100 books like All the Windwracked Stars

By Elizabeth Bear,

Here are 100 books that All the Windwracked Stars fans have personally recommended if you like All the Windwracked Stars. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dune

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

What I loved most about this classic series is the detailed story world the author creates. When you read beyond the first book in the series, you start to get more and more of it — cultural, anthropological, geological, and more. It is a very cool and fully immersive world.

While the new movie series has captured the imagination of many and certainly has super cool production design elements, it does take some license with the story. Allow it to merely whet your appetite for the books. They're better.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of Lord of Light

Ricardo Victoria Author Of The Withered King

From my list on throwing genre into the blender.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching 80s Saturday morning cartoons, playing RPGs such as Final Fantasy. Those cartoons and games didn’t care about genre, they cared about telling a story, about making you care about the characters. Hence you could have wizards driving space cars, or knights battling giant robots and so on. They were proof of how wonderfully crazy our imagination can go when we threw labels away and just create stories. The books in this list allow themselves to do that and go bigger, go bolder, showing us the readers what’s possible if we let loose. I hope this list takes others on such wonderful rides, like they did with me.

Ricardo's book list on throwing genre into the blender

Ricardo Victoria Why did Ricardo love this book?

This is a classic that even inspired art from the great Jack Kirby (New Gods, Fantastic 4). It’s written in such way that works both as a SF or a Fantasy novel, but I say that it’s one of the best examples of science fantasy.

Take a mythological/religious tale like the Rig Veda and the quest of Buddha for illumination and use it as the backbone for a story about a lost colony, deities of human origin, oppressive rulers vs. a rebel group and the original inhabitants of a faraway planet, and a generational struggle between immortal beings that affect the technological progression of a society.

It’s an action-packed philosophical mind trip. No wonder why this book won a Hugo and was nominated for a Nebula. 

By Roger Zelazny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Imagine a distant world where gods walk as men, but wield vast and hidden powers. Here they have made the stage on which they build a subtle pattern of alliance, love, and deadly enmity. Are they truly immortal? Who are these gods who rule the destiny of a teeming world?

Their names include Brahma, Kali, Krishna and also he who was called Buddha, the Lord of Light, but who now prefers to be known simply as Sam. The gradual unfolding of the story - how the colonization of another planet became a re-enactment of Eastern mythology - is one of…


Book cover of Star Of Gypsies

Bruce Golden Author Of Red Sky, Blue Moon

From my list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been interested in Native American culture, while at the same time horrified at the way most European settlers treated them. (My best friend as a child was Native American.) Without consciously planning on it, many of my other books and short stories feature Native American customs and characters—though not as thoroughly as Red Sky, Blue Moon. I've also always been fascinated by Viking history, though I only recently discovered I'm a direct descendant of a fairly famous Viking—Rollo. I had no particular expertise with these cultures when I began this book, but I spent many hours of research to be sure I got everything right.

Bruce's book list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures

Bruce Golden Why did Bruce love this book?

I'd never known anything about Gypsy culture (except cinematic stereotypes) until I read Silverberg's Star of Gypsies. Even though this book takes place on other worlds, centuries into the future, the traditions and the society of Gypsies survives. These nomadic spacefarers have evolved into important pieces of a galactic empire – an empire upon which the protagonist will have a profound effect. I loved the inventive world building and the complex yet often humorous main character, Yakoub. The tale fully engaged me from the very beginning and is one of those books I give my highest compliment – a page-turner you don't want to put down.

By Robert Silverberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Yakoub was once the legendary King of the Rom, the Gypsy race that has evolved from the days of caravans into lords of the spaceways - the only pilots capable of steering ships safely between the many worlds of the Galaxy. Weary and proud, Yakoub has relinquished his power and lives in exile on a distant, icy world. In his absence, chaos fills the vacuum of power. The fate of the entire Galactic Empire hangs in the balance. Yakoub must journey across the cosmos and fight to regain his throne. Only then can he fulfil his dream - to return…


Book cover of Warpath

Bruce Golden Author Of Red Sky, Blue Moon

From my list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been interested in Native American culture, while at the same time horrified at the way most European settlers treated them. (My best friend as a child was Native American.) Without consciously planning on it, many of my other books and short stories feature Native American customs and characters—though not as thoroughly as Red Sky, Blue Moon. I've also always been fascinated by Viking history, though I only recently discovered I'm a direct descendant of a fairly famous Viking—Rollo. I had no particular expertise with these cultures when I began this book, but I spent many hours of research to be sure I got everything right.

Bruce's book list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures

Bruce Golden Why did Bruce love this book?

I liked the unusual idea of having a Native American tribe to be the first humans to conquer space and create an interstellar nation. Overall it combines great science fiction concepts and world-building with powerful human drama. I found this book "spoke to me" in ways others don't, playing upon my lifelong interest in Native American culture.

By Tony Daniel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this tale of settler worlds a newspaperman and his friend,Wanderer,are forced to travel worlds in search of a lost guardian spirit through danger and evil,then into war.This is soft SF of lost love and the power of friendship.


