100 books like All Systems Red

By Martha Wells,

Here are 100 books that All Systems Red fans have personally recommended if you like All Systems Red. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Deborah Kasdan Author Of Roll Back the World: A Sister's Memoir

From the list on startling encounters with mental illness.

Who am I?

When my older sister died, I felt a pressing need to tell her story. Rachel was a strong, courageous woman, who endured decades in a psychiatric system that failed her. She was a survivor, but the stigma of severe mental illness made her an outcast from most of society. Even so, her enduring passion for poetry inspired me to write about her. I sought out other people’s stories. I enrolled in workshops and therapy. I devoured books and blogs by survivors, advocates, and family members. Everything I read pointed to a troubling rift between the dominant medical model and more humane, less damaging ones. This list represents a slice of my learning.

Deborah's book list on startling encounters with mental illness

Why did Deborah love this book?

I first read this novel when I was ten. Pages had fallen out and even though I later found intact copies, I read it over and over to fill the gaps in my understanding.

How I loved the way Jane took charge of her fate with such intelligence, the way she captured Rochester’s heart without demeaning herself. But oh that madwoman she encountered in the attic. What did Jane make of Bertha, this “clothed hyena?”

Unlike Rochester, she didn’t blame Bertha for her violence. And while she understood Rochester’s dilemma she couldn’t agree to stay with him. In an intolerable situation, I learned, you can love a person and still leave them. Then Bertha dies in a fire she sets, allowing the couple to marry. But I never took that tacked-on ending very seriously.

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…

Anne of Green Gables

By L.M. Montgomery,

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables

Bruce Bishop Author Of Unconventional Daughters: An Engrossing Family Saga on Two Continents

From the list on Nova Scotia, Canada.

Who am I?

I developed a love for James A. Michener’s sweeping novels as a young man, which coincided with an early stage of my career as a travel journalist. I was fortunate to find myself in places all over the globe that he had written about, and these countries were somehow made more vivid to me because of his words. It wasn’t until the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 that I switched from writing non-fiction to fiction. In doing so, I realized that the small part of the world in which I had been born and raised – Nova Scotia, Canadawas as fascinating and interesting as any place I had visited. 

Bruce's book list on Nova Scotia, Canada

Why did Bruce love this book?

I’m convinced that many young readers in the last century (and this one) have been compelled to become writers themselves if they read Anne of Green Gables (published in 1908) and became enmeshed in the life of spunky, red-haired orphan, Anne Shirley.

The story takes place in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, and recounts the tale of a child who is mistakenly placed in the care of a pair of middle-aged siblings on their farm.

While I became addicted to reading every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novel when I was young, Anne of Green Gables was a book special to my heart because it was set in the same part of the world in which I was born.

By L.M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's book by L M Montgomery, the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. Watch it now!

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They are waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter. It's not long before Anne finds herself in trouble, but soon it becomes impossible for the Cuthberts to…

Player Piano

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Book cover of Player Piano

Carroll Pursell Author Of The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology

From the list on technology interacting with American society.

Who am I?

I've been teaching and writing in the field of the history of technology for over six decades, and it's not too much to say that the field and my professional career grew up together. The Society for the History of Technology began in 1958, and its journal, Technology and Culture, first appeared the following year. I've watched, and helped encourage, a broadening of the subject from a rather internal concentration on machines and engineering to a widening interest in technology as a social activity with cultural and political, as well as economic, outcomes. In my classes I always assigned not only original documents and scholarly monographs but also memoirs, literature, and films.

Carroll's book list on technology interacting with American society

Why did Carroll love this book?

Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel, was not, he said, “a book about what is, but a book about what could be.” Further, “it is mostly about managers and engineers” and more precisely, about automation and what American society could become if machines took over work, and labor, as we have known it, was made redundant. His imagined city of Illium was socially and physically split between the managers and engineers of its industrial plant and the former workers had been displaced by automation and now led meaningless lives of busy work provided by the government. The engineer Paul Proteus becomes disaffected and joins in a revolution being plotted against the new order. They succeed, but soon realize that the people of Illium were “already eager to recreate the same old nightmare.” The logic of the machine continued its sway.

I like that you have to watch Vonnegut carefully.…

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Player Piano is the debut novel from one of history's most innovative authors, published on Vonnegut's 100th birthday.

