by a vote of the membership of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), these 26 reprints represent the best, most important, and most influential stories and authors in the field. The contributors are a Who's Who of classic SF, with every Golden Age giant included: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Cordwainer Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, and Roger Zelazny. Other contributors are less... more
Recommended by Orson Scott Card, and 1 others.

Orson Scott CardThere is simply no better introduction to the whole history of science fiction than this book. (Source)

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Dangerous Visions

"There has never been a collection like this will entertain, infuriate, and reward you for years." --James Blish writing as "William Atheling, Jr." in Amazing Stories ..".a gigantic, shapeless, exuberant, and startling collection...These are vital, meaningful stories which probably could not have been published in the SF magazines-not because of their daring ideas, but because of their literary quality." --Damon Knight, Saturday Review "You should buy this book immediately...You should do this because this book knows perfectly well that you are seething inside." --Algis Budrys,... more
Recommended by Orson Scott Card, and 1 others.

Orson Scott CardDangerous Visions is the greatest original anthology ever created in any genre. This collection remade the field. (Source)

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The Martian Chronicles

The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.

The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.
Recommended by Orson Scott Card, and 1 others.

Orson Scott CardThis is language that is meant, like ancient Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse, to be read aloud. It contains its own music. It is music. (Source)

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Foundation/Foundation and Empire/Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation trilogy—one of the cornerstones of modern speculative fiction—in a single hardcover volume.

It is the saga of the Galactic Empire, crumbling after twelve thousand years of rule. And it is the particular story of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, the only man who can see the horrors the future has in store—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and violence that will last for thirty thousand years. Gathering a band of courageous men and women, Seldon leads them to a hidden location at the edge of the galaxy, where he hopes they can preserve human...
Recommended by Orson Scott Card, Paul Krugman, and 2 others.

Orson Scott CardIsaac Asimov wrote many good books, but this is the one that stands as his finest, and the one that most rewards periodic rereading. (Source)

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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

In 2075, the Moon is no longer a penal colony. But it is still a prison...

Life isn't easy for the political dissidents and convicts who live in the scattered colonies that make up lunar civilisation. Everything is regulated strictly, efficiently and cheaply by a central supercomputer, HOLMES IV.

When humble technician Mannie O'Kelly-Davis discovers that HOLMES IV has quietly achieved consciousness (and developed a sense of humour), the choice is clear: either report the problem to the authorities... or become friends.

And perhaps overthrow the...

Bill GatesProbably the [science fiction book] I read the most when I was younger. (Source)

Elon Musk[Elon Musk recommended this book as one of his favorite books about space.] (Source)

Orson Scott CardRobert A Heinlein is, quite seriously, the creator of modern science fiction, in the way that Jane Austen is the creator of the modern novel. (Source)

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