79 books like Death World

By Steve Lyons,

Here are 79 books that Death World fans have personally recommended if you like Death World. 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 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Bennett R. Coles Author Of Virtues of War

From my list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 4 years old when I first saw Star Wars, and it changed my entire world view. Basically, from that moment forward everything was cooler if it was in SPACE! Eventually, I grew up, and today, I’ve served more than 20 years in uniform, but I discovered along the way that most sci-fi doesn’t portray the military accurately. When I started writing, one of my goals was to present as realistic a depiction of the military as I can (in space!) and I’ve always enjoyed books like the ones on my list that do the same. 

Bennett's book list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military

Bennett R. Coles Why did Bennett love this book?

World War Z offers an intriguing insight into the method of warfighting. The zombies are attacking New York, and the US Army is there to stop them. But the ammunition the Army has brought is designed, as the expert on scene describes, to overwhelm and terrorize the enemy. The intent is not to kill the enemy so much as to break their spirit. The zombies, knowing no fear, just keep advancing, and the tactic is a failure.

I appreciate this insight into the psychology of war and the preference for “shock and awe” tactics rather than full-on destruction. Don’t get me wrong – many people die in war. But Max Brooks accurately identified the truth that most soldiers don’t want to kill their enemy: they just want everyone to go home.

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked World War Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginning of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight against the horde, World War Z brings the finest traditions of journalism to bear on what is…


Book cover of Skulduggery Pleasant

Beau Johnston Author Of Sleep with One Eye Open

From my list on casual (or non) readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I despise long-winded books with an electoral roll of characters or characters with unnecessarily complex names. Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. High school does its best to suck the joy out of reading with its “what did the author mean here?” nonsense. If the reader has to guess what the author means, the author failed to tell their story. Symbolism and hidden meanings are a joke. I won’t read pretentious books that people only read so they can say they’ve read them. One of the reasons I started writing was to reach people who ended up as non-readers because high school ruined reading for them.

Beau's book list on casual (or non) readers

Beau Johnston Why did Beau love this book?

Originally, I was looking for a book series to get my 12-year-old (non-reader) nephew interested in reading. The cover art is great, and the description, “a smart-ass skeleton detective and a secret magic world, in the shadows of the real world,” piqued my interest. Yes, an actual walking, talking skeleton.

I first purchased a copy for myself so I would know if it was appropriate for him. I enjoyed reading it so much that I went out the next day and bought him the first four books in the series. They became the first books he voluntarily read. I love the depictions of magic (and magical creatures) in the real world and the constant battle to keep regular humans ignorant of the events that take place virtually right in front of them. 

By Derek Landy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Skulduggery Pleasant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

She's twelve. He's dead. But together they're going to save the world. Hopefully.

The iconic first book in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series.

Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction.

Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer...


Book cover of Dawn of the Dead

Beau Johnston Author Of Sleep with One Eye Open

From my list on casual (or non) readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I despise long-winded books with an electoral roll of characters or characters with unnecessarily complex names. Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. High school does its best to suck the joy out of reading with its “what did the author mean here?” nonsense. If the reader has to guess what the author means, the author failed to tell their story. Symbolism and hidden meanings are a joke. I won’t read pretentious books that people only read so they can say they’ve read them. One of the reasons I started writing was to reach people who ended up as non-readers because high school ruined reading for them.

Beau's book list on casual (or non) readers

Beau Johnston Why did Beau love this book?

It's a great read for a cold winter night or a lazy Sunday afternoon. The zombies are slow, methodical, and relentless. I prefer Romero's slow-shambling zombies over Hollywood’s gold-medal-winning sprint demons.

The story revels in claustrophobic tension with plenty of action, stealth, and more zombies than you can throw a pie at (you’ll only get that if you’ve seen the original movie). The story is faithful to the movie, and it was fun to space the book out over a couple of nights.

By George A. Romero,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WHEN THE END OF THE WORLD COMES, WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?

The classic horror that inspired a genre: if you haven't read this yet, you need to. If you have, you'll want to again. Includes a brilliant and exclusive introduction from Simon Pegg.

When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.

George A. Romero's iconic film and novel terrified generations.

Now Dawn of the Dead is back to terrify once more.

