100 books like Anthropocene Rag

By Alex Irvine,

Here are 100 books that Anthropocene Rag fans have personally recommended if you like Anthropocene Rag. 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 Composite Creatures

Erica L. Satifka Author Of How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters

From my list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet.

Who am I?

I’ve long been fascinated with the dark side of science and human behavior, and grew up on a combination of dystopian classics and horror fiction. When I started writing for publication, apocalyptic themes quickly emerged. As the world around us grows more fraught by the day, I find a strange sort of comfort in reading and writing fiction that doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative aspects of social media, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that has the capacity to create manmade disasters beyond our understanding. And as a small-press author myself, I’m always on the lookout for books that didn’t get enough love.

Erica's book list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet

Erica L. Satifka Why did Erica love this book?

Composite Creatures centers around a quiet apocalypse called “the greying,” a human disease linked to ecological collapse that’s never described outright but is unmistakenly real. Against this backdrop, the narrator, Norah, enters into an arranged marriage equal parts romantic and practical. The couple takes over the raising of an ovum organi, a bioengineered organism that both functions as a pet and serves another purpose connected to the greying that only becomes apparent near the end of the book. Beyond its slow-burn apocalyptic trappings, this book also has special relevance for me because the ova organi are clearly modeled on cats. While cats themselves are hardly a novelty in science fiction, the way that Hardaker develops the relationship between the artificial critters and their owners/exploiters is especially evocative.

By Caroline Hardaker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Norah and Arthur are learning how to co-exist in domestic bliss. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly - from the home they're building together to the ring on Norah's finger.
But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. The earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in.

Fortunately, Easton Grove have the answer, a perfect little bundle of fur that Norah and Arthur can take home. All…


Book cover of A Short Film about Disappointment

Erica L. Satifka Author Of How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters

From my list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet.

Who am I?

I’ve long been fascinated with the dark side of science and human behavior, and grew up on a combination of dystopian classics and horror fiction. When I started writing for publication, apocalyptic themes quickly emerged. As the world around us grows more fraught by the day, I find a strange sort of comfort in reading and writing fiction that doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative aspects of social media, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that has the capacity to create manmade disasters beyond our understanding. And as a small-press author myself, I’m always on the lookout for books that didn’t get enough love.

Erica's book list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet

Erica L. Satifka Why did Erica love this book?

Told as a series of movie reviews, A Short Film About Disappointment unfurls its dystopia gradually. A hacker attack kicks off a global multi-decade economic depression, and to prevent this from ever happening again the Internet is abolished and replaced with the “Betternet,” a neutered and highly censored version of the Internet. Personal screens are also banned in this nanny state, leading to a robust cinema culture that the unread reviewer wants to contribute to with a dense art film of his own. The hilarious capsule descriptions of eighty (fictional) films serve as an oblique way of introducing the world, while the numerous tangents of the writer “Noah Body” tell a personal story of love, filmmaking, and a literal haunting by an ex-friend.

By Joshua Mattson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Short Film about Disappointment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ingenious novel about art and revenge, insisting on your dreams and hitting on your doctor, told in the form of 80 movie reviews

In near-future America, film critic Noah Body uploads his reviews to an underread content aggregator. His job is dreary routine: watch, seethe, pan. He dreams of making his own film, free of the hackery of commercial cinema. Faced with writing on lousy movies for a website that no one reads, Noah smuggles into his reviews depictions of his troubled life on the margins.

Amid his movie reviews, we learn that his apartment in the vintage slum…


Book cover of The Crooked God Machine

Erica L. Satifka Author Of How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters

From my list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet.

Who am I?

I’ve long been fascinated with the dark side of science and human behavior, and grew up on a combination of dystopian classics and horror fiction. When I started writing for publication, apocalyptic themes quickly emerged. As the world around us grows more fraught by the day, I find a strange sort of comfort in reading and writing fiction that doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative aspects of social media, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that has the capacity to create manmade disasters beyond our understanding. And as a small-press author myself, I’m always on the lookout for books that didn’t get enough love.

