National Science Fiction Day

By Luis Diaz | January 3 2019 | Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

National Science Fiction Day takes place on January 2nd each year. Corresponding with the birth date of famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, it’s a day to celebrate great science fiction of the past and present.


In honor of this unofficial holiday, we put together an infographic that takes a look at moments when science fiction became reality.



Download this infographic as a PDF or JPEG.


Looking to build your sci-fi bookshelf? Browse some of our top picks below:


The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

“A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; The Speed of Dark actually does.” —The Washington Post Book World


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Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson

“Wilson’s work is masterfully rendered, and his fans will find Robopocalypse and The Clockwork Dynasty tie-in entries. For newcomers, there are plenty of other sometimes dark, always engaging worlds to love.” —Shelf Awareness


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The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

“Chilling. . . . A story that feels both futuristic and like an eerily familiar fable.” —The New York Times


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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

“[Wells] contrives to give over humanity into the clutches of the Impossible and yet manages to keep it down (or up) to its humanity, to its flesh, blood, sorrow, folly.” —Joseph Conrad


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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

“[A] science fiction masterpiece.”—Newsweek


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Neuromancer by William Gibson

“Science fiction of exceptional texture and vision…Gibson opens up a new genre, with a finely crafted grittiness.”—San Francisco Chronicle


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Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax

“A blistering social commentary of what the not-so-distant future of the world’s fastest-ageing society will look like—told with quiet contemplation and a lot of heart.​” —The Straits Times​ 


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The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Jeff VanderMeer, Ann Vandermeer

The Big Book of Science Fiction is exactly what it says it is, nearly 1,200 pages of stories by the genre’s luminaries. . . . [It] prizes diversity of all kinds, and translates work by several writers into English—some for the first time.” —The New York Times Book Review


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The Speed of Dark
Winner, 2004 Nebula Award--
$17.00 US
Mar 02, 2004
384 Pages
Ballantine Books

Guardian Angels and Other Monsters
From the New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse comes a fascinating and fantastic collection that explores complex emotional and intellectual landscapes at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human life. A VINTAGE BOOKS ORIGINAL.
$16.00 US
Mar 06, 2018
304 Pages

The Time Machine
Wells's genre-defining novel of time travelWhen a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.This edition includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes. Marina Warner’s introduction considers Wells’s development of the “scientific romance” and places the novel in the context of its time.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$11.00 US
May 31, 2005
128 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Left Hand of Darkness
50th Anniversary Edition
The 50th anniversary edition of Ursula K. Le Guin's classic Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel that explores the effects of gender on culture and society--with new material from David Mitchell and Charlie Jane Anders.
$10.99 US
Mar 15, 1987
Mass Market Paperback
368 Pages

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.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 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.
$19.00 US
Jul 01, 2000
336 Pages

The Big Book of Science Fiction
What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this comprehensive anthology showcases classic contributions from H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia E. Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut, alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, you’ll find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Learn about the secret history of science fiction, from titans of literature who also wrote SF to less well-known authors from more than twenty-five countries, some never before translated into English. In The Big Book of Science Fiction, literary power couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer transport readers from Mars to Mechanopolis, planet Earth to parts unknown. Immerse yourself in the genre that predicted electric cars, space tourism, and smartphones. Sit back, buckle up, and dial in the coordinates, as this stellar anthology has got worlds within worlds.
$28.00 US
Jul 12, 2016
1216 Pages