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Alien Invasion SF

What is Alien Invasion Science Fiction?

A straightforward title for this sub-genre that is about aliens invading Earth (usually). This is a classic sub-genre of Sci Fi in which most stories (not all) show humans triumphing over the alien invaders eventually. Aliens invade for varying reasons, but usually the invasion is an attempt to gain resources, enslave humans, or very simply to kill all humans. The aliens invading Earth scenario is often a way to comment on military hegemony or contemporary social ills. Alien invasion itself may be the guns blazing type or the infiltration type.

Alien Invasion in Science Fiction can be a First Contact scenario or can be more invidious, a hidden infiltration covered up by governments (Alien Conspiracy) who might secretly be at war or at least trying to capture alien technology.

You can view the crowd-ranked "Popular" Alien Invasion Science Fiction books list and vote and/submit entries to it.

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Other Features of Alien Invasion Science Fiction

  • Level of Real Science

    High/Mystery. Aliens tend to invade Earth once it has reached a technological threshold—humans can build nuclear weapons and warp drives (or faster-than-light transportation). So, human technology is well thought out and understandable to the reader. Alien technology is often left a mystery though. In fact, humans trying to figure out alien technology is frequently a key plot point in Alien Invasion story plots.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    High. Alien Invasions are rarely straight forward action stories. Usually, the invasion is used as a vehicle for commenting on other social issues like the military, government control, occupation, and what it means to be human.

  • Level of Characterization

    High. An Alien Invasion means there must be heroes! A good hero has motivations, emotions, and a certain drive—all things that make a well groomed character.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    High. Plot is well developed in Alien Invasion Sci Fi. These stories tend to be action driven and so the plot is well developed.

  • Level of Violence

    Yes. Violence is fairly prominent—it's an alien invasion after all.

Related Science Fiction subgenres




    Apocalypse. —alien apocalypse to be exact. Sometimes the Earth and its inhabitants don't fare so well against alien invaders and the resulting story is about the aftermath of an apocalypse.

  • Alien Conspiracy. For obvious reasons

  • Comic Science Fiction. —because the alien invasion trope has been floating around the Sci Fi community for so long it now unfolds in comedic Sci Fi stories and parodies.

Alien Invasion Science Fiction isn't for you if...

You don't like stories depicting the strength of the human spirit. If you are scared of aliens and are gullible like the listener's of a certain famous 1938 radio show. Or if you like stories where the phrase 'we come in peace' is uttered.

Popular Alien Invasion Books
  • 1 War of the Worlds

    By H.G. Wells. Likely the most famous example as it was aided by an amazingly well done radio version that had people running for the hills.

  • 2 Footfall

    By Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Jerry Pournelle. A hard science take on the alien invasion trope

  • 3 The Puppet Masters

    By Robert A. Heinlein. Aliens invaded Earth and our minds.

  • 4 The Hive

    By Chris Berman. An Alien Invasion story unique because the aliens invade other planets out of insect-like instinct rather than malice.

  • 5 Animorphs

    By K.A. Applegate. A children's book series noteworthy because the aliens invade not with ray guns and flying saucers, but by infiltrating the minds and bodies of humans.

  • 6 The Wild Boy

    By Warren Rochelle. The aliens invaded Earth after unleashing a deadly virus against humans and now treat humans like pets.

  • 7 World War

    By Harry Turtledove A book series that has a different approach to alien invasion—they invade during WWII, which forces humans to form alliances against the aliens. Aliens also have somewhat comparable technology to humans.

  • 8 The True Meaning of Smekday

    By Adam-Rex. A humours young adult novel where the invading aliens force all Americans onto reserves in Florida and Earth is renamed Smekland.

  • 9 The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    By Jack Finney. As the name indicates, this is a story where aliens invade by snatching the humans bodies and effectively replacing them. It is a classic Si Fi novel and has been made into movies.

  • 10 Out of the Dark

    By David Weber. A story that focuses on the resistance effort managed by humans against their alien invaders—who incidentally wiped out over half the race in mere minutes.