Book cover of Norse Code

Amalia Dillin Author Of From Asgard, With Love

From my list on Norse gods set in the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been immersed in Norse Myth for more than a decade and writing books about the Gods I’ve always wanted to read. My Fate of the Gods trilogy is a mythic mash-up of Biblical, Norse, Greek, and Egyptian myth, and writing as Amalia Carosella, my book Daughter of a Thousand Years is Viking age historical fiction about Freydis, the daughter of Erik the Red. Additionally, as a Norse Pagan polytheist myself, finding books that do justice to the Gods in our modern world is that much more important to me than your average reader - I’m always looking to celebrate the books that bring them to life!

Amalia's book list on Norse gods set in the modern world

Amalia Dillin Why did Amalia love this book?

The God: Hermod

Dancing around the edges of Ragnarok with a focus on one of the most obscure gods he could find, Norse Code brings us into a world where the gods have adapted and adopted modern technology to gather warriors to Odin’s cause—defeating the forces of darkness and bringing about a new golden age to the world. Because van Eekhout approaches the myth of Ragnarok from Hermod’s perspective (along with a Valkyrie named Mist), he frees himself from the proscribed roles so many other gods are fated to play and offers us a fresh take on a well-known and well-trod story.

By Greg Van Eekhout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Is this Ragnarok, or just California?

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.

But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.

Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes…


Book cover of Ragnarok Unwound

Angela Guajardo Author Of Mia Evers and the Demon's Curse

From my list on YA fantasy full of rich alternate worlds and characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former middle school teacher and high school athletics coach. I’ve spent so much time trying to nurture many students as they try to navigate growing up and figuring out who they are. I draw from their tragic stories in hopes of showing students that they’re not alone in their struggles. I also draw snippets from my challenging childhood that, in recent years, I realized I had to cut my father and stepmother out of my life because of how psychologically abusive and manipulative they are. The upside is my self-worth has significantly improved. I hope to empower others through my books.

Angela's book list on YA fantasy full of rich alternate worlds and characters

Angela Guajardo Why did Angela love this book?

Ragnarok Unwound by Kristin Jacques is an incredible storyteller that paints vivid pictures and builds an engaging cast of characters.

I love how her stories compel me to keep reading to find out what happens next. The stories are real, raw, and relatable. You’ll find yourself rooting for the hero to overcome all obstacles.

By Kristin Jacques,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prophecies don't untangle themselves.


Just ask Ikepela Ives, whose estranged mother left her with the power to unravel the binding threads of fate. Stuck with immortal power in a mortal body, Ives has turned her back on the duty she never wanted.


But it turns out she can't run from her fate forever, not now that Ragnarok has been set in motion and the god at the center of that tangled mess has gone missing. With a ragtag group of companions-including a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself-Ives embarks on her first official mission as Fate Cipher-to…


Book cover of Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World

Nancy Marie Brown Author Of The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women

From my list on Vikings, their humor, and their world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Marie Brown is the author of seven books about Iceland and the Viking Age, including The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women, The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman, and the award-winning Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths. Her books combine extremes: medieval literature and modern archaeology, myths and facts. They ask, What have we overlooked? What have we forgotten? Whose story must not be lost? A former science writer and editor at a university magazine, she lives on a farm in northern Vermont and spends part of each summer in Iceland.

Nancy's book list on Vikings, their humor, and their world

Nancy Marie Brown Why did Nancy love this book?

In the “traders vs. raiders” approach to Viking history, women stay home and look after the farm while the men go off on adventures. Three books published in the 1990s by Judith Jesch and Jenny Jochens brought the lives of these women out of the shadows, showing how vital their role was.

In Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World, Jóhanna Kristín Friðriksdóttir brings these early studies up to date. With her mastery of detail from the Icelandic sagas, Friðriksdóttir follows an ordinary Viking woman from birth to death. She tells stories of women who are bold and successful, others who are battered and victimized.

She hopes to introduce us, she says, “to the diverse and fascinating texts recorded in medieval Iceland, a culture able to imagine women in all kinds of roles carrying power.” Like the mythical valkyries of her title, these are “women who decided.” To learn…

By Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE Valkyries: the female supernatural beings that choose who dies and who lives on the battlefield. They protect some, but guide spears, arrows and sword blades into the bodies of others. Viking myths about valkyries attempt to elevate the banality of war - to make the pain and suffering, the lost limbs and deformities, the piles of lifeless bodies of young men, glorious and worthwhile. Rather than their death being futile, it is their destiny and good fortune, determined by divine beings. The women in these stories take full part in the power struggles…


Book cover of A Hunger Like No Other

Maggie Francis Author Of A Wolf By Any Other Name

From my list on paranormal romance to make you wish magic was real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading paranormal fiction for as long as I can remember and it’s always been my favorite genre. I love sci-fi and fantasy as well, but keep coming back to paranormal. I’ve been enjoying authors like Terry Pratchett, Phillip Pullman, Guy Gavriel Kay since middle school, and will happily inhale any story that takes me out of reality into a world where magic is real and the princess saves herself. Now that I’m writing my own joyful escapes into this genre, it feels extra special to get to be a part of this club and create my own magical world for readers to enjoy!