The world is being devastated by zombies. No one knows how far they have spread, or how to stop them. And as…


Book cover of Eisenhorn: The Omnibus

Rory Surtain Author Of Psyker

From my list on fantasy set in a dark, dystopian world or universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian science fantasy for the fact that it defines its own reality. The distant, magical aspects of every dystopian world create separation from the world we live in. The reader must cling to the characters, accept their motives and flaws, and finish the ride no matter where it goes. Not every plot needs to reform the status quo. Star Wars was the white-washed exception, and even that got dark at times. Combining flawed characters with flawed settings makes a novel compelling without the need for overly fantastic powers or world-altering events. Sure, I include those too, but futuristic dystopia offers plenty of challenges for simply surviving each day.

Rory's book list on fantasy set in a dark, dystopian world or universe

Rory Surtain Why did Rory love this book?

A different kind of hero. Cerebral and self-contained. Eisenhorn is an Inquisitor who maneuvers within the system and operates within his own complex reality, fighting a never-ending war against all aspects of Chaos. He finds allies in impossible places and uses them to his advantage. Part mystery, part adventure, and expertly crafted to portray the darkest of futures, it is the quintessential dystopian science fantasy. While some may question the rigid morality of the future day, Eisenhorn chooses results over dogma, choosing the lesser of two evils. I learned that characters must choose their own reality, adapting to the dystopia in which they reside. It’s a compelling human trait that transcends any universe.  

By Dan Abnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn is an Imperial inquisitor, one of the tirelss defenders of humanity. With his warband he scourges the galaxy, walking in the shadows of darkness in order to root out heresy. When that heresy is found to infiltrate the hierarchy of the Imperium and the Inquisition itself, Eisnehorn must rely on himself alone to deal with it – even if it means making deals with the enemy and compromising everything he ahs ever believed in.

Read it because
It's the whole classic trilogy that remains top of many Warhammer 40,000 fans' must-read lists, And in Pariah, there's a…


Book cover of Fulgrim

Kian N. Ardalan Author Of Eleventh Cycle

From my list on think about humanity's legacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Something that annoys me to no end is when people avoid reading fantasy or sci-fi because it isn’t realistic. I argue that realism isn’t about the veracity of flying dragons or building a fusion reactor that can fit in our hands; it’s about the human elements in between. Sci-fi can be a reminder of the dangerous trajectory we are heading in. Fantasy can reflect inequality by condensing resources to one mystical gem. To this end, any book that ends with me understanding the danger of language by describing it as a virus or showing me how books can bridge the gap between past and present makes me grow as a person.

Kian's book list on think about humanity's legacy

Kian N. Ardalan Why did Kian love this book?

What is the essence of creating art? That’s what I took away from this book. The main plot of the book has to do with hamartia and the fall of an angel, but it is the commentary on the perfection of art that really stuck with me.

This is more so because Graham McNeil’s prior attempt to depict corruption in False Gods was such a disappointment, which turns Fulgrim into glorious vindication. Artists always lament and torment themselves over their work. Constant doubt makes an artist strive for perfection, with brief moments of feeling like we succeeded. No book encapsulated that for me like this did.

By Graham McNeill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It is the 31st millennium, and humanity is at the peak of its powers. As the Great Crusade, led by Warmaster Horus, continues to conquer the galaxy, Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children, leads his warriors into battle against a vile alien foe. From the blood of this campaign are sown the seeds that will lead this proud Legion to treachery, taking them down the darkest of paths of corruption. Leading up to the carnage of the Dropsite Massacre on Isstvan V, this is the tale of Fulgrim's tragic fall from grace.


Book cover of Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium

Andrew Claydon Author Of The Simple Delivery

From my list on fantasy and sci-fi to make you laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me the best fantasy and sci-fi is made up of many themes. Take one of my favorite fantasy movies, Willow. It has heart and comedy but also drama, action, and high stakes. This is something that I want from my writing. I want the reader to laugh, and a few paragraphs later be gasping as the main character faces mortal peril. With the very best books, you get taken on a roller coaster of emotional responses. As a UK fantasy author, my goal is to make sure that you put my books down only when you absolutely have to, which includes falling asleep holding them because you’ve stayed up too late reading.

Andrew's book list on fantasy and sci-fi to make you laugh

Andrew Claydon Why did Andrew love this book?

Nothing about the Warhammer 40,000 universe says ‘funny’. The fact that it’s fans call it the ‘grimdark’ is a proud testament to this. I’ve read a lot of Warhammer books, but was surprised when I came across this series. It follows Ciaphas Cain, a Commissar who is trying to survive and find the cushiest job for himself in a universe of constant war, yet somehow, he constantly ends up being the hero.