Erica's book list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet

Erica L. Satifka Why did Erica love this book?

Unlike some of the others on my list, the apocalypse(s) at the center of The Crooked God Machine are in no way quiet. The narrator, Charles, has been born into a world in a constant state of collapse. Taking the form of a bildungsroman, the novel recounts the medical advancement of slip implants, “hot wire spiders” that live in one’s brain and turn its user into a brainless zombie. There are also buses that take you to hell, oracles with laser eyes in the back of their heads, and a family-killing murderess who’s considered a hero by the denizens of this demented world. Every page brings fresh horrors, and without giving away the ending I can say that the conclusion doesn’t provide any hope of improvement.

By Autumn Christian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crooked God Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Black Planet is an oppressive world terrorized by a masked god. Charles is a young idealist struggling to keep his family from falling apart amidst daily violence and chaos. When Charles falls in love with the enigmatic Leda, she gives him hope for an existence outside of the masked god's regime. After Leda disappears one night, Charles leaves his small town to search for her. Along the way he uncovers the origin of the Black Planet, and confronts the god that would destroy all life in pursuit of a perfect and unchanging paradise.

The Crooked God Machine is a…


Book cover of Bash Bash Revolution

Erica L. Satifka Author Of How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters

From my list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet.

Who am I?

I’ve long been fascinated with the dark side of science and human behavior, and grew up on a combination of dystopian classics and horror fiction. When I started writing for publication, apocalyptic themes quickly emerged. As the world around us grows more fraught by the day, I find a strange sort of comfort in reading and writing fiction that doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative aspects of social media, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that has the capacity to create manmade disasters beyond our understanding. And as a small-press author myself, I’m always on the lookout for books that didn’t get enough love.

Erica's book list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet

Erica L. Satifka Why did Erica love this book?

The dystopia in Bash Bash Revolution is a bit closer to reality than the others on this list: it’s set specifically in 2017, but in a world pushed far closer to the brink of nuclear war than ours, with a much more psychotic version of Donald Trump in charge. Main character Matthew Munson’s mad programmer of a father creates an AI that might save the world from its own destruction, but only by locking every person into a solipsistic nightmare run on video game technology. In a way this book is about choosing between an apocalypse and a dystopia, which is something you don’t see very often.

By Douglas Lain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*SELECTED FOR GAME INFORMER'S FALL 2018 READING LIST*

A compelling coming-of-age artificial intelligence novel from Philip K. Dick Award-nominated author Douglas Lain.

Seventeen-year-old Matthew Munson is ranked thirteenth in the state in Bash Bash Revolution, an outdated video game from 2002 that, in 2017, is still getting tournament play. He's a high school dropout who still lives at home with his mom, doing little but gaming and moping. That is, until Matthew's dad turns up again.

Jeffrey Munson is a computer geek who'd left home eight years earlier to work on a top secret military project. Jeff has been a…


Book cover of AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future

Christian Hugo Hoffmann Author Of The Quest for a Universal Theory of Intelligence: The Mind, the Machine, and Singularity Hypotheses

From my list on making sense of the I in AI.

Who am I?

I embarked on this arduous journey of making sense of the I in AI while working as an Assistant Professor of Finance, which, however, began to look increasingly uninteresting and oppressive. With this innovative endeavor, I return home to philosophy. Apart from being passionate about AI in academia, I’m a tech entrepreneur by heart with three software start-ups in Germany, Switzerland, and Malawi under my belt. Moreover, I served as Deputy Director of and Head of AI at the Swiss Fintech Innovation Lab in Zurich, as Director of Startup Grind Geneva, and I continue to fulfill my role as start-up coach/judge and mentor in various startup programs.

Christian's book list on making sense of the I in AI

Christian Hugo Hoffmann Why did Christian love this book?

