100 books like Death from the Skies!

By Philip Plait,

Here are 100 books that Death from the Skies! fans have personally recommended if you like Death from the Skies!. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Stories of Your Life and Others

Ai Jiang Author Of I Am AI

From my list on reads for a glimpse at humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a diet of dystopian fiction, and when I first began taking craft more seriously and diving into short stories, that was the genre I found myself writing most. I suppose what draws me to the genre is how dystopian fiction has the ability to illuminate society’s faults and injustices and humanity as a whole, the bleak futures that it could create if certain ideologies were allowed to persist, the way individual behaviours and actions can well shape the future and dictate whether it becomes one filled with hope or one that falls into disaster. 

Ai's book list on reads for a glimpse at humanity

Ai Jiang Why did Ai love this book?

What fascinates me most about this novella is its ability to capture such depth and fullness in such a short length.

This book explores the concept of time and language, and how the way humans perceive time vastly differs from the alien species, and the way language ultimately affects time perception and decision-making as well.

By Ted Chiang,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Stories of Your Life and Others as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A science fiction genius . . . Ted Chiang is a superstar.' - Guardian

With Stories of Your Life and Others, his masterful first collection, multiple-award-winning author Ted Chiang deftly blends human emotion and scientific rationalism in eight remarkably diverse stories, all told in his trademark precise and evocative prose.

From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the firmament above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of…


Book cover of 1984

S R Kay Author Of All Measures Necessary

From my list on political thrillers that are not about entertaining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I see no distinction between the personal and the political. All art is, therefore, a political act, and literature especially, since the author gets inside the reader's head. In 1984, the use of a pen is punishable, never mind having an unorthodox opinion; novels are written by machines—commodities like jam or bootlaces, to pacify the proles. (A.I. novels outcompeting human ones?) Yes, novels entertain, and that's OK, but the best way to change your outlook is to let you understand the human condition a little better. That is why I want more from a political thriller than just the same old lies, corruption, sex, and power at the heart of government.

S's book list on political thrillers that are not about entertaining

S R Kay Why did S love this book?

I keep returning to this and reading different things into it every time. As with Little Man, this is not the West Wing/Thick of It classic political thriller, but it is told from the perspective of an ordinary Joe. Unlike Little Man, where the political message is woven in seamlessly, 1984 is a full-on polemic written by a man with little time left in an attempt to shape opinion. It is, though, well-plotted and hangs together really well as a novel (barring the sections where Smith reads from the book).

Often read as an anti-communist allegory, I see it as so much more: sending us a warning against all who think only they are right, seeking to impose their will on others, be they autocrats like Putin, Trump, Xi Jinping, or Farage.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

46 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of Brave New World

Stephen Wunker Author Of The Innovative Leader: Step-By-Step Lessons from Top Innovators For You and Your Organization

From my list on passionate innovators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an innovator. I’ve been one since I was a kid. Since then, I’ve started a couple of non-profits and four companies, and I’ve advised hundreds of clients on innovation opportunities. I’ve also led the team that created one of the world’s first smartphones. Over the past dozen years, I’ve written four books on the strategy and capabilities of innovation. Innovation is one of the essential characteristics that make us human. It can get the world into trouble, but it does more good than harm on balance. My mission is to make us better at innovation and make the world a better place.

Stephen's book list on passionate innovators

Stephen Wunker Why did Stephen love this book?

Perhaps you read this one in school, but most haven’t revisited the work since. I urge you to do so! People passionate about innovation need to keep humans foremost in their minds, not the machines (of any sort) that they create.

Huxley’s tale is famous because it’s both simple and profound. It’s also remarkably prophetic. As we focus intently on creating the new, this book reminds us of the bigger picture and calls into question the overall endeavor.

Early in my career, I was responsible for one of the world’s first smartphones. It was a wonderful achievement. But this book makes me think twice about whether I should be so proud.

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Brave New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**One of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World**

EVERYONE BELONGS TO EVERYONE ELSE. Read the dystopian classic that inspired the hit Sky TV series.

'A masterpiece of speculation... As vibrant, fresh, and somehow shocking as it was when I first read it' Margaret Atwood, bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale.

Welcome to New London. Everybody is happy here. Our perfect society achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family and history itself. Now everyone belongs.

You can be happy too. All you need to do is take your Soma pills.

Discover the brave new…


Book cover of Cosmic Memory: The Story of Atlantis, Lemuria, and the Division of the Sexes

Tom Evans Author Of Soulwaves: A Future History

From my list on the future of the human race.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tom spent the first 30 years of his professional life at the cutting edge of the broadcast industry. He has always been fascinated by new technology and more specifically how it allows humans to evolve and work smarter and better. He is also a sci-fi fan and has a keen interest in both cosmology and metaphysics. He says that today's metaphysics is tomorrow’s physics. So his book choices mirror his fascinations which are in what lies in the future for humanity, bearing in mind that science fiction especially has a tendency to become science fact at some time or other. If we humans are capable of imagining something, then we seem to develop the ability to make it happen.