This book really opened my eyes to the fact that you can humor even in the grittiest settings, and that just because a book is funny, it doesn’t mean it can’t be action-packed and have high stakes. Much of the humor comes from Cain’s futile attempts to avoid any sort of combat and save his own skin.

By Sandy Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first three action-packed adventures of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, and his malodorous aide Jurgen are collected together into one amazing volume. His brand of sarcasm and self-preservation are a hit with Black Library fans and provide a unique counterpoint to the usual darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.


Book cover of Dark Star

Mark Roman and Corben Duke Author Of The Worst Man on Mars

From my list on thigh-slappingly funny science fiction.

Why are we passionate about this?

Who, apart from the innately humorless, doesn’t like a good laugh? We do, whether it’s at Mark Roman’s opera singing or at Corben Duke’s naked balloon dance. We also enjoy funny science fiction books. We’ve tried writing them, too, but it’s devilishly difficult. So, time and time again, we turn to the masters in the field to see how they did it, studying the words they used, the way they joined them together, and where they inserted the punctuation marks. Most instructive. Here are our top five and their funny SF books.

Mark's book list on thigh-slappingly funny science fiction

Mark Roman and Corben Duke Why did Mark love this book?

A very funny book based on the John Carpenter movie of the same name. It’s about the crew of the malfunctioning Dark Star, engaged in the suitably pointless mission of “destroying unstable planets.” Highlights include the alien shaped like a beach ball, and the philosophical bomb agonizing over its purpose in life – to blow or not to blow. Sadly, the book is out of print, although you might bag a second-hand copy. One of us (Corben) obtained a manky copy on the No. 47 bus as he made his way with his greyhound Professor Wagglesworth to the Catford Dog track in 1974. The Professor performed poorly that night – distracted by a frisky poodle in the crowd – so Corben read the book instead. It made him realise that life, unlike greyhound racing, is not to be taken seriously.

By Alan Dean Foster,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Lurker at the Threshold

Amie Irene Winters Author Of Summoner of Sleep

From my list on that will give you goosebumps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American horror and fantasy writer, addicted to reading dark fiction and Gothic literature. I’ve always loved the spookier things in life and wrote my first horror story when I was nine. When not writing books, I love breaking a sweat in Jiu-Jitsu class, baking desserts, and traveling. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have.

Amie's book list on that will give you goosebumps

Amie Irene Winters Why did Amie love this book?

This list would not be complete if I did not include one of Lovecraft’s books, as he is a true icon of the macabre, having created his own pantheon of Gods. He inspired Anne Rice, Clive Barker, and Stephen King to name a few. His stories are unique, entrenching, groundbreaking, and stay embedded within you long after you’ve read them. Horror fans know him well, but to most people who aren’t familiar with his name, they actually inadvertently know about his work. John Carpenter’s The Thing is based on Lovecraft’s In the Mountains of Madness. The character Pennywise from It is based on Lovecraft’s ideas of “outer gods” and evil beings that exist in dimensions outside of normal human experience. 

The Lurker at the Threshold remains my favorite story because it encompasses everything Lovecraft wrote about – unspeakable revelations, fractured characters, and boundaries of space and time. To me,…

Book cover of Guests

Tyler Jones Author Of Heavy Oceans

From my list on plots Mulder and Scully should have investigated.

Why am I passionate about this?

As horror writer, I’m often asked what scares me most, and almost every fear I have is, at its core, about the Unknown. Not just what we don’t know but the things we cannot know. In all my books, I’ve tried to lean into that personal fear as much as possible, and with Heavy Oceans, I was inspired by the cases Mulder and Scully investigated back when the idea of a government lying to and spying on its own citizens seemed almost quaint by comparison to the moments we’re living. And, as the show’s title credit often said, in glowing words that blazed over a darkened sky…"The Truth is Out There."

Tyler's book list on plots Mulder and Scully should have investigated

Tyler Jones Why did Tyler love this book?

Whether it’s the short story, the novella, or the novel, Burke never fails to go for the throat in wonderfully unexpected ways. This book falls into that niche sub-genre of horror often referred to as “Arctic horror,” although that often just means cold, with lots of snow. 

The staff at a seaside hotel take in a group from a nearby retirement community just as a massive snowstorm strands them all in a hotel that feels like an East Coast version of the Overlook. A combination of John Carpenter’s The Thing and The Shining, Burke finds the terror in small moments that string together into something much larger and horrifying than I anticipated.

I read this book at night just as snowflakes started falling outside the office window. One of those stories (like several of Burke’s themed collections that might be best read at a certain time of year, in…

By Kealan Patrick Burke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guests 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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