AI is arguably the most disruptive technology that humankind has ever developed. AI development has come in different waves since the 1950s and, over time, the machine intelligence has increased.

Where will this ongoing trend lead us in the future? I love Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan’s book for two chief reasons: On the one hand, I found it highly rewarding as a reader to learn about the future of AI and its practical impact on our everyday life by gaining insights into today’s variety of AI methods, the challenges they pose as well as into how those challenges will be overcome in the next 10 to 20 years.

On the other hand, I have been deeply impressed by the strength of the author team with a complimentary skillset. While Kai-Fu Lee worked both in Chinese and US-American internet sector as a leading software engineer, thereby combining very interesting perspectives,…

By Kai-Fu Lee, Chen Qiufan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked AI 2041 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A WALL STREET JOURNAL, WASHINGTON POST, AND FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

In this ground-breaking blend of imaginative storytelling and scientific forecasting, a pioneering AI expert and a leading writer of speculative fiction join forces to answer an imperative question: How will artificial intelligence change our world within twenty years?

AI will be the defining development of the twenty-first century. Within two decades, aspects of daily human life will be unrecognizable. AI will generate unprecedented wealth, revolutionize medicine and education through human-machine symbiosis, and create brand new forms of communication and entertainment. In liberating us from routine work,…


Book cover of This Perfect Day

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

From my 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”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

The news is full of stories about chilling developments in artificial intelligence.

And you don’t have to venture into the fantasy world of killer robots to be terrified. Already, “chatbots” are blurring the lines between human and machine intelligence.

It’s gotten to the point that you can’t trust what you see or read online—because it may have been created by some AI designed to cheat or scare you into doing something you really don’t want to do.

Ira Levin’s novel, published in 1970, shows us a world ruled by artificial intelligence. It’s dystopia in the truest sense—and it’s likely to frighten you, as it did me.

By Ira Levin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked This Perfect Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Marvellously entertaining. A cross between Brave New World and Doctor Who' Look Magazine

Considered one of the great dystopian thrillers - alongside A Clockwork Orange and Brave New World- Ira Levin's terrifying glimpse into the future continues to fascinate readers even forty years after publication.

Set in a seemingly perfect global society, where uniformity is the defining feature, one man leads the resistance against UniComp - a central computer that has been programmed to keep every single human on the surface of the earth in check. All ethnic groups have been eugenically merged into a single race called 'The Family',…


Book cover of Soul Eater

Elle Arroyo Author Of The Nine: Zane

From my list on dark fantasy enemies to lovers mm romance.

Who am I?

I am an author and avid reader of romance, especially those full of conflict in a world heavy with magic, shifters, vampires, and others. My dad was a great storyteller and sparked my interest in the paranormal. When I was a kid, he’d tell me stories about growing up in the mountains of Puerto Rico. The evil that lived there. My imagination took it from there. I wish I would’ve written down those stories. I can’t get him to talk about them anymore. It might be the reason why The Nine: Zane had started out as a contemporary romance story until Zane took over with all his paranormal drama. 

Elle's book list on dark fantasy enemies to lovers mm romance

Elle Arroyo Why did Elle love this book?

This is a monster mm romance in a dystopian setting with a human soldier who hates the monsters that breached into the human world.

When faced with the enemy, the soldier learns that the monsters are not what they seem.

I love this one because the monsters aren’t all good, but neither are they the evil the world thinks. The lines are blurred, and I think it works. 

By Lily Mayne,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Genesis

Mandy Hager Author Of The Nature of Ash

From my list on speculative YA fiction from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Who am I?

As a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand, I’ve always been interested in social justice and human rights, and my own writing explores such issues, including who holds the power and who exerts the control. By writing about real-world issues in a speculative future, it allows us to peel back the layers of conditioning and look at ourselves and our actions through the eyes of an outsider – which forces us to examine our best and worst human traits. I love the way speculative fiction can do this, and I love that it challenges us to do better.  

