65 books like Alien Oceans

By Kevin Hand,

Here are 65 books that Alien Oceans fans have personally recommended if you like Alien Oceans. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cosmos

Eric Lerner Author Of The Big Bang Never Happened: A Startling Refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe

From my list on demystify science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a research physicist working in fusion energy and astrophysics. To explain our work, I’ve had to overcome the misconceptions about science that are widespread in the media and among the general population. These books are the best ones I know to correct the mystification of science, especially of topics like quantum mechanics, time, consciousness, and cosmology.

Eric's book list on demystify science

Eric Lerner Why did Eric love this book?

OK, maybe it’s funny to recommend a book that sold in the millions. But this, and the TV series that went along with it, remains the best explanation of the evolution of astronomy and, especially, the social context for that evolution. Carl Sagan is by far the best science popularizer of the past century.

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Cosmos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Spacecraft missions to nearby planets
* The Library of ancient Alexandria
* The human brain
* Egyptian hieroglyphics
* The origin of life
* The death of the sun
* The evolution of galaxies
* The origins of matter, suns and worlds

The story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.


Book cover of Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us

Gordon L. Dillow Author Of Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race to Defend Earth

From my list on giant space rocks that threaten Earth.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2016 I was enjoying an early morning cup of coffee on my back porch in Arizona when an eerie red light lit up the dark sky, followed seconds later by a tremendous distant explosion that rattled my cup and set my dogs howling. As a soldier and journalist, I had seen all kinds of human and natural catastrophes and mayhem, but never anything like this. Later I was astonished to learn that this event, which was seen as far away as Texas, was caused by a small asteroid the size of a refrigerator that had exploded in the atmosphere with the energy equivalent of a million pounds of TNT. I wanted to find out more – and I did.

Gordon's book list on giant space rocks that threaten Earth

Gordon L. Dillow Why did Gordon love this book?

The subtitle of this book says it all. As a planetary scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Yeomans’ job was to plot the courses of known and newly-discovered NEOs – that is, asteroids and comets that in space terms come close to Earth’s orbit – and determine if and when they might be on a collision course with our planet. With more than 25,000 known NEOs orbiting around up there, it’s not an easy task. But Yeomans makes the crucial point: it’s not the space rocks we know about that pose the biggest threat, but rather the thousands and thousands of large near-Earth asteroids we don’t know about that are the greatest danger. It’s not like the movie Armageddon; it would take years to develop a space mission to deflect or destroy an incoming asteroid, so it’s crucial that we find and track them – as Yeomans says, before…

By Donald K. Yeomans,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Near-Earth Objects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Of all the natural disasters that could befall us, only an Earth impact by a large comet or asteroid has the potential to end civilization in a single blow. Yet these near-Earth objects also offer tantalizing clues to our solar system's origins, and someday could even serve as stepping-stones for space exploration. In this book, Donald Yeomans introduces readers to the science of near-Earth objects--its history, applications, and ongoing quest to find near-Earth objects before they find us. In its course around the sun, the Earth passes through a veritable shooting gallery of millions of nearby comets and asteroids. One…


Book cover of The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World

Laura Krantz Author Of Is There Anybody Out There?: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life, from Amoebas to Aliens

From my list on the search for alien life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was never going to hack it as a scientist. So I became a journalist instead. After all, both careers stem from a sense of wonder about the world and asking questions, looking for answers, and accepting that there might not be any. In 2018, I started my narrative podcast Wild Thing, which let me explore some of our weirder collective fascinations (like aliens) using science, history, psychology, and humor. I’d never aimed the podcast at kids, but I realized that all those big open-ended questions that I had about everything were the same kinds of questions that kids had - which really set me up to write the Wild Thing book series. 

Laura's book list on the search for alien life

Laura Krantz Why did Laura love this book?

Imagine for a moment that we found life on Mars.

That discovery would shake our world, change our outlook on the universe, and answer the question of whether we’re alone.

Sarah Stewart Johnson, a planetary scientist, has spent her life thinking about this possibility and delves into both her and our obsession with the Red Planet in this beautifully written book. Part memoir, part historical account, and part scientific exploration, this book made me want to ditch a career in journalism and take up astrobiology. You’ll never look at Mars the same way again. 

By Sarah Stewart Johnson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Sirens of Mars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a new wave of interplanetary exploration unfolds, a talented young planetary scientist charts our centuries-old obsession with Mars.

'Beautifully written, emotive - a love letter to a planet' DERMOT O'LEARY, BBC Radio 2

Mars - bewilderingly empty, coated in red dust - is an unlikely place to pin our hopes of finding life elsewhere. And yet, right now multiple spacecraft are circling, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium and Mare Sirenum - on the brink, perhaps, of a discovery that would inspire humankind as much as any in our history.

With poetic precision and grace,…


Book cover of The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir

Bonnie J. Buratti Author Of Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar: A Guided Tour of the Solar System

From my list on the planets and life outside the Earth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I was fascinated by space, planets, and the stars. Now I am a planetary scientist who has been involved with NASA’s interplanetary missions for four decades. I am curious, passionate about space exploration and discovery, and have been in leadership roles on some of these missions. I am also passionate about communicating these discoveries to the public. Learn about the planets from an expert, an insider who was there in the thick of the action during key times and who wants to communicate this excitement to you.

