100 books like Cyteen

By C. J. Cherryh,

Here are 100 books that Cyteen fans have personally recommended if you like Cyteen. 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

Mark Joyner Author Of Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want

From my list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author, inventor, military veteran, (mostly) self-taught scholar, and an entrepreneur. Every internet-connected person interacts with things I invented (the tracking pixel, the ebook, etc) every day, but I'm best known for my books about business and personal development. As I write this, I'm serving as the Founder and CEO of a software platform called "Simpleology." It's designed to solve what I think is one of mankind's greatest threats to survival as a species:  "The Complexity Gap." It's the gap between the amount of information in the world and our ability to navigate it. It solves this by guiding you to focus on what we call "HIME" (high impact, minimal effort).

Mark's book list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi

Mark Joyner Why did Mark love this book?

This book presents perhaps the most prescient and today-relevant sci-fi premise ever: how could technology evolve without thinking machines?

After reading this book, I finally understood that my thinking does not have to be constrained by the "scientific consensus" of the day. The book presents a future so radically different from what most futurists are envisioning that it not only freed my thinking about science and futurism...it freed my mind of all constraints.

Even further, it beckoned me to explore the limits of my own human potential.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

51 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 The Left Hand of Darkness

Sara Jo Easton Author Of A Dream of Light

From my list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Sara Jo Easton, and I’m the bisexual author of the Zarder novels, a fantasy series where a race of dragon-like creatures called Onizards learns to get past their prejudices. When I was at a book signing for my third book, The Blood of Senbralni, a strange man loudly declared I was part of an agenda to turn people to homosexuality and Satan with my evil dragons. To be clear, I am not and will never be affiliated with Satan. I made a vow that every book I wrote from that point forward would have at least one LGBTQ+ romance with a happy ending to annoy people like that man.

Sara's book list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them

Sara Jo Easton Why did Sara love this book?

If you’re like me, you are a sucker for stories about an outsider finding themselves in a new society and having to struggle and adapt to circumstances they don’t fully understand.

Genly Ai is a man who is sent to the planet Gethen to convince the people there to join a planetary alliance. The problem is Genly is so fixated on his manhood and personal identity that he can’t adapt culturally in a world where everyone is genderfluid.

Genly’s political mistakes get him into a lot of trouble that his lone ally Estraven tries to save him from, and it is only by learning to accept differences and listen to Estraven that Genly finally succeeds in his quest.

You can’t go wrong with the engrossing worldbuilding in this book, and as a bonus the people trying to ban LGBTQ+ books will be extremely annoyed if you read a book where…

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Left Hand of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION-WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL AND A NEW AFTERWORD BY CHARLIE JANE ANDERS

Ursula K. Le Guin's groundbreaking work of science fiction-winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants' gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an…


Book cover of City of Golden Shadow

Acflory Author Of Miira

From my list on exploring what it means to be human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of those odd people who always needs to know why. Why do computers work, why do societies break down? Why do humans kill? Why are cat videos so irresistible? All of those questions explore what it means to be human, but science fiction takes those questions to the extreme, pitting people against the most extreme environments and situations in order to see how they’ll react. To me, that never grows old, and the books I love the most are the ones that do it the best. In my humble opinion, of course.

Acflory's book list on exploring what it means to be human

Acflory Why did Acflory love this book?

The world of Otherland is Earth, and the people are human, but woven into that familiar landscape is a virtual world that hasn’t quite happened yet. Imagine a virtual, digital world in which your avatar can ‘feel’. Why would you ever want to leave?

I first read Otherland soon after I started playing MMORPGs [Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games]. MMORPGs provide a ‘persistent’ world in which your character can fight, craft, build, or just socialize with other players. As such, it can become very immersive, and that’s just through the power of the imagination and some pixels on a screen. Now, imagine how immersive a virtual world would be. And how dangerous. 

Otherland started me thinking about technology and how humans relate to new innovations. It also inspired some of my own writing.

By Tad Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Otherland is a universe ruled by Earth's wealthiest and most ruthless power-brokers, The Grail Brotherhood. Surrounded by secrecy, incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it and two generations have laboured to build it. Now it is claiming Earth's most valuable resource - its children.


Book cover of Onslaught

Acflory Author Of Miira

From my list on exploring what it means to be human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of those odd people who always needs to know why. Why do computers work, why do societies break down? Why do humans kill? Why are cat videos so irresistible? All of those questions explore what it means to be human, but science fiction takes those questions to the extreme, pitting people against the most extreme environments and situations in order to see how they’ll react. To me, that never grows old, and the books I love the most are the ones that do it the best. In my humble opinion, of course.

Acflory's book list on exploring what it means to be human

Acflory Why did Acflory love this book?

The best way to describe the Repulse Chronicles is to say that they are a historical record of a war that hasn’t happened yet, using AI and military technology that hasn’t been invented, yet. 

Written by Indie author Chris James, the Repulse Chronicles are innovative in the extreme, in both style and content, yet as with all the stories I love the most, it’s the interface between people and technology that fascinates me the most. Some people rise to the occasion, others sink, yet in all cases, we recognize ourselves in the characters. That is what makes the story so powerful.