Tom's book list on the future of the human race

Tom Evans Why did Tom love this book?

This might sound like a weird choice as it really is an alternate view of human history and evolution. At the very end of the book, Steiner gives some pointers about where we might be heading and how we could evolve. When I read this, I felt intuitively that it gave a truer picture of how we may have got here than one held as gospel by materialistic science. Again, Steiner was a visionary and a meta-scientist. If you do read it, be mindful not to take some of the language literally. When he writes about the Saturn Phase, think accretion disc for example.

By Rudolf Steiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the best tradition of the literature of ancient wisdom, Cosmic Memory reconstructs, from the akashic record, events that span the time between the origin of the Earth and the beginning of recorded history. This spiritual research includes a profound investigation of the origins, achievements, and fate of the Atlanteans and Lemurians - the remarkable 'lost' root races that developed the first concepts of 'good' and 'evil,' manipulated natural forces, laid the foundation for human legal and ethical systems, and defined and nurtured the distinctive yet complementary powers of men and women that brought humankind, many centuries ago, to its…


Book cover of Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From the Asteroids, Comets and Planets

Martin Elvis Author Of Asteroids: How Love, Fear, and Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space

From my list on space mining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an astronomer since I was young and lucky enough to make a living at it. I ventured into space mining when I found Mining the Sky. I started doing some calculations using the newest research. What I found was surprising and ignited a new passion in me that has led me from asteroids to the Moon to the ends of the Solar System and from pure astrophysics into questions of law, government, and ethics. Now, I write almost entirely about our future in space.

Martin's book list on space mining

Martin Elvis Why did Martin love this book?

Nothing was more counter-intuitive to me than mining the sky. Surely, space is a void, I thought. John Lewis put me right. He convinced me–that there are huge resources out in the void that dwarf Earth’s supplies. Our future could well lie among them.

But will it be soon or centuries from now? I reckon soon.

By John S. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

While we worry over the depletion of the earth's natural resources, the pollution of our planet, and the challenges presented by the earth's growing population, billions of dollars worth of metals, fuels, and life-sustaining substances await us in nearby space. In this visionary book, noted planetary scientist John S. Lewis explains how we can mine these precious metals from the asteroids, comets, and planets in our own solar system for use in space construction projects. And this is just one of the possibilities. Join John S. Lewis as he contemplates milking the moons of Mars for water and hollowing out…


Book cover of Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything

Martin Elvis Author Of Asteroids: How Love, Fear, and Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space

From my list on space mining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an astronomer since I was young and lucky enough to make a living at it. I ventured into space mining when I found Mining the Sky. I started doing some calculations using the newest research. What I found was surprising and ignited a new passion in me that has led me from asteroids to the Moon to the ends of the Solar System and from pure astrophysics into questions of law, government, and ethics. Now, I write almost entirely about our future in space.

Martin's book list on space mining

Martin Elvis Why did Martin love this book?

This book is a hoot! It’s about as far from an earnest lecture on future tech–including asteroid mining–as can be, yet it still taught me a ton while I laughed out loud. (I may be biased as there’s a nearly full-page cartoon of me on page 66.)

Beware: you may emerge from reading it with new views.

By Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why don't we have a lunar colony already? In this witty and entertaining book, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith give us a snapshot of the transformative technologies that are coming next - from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters - and explain how they will change our world in astonishing ways. By weaving together their own research, interviews with pioneering scientists and Zach's trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these innovations are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.


Book cover of Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space

Martin Elvis Author Of Asteroids: How Love, Fear, and Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space

From my list on space mining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an astronomer since I was young and lucky enough to make a living at it. I ventured into space mining when I found Mining the Sky. I started doing some calculations using the newest research. What I found was surprising and ignited a new passion in me that has led me from asteroids to the Moon to the ends of the Solar System and from pure astrophysics into questions of law, government, and ethics. Now, I write almost entirely about our future in space.

Martin's book list on space mining

Martin Elvis Why did Martin love this book?

After I got all fired up about space mining with the other books, Erika Nesvold raised all sorts of questions that I hadn’t considered. What sort of “world” do I want to see when people expand across the solar system?

After reading her book, I realize that despite my urge to just get on and do it, a Wild West in space isn’t what we’re after.

By Erika Nesvold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Can we do better in space than we’ve done here on Earth?

We’ve pinpointed the destination, refined the technology, designed the habitat, outfitted our space residents. Are we forgetting something? A timely reminder that it’s not just rocket science, this thought-provoking book explores the all-too-human issues raised by the prospect of settling in outer space. It’s worth remembering, Erika Nesvold suggests, that in making new worlds, we don’t necessarily leave our earthly problems behind. Accordingly, her work highlights the complex ethical challenges that accompany any other-worldly venture—questions about the environment, labor rights, and medical ethics, among others.