Bonnie's book list on the planets and life outside the Earth

Bonnie J. Buratti Why did Bonnie love this book?

There can be no question greater than “Is there life outside the Earth?”. Sara Seager places her own search for planets outside the Earth - almost 5000 planets in other solar systems have been discovered in the past three decades, including Earth-like bodies - against her own life story and struggles as a scientist weathering the unexpected loss of a spouse and the raising of her two young sons. Astronomers estimate there are billions of undiscovered planets just in our Galaxy. Seager paints our very own Earth as a bright point of community and connection in the vastness of space as she gives a first-person account of the technical challenges of seeking other planets and life elsewhere.

By Sara Seager,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Smallest Lights in the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology in 2020

'A stunningly original memoir ... her most human tale of love, loss and redemption is illuminated and given meaning by this backdrop. A beautiful and compelling read' Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

In The Smallest Lights in the Universe, MIT astrophysicist Sara Seager interweaves the story of her search for meaning and solace after losing her first husband to cancer, her unflagging search for an Earth-like exoplanet and her unexpected discovery of new love.

Sara Seager has made it her life's work to peer…


Book cover of Astrobiology: The Search for Life Elsewhere in the Universe

Mike X Cohen Author Of Linear Algebra: Theory, Intuition, Code

From my list on for people who can’t read five books on the same topic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an associate professor of neuroscience at the Donders Institute in the Netherlands. My research lab focuses on discovering how the brain uses electrical signaling to compute information, and transfer information across different regions of the brain. I also have a few decades of experience teaching scientific coding, data analysis, statistics, and related topics, and have authored several online courses and textbooks. I have a suspiciously dry sense of humor and insufficient patience to read five books on the same topic.

Mike's book list on for people who can’t read five books on the same topic

Mike X Cohen Why did Mike love this book?

“Are we alone?” An age-old question that we may never answer. Andrew May walks us through the scientific study of whether there might be life elsewhere in the universe, and how we might identify it. And by “scientific study,” I mean actual scientific investigations, not wishy-washy sci-fi fluff. The book is both inspiring and terrifying, because the immense distances in space and time make you realize that intelligent life is both incredibly insignificant and incredibly precious.

By Andrew May,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astrobiology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Extraterrestrial life is a common theme in
science fiction, but is it a serious prospect in the real world? Astrobiology
is the emerging field of science that seeks to answer this question.

The possibility of life elsewhere in the cosmos
is one of the most profound subjects that human beings can ponder. Astrophysicist
Andrew May gives an expert overview of our current state of knowledge, looking
at how life started on Earth, the tell-tale 'signatures' it produces, and how
such signatures might be detected elsewhere in the Solar System or on the many 'exoplanets'
now being discovered by the Kepler…


Book cover of The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens--and Ourselves

C.S. Friedman Author Of Nightborn: Coldfire Rising

From my list on books for designing alien worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as far back as I can remember I’ve been creating fantastic stories. My high school notebooks were filled with maps of warring interstellar empires, and my graduate school notes were interspersed with short tales set in distant universes. My first science fiction novel, In Conquest Born, was published in 1985, and since then, I’ve written 14 novels for DAW Books, both in fantasy and science fiction. I love the challenge of creating alien worlds so real that my readers feel immersed in them and using them to explore the darkest recesses of the human psyche. 

C.S.'s book list on books for designing alien worlds

C.S. Friedman Why did C.S. love this book?

Need to design an alien species? If so, you won’t find a better resource than this one.

Kershenbaum does nothing less than attempt to identify universal principles governing all biological organisms and does a damned impressive job of it. Beginning with the question of whether the human concept of “evolution” would even exist on an alien world, he works his way up to detailed and insightful analyses of what types of life forms would likely evolve in different environments and how they might communicate and socialize.

This is pure brain food for any lover of science or science fiction, an intellectual exploration you won’t be able to put down. It’s in my top 10 list for books of any kind.

By Arik Kershenbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Paperback edition is published on 1 July 2021 *

A Times/Sunday Times Book of the Year

DISCOVER HOW LIFE REALLY WORKS - ON EARTH AND IN SPACE

'I love The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy. Although it sets out to be (and is) about alien life, what emerges is a wonderfully insightful sidelong look at Earthly biology' Richard Dawkins, via Twitter

'Crawls with curious facts' The Sunday Times

We are unprepared for the greatest discovery of modern science. Scientists are confident that there is alien life across the universe yet we have not moved beyond our perception of 'aliens'…


Book cover of Carl Sagan's Cosmic Connection

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

Carl Sagan was that most unusual of creatures: a top scientist who was also a lyrical writer. In an era when scientists were still wary of dealing with the press – an aversion that he helped overturn – his books were particularly influential in promoting the search for extraterrestrial life, both on the planets of our own Solar System (notably Mars) and on planets of other stars. In nearly 40 short, varied essays, The Cosmic Connection outlines our links with the cosmos around us, raises the possibility that we are not alone, and discusses what we might do if an extraterrestrial contact were to be received.