By Chris James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On 7 February 2062, the New Persian Caliphate launched a devastating and unprovoked surprise attack against NATO. This was the initial salvo in a two-year war that would bring Europe to the brink of annihilation and cost millions of lives.

Onslaught is the first in a series of novels that tell the story of the 2062-2064 war as seen through the eyes of the people obliged to fight it.


Book cover of Idyll

Sunshine Somerville Author Of The Kota

From my list on science fiction and fantasy world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been pulled to rich, deep, complex fiction all my life. And I started building my own world when I was nine, adding to The Kota Series over two decades. Even while getting an English Literature degree, I was bored by simple worlds, characters, and stories and always found myself more interested in unique books and fresh reads. Really, the weirder the world, the better! That’s what I’ve continued to look for as a reader, and I’ve been lucky to encounter new authors that a lot of people might not have heard about yet. I’ve found some real world-building gems, like these I’ve discussed. I hope to find many more!

Sunshine's book list on science fiction and fantasy world-building

Sunshine Somerville Why did Sunshine love this book?

This is one of the very few books that made me yelp out loud in surprise when the twist happened, and I will forever recommend it because of how unique it was. The feel is reflective of The Road with the main part of the story showing a pained journey through a dangerous landscape. It also feels post-apocalyptic as these survivors struggle to cross the abandoned world that’s been overtaken by nature. The author wrote in a unique language that makes Idyll feel otherworldly but familiar too. All this blends together for really great world-building. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a definite twist where the whole story flips into something different. You go from feeling like this is a Western to suddenly — Oh, yep, there’s the sci-fi!  

By James Derry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hold on tight for a New-Adult Sci-Fi Adventure that’s caught in the crossfire between Westworld and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road!

Idyll is a rugged planet—a new, simpler start for some 10,000 settlers who have fled Mother Earth. But a strange ‘plague’ of contagious sleep has devastated their Settlement, sparked by a mysterious mantra called the Lullaby.

After a three-year quarantine, Walt and Samuel Starboard set out from their ranch on a mission to cure their comatose mother and find their missing father. For days they ride through a blighted landscape: deserted cabins and gravestones and the ruins of towns destroyed…


Book cover of The Silent Tower

Steven J. Morris Author Of The Guardian of the Palace

From my list on transport select people from Earth to other realms.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fantasy takes me to a place where I can get out of my own skin, explore new worlds, and live adventures. The stories that pulled folks from our world (for those of you as loosely tethered as I am, I refer to Earth) provided more connection to the idea that I could be in those fantasy worlds and involved in those stories. That’s the bonus level of escapism! I didn’t realize just how many of my favorite stories fell into that category until I wrote this. Those books were definitely instrumental in my writing, though I didn’t follow any of those specific formulas. I’ll have to write another grouping for the other major category of books that influenced my writing.

Steven's book list on transport select people from Earth to other realms

Steven J. Morris Why did Steven love this book?

Yes, I’m back with another Hambly recommendation. The Windrose Chronicles is my next favorite that makes it onto this list. A programmer pulled out of her cube by the spells of a wizard… as much as I like programming, I can’t think of a day I wish that wouldn’t happen. While I enjoy the world-building, it is once again the relationships that make Hambly’s stories my favorites. The powerful and presumably mad wizard, Antryg Windrose, is one of my all-time favorite characters.

By Barbara Hambly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Magic and technology collide in the first book of the Windrose Chronicles by the New York Times–bestselling author and “fabulously talented writer” (Charlaine Harris).

In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. But for Stonne Caris, a young warrior monk who sees the killing and gives chase to the culprit, there is nothing ordinary about seeing a murderer disappear into a black, inky portal. The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose—a half-mad mage who understands the nature of these passages between dimensions.
 
On the other side…


Book cover of Burning: Prequel, After the Thaw

Sue-Ellen Pashley Author Of The Rise

From my list on dystopian books with watery issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author who, in my ‘other’ life, has studied psychology and social work, I love to write about the impact of change on individuals and communities – what do my characters grieve, what relationships become important to them, what are the roles or goals that motivate them now and what do they need to do to survive, both individually and in their new society. And I love to be able to write about a place – a location – that I know well, hence the Sunshine Coast Hinterland as a setting for The Rise. I hope you enjoy the books that I’ve recommended as much as I have!

Sue-Ellen's book list on dystopian books with watery issues

Sue-Ellen Pashley Why did Sue-Ellen love this book?

The cover drew me in but I loved the worldbuilding in this book, both in the premise of what happened to our world (toxic oceans, anyone?) but also how characters now need to live and survive. And with great rising tension and twists, this was a book that left me reading much later in the night than I should have! 

I was drawn in by the 4 main characters – even when I wanted to slap them, I still wanted to know what was going to happen to them. And the way the society was set up really tore at my sense of ethics – a great thing to have in a dystopian book, I think…how does the new society sit with you?

By Heidi Catherine, Tamar Sloan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Only the chosen shall breed.