Maggie's book list on paranormal romance to make you wish magic was real

Maggie Francis Why did Maggie love this book?

The entire Immortals After Dark series is a delightful slip into a darker paranormal adventure that you won’t be sorry to have fallen down into. 

Cole takes the reader on a sexy-as-hell journey through a paranormal underworld full of darkness, desire, and sexy hijinks. Stumbling upon this series completely changed the trajectory of my reading habits and I am not mad about it. 

This series is a little darker than the others on my list, but in no way too dark to jump into.

By Kresley Cole,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Hunger Like No Other as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After 150 years of hellish torture at the hands of the vampire horde, Lachlain, king of the Lykae (werewolf) clan, escapes his captors. He's disoriented and full of hatred, and yet he finds the mate he's been longing for for 1200 years in a small, delicate vampire. Desperate to find information on her parents, Emmaline Troy, a timid, overprotected half vampire/ half valkyrie, had travelled to Paris away from the protection of her valkyrie aunts for the first time in her young life (she's only 70), but she manages to be kidnapped by a raging Lykae who's tender to her…


Book cover of Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods

Asa Maria Bradley Author Of A Wolf's Hunger: A Sexy Fated Mates Paranormal Romance

From my list on the gods and world of Norse mythology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology steeped in Viking history, which fueled my interest in Norse mythology. For example, Uppåkra, the largest and richest Iron Age settlement in Scandinavia, is only a few miles from my childhood home. When my seventh-grade history teacher noticed my fascination with the Viking myths, he started recommending me books. Ever since, I’ve read extensively about the Norse pantheon, and its stories inspire my own writing. I’ve also taken several research trips to historical Viking settlements in Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland.

Asa's book list on the gods and world of Norse mythology

Asa Maria Bradley Why did Asa love this book?

This book I love purely for the photographs of archeological treasures and historical paintings. It’s in the format often referred to as a “coffee table book.” However, even though you may be tempted to page through it only to look at its impressive graphics and illustrations, the content is very much researched and informative. I especially like the sections on magical creatures and how Norse mythology has influenced our modern world and more current fiction.

By Martin J. Dougherty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You may not think you know much about Norse mythology but you've heard of Valhalla and the Valkyrie, and of trolls and elves, and you'd certainly miss Wednesday and Thursday - named after Norse gods - if they weren't there. Norse mythology is rich in adventure and ideas about creation, death and the afterlife. And from Wagnerian operas to Lord of the Rings to Marvel's Avengers, it has had an immense influence across Western culture. Norse Myths takes a wide-ranging approach to the topic, examining the creation stories of the Norse world, the monsters and the pantheons of the deities…


Book cover of Norse Mythology for Kids: Tales of Gods, Creatures, and Quests

Nancy Marie Brown Author Of Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

From my list on Norse myths and the gods and heroes of their universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Marie Brown is the author of seven books about Iceland and the Viking Age, including The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women, The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman, and the award-winning Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths. Her books combine extremes: medieval literature and modern archaeology, myths and facts. They ask, What have we overlooked? What have we forgotten? Whose story must not be lost? A former science writer and editor at a university magazine, she lives on a farm in northern Vermont and spends part of each summer in Iceland.

Nancy's book list on Norse myths and the gods and heroes of their universe

Nancy Marie Brown Why did Nancy love this book?

Kevin Crossley-Holland published excerpts from his Norse Myths as a book for children. But as a child’s first introduction to the tales, it might be too poetic. I’d recommend, instead, Norse Mythology for Kids by Mathias Nordvig.

Nordvig retells the myths as your wise uncle might—if he happened to be Loki, the trickster god. For Nordvig not only blends different versions of a tale, but he also adds bits he thinks our original sources shouldn’t have left out.

Into that “mist world” at time’s beginning, for instance, Nordvig inserts a loon who helps the goddess Jord build the Earth. It’s a tale I’m familiar with from Native American mythology, but as Nordvig asserts, the Norse stories “are still alive.” And to keep them that way, we need to make them our own.

By Mathias Nordvig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Norse Mythology for Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Awaken a sense of adventure (and maybe a Kraken) with a collection of Norse mythology for kids 8 to 12

What is more awesome than the hammer-wielding thunder-god, Thor; the Queen of Asgard and all-knowing goddess, Frigg; or the gigantic sea serpent, Jormungand? Norse Mythology for Kids transports you into the Nordic lands where extraordinary creatures like giants, dwarfs, elves, and monsters walked among fearless gods and goddesses.

Featuring timeless stories from such countries as Iceland, Norway, and Denmark, this is your entryway into the magical world of Scandinavian folklore. With vividly detailed illustrations that pair with each myth, you’ll…


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