The Hardcover Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Discovery Flowchart of the 2010s

Adam FortunaAvatar for Adam Fortuna

By Adam Fortuna

4 min read

One of my all-time favorite introductions to science fiction when I started reading more was NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time. I remember scouring the list, researching out every book I wasn’t familiar with, and making a plan to read as many as I could.

It’s been a decade since then, and NPR decided it was time for an update. Rather than running a poll this time, they brought together a number of literary minds to come up with a new list that encompasses stand-out titles from the last decade.

The result, Your 50 favorite sci-fi and fantasy books of the past decade, is one of our favorite lists in recent memory. It draws from books with far-ranging themes and from many different backgrounds. From first contact with aliens to kids with PTSD from Narnia. From geological and caste upheaval to sciencing some $h1t. If you’re a science fiction or fantasy reader I have no doubt there’s something on this list you’ll enjoy.

Creating lists where readers can find not just topics they enjoy, but characters they can identify with is an art. NPR, and the late Petra Mayer who led the effort in particular, did an astounding job putting this list together. We are tremendously grateful for their work.

We wanted to showcase these books in an alternative way to help new readers navigate these 50 books. I loved SF Signals Infographic about the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books of all time. We thought if anyone could put together one for this new list, why not us?

Today we’re releasing this flow chart, and hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Hardcover Sci-Fi & Fantasy flowchart
Click on the image to view the full-sized version.

Here are the links to all sizes of this infographic:

  • Full-size PDF (14 MB) – We recommend this one for exploring the infographic. It’s the highest resolution version.
  • Full-size image (2 MB) – The full-size image for previewing. It’s more pixelated if you zoom in, but works well as a preview.

Please Share this Flow Chart!

Want to share this infographic on your blog or on social media? Please do!

Please feel free to embed this graphic on your blog. Please link back to this post and host this image on your own server (of course).

Since we might tweak this infographic based on feedback to improve it, we recommend you link back here so readers can get the most up-to-date version.

Explore this List

You can see the list of these books on Hardcover: NPR Top 50 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the 2010s.

If you’ve added enough ratings for Hardcover to know your tastes, you’ll be able to sort this list by Match Percentage and quickly see your personalized recommendations from this list.

Sorting this list by Match Percentage shows books I haven’t read that Hardcover thinks I’ll most enjoy.

The NPR Top 50 list sorted by Match Percentage under my Hardcover account.

If you sort by Match Percentage you’ll get an entirely different order! It’s personalized to you based on our algorithm. Give it a shot and let us know if you find something new to add to your Want to Read list.


A look behind the curtain at how we created this.

Google Sheets – All books started in Google Sheets. We added a bunch of columns for the genre, notes, and themes in order to try to group them together. Once we had them grouped into Science Fiction, Fantasy, and both, we started grouping the most similar books together.

Mind Node – Once we had the books split out, we created a mind map to organize paths to each book. This gave us a place to organize and iterate on the flow without worrying about the design.

Figma – Figma is a collaborative design tool that we very heavily here at Hardcover for prototyping. Ste, the designer here at Hardcover, did all of the design work you see, while the rest of the team focused on the content.


There are a lot of people to thank for helping to make this flow chart.

NPR, Petra Mayer, Amal El-Mohtar, Ann Leckie, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Fonda Lee for organizing this amazing list.

The Hardcover Team that worked on it: Adam (concept, content), Marilyn (content), Rahul (content), and Ste (design).

And our reviewers who looked it over and gave amazing feedback: Jenika (real-life friends helping!) and a number of bloggers who have provided feedback:

Plus anyone who’s given feedback on the Hardcover Discord. Every piece of feedback has helped shape what you see.

Side note: We’ll no doubt create more content like this one in the future. If you’d like to be a reviewer of future content or help put it together, please join our Discord.

And we’re not done! After we release this we’ll no doubt receive feedback, bugs, and other issues with this infographic. Good content iterates, and we plan to update this list with feedback that we hear from the book community. If you have any thoughts on how we could make this even better, let us know on Discord, or shoot me an email: adam at

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