In a new world isolated by a rising, toxic sea, a single bridge connects Askala to the Outlands. Those who remain will need to pass a Proving to determine if they have the intelligence and heart to champion the future of their broken Earth.

Those who succeed will become Bound, the ones chosen to breed.

Those who fail, are Unbound. Free of responsibility, but robbed of their ability to bear children.

Four young lives are born into this world. Magnus and Callix, two brothers determined to uphold this new order. Two brothers in love with…


Book cover of Alias Space and Other Stories

Ben Berman Ghan Author Of What We See in the Smoke

From my list on science fiction short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi! My name is Ben Berman Ghan, and I’m the author of the short story collection What We See in the Smoke and the novella Visitation Seeds. I’ve spent pretty much every day of my life since 2015 thinking about short fiction, writing it, or editing it. In many ways, the traditions and strengths of the genre of SF are owed to the short fiction writers and the magazines that have published them over the years — magazines that I keep on reading to this day. There is something electric to me about the short story, the concentrated fervor of an SF writer having to concentrate all that imagination and emotion into something tight and sharp. 

Ben's book list on science fiction short story collections

Ben Berman Ghan Why did Ben love this book?

There’s a story in here about a former hockey player from the moon that had to move to Earth to try to avoid retribution after killing another player, and he gets stashed at an artist’s retreat. A big part of this list has been beautiful, but often very sad stories. Think, then, of Alias Space as a kind of antidote. If you have any familiarity with Robson from her published short fiction, this is a great collection to help you fill in the gaps in your collection. If you’ve never heard of Robson? Then this is a great dive into one of the best writers working in my hometown of Toronto! 

By Kelly Robson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alias Space and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alias Space and Other Stories is the first fiction collection from Nebula Award-winning writer Kelly Robson, who vaulted onto the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror stage in 2015, earning spots in multiple Year's Best anthologies. This volume collects Robson's best stories to date, along with exciting new work, and notes to accompany each piece. Robson's stories are noted for their compassion, humanity, humor, rigor, and joy. This volume includes the chilling gothic horror “A Human Stain,” winner of the 2018 Nebula Award; the madcap historical fantasy “Waters of Versailles,” which was a finalist for both the Nebula and World Fantasy…


Book cover of Star Compass

AM Scott Author Of Lift Off

From my list on sci-fi adventures with strong teen heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve published eleven classic-style space opera novels, a novella, and many short stories. Before becoming a writer, I spent twenty years in US Air Force in space operations; even though my books are light on science, I really was a rocket scientist! Plus, I’ve read science fiction since I was barely a teen, starting with Heinlein and McCaffery, and am always looking for my next favorite author!

AM's book list on sci-fi adventures with strong teen heroines

AM Scott Why did AM love this book?

Diana Smythe is a survivor, and she’ll do almost anything to keep her dream of flying to the stars alive. But she won’t betray her friends, or give into bullies, which gets her into ever-deeper trouble. Good thing she’s super smart!

Star Compass is an excellent combination of steampunk and sci-fi. Anthea is a wonderful writer, her characters strong but flawed, and her worldbuilding amazing, combining Victorian mores with modern space flight.

By Anthea Sharp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Star Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Steampunk meets Space Opera in this captivating tale of adventure and romance from USA Today bestseller Anthea Sharp.

Diana Smythe was a child of the nobility… once. Now the streetrat known as Diver, she spends her days picking pockets, and her nights gazing at the galaxy overhead, dreaming of the day she’ll escape Earth for a brighter future among the stars.

Derek Byrne polices the grimy streets around the Southampton Spaceport, trying to keep the gangs in line and the gutters clear of riffraff. When his path crosses Diana’s, he sees beyond her masculine disguise and catches a glimpse of…


Book cover of The Dying Earth

John Triptych Author Of Visitor

From my list on cult sci-fi and fantasy you may not have heard of before.

Why am I passionate about this?

The reasons I’ve chosen these particular books is because of my penchant for reading offbeat stuff, and unearthing little-known works that I feel deserves more attention. My tastes are eclectic, and I’ve done a lot of research when it comes to finding the true origins of pop culture. Having written and published more than forty books that range from science fiction to crime thrillers, I’ve wanted to share my findings in the hopes that others will notice something new and exciting as well. 

John's book list on cult sci-fi and fantasy you may not have heard of before

John Triptych Why did John love this book?

The first in a series of science fantasy novels, the works of Vance are largely unknown to the general public, but this particular set of stories has some very influential fans, like George RR Martin (the author of A Game of Thrones), and Gary Gygax (who invented Dungeons & Dragons).
In The Dying Earth, Vance has created a unique system of magic, in which a wizard must memorize a lengthy spell in his mind that disappears from memory once it is cast. This and other innovations along with unique characters and worldbuilding has created an endearing tale that has thrilled readers since it was first published in 1950.

If you want to know where today’s top sci-fi and fantasy authors got their influence from, look no further than Jack Vance.

By Jack Vance,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Different cover. Please see scan. Minor wear on edges of spine. Pages are clean with no marks.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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