100 books like Composite Creatures

By Caroline Hardaker,

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

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Book cover of Anthropocene Rag

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 nanotechnological apocalypse at the background of Anthropocene Rag has turned the United States into a mythological vision. A mysterious construct known as Prospector Ed (who sometimes adopts the persona of Mark Twain) delivers six magical tickets to various scattered Americans, all of whom have lost something in the “Boom.” While the post-nanoboom landscape is deadly (one of the main characters was orphaned when an intelligence-imbued stadium containing her parents simply decided to become something else), there’s also a lot of wonder, and the book is a loving homage to American mythology and lore.

By Alex Irvine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anthropocene Rag is "a rare distillation of nanotech, apocalypse, and mythic Americana into a heady psychedelic brew."—Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning author Jeffrey Ford

In the future United States, our own history has faded into myth and traveling across the country means navigating wastelands and ever-changing landscapes.

The country teems with monsters and artificial intelligences try to unpack their own becoming by recreating myths and legends of their human creators. Prospector Ed, an emergent AI who wants to understand the people who made him, assembles a ragtag team to reach the mythical Monument City.

In this nanotech Western, Alex Irvine…


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 The Only Harmless Great Thing

KJ Kabza Author Of The Ramshead Algorithm: And Other Stories

From my list on starring sentient animals (that not enough people know).

Who am I?

Being a human is fraught, so I've always been fascinated by stories of sentient animals, long before I sold my first short story at age 19 (about a tiny dragon that lived in a bathtub drain) or my 48th story (which features talking sand cats and is reprinted in my collection The Ramshead Algorithm: And Other Stories). While most of my 90+ published stories star humans, talking animals are a reoccurring motif in my work and in the ????+ books I've read across 40+ years. If you're ready to branch out beyond Watership Down and Redwall, here are 5 books that more fans of sentient animals should know about.

KJ's book list on starring sentient animals (that not enough people know)

KJ Kabza Why did KJ love this book?

Technically, Brooke Bolander's The Only Harmless Great Thing is a novella and not a novel.

But this story, set in an alternate universe in which hyperintelligent elephants are forced into toxic factory work, packs so much pathos, vivid description, and (especially!) the world-building around elephant culture—I swoon over the voice in which the elephants tell their stories and myths to the reader—it may as well be three times as long.

This is the most modern book on my list, and it did get some excellent critical attention, including the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novelette. But Bolander's voice of the elephants alone (to say nothing of the other voices, each masterfully different) is so danged magnificent, the more people know of this work, the better.

By Brooke Bolander,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Only Harmless Great Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novelette

Finalist for the Hugo, Locus, Shirley Jackson, and Sturgeon Awards

The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants.

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage,…


Book cover of The Avery Shaw Experiment

Anna Katmore Author Of Seventeen Butterflies

From my list on super-sweet kisses and swoon-worthy book-boyfriends.

Who am I?

Even before I became a romance writer, I already devoured young adult love stories like others eat sandwiches for dinner. It’s that innocent, sweet built-up to the very first kiss of the hero and heroine that would keep me reading or writing all through the night. I believe it’s a rare talent to craft the perfect tension and balance between hot and sweet. And as I’m writing my own love stories by now, I’m still on the hunt for those rare gems within the sea of novels out there.

Anna's book list on super-sweet kisses and swoon-worthy book-boyfriends

Anna Katmore Why did Anna love this book?

I practically inhaled this book when I first opened it!! The writing style of Kelly Oram is outstanding and what she does with her heroes is unique.

The book is about Avery Shaw who got dumped by her best friend since birth, Adrian Kennedy. To overcome her grief, she starts her own seven-stages of grief experiment, journaling every step of the way. But honestly, she would have never made it past step four without the wonderful help of Grayson Kennedy, Adrian’s older brother.

By spending time with Avery, he turns from a teenage heartbreaker to a determined lover. And while Avery stubbornly forges on with her experiment, Grayson gets on his own mission to win her heart.

By Kelly Oram,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Avery Shaw Experiment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

When Avery Shaw's heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how-scientifically. The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She's going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can't do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who…


Book cover of Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids: 40 Fun Science Projects and Why They Work

Andi Diehn Author Of Forces: Physical Science for Kids

From my list on children’s books about physics.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by how the world works. What gives gravity so much power? Why is it easier to lift things with levers and pulleys? Why do we have electricity inside of our own bodies?! The world is amazing. My job editing nonfiction books for kids puts me on the front lines of some of the smartest science writing out there. While I had no hand in the making of the following five picture books about physics, they are still some of my favorites because of the way they peel back the mysterious layers of the world to show us the science hidden in our daily lives.

Andi's book list on children’s books about physics

Andi Diehn Why did Andi love this book?

What’s the best way to learn science? Experiments! Hands-on learning is a great way for kids to figure out how things work. This collection of science projects allows kids to follow their curiosity and gain foundational learning while having a blast! Many can be done independently, some need a bit of adult supervision.

