Who says science fiction can't be funny? Science Fiction comedy has been a long standing staple of the SciFi community. You may be surprised to find that SciFi plots often jive well with comedic tones. What may be funny at first can easily be spun into an existential crisis or an explanation for a seemingly unexplainable plot point. These funny SciFi books definitely use comedy as a vessel to portray life lessons and explore plot devices. This list contains some of the most influential classics in science fiction history as well as a mix of more modern genre work.
And the cool thing is... If you want to check out any of these titles for free, you can do so with Audible's one month free trial.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Mere moments before Earth becomes demolished (to make way for a new intergalactic freeway), Arthur Dent is whisked away off planet by his friend Ford Prefect. It turns out Ford is a researcher for a revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who had just been posing on Earth as an out of work actor. Together, these two embark on a wondrous journey across the galaxy picking a motley crew of adventurers including Zaphod Beeblebrox--the galaxy's zany three armed president--, Marvin (the chronically depressed robot), and Veet Voojagig--a former graduate students obsessed with his lost ballpoint pens.
Vonnegut's novel is an anti-war story based around World War II experiences and the story of a one Billy Pilgrim from his days as an American soldier and chaplain's assistant. A central idea lies around Billy surviving becoming a POW after the firebombing of Dresden-- an event in which the author survived himself. This classic piece of literature is not only considered fiction, but semi-autobiographical. A very unique must-read.
Martians, Go Home
The Martians have landed. But they're not here to conquer. They are here to amuse themselves. Through the Martians sheer annoyance, the Earth begins grinding to a stand still. Only Luke Devereaux, a failed science fiction writer, may hold the key to sending these annoying neighbors home.
The Improbable Rise of Singularity Girl
Who says life has to stop after death? Helen Roderick was actually excited by the comfort of. After passing and being simulated by a monstrous computer bank, life was going to be easier. She could always pursue that higher education she always wanted. But things aren't always as they seem. In her new life, she grows alienated from her old one, has no legal rights, and is losing her valuable research. But when a nuke detonates over Manhattan... things take an interesting turn. Helen devotes her new found energies to discovering what's behind the looming threat of human extinction.
There Goes the Galaxy
Psychology grad student Bertram Ludlow has found himself in the midst of a pickle. He just may be suffering a mental breakdown. And now he's discovering just how mind-boggling the galaxy can be. A galaxy where crime is art, communications rely on the power of a gumball, and androids demand a better work/life balance. And to top it off... he's the only one in the Universe who can save the Earth from extreme world makeover by inter-stellar landlords.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be one of the expendables? Like a Redshirt from the Starship Enterprise? This Star Trek inspired spoof takes you into the life of one of these background crew. From being beaten within an inch of your life one week and perfectly healthy the next, how can this be? Face your very existential crisis within this Hugo Award winning novel by John Scalzi.
The Road to Mars
Written by comedy great Eric Idle of Monty Python fame, this book does not joke around about its comedy. The plot follows around Carlton, the robot secretary to two interplanetary comedians. Through their collective bumps, scrapes, and adventure Carlton slowly begins to discover just what it means to be a comedian and the true nature of comedy itself.
When entertainment lawyer Nick Carter receives a visit at his office from two extraterrestrial beings, he believes it to be a joke. Turns out joke's on him. Carly and Frampton are there to inform Nick that the rest of universe has fallen hopelessly in love with American pop music. So much so that the ensuing copyright violations and fines have bankrupted the entire universe. And now... much to the dismay of most, the humans own everything.
Middle-aged, divorced, and overweight Buffy Murphy is not the most optimistic around. But after discovering a talking bullfrog after a walk in woods, she determines... What does she have to lose? But instead of Buffy kissing this princely frog, the "prince" smooches her teenage daughter instead. Next thing you know her daughter and the prince have vanished to the land of Fair Peril where Buffy must travel to save her daughter.
The Artificial Kid
The plant Reverie sure is a polarizing one. It is either Heaven or Hell depending on where you live upon it. The mega rich live in glitzy homes orbiting well above the planets surface, while those not as fortunate bear the brunt of hell on the ground. The worst part about it is that the rich quell their boredom with the homemade sex and violence tapes of those down below. And the most famous of all of these "entertainers" is known as the Artificial Kid. An unbeaten combat artist who has recently stumbled upon a conspiracy of the antiquity of Reverie. And that's only the beginning.
In a parallel universe known as Discworld, Santa Claus (aka Hogfather) is the most beloved around. But what happens when the Hogfather is abducted by a notorious Assassin's Guild and on Hogswatchnight nonetheless? That's when Death himself steps up to assume the mantle of Hogfather. With Death now driving the fat man's sleigh, all Hell breaks lose. Luckily, this prompts Susan, Death's granddaughter, to unravel the whole mess before the entire holiday season becomes completely destroyed.
The Makeshift Rocket
How awesome would it be to travel the depths of space? How much better would it be if that Rocket were fueled by an endless supply of beer? Spaceship engineer, Knud Axel Syrup was living that dream until being held captive by a group of Irish revolutionaries after a routine trip to a terraformed world. Now, Syrup finds himself caught up in a rival gang war between the Irish Shamrocks and their rivals, the Anglians. But with all that beer... things can't be too bad, right?
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins along a ragtag crew of miscreants aboard the Wayfarer. The crew much like the ship have each seen better days and their fair share of patch ups. Their life is led exactly to what Rosemary wants: chaos and craziness. That is until the crew is offered a job of a lifetime. Suddenly, the crew must actually work together in order to survive their lucrative journey to the vast corners of the universe.
