8 Epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books to Read If You’re Ready for Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two is here! It’s time for Timmy C. and Zendaya to throw on their billowing robes and head back to the sands of Arrakis for more epic adventures. I was surprised that the first installment made such an impression on me – it’s so hard to get epic SFF books right, but I thought they did really well. But of course, you might want to dive into more hard sci-fi/fantasy novels with the same epic scope and political intrigue, and that’s what I’m here for.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

A secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. 

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler

Intense and thought-provoking, this post-apocalyptic narrative explores the adaptability of humanity after an alien race “rescues” them from themselves, and a dying Earth.  

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

In the near future, where rivers are drying up, detective, assassin, and spy Angel Velasquez is sent south. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with her own agenda, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north. The three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger and more corrupt than they could have imagined, and when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Years ago, Breq was Justice of Toren — a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose — to revenge herself on the many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

Set within a system of decaying world-ships traveling through deep space, this novel follows a pair of sisters who must wrest control of their war-torn legion of worlds — and may have to destroy everything they know in order to survive.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Captain Jim Holden and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship and find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for. Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Those Beyond the Wall by Micaiah Johnson

Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew and keeps things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes. Even more incomprehensible: There doesn’t seem to be a murderer. When more bodies start to turn up, Scales is tasked with finding the cause — and putting an end to it by any means necessary.