Mandy's book list on speculative YA fiction from Aotearoa New Zealand

Mandy Hager Why did Mandy love this book?

If you’re into philosophy, this is the book for you! It explores the big questions about the origins of life and human consciousness, and what is it to be human and what makes a soul. Set in a distant future, on an island republic brutally policed to keep out survivors from the ruined world beyond its shores, Anaximander is put through a grueling examination to get into The Academy. I loved how it pushed my brain and went in places I wasn’t expecting. 

By Bernard Beckett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The island Republic has emerged from a ruined world. Its citizens are safe but not free. Until a man named Adam Forde rescues a girl from the sea.
Fourteen-year-old Anax thinks she knows her history. She'd better. She's sat facing three Examiners and her five-hour examination has just begun. The subject is close to her heart: Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. In a series of startling twists, Anax discovers new things about Adam and her people that question everything she holds sacred. But why is the Academy allowing her to open up the enigma at its heart?
Bernard Beckett has…


Book cover of The Resisters

Daniel Paisner Author Of A Single Happened Thing

From my list on baseball novels.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and a lifelong baseball fan with a weakness for baseball-ish fiction. For a lot of folks, this means reading the usual suspects: Kinsella, Malamud, Coover, Roth, DeLillo... But I especially enjoy stumbling across under-the-radar novels that can’t help but surprise in their own ways. I enjoy this so much, in fact, I went out and wrote one of my own – inspired by the life and career of an all-but-forgotten ballplayer from the 1880s named Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap, one of the greats of the game in his time. In the stuff of his life there was the stuff of meaning and moment… of the sort you’ll find in the books I’m recommending here.

Daniel's book list on baseball novels

Daniel Paisner Why did Daniel love this book?

I was looking forward to this one and read it as soon as it came out, early on in these pandemic times. It’s not really a baseball novel, except it kinda, sorta is. Mostly, it’s a subversive look at a dystopian future that turns on the redemptive power of baseball. It made a lot of noise on publication, but the focus of most of the reviews leaned away from the baseball bits and into the dystopian bits. Gish Jen writes gloriously about the game – but also about life and love, longing and belonging, hope and hopelessness. 

By Gish Jen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The moving story of one family struggling to maintain their humanity in circumstances that threaten their every value—from the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Thank You, Mr. Nixon. • “Intricately imagined … [It] grows directly out of the soil of our current political moment.” —The New York Times Book Review

The time: not so long from now. The place: AutoAmerica, a country surveilled by one “Aunt Nettie,” a Big Brother that is part artificial intelligence, part internet, and oddly human—even funny. The people: divided. The “angelfair” Netted have jobs and, what with the country half under water, literally occupy the…


Book cover of Xanthe and the Robots

Ariadne Tampion Author Of Automatic Lover

From my list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society.

Who am I?

I first became fascinated by artificial intelligence as a teenage Asimov fan being taught BASIC programming by my uncle. It then became the first professional interest I returned to as I emerged from the consuming process of caring for very young children and the voluntary work that went with it, which broadened my horizons. I was quick to see, and eager to explore further, parallels between the socialisation of young humans and what might be possible for machine minds.

Ariadne's book list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society

Ariadne Tampion Why did Ariadne love this book?

This book attracted my attention when it was new and I was a teenager, although I only actually read it many years later; the female roboticist central character with a hint of impetuosity and romance appeared to offer an alternative role model to Isaac Asimov’s Susan Calvin. Sheila MacLeod is a literary author, not a regular SF author, and she imagines a mildly dystopic near-future in which humanoid robots are being taught to have sensibilities by reading romantic literature, from the great to the trashy. I was both intrigued and amused by her portrayal of how a machine mind might relate to such literature, and how such machines might conduct themselves when they become more empowered in their personal choices.

By Sheila MacLeod,

Why should I read it?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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