Any such venture,…


Book cover of The High Frontier: Human Colonies In Space

Martin Elvis Author Of Asteroids: How Love, Fear, and Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space

From my list on space mining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an astronomer since I was young and lucky enough to make a living at it. I ventured into space mining when I found Mining the Sky. I started doing some calculations using the newest research. What I found was surprising and ignited a new passion in me that has led me from asteroids to the Moon to the ends of the Solar System and from pure astrophysics into questions of law, government, and ethics. Now, I write almost entirely about our future in space.

Martin's book list on space mining

Martin Elvis Why did Martin love this book?

It’s an oldie (originally published in 1976!) but still in print. O’Neill offers us an optimistic vision of the giant “space cities” we may be able to build when we master space mining based on solid numbers.

I have my reservations, and Nesvold’s cautions still apply, but just maybe we can do better this time around.

By Gerard K. O'Neill, Donald Davis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1969 America had proved its leadership in human spaceflight but among the nation’s youth an anti-technology mindset was growing. Princeton Physicist and Professor Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, inventor of the revolutionary Colliding-Beam Storage Ring technology that is now the basis of all high energy particle accelerators, asked his students if they could come up with a working Space Colony system to permanently and happily house tens of thousands of regular people. They dug into the challenge. Soon his small band of students grew to scores of researchers both young and old, all united in the Big Dream of letting…


Book cover of The Ophiuchi Hotline

Edward Ashton Author Of Mickey7

From my list on science fiction about people who won’t stay dead.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many SF nerds, I watched a lot of Star Trek when I was a kid. I liked the adventures. I liked the ethos. I did not like the transporter. Everybody seemed to believe that they were being… well… transported, but it seemed obvious to me that actually they were just getting dissolved, and then somebody else who looked like them was getting created at the other end. This question (transported or replaced?) is the essence of the teletransport paradoxa puzzler that’s bedeviled philosophers since at least 1775. All of these books (including mine) are at their hearts an exploration of this problem. I know my answer. Do you?

Edward's book list on science fiction about people who won’t stay dead

Edward Ashton Why did Edward love this book?

The Ophiuchi Hotline is the first of four novels set in Varley’s Eight Worlds universe, where bodies are malleable things, and appearance, gender, and even your basic form can be changed on a whim. Its protagonist, Lilo, begins by escaping her execution by allowing an illegally produced replicant to die for her. Her situation deteriorates steadily from there, as she is repeatedly killed and resurrected while passing through the belly of the solar system’s underworld.

This book hits all my sweet spots—a morally ambiguous protagonist, an imaginative plot that provides a running commentary on the many ways we’re making a mess of the present world, and, as a bonus, someone getting chucked into a black hole for making a new kind of food called “bananameat” out of human DNA. What more could you ask?

By John Varley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Following the effortless capture of Earth by vastly superior aliens, humanity was left to fight for existence on the Moon and other lumps of airless rock. Survival was greatly facilitated by the interception of the Hotline, a constant stream of data from the direction of a star in the constellation Ophiuchus, which enabled the development of amazing new technologies. Four hundred years on, and everything is about to change again because humanity's unknown helpers have just sent what appears to be a bill. It shouldn't matter to Lilo, since she's been caught experimenting with human DNA and sentenced to permanent…


Book cover of Black Hole Survival Guide

Dan Falk Author Of In Search of Time: The History, Physics, and Philosophy of Time

From my list on the universe for people who want the big picture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the universe since childhood – ever since my parents took me to the countryside in rural Nova Scotia, where the stars shone with wondrous intensity. At first, I borrowed books about space and the universe from our local library for fun; now, as a full-time science writer, I read these books to stay informed about the latest ideas shaping our understanding of the cosmos. (I also read them in order to review them on BookLab, a podcast I host together with science writer Amanda Gefter.) I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Dan's book list on the universe for people who want the big picture

Dan Falk Why did Dan love this book?

Black holes are surely the most mysterious structures known to physics. In this short and highly accessible book, Levin, an astrophysicist at Barnard College of Columbia University, brings her unique poetic style to the puzzles found at the frontiers of physics. Warped spacetime, event horizons, singularities – it’s all here. And Lia Halloran’s delightful illustrations help bring the story to life.

By Janna Levin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Hole Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What would happen if you fell into a Black Hole?

Black holes are found throughout the universe. They can be microscopic. They can be billions of times larger than our Sun. They are dark on the outside but not on the inside. Anything that enters them can never escape, and yet they contain nothing at all.

In Black Hole Survival Guide physicist and novelist Janna Levin takes you on a journey into a black hole, explaining what would happen to you and why. In the process you'll come to see how their mysteries contain answers to some of the most…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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