Imagine walking through a castle fully equipped with 144,000 doors. Seems confusing, right? Things only take a turn for the Topsy-Turvy when each of these doors lead to a completely different place and time. When entering through these doors, you then become a guest in each of these realities lending to a slew of outrageous adventures. Are you strong enough to brave the Castle Perilous?
Simon Snow is the Chosen One. And he's the worst Chosen One ever to be chosen. Well, according to his evil, vampire roommate Baz that is. But Baz does have a point. Simon's mentor is constantly avoiding him, his girlfriend has left him, and there is a magic-eating monster running around terrorizing the place and wearing Simon's face. And to make matters worse... half the time Simon can barely operate his wand. What's a Chosen One to do at Watford School of Magicks?
What do you do when you accidentally unleash the scourge of humanity? That's a question answered by Austin Szerba and his best Robbie when they set loose an army of six-foot tall praying mantises in sleepy town Iowa. But to make matters worse... Austin is primarily concerned with one thing. His constant 16-year old libido. Austin is at war with himself, his hormones, and sexual orientation. Both his girlfriend Shann and friend Robbie both fall victim to Austin's excessive horniness. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about the army of six foot tall insects.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here
We all know about the Chosen Ones. The great ones who stories are told over and over. How they braved the perils and dangers to save the world. But what about the normal folk? Take Mikey for instance. All he wants to do is graduate school and convince his crush to fall in love with him all before someone or something blows up the high school. Again. Sometimes the end of the world just isn't that exciting anymore.
Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller
Simon is a clever and scheming young man full of tongue-in-cheek humor and witty charm. And when offered a chance at Otherworld, a place where all your dreams come true... He takes a jump right into the game. But soon SImon finds out Otherworld isn't just a game. It is the next phase of reality. And it's going to affect humanity in a big, big way.
Catherynne M. Valente
100 years ago marked the end of the Sentience Wars. And out of those grew a rather curious tradition. A grand performance, a postmodern day Circus Maximus was born. Advanced civilizations from all over the galaxy now gather one a cycle to portray their particular gifts to the universe whether it be through beauty, gladiatorial arts, or song and dance. Now it's time for humanity to join up with the greater beings of the galaxy and enter into the games. Succeed and be counted among the greats. Fail and be exterminated. And now, Mankind's destiny lies on the backs of Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes and their ability to rock.
In Minor Universe 31, it's common for individuals to hop into a time machine and try to change the past. To try and help themselves. As you can only imagine, this can becoming rather confusing and dangerous. That's where Charles Yu comes into play. Charles is known as a time-travel technician whose job is to assist people travelling through time. But that does not mean he doesn't have his own issues. When not helping others, Charles makes use of his time by searching for his father. The man who invented time travel then immediately vanished. Charles soon discovers that the answers he is looking for may lie within a book, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.
The Eyre Affair
In 1985 Great Britain time travel has become routine, cloned pets are all the rage (particularly the Dodo bird), and literature is taken deathly serious. Literally. But as long as the rules of literature are followed and taken seriously... it's business as usual. Until one day, kidnappers start abducting some of literature's most iconic characters. And when Jane Eyre is taken from Bronte's masterpiece, Special Literary Detective Thursday Next is put on the case with the biggest challenge of her career.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Quirky detective Dirk Gently has but one mission. To save humanity through his holistic detective agency. Although he doesn't quite know how or why. But he does come across a cast of characters and adventures involving ghosts, time travel and time machines, eccentric computer geniuses, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and an obligatory number of missing cats.
Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
There's getting drunk, and then... there's getting drunk. After starting his birthday night out on a pub crawl around London, Lister finds himself in a burger joint on one of Saturn's moons armed only with a pink lady's hat, yellow waders, and a passport that reads Emily Berkenstein. So Lister did what any logical person would do in his situation. He joined the Space Corps. Now aboard the Red Dwarf, he journeys on his way back to Earth only to make a detour 3 million years into the future. As the last remaining human, things can only get more interesting for Lister.
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Ned Henry is tired. He spends all his days travelling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for some Victorian atrocity known only as the Bishop's Bird Stump all in the name of restoring the Coventry Cathedral. During his travels, he comes across another time jumper by the name of Verity Kindle. Verity has brought something back form the past that has altered time in a not so good way. And now it's up to Ned to travel with Verity back to the Victorian Age to help put things right.
The Automatic Detective
A. Lee Martinez
Mack Megaton is one tough SOB. He's a robot designed for ultra-violence in Empire City just doing his part to try and earn his citizenship. But when Mack's neighbors wind up kidnapped, Mack is thrown into a world he would rather have not been. Little green mob bosses and talking gorillas are just a few of characters Mack runs into during his adventure.
What Makes a Funny Science Fiction Book?
Funny science fiction grapples with a broad range of themes relating from time travel, to space travel, aliens, or even armies of NBA sized insects. The overlying them though is that humor and comedy are used to help convey the author's direction. This may include dark SciFi humor or that of a lighter nature.
How were these Best Funny SciFi Novels Selected?
Several of these books are classic staples of any SciFi readers diet. For instance, no reader's collection is complete without a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And Slaughterhouse Five... well that book can be found on many respected top book lists including this Top 100 of ALLTIME by Time Magazine. SciFi or Not. Quite a few of these books are tributes to other Modern contemporaries such as Carry On is for the Harry Potter series. Although they are both unique in their own special way. Some of the others have such interesting and one-of-a-kind plots such as Grasshopper Jungle and Martians, Go Home. Each one of these books holds a special place on this list.
Get These Best Funny SciFi Books for Free!
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2. If you want to try something other than Audible you could also try Playster. Playster's One Month Free Trial works with either ebooks or audiobooks. You can pay for a membership at $14.95 per month and receive unlimited books. However Playster does not offer as many book options. If you would like to listen to all of Playsters books you will need to use the premium which is $29.95. ]