In Player Piano, the first of Vonnegut's wildly funny and deadly serious novels, automata have dramatically reduced the need for America's work force. Ten years after the introduction of these robot labourers, the only people still working are the engineers and their managers, who live in Ilium; everyone else lives in Homestead, an impoverished part of town characterised by purposelessness and mass produced houses.

Paul Proteus is the manager of Ilium Works. While grateful to be held in high regard, Paul begins…

Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From the list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Why did Guy love this book?

For me speculative fiction is about twisting one aspect of the real world, and then playing with the consequences. I love the way that Philip K Dick does this.

Some of his ideas seem absurd, but as a reader you quickly buy into them. This is not a traditional crime novel in any sense, but is about a bounty hunter tracking down escaped androids. As he confronts questions about his own humanity, it raises ethical issues for the reader as to what it is to be human.

Like all Dick’s works it is clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…

The Fifth Season

By N. K. Jemisin,

Book cover of The Fifth Season

Diana Fedorak Author Of Children of Alpheios

From the list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers.

Who am I?

I’m a mother of two children and was raised in a noisy family of four. It was my kids who reawakened my instinct to write again and follow through on my projects. Motherhood is such a fundamental part of my life and for most women I know. It’s mundane yet transformative in the sense it brings out your inner lioness in a way you don’t anticipate. When I think about some of my favorite literary characters, they would be unrecognizable if they weren’t mothers. With that in mind, I hope readers find a lovely story for their moms on Mother’s Day.

Diana's book list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers

Why did Diana love this book?

This Hugo Award-winning novel has one of the most original stories I’ve read that revolves around a remarkable mother, Essun.

While Essun pretends to be ordinary, she is an orogene, a race of humans with the ability to significantly alter her environment. As a result, the orogenes are wretched exiles, feared by society and trapped in a governing system that seeks to control them.

I was immediately taken with Essun’s emotional journey as the story opens with the loss of her child. She wants to live a quiet life with her family but is pursued by officials who cannot allow her to go free.

The story really tapped into the most primal aspects of motherhood. Ultimately, it’s motherhood that strengthens Essun’s power as she unleashes it with devastating effectiveness. 

By N. K. Jemisin,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked The Fifth Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends. . .for the last time.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land…


By Hugh Howey,

Book cover of Wool

Jennifer Lauer Author Of The Girl in the Zoo

From the list on cozy sci-fi and fantasy.

Who am I?

Sci-fi and fantasy give us permission to go places we might not go in this world. I am a big daydreamer and always have been. One of the most magical things about being a writer is that you get to design a world that lives only in your mind, and then share it with the reader. Like George R. R. Martin wrote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Jennifer's book list on cozy sci-fi and fantasy

Why did Jennifer love this book?

The story of people living in an underground Silo who don’t know why they're there, and only that the outside world is toxic and they must survive.

The characters in this story are heroic and relatable. I just wanted this book to keep going, and luckily there are two more in the series – Shift and Dust. The TV series is also a great addition and keeps a similar tone to the book.

By Hugh Howey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Thrilling, thought-provoking and memorable ... one of dystopian fiction's masterpieces alongside the likes of 1984 and Brave New World.' DAILY EXPRESS

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others…

The Windup Girl

By Paolo Bacigalupi,

Book cover of The Windup Girl

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From the list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Who am I?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Why did Mal love this book?

Climate change aside, what scares me the most about technology today is the capacity for bioengineering to run amok.

What happens when scientists monkey around with deadly viruses—and one escapes from the lab? What if some rogue researcher creates an entirely new lifeform that proves toxic to humans? Or some experimental microbe—an effort to save the world’s butterflies, for instance—proves to kill off bees instead?

This novel, which won major awards, depicts a frightening future world wrought by bioengineering. And you wouldn’t want to live there anymore than I do. 

By Paolo Bacigalupi,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Windup Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The Windup Girl is the ground-breaking and visionary modern classic that swept the board for every major science fiction award it its year of publication.

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl - the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko - now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of…

Gideon the Ninth

By Tamsyn Muir,

Book cover of Gideon the Ninth

Hannah Fergesen Author Of The Infinite Miles

From the list on queer stories about time and space travel.

Who am I?

I am a queer writer whose early love of science fiction and fantasy gave me an outlet for my creativity and new ways of seeing myself in the world. It was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Timeline by Michael Crichton that first introduced me to time and space travel in fiction, but it was the new Doctor Who and shows like Twelve Monkeys that made me realize how mad and wonderful stories about time and space travel could be. And once I came to terms with my own queer identities, I saw an obvious space for my own contribution to the time travel canon. 

