Sci-fi Mysteries

Staff Picks

Sci-fi Mysteries

Two great genres combined

I love “genre fiction”. Specifically, I love mystery, romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. I would estimate that about 98% of my reading in the past year has been in one of those genres, so it’s safe to say that I really love genre fiction. So much so that sometimes I like to add a little more genre to my genre fiction - I’m talking about sci-fi mysteries. That’s right, there’s nothing better than putting two of my favorite genres together in one delicious package. If you, too, are a genre lover, here are some sci-fi mystery novels to try!


Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey.

In the future, humanity has spread to colonize Mars, the moon, and the asteroid belt. Tensions between them are always simmering, and against that backdrop two mysteries unfold together. Jim Holden and his crew find a derelict ship that reveals a dangerous secret. Detective Miller, meanwhile, is searching for a missing girl. When the two threads combine, they discover answers that may threaten the entire galaxy.


Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

Six members of a space ship crew awake from cloning vats, with no memory of the last 26 years. Their former bodies are scattered, dead, throughout the ship and the ship’s AI is broken. With only six crew aboard, this locked-room mystery in space requires the crew to piece together the last 26 years and find the killer (or killers) among them.


Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.

Try some sci-fi noir. Four hundred years from now, humanity has taken to the stars and settled in far-flung reaches of space. But it isn’t all flying cars and medical miracles; even the future isn’t free of divisions of race, religion, and class. In this cyberpunk novel, Takeshi Kovacs is revived into a new body and hired to solve a murder for the most elite of the elite, a mystery that throws him into the heart of the divide between the haves and the have-nots. 


Lock In by John Scalzi.

Fifteen years in the future, a pandemic sweeps across the globe. The virus, a mere cold for most people, leaves 1% of its survivors “locked in” - mentally conscious, but completely unable to move. A massive scientific endeavor follows, resulting in various technologies to allow those locked in to escape their bodies. Chris, our protagonist, is locked in and uses a robot body to navigate the world. However, on Chris’s first day on the job as a rookie FBI agent in Washington, DC, a victim is found murdered using the very technology used by the locked in. This one has been a tough sell lately, I admit, but it’s a light and fun read with very little similarity to our current predicament and many fun DC shoutouts.  


The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.

You’ve heard of post-apocalyptic sci-fi; this is pre-apocalyptic. Hank Palace is a homicide detective, in a world that has six months left before destruction. With an asteroid set to collide with the earth, what’s the point of solving murders? Hank is certainly the only one who seems to care when a suspicious suicide turns up. Under the looming threat of the asteroid, Hank can’t help but investigate