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carl Sagan's Cosmic Connection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan's typically lucid, lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization of other worlds, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials. Sagan conveys his own excitement and wonder, and relates the revelations of astronomy to the most profound human problems and concerns: issues that are just as valid today as…


Book cover of Protector

Keith Stevenson Author Of Traitor's Run

From my list on novels written from an alien perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

Aliens have fascinated me since childhood. The idea of living on an alien planet with different biology, social structures, and ways of thinking has to be the ultimate act of imagination. Authors use aliens to highlight and interrogate aspects of humanity or to explore different ways of living, and the best alien novels invite me to inhabit the skin of an alien and open my mind to new thoughts and perspectives. As a science fiction writer, these stories inspire me to be more creative in my own flights of imagination. Here are five of the best alien science fiction novels to help you share my journey into the truly alien.

Keith's book list on novels written from an alien perspective

Keith Stevenson Why did Keith love this book?

Larry Niven (like CJ Cherryh) is a Grand Master of science fiction and no stranger to creating unique alien creatures and societies. But the Pak aliens are one of his weirdest creations of all.

I won’t spoil the surprise, but the Pak are truly unique amongst science fictional aliens, and the Hugo-nominated book–much like The Pride of Chanur–is a non-stop chase across space with the Pak demonstrating time and again that humanity is no match for them and that they could, in fact, be our deadliest threat.

I read this book many years ago, and it’s stayed with me as a great example of alien SF.

By Larry Niven,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Protector as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic novel of known space

Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission: save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before . . .

Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days—Brennan figured to meet that ship first . . .

He…


Book cover of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology

Darren Campo Author Of Alex Detail's Revolution

From my list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love people who are totally lost because they are on the brink of their greatest discovery–their true nature. Even as a little boy I remember seeing that everyone has a purpose in life, but that is hidden to them. I have always felt that every step of the way, life seems to be a little off-track. But through authentic stories, I came to an understanding that right now, everyone is doing great things with their lives, even if they can’t see it.

Darren's book list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death

Darren Campo Why did Darren love this book?

This is the real-life account of a professor who gets caught up in “The Phenomena,” a term used to describe the appearance and interaction with extraterrestrial activity and encounters.

Diana Pasulka is a professor of religious studies who is researching the similarities between encounters with angels and demons, which are very similar in description to encounters with aliens and UFOs. Professor Pasulka is blindfolded and driven by a NASA scientist to a desert in New Mexico, where she is shown a secret  “UFO crash site.”  She doesn’t believe any of it. She says the ground is covered for miles by deteriorating aluminum cans that the government placed there over fifty years ago to obscure the UFO crash site and hide it. Later, her friend, Dr. Gary Nolan, a Stanford University scientist, verifies the objects from the crash site are not from this “universe.” 

I love this book because it is…

By D. W. Pasulka,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked American Cosmic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half of American adults and more than seventy-five percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. American Cosmic examines the mechanisms at work behind the thriving belief system in extraterrestrial life, a system that is changing and even supplanting traditional religions.

Over the course of a six-year ethnographic study, D.W. Pasulka interviewed successful and influential scientists, professionals, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, thereby disproving the common misconception that only fringe members of society believe in UFOs. She argues that widespread belief in aliens…


Book cover of Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Laura Krantz Author Of Is There Anybody Out There?: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life, from Amoebas to Aliens

From my list on the search for alien life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was never going to hack it as a scientist. So I became a journalist instead. After all, both careers stem from a sense of wonder about the world and asking questions, looking for answers, and accepting that there might not be any. In 2018, I started my narrative podcast Wild Thing, which let me explore some of our weirder collective fascinations (like aliens) using science, history, psychology, and humor. I’d never aimed the podcast at kids, but I realized that all those big open-ended questions that I had about everything were the same kinds of questions that kids had - which really set me up to write the Wild Thing book series. 

Laura's book list on the search for alien life

Laura Krantz Why did Laura love this book?

So you want to find aliens. But where to begin? Digging up microbial neighbors on Mars? Encountering big-brained, tentacled beings in flying saucers? Searching for far-flung habitable exoplanets?

This compilation of essays from astrobiologists, AI experts, psychologists, planetary geologists, and NASA scientists (plus more!) gives the alien-hunter a well-rounded, thoughtful start for their search.

Some of the essays will leave you laughing out loud; others will remind you how much we still have to learn about the universe. I came away feeling both smarter and smaller, and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

By Jim Al-Khalili,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aliens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In these lively and fascinating essays edited by theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili, scientists from around the world weigh in on the latest advances in the search for intelligent life in the universe and discuss just what that might look like.

Since 2000, science has seen a surge in data and interest on several fronts related to E.T. (extraterrestrials); A.I. (artificial intelligence); and SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence). The debate has intensified over whether life exists outside our solar system, what that life would look like, and whether we’ll ever make contact.

Included here are essays from a broad spectrum of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in extraterrestrial life, space horror, and astrobiology?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about extraterrestrial life, space horror, and astrobiology.

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