When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Science fiction stories have been entertaining readers for decades, from iconic reads like “Jurassic Park” to epic space adventures that take us across galaxies, through time, and in between dimensions. Science fiction classics will always have a place in readers’ hearts, but new science fiction releases offer more and more mind-bending dystopias, speculations, and unique beings beyond our wildest imaginations.
Goodreads is the world’s largest platform for readers to rate, review, and recommend their favorite books, so we turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank the best new science fiction releases of 2022. These titles are ranked by how often they’ve been added to readers’ “Want to Read” shelves and had to have been published this year to make the list.
“The School for Good Mothers” by Jessamine Chan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.19
With over 21,000 ratings on Goodreads, “The School for Good Mothers” is the most popular science fiction novel amongst Goodreads reviewers so far in 2022. Though Frida Liu is already struggling in nearly every aspect of her life, everything gets monumentally worse when a lapse in judgment leaves her in the hands of a Big Brother-like institution that will determine whether or not Frida is a “good” mother and thus, whether or not she is worthy of keeping her daughter.
“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.25
Readers are loving Emily St. John Mandel’s latest release, an expansive story of three people in vastly different situations across time and space, from the Canadian wilderness in 1912 to an Earthly book tour in the 22nd century to a detective sent to investigate an anomaly but discovers much more. From the bestselling author of “Station Eleven,” “Sea of Tranquility” is a playfully dynamic novel that begins with quickly shifting timelines but transforms into a masterful and gripping narrative.
“How High We Go in the Dark” by Sequoia Nagamatsu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.99
In 2030, researchers discover the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who seems to have died of an ancient virus, accidentally unleashing a plague that will devastate and reshape humanity for generations. Told in a series of intricate and interwoven stories, readers love the compassionate and ambitious nature of this 2022 release.
“The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $19.69
Own Your Unconscious is a revolutionary technology that allows people to access, download, and share every memory they’ve ever had. Though some have embraced the technology wholeheartedly, others see its greatest consequences. Told through a collection of linked narratives across different lives, families, and decades, “The Candy House” offers an intriguing science fiction novel about humanity’s need for connection.
“The Kaiju Preservation Society” by John Scalzi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.99
From the author of the bestselling “Interdependency” series comes a new standalone novel set in New York City at the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. When Jamie makes a food delivery to an old acquaintance, he’s pulled into what he’s told is an “animal rights organization,” though the animals are not from our Earth. Now part of the Kaiju Preservation Society, Jamie discovers the dinosaur-like creatures that roam an alternate, human-free dimension of Earth in this new novel that’s an exciting mix of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and comedy.
“Tell Me an Ending” by Jo Harkin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.35
“Tell Me an Ending” follows four characters who are part of thousands across the world that have just learned they once chose to have a memory removed, but now have the opportunity to get it back. As psychologist Noor works to reinstate people’s lost memory, she digs deeper into the technology in this speculative, dystopian sci-fi novel about the consequences of forgetting.
“Dead Silence” by S.A. Barnes, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.59
When Claire Kovalik and her crew pick up a strange distress signal in space, they find the Aurora, a luxury space-liner that famously disappeared on its maiden voyage over 20 years ago. As they begin to investigate, this fast-paced sci-fi horror novel unfolds with paranormal elements and terrifying turns in a story that’s been described as “The Titanic” meets “The Shining.”
“The Paradox Hotel” by Rob Hart, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.49
In The Paradox Hotel, the super-rich gather before and after their time-traveling trips at the nearby timeport. As head of security for the hotel and former security for the US government’s time travel organization, January Cole is puzzled why she can see what others can’t, though her mental state and grip on reality are rapidly declining from traveling so drastically through time. When dark secrets and a possible killer emerge, January must uncover what is happening and why as her past, present, and future collide.
“The Starless Crown” by James Rollins, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.10
In this first book of a new science fiction/adventure series, a gifted young student foretells an apocalyptic future, for which she is sentenced to death. On the run with a banded team of outcasts including a soldier, a prince, and a thief, she must work with the others to uncover the dark secrets of the past to save the future of their world.
“Goliath” by Tochi Onyebuchi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.59
Set in 2050, “Goliath” explores a slowly emptying futuristic Earth where the wealthy have abandoned the planet in favor of space colonies, leaving the less fortunate to fend for themselves in a rapidly deteriorating landscape. This speculative, literary science fiction novel features several narratives in a story about race, class, and gentrification.
“Hunt the Stars” by Jessie Mihalik, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29
Desperately in need of enough credits to keep her crew together, bounty hunter Octavia Zarola agrees to take a job from her sworn enemy, Torran Fletcher, even though he insists on taking his crew along as well. As the crews set out on the hunt, Octavia begins to suspect a deeper, more sinister plot in which she may be a pawn, leaving her to decide where her loyalties lie.
“End of the World House” by Adrienne Celt, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $25.49
In Paris on a last-hurrah friends’ trip before an upcoming move, Bertie and Kate are offered a private tour of the Louvre by a strange man and soon find themselves alone in the museum. When the two get separated, Bertie finds herself in the middle of a strange mystery that forces her to confront the control she has over her own life in this genre- and mind-bending story set in a world on the edge of an apocalypse.
“The Memory Librarian” by Janelle Monáe, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $19.65
“The Memory Librarian” is a collection of science fiction short stories that bring one of Janelle Monáe’s albums to life with stories of liberation in a futuristic, totalitarian landscape. In collaboration with other talented writers, the themes of this read are expressed in stories of technology, memory, queerness, race, and love.
“City of Orange” by David Yoon, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $27
Loved for its character-driven narrative, “City of Orange” is the story of a man who wakes up in an apocalyptic, desolate landscape with only injuries and vague memories to guide him forward. As he tries to survive, the man encounters a young boy who seems to be the key to understanding where he is, how he got there, and what really happened.
“The Blood Trials” by N.E. Davenport, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $25.49
When Ikenna’s grandfather, the former Legatus, is murdered, she is certain that someone on the Tribunal ordered his death and is determined to uncover who. To get closer to the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials, a brutal and violent initiation with a staggering mortality rate, and faces unprecedented dangers and prejudices, all for the chance of justice.
“Light Years From Home” by Mike Chen, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.10
15 years ago, Evie and Kass’s dad and brother disappeared on a camping trip and though their father returned days later, convinced he’d been abducted by aliens, their brother remained missing. Evie never stopped searching for Jakob, so when her UFO network discovers a new event, she investigates and discovers her brother has finally returned — and has the FBI close on his tail.
“The Impossible Us” by Sarah Lotz, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99
In this science-fiction love story, Nick and Bee’s paths cross over a misdirected email and sparks fly as they continue to send messages back and forth. When they decide to meet in person, nothing goes according to plan and it seems Nick and Bee are impossibly farther apart than they could have imagined.
“Mickey7” by Edward Ashton, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.07
Mickey7 is an Expendable, an entirely disposable and replaceable person sent on a dangerous expedition to colonize Niflheim, ready to be replaced once again the moment this iteration of himself dies. When Mickey7 goes missing on a mission, his colony has already replaced him with a new clone, Mickey8. Knowing he’ll be thrown in the recycler if his clone is discovered, Mickey7 must keep their existence a secret as the threat of native species and unsuitable human conditions on Niflheim threaten everyone’s survival.
“Primitives” by Erich Krauss, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.66
Set 30 years after The Great Fatigue ended most of humanity and left the human race in a primitive state, two people make shocking and gruesome discoveries a world apart. As Seth and Sarah find themselves in a deadly race to save humanity against fear, reality, and other survivors, their fates will intertwine in this new post-apocalyptic tale.
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.