Free Science Fiction Classics on the Web: Huxley, Orwell, Asimov, Gaiman & Beyond

Today we’re bring­ing you a roundup of some of the great Sci­ence Fic­tion, Fan­ta­sy and Dystopi­an clas­sics avail­able on the web. And what bet­ter way to get start­ed than with Aldous Hux­ley read­ing a dra­ma­tized record­ing of his 1932 nov­el, Brave New World. The read­ing aired on the CBS Radio Work­shop in 1956. You can lis­ten to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

(FYI: You can down­load Hux­ley’s orig­i­nal work — as opposed to the dra­ma­tized ver­sion — in audio by sign­ing up for a Free Tri­al with, and that applies to oth­er books men­tioned here as well.)

Lit­tle known fact. Aldous Hux­ley once gave George Orwell French lessons at Eton. And, 17 years after the release of Brave New World, Hux­ley’s pupil pub­lished 1984. The sem­i­nal dystopi­an work may be one of the most influ­en­tial nov­els of the 20th cen­tu­ry, and it’s almost cer­tain­ly the most impor­tant polit­i­cal nov­el from that peri­od. You can find it avail­able on the web in three for­mats: Free eText — Free Audio Book – Free Movie.

In 1910, J. Sear­le Daw­ley wrote and direct­ed Franken­stein. It took him three days to shoot the 12-minute film (when most films were actu­al­ly shot in just one day). It marked the first time that Mary Shelley’s clas­sic mon­ster tale (textaudio) was ever adapt­ed to film. And, some­what notably, Thomas Edi­son had a hand (albeit it an indi­rect one) in mak­ing the film. The first Franken­stein film was shot at Edi­son Stu­dios, the pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny owned by the famous inven­tor.

lovecraft hp

Stephen King and Joyce Car­ol Oates — they both pay homage to H.P. Love­craft and his great tales. And you can too by spend­ing time with his col­lect­ed works, avail­able in etext for­mats here and audio for­mats here (Free Mp3 Zip File – Free Stream).

Philip K. Dick pub­lished 44 nov­els and 121 sto­ries dur­ing his short life­time, solid­i­fy­ing his posi­tion as one of Amer­i­ca’s top sci-fi writ­ers. If you’re not inti­mate­ly famil­iar with his nov­els, then you almost cer­tain­ly know major films based on Dick’s work – Blade Run­ner, Total Recall, A Scan­ner Dark­ly and  Minor­i­ty Report. To get you acquaint­ed with PKD’s writ­ing, we have culled togeth­er 14 short sto­ries for your enjoy­ment.

eTexts (find down­load instruc­tions here)


Back in the late 1930s, Orson Welles launched The Mer­cury The­atre on the Air, a radio pro­gram ded­i­cat­ed to bring­ing dra­mat­ic, the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions to the Amer­i­can air­waves. The show had a fair­ly short run, last­ing from 1938 to 1941. But it made its mark. Dur­ing these few years, The Mer­cury The­atre aired The War of the Worlds, an episode nar­rat­ed by Welles that led many Amer­i­cans to believe their coun­try was under Mar­t­ian attack. The leg­endary pro­duc­tion, per­haps the most famous ever aired on Amer­i­can radio, was based on H.G. Wells’ ear­ly sci-fi nov­el, and you can lis­ten to the broad­cast right here.

Between 1951 and 1953, Isaac Asi­mov pub­lished three books that formed the now famous Foun­da­tion Tril­o­gy. Many con­sid­ered it a mas­ter­work in sci­ence fic­tion, and that view became offi­cial doc­trine in 1966 when the tril­o­gy received a spe­cial Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series, notably beat­ing out Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Even­tu­al­ly, the BBC decid­ed to adapt Asimov’s tril­o­gy to the radio, dra­ma­tiz­ing the series in eight one-hour episodes that aired between May and June 1973. Thanks to The Inter­net Archive you can down­load the full pro­gram as a zip file, or stream it online:

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3| Part 5 |MP3| Part 6 |MP3| Part 7 |MP3| Part 8 |MP3|

Before the days of Har­ry Pot­ter, gen­er­a­tions of young read­ers let their imag­i­na­tions take flight with The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, a series of sev­en fan­ta­sy nov­els writ­ten by C. S. Lewis. Like his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis served on the Eng­lish fac­ul­ty at Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty and took part in the Inklings, an Oxford lit­er­ary group ded­i­cat­ed to fic­tion and fan­ta­sy. Pub­lished between 1950 and 1956, The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia has sold over 100 mil­lion copies in 47 lan­guages, delight­ing younger and old­er read­ers world­wide.

Now, with the appar­ent bless­ing of the C.S. Lewis estate, the sev­en vol­ume series is avail­able in a free audio for­mat. There are 101 audio record­ings in total, each aver­ag­ing 30 min­utes and read by Chris­si Hart. Down­load the com­plete audio via the web or RSS Feed.

Neil Gaiman has emerged as one of today’s best fan­ta­sy writ­ers. He has made comics respectable and pub­lished nov­els, includ­ing one that will be adapt­ed by HBO. A great deal of his out­put, though, has been in the form of short sto­ries, some avail­able on the web in text for­mat, oth­ers in audio.

Audio & Video

  • “Har­le­quin Valen­tine” – Free Audio at Last.FM
  • “How to Talk to Girls at Par­ties” – Free MP3
  • “Orange” (read live) – Free Video
  • “Oth­er Peo­ple” (read live) – Free Video
  • The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Moun­tains – Free Audio
  • The Grave­yard Book (a nov­el read live with illus­tra­tions) – Free Video
  • “Troll Bridge” (read live, starts at 4:00 mark) – Free iTunes
  • “A Study in Emer­ald” – Free iTunes

Oth­er Gaiman works can be down­load via’s spe­cial Free Tri­al. More details here.


Between 1982 and 2000, Rudy Ruck­er wrote a series of four sci-fi nov­els that formed The Ware Tetral­o­gy. The first two books in the series – Soft­ware and Wet­ware – won the Philip K. Dick Award for best nov­el. And William Gib­son has called Ruck­er “a nat­ur­al-born Amer­i­can street sur­re­al­ist” or, more sim­ply, one sui gener­is dude. And now the even bet­ter part: Ruck­er (who hap­pens to be the great-great-great-grand­son of Hegel) has released The Ware Tetral­o­gy under a Cre­ative Com­mons license, and you can down­load the full text for free in PDF and RTF for­mats. In total, the col­lec­tion runs 800+ pages.

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