The best books to continue living in beloved sci-fi universes

Who am I?

With a background in theoretical astrophysics and a life-long passion for science fiction, I am now lucky enough to have a dream job of working in one of my favorite sci-fi worlds: Star Trek. This role as science advisor for the franchise has bridged my career between hard science and fictional writing. Like many fans, I am one who simply wants to walk, live, and breathe in these fictional worlds that bring us so much joy. I always look for new ways to immerse myself, be it episode or movie rewatches, extended universe shows, comics, video games, and yes, books!

I wrote...

The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel

By Erin Macdonald,

Book cover of The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel

What is my book about?

As a fan of science as well as science fiction, Dr. Erin Macdonald (PhD, Astrophysics) takes you on an audio journey through the fantastical uses of spacetime in science fiction. Beginning with quick lessons on Newtonian and Einstein gravity, you’ll learn about the different ways we see artificial gravity, multiverses, and even time travel in popular science fiction and how it relates to actual science. Written and narrated by Dr. Erin, this is a perfect introduction to spacetime and physics while geeking out with fellow science fiction fans!

The books I picked & why

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A Stitch in Time

By Andrew J. Robinson,

Book cover of A Stitch in Time

Why this book?

A Stitch in Time is far and beyond my favorite expanded universe book of any science-fiction property. Written by Andrew Robinson, who played the beloved character Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this novel intricately weaves Garak’s mysterious past (answering many questions!) with his time on Deep Space Nine and what happens after the Dominion War. If you always wanted to learn more about Garak’s story, no one knows or tells it better than the man himself. Rare in print, but available electronically, it’s a must-read for DS9 fans.

Bloodline (Star Wars)

By Claudia Gray,

Book cover of Bloodline (Star Wars)

Why this book?

Leia Organa has always been my favorite character from the Star Wars universe; she’s strong, capable, and witty while being a great leader but acknowledging vulnerability. Bloodline by Claudia Grey perfectly captures the untold times in the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and Leia’s work as a senator, fending off threats to the Republic. A combination of both political intrigue and action, anyone wanting to learn more about Leia’s life and decisions should definitely pick up this book.

Mass Effect: Revelation

By Drew Karpyshyn,

Book cover of Mass Effect: Revelation

Why this book?

Oh, Mass Effect. It may not be as known to people as the Trek or Wars, but in my opinion, this world is just as rich and enticing. The original video game trilogy allows you to play Commander Shepard, carrying over your relationships and decisions while saving the galaxy from an imminent threat. Mass Effect: Revelation sets up the history of the characters and world that you encounter throughout the adventures of Commander Shepard, including the history of your mentor, Captain Anderson (or “Space Dad” as I like to call him), and his relationship with Kahlee Sanders and the growing threat to the galaxy. A must-read for anyone whom 100+ hours of gameplay wasn’t satisfying enough!

Mosaic (Star Trek Voyager)

By Jeri Taylor,

Book cover of Mosaic (Star Trek Voyager)

Why this book?

Ah, Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. A fictional character from Star Trek: Voyager who has managed to become my (and many others) mentor in life, leadership, and careers. Mosaic tells the backstory of our beloved Captain, from her home life in Indiana to her time as a science officer and eventually becoming Captain of her own starship. This story by Jeri Taylor (who served as Executive Producer on Voyager for five seasons) captures Janeway in a way rarely seen outside of Kate Mulgrew herself. As a bonus, you can listen to an abridged version read by Kate as well!

From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)

By Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Sabaa Tahir, Nnedi Okorafor

Book cover of From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)

Why this book?

With only two books out (referencing Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) the From a Certain Point of View books are brilliant. So brilliant. I can’t explain how much I love these books in one short paragraph. They are a collection of short stories written by dozens of authors who recall events in the films both big and small. Did you ever want to know who the guy is on Hoth who interrupts Han and Leia arguing? Well, now you do! With each story taking only about 20 minutes to read, they’re a perfect nighttime story that add such richness to the films we’ve all seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Star Wars Trilogy, Embassytown, and Darth Vader and Son if you like this list.