By Erica L. Colón,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Awesome Physics Experiments 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?

Get kids excited about physics with fun and easy experiments for ages 10 to 13

Turn living rooms into STEAM laboratories and watch as children have an awesome time learning about physics. This book contains 40 highly entertaining, hands-on experiments that can be completed using simple, household materials.

What sets this physics for kids book apart:

Excellent explanations―Brief explainers address the hows and whys of each experiment, providing children with a clear understanding of the fundamental concepts surrounding force, flight, and much more. Step-by-step instructions―Full-color photos and easy-to-follow instructions allow kids to confidently conduct experiments on their own, with only…


Book cover of Vicious

Jessica Salina Author Of Play With Fire

From my list on superhero books that you won’t want to put down.

Who am I?

When I was eight years old, I walked into a movie theater to see Spider-Man and walked out forever obsessed with superheroes. Specifically, I saw him kiss Mary-Jane with his mask on while hanging upside down and my tastes never changed in 20 years. Now, when not writing, I cosplay from my favorite comics, video games, and anime with my husband, who I met at a comic-con while dressed as Gwenpool (he was Symbiote Spider-Man—see, I told you my tastes never changed).

Jessica's book list on superhero books that you won’t want to put down

Jessica Salina Why did Jessica love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite books.

A little bit dark academia, a little bit supervillain, it covers dual POVs with two friends in college developing superpowers after near-death experiences and grappling with the after-effects well into their adulthood.

Victor is a lovable anti-hero, and Eli’s flaws are so believable they gave me chills. 

By V. E. Schwab,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates-brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in one another. A shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death-experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. They become EOs, ExtraOrdinaries, leaving a body in their wake and turning on each other.

Ten years later Victor has escaped from prison and is determined to get his revenge on the man who put him there, aided by…


Book cover of Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines: adventures in making round the kitchen table

Rebecca Struthers Author Of Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History

From my list on for people who love taking things apart.

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with figuring out how things work. What started with me pulling apart redundant household tech as a child (thanks to my very supportive parents) has become a lifelong passion in making and restoring one of the most incredible machines invented – the watch. Our millennia-old obsession with making things tells us so much about who we are and the world we like in. I love all of these books as, in varied ways, they inspire curiosity and connect us with our innately human instinct to understand the world around us.

Rebecca's book list on for people who love taking things apart

Rebecca Struthers Why did Rebecca love this book?

I can’t think of a better way to close than with a book to inspire the next generation of people who love taking things apart! This brilliant compilation of easy makes sets out to cultivate curious young minds.

By using common things you can find around the house, it makes science and making accessible to all. The projects are all really straightforward and designed by Shaha, a dad and science teacher, to support the educational curriculum whilst having a lot of fun.

By Alom Shaha, Emily Robertson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Transform and recycle household objects into your very own home-made toys and machines!

Learn about the centre of gravity by making a balancing bird, create a toroidal vortex with a smoke-ring machine, and turn a spoon into an electromagnet. Chances are you won't need to buy the materials required for these machines because they're all in your house right now. Every child can be an engineer with the help of Mr Shaha and his marvellous machines.

Written by a science teacher and dad, Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines is the highly anticipated sequel to Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder. This book…


Book cover of Science Experiments You Can Eat

Mary Boone Author Of Bugs for Breakfast: How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet

From my list on food facts.

Who am I?

I baked my first loaf of bread when I was eight. It was shaped like a brick and weighed about the same. With my grandma’s help, I tweaked the recipe, learned the importance of precise measurements, practiced my kneading, and ultimately won a blue ribbon for my efforts at the 4-H county fair. In the years since, my passion for food has grown. I love to learn how various crops are grown and harvested, I nearly cried when I tasted cheese I made myself, and I’ve been known to arrange travel around specific culinary adventures. For me, learning about food is nearly as enjoyable as eating it!

Mary's book list on food facts

Mary Boone Why did Mary love this book?

For generations, this book has been helping young readers turn their kitchens into laboratories. After introducing basic scientific concepts, kid chefs/scientists get to test scientific principles with edible results: beef jerky, cottage cheese, pudding, and more. Along the way, they learn that making a meringue is about denaturing protein and that mayonnaise is a simple emulsion. I love the way in which the text and illustrations pair to clearly allow readers to conclude that good cooks truly are good chemists.

By Vicki Cobb, Tad Carpenter (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Science Experiments You Can Eat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Kids take the reins in the kitchen with this hands-on book of edible science experiments! With revised and updated material, a brand-new look, and hours of innovative, educational experiments, this science classic by award-winning author Vicki Cobb will be devoured by a whole new generation of readers.

Combine with such books as Awesome Science Experiments for Kids to help junior scientists continue their learning, whether at home or in a classroom.

With contemporary information that reflects changes in the world of processing and preserving foods, this cookbook demonstrates the scientific principles that underpin the chemical reactions we witness every day—just…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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