Hannah's book list on queer stories about time and space travel

Why did Hannah love this book?

Okay I’m fibbing a bit again with this one, but the books in this series are unabashedly queer and weird, and the method of space travel is like nothing you’ve ever seen.

These books fall much more clearly on the line of space fantasy than straight-up sci-fi, but they are wild and unforgettable reads. Gideon Nav is the titular character of Gideon the Ninth. She’s hilarious, goofy, loyal to an absolute fault, and utterly filthy. The other characters will break your heart and patch it up multiple times over the course of this book and the others.

Thankfully, most of them are necromancers and the scars will be seamlessly healed each time, even though the memory of them will be seared on your heart.

By Tamsyn Muir,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Gideon the Ninth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

15+ pages of new, original content, including a glossary of terms, in-universe writings, and more!

A USA Today Best-Selling Novel!

"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab

"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles Stross

"Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through." --NPR

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth, first in The Locked Tomb Trilogy, unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as…

Chasm City

By Alastair Reynolds,

Book cover of Chasm City

Kali Wallace Author Of Dead Space

From the list on gritty and gripping mystery books set in space.

Who am I?

I have always loved science fiction. I spent years studying to be a scientist before I became a writer (I have a PhD in geophysics), and I love fiction that uses, remixes, and twists our weird and wonderful universe in interesting ways. But stories don't really grab me unless there is a strong emotional core. I need characters--I need people. And that's where my love of mysteries and thrillers comes in, with all the tragedy and trauma they can hold. This is the recipe for my ideal fiction: creepy mystery, human trauma, big ideas, weird science, and a little bit of a murder, as a treat. 

Kali's book list on gritty and gripping mystery books set in space

Why did Kali love this book?

Chasm City is part of Reynold's Revelation Space series, but this future-noir mystery is perfectly readable as a standalone. It follows a man on a mission of revenge, one that takes him into the crumbling, plague-ridden remains of a once-great civilization that has descended into chaos and squalor. The world-building is top-notch—this is a dying, decaying city that you can feel in your bones—and full mysteries that explore ideas of identity, memory, and redemption in a twisty mystery that ties together past, present, and future.

By Alastair Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Chasm City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Come to Chasm City and embark on a mind-bending ride through the universe of Revelation Space

Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake - until the day a woman in his care was blown away by Argent Reivich, a vengeful young postmortal. Tanner's pursuit of Reivich takes him across light-years of space to Chasm City, the domed human settlement on the otherwise inhospitable planet of Yellowstone.

But Chasm City is not what it was. The one time high-tech utopia has become a Gothic nightmare: a nanotechnological virus has corrupted the city's inhabitants as thoroughly as it…

The Wild Robot

By Peter Brown,

Book cover of The Wild Robot

Amy Herrick Author Of The Tiltersmith

From the list on fantasy that keeps Earth the center of the story.

Who am I?

As a kid, being shy and often scared witless of monsters under the bed, books were my refuge. I especially loved fantasy and great story-telling, which, at first, just took my mind off of things. Then, sneakily, the stories began to teach me how to find courage when facing monsters, as well as to value hopefulness, invention, and the study of science and nature. The earth is in a pickle now. There are monsters under the bed. We need science to help us find the right tools. We need stories to fire our inventiveness and our courage. Here are some great books for that. They will suit young readers and beyond.

Amy's book list on fantasy that keeps Earth the center of the story

Why did Amy love this book?

I am fascinated by stories of robots evolving into sentient beings. For a change, in this one, the robots do not rise up to destroy their masters. Instead, we are invited into a funny, tender, and exciting tale about a robot who finds herself castaway on a wilderness island and must learn what her purpose is and how to survive. As she and the animals who live there grow closer and closer together, she begins to find a home in the wilderness. A rich story that works on many levels at once. It is a tale about the interdependence of all things in nature, as well as about the perils and possibilities that technology is bringing to us. Best of all, it’s about kindness. 

By Peter Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An engaging tale that explores many important themes. We can only hope that Roz serves as the template for all future robots. Peter Brown's illustrations are as marvellous as ever!' Coralie Bickford-Smith, author of THE FOX AND THE STAR

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is - but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realises that her only hope for survival…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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