10 books like Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

By A. Lee Martinez,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Frankenstein

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of Frankenstein

Okay, I know Frankenstein’s Creature is generally viewed as a Monster rather than zombie but hey, he’s built from graveyard flesh and bone. His creator is generally seen as a ‘man of science’ but he dabbled in the occult and alchemy, too, even if he abandoned those ideas to try modern alternatives. It’s an amazing book using The Creature’s plight to challenge our ideas and morals. These ideas of how we should treat people and the results remain poignant but it is the loneliness of the Creature and its battle to survive its rejection by its creator and society that holds the modern-day reader even now.

Frankenstein

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Frankenstein 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'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…


Soon I Will Be Invincible

By Austin Grossman,

Book cover of Soon I Will Be Invincible

I really connected with evil genius Doctor Impossible and his whacky world of superheroes. In grade and high school, I felt like I was the one who was overlooked, which was often the good days; getting noticed generally meant I was being made fun of and bullied. But to take revenge, to show my plebeian classmates the (imagined) might that lay within me, how glorious that would be! Hahaha! Evil laugh aside, as Doctor Impossible does just that, I also enjoyed his vulnerable needs, longings, and regrets. And the lives of the heroes are not all they are cracked up to be. While not as stark (or violent) as The Boys, Grossman also exposes the toll superhero biology can take on the mind and body. A fun and poignant read.

Soon I Will Be Invincible

By Austin Grossman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soon I Will Be Invincible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Doctor Impossible—evil genius, would-be world conqueror—languishes in prison. Shuffling through the cafeteria line with ordinary criminals, he wonders if the smartest man in the world has done the smartest thing he could with his life. After all, he's lost every battle he's ever fought. But this prison won't hold him forever.

Fatale—half woman, half high-tech warrior—used to be an unemployed cyborg. Now, she's a rookie member of the world's most famous super-team, the Champions. But being a superhero is not all flying cars and planets in peril—she learns that in the locker rooms and dive bars of superherodom, the men…


The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

By John Joseph Adams (editor),

Book cover of The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

Given my belief that Thanos had a point (what science-math-oriented person can’t tremble at the algorithm of over-population?), it’s no surprise I enjoyed an anthology of different takes on mad scientists and what drives them. I got my fix of humorously boastful ego-maniacs, such as Professor Incognito’s itemized “apology” to his girlfriend (with attempted sincerity because of their couple’s therapist). And the variety of these tales exposed me to a bevy of villainy, from a psychologist who uses the “soft” sciences to unleash the insanity within stable scientists because “everyone deserves the opportunity to go mad” to a side-hustling villainy coach whose budget forces her to choose between new tech plating or weapons-grade plutonium. What’s a would-be world conqueror to do? Relatable.

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

By John Joseph Adams (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses - from their own wonderfully twisted point of view. An all-star roster of bestselling authors - including Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, and Seanan McGuire...twenty-two great storytellers all told - have produced a fabulous assortment of stories guaranteed to provide readers with hour after hour…


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I know plenty of people have seen film adaptations of this story, but in Stevenson’s novel, the drug takes on a larger, more sinister role. In the story, Dr. Jekyll – a respected and well-meaning scientist – creates a drug that can alter his personality to allow his baser, more evil elements to come to the surface. It essentially summons his “alter-ego” Mr. Hyde. As the good doctor becomes more and more dependent on the drug, his evil counterpart becomes more and more the prominent personality. At its surface, the novel is a classic exploration of good vs. evil, but a careful reading also illuminates the real dangers of substance abuse and what that can do to a personality.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dr. Henry Jekyll is a well-liked and respected physician. When he calls upon his lawyer, Mr. Utterson, to draw up a new will to include a strange new beneficiary, Mr. Utterson takes it upon himself to investigate the identity of this strange man. But nothing sufficiently prepares him for the truth he will uncover! Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colourful comic strip form, offering an excellent introduction for younger readers. This edition also includes theme discussions and study questions, which can be used both in the classroom or at home to further engage the reader in the work…


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers,

Book cover of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

This is a fascinating exploration of culture and personality, both human and alien. The breadth and variation in human culture is cleverly placed in context by the presence of alien cultures and, as we get to know them, we see not only how they differ from ours, but we get to question our own values and societal norms. The story is set on a spaceship which is used to build hyperspace tunnels. They agree to build a tunnel to open a cargo route to a far-off planet in an active war zone. The dangers of the journey, and of the task when they arrive, reveal the true personalities of the crew, and none of them come out of it unchanged.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEY'S WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

'A quietly profound, humane tour de force' Guardian

The beloved debut novel that will restore your faith in humanity

#SmallAngryPlanet

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The ship, which has seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix,…


The Last Astronaut

By David Wellington,

Book cover of The Last Astronaut

In a future US where NASA and the space program is all but defunct, former astronaut Sally Jensen is brought out of an involuntary retirement to lead a new, barely-qualified team on a most intriguing—and dangerousmission to an asteroid that's slowing down as it approaches Earth. Gripping and addictive, I found myself not able to put this book down once I started it. This definitely falls into the sci-fi horror camp, a blend whichfortunatelythis story handles really well. If you’re looking for a hard science fiction novel with a hefty helping of horror mixed throughout, you cannot go wrong with this gem!

The Last Astronaut

By David Wellington,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2020!
"A terrifying tour de force." --James Rollins
"Readers will be riveted." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sally Jansen was NASA's leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, she lives in quiet anonymity, convinced her days in space are over.
She's wrong.
A large alien object has entered the solar system on a straight course toward Earth. It has made no attempt to communicate. Out of time and out of options, NASA turns to Jansen.
But as the object reveals its secrets, Jansen and her crew find…


At the Mountains of Madness

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Book cover of At the Mountains of Madness

A revolutionary, especially for the time period, development of cosmic horror elucidated to the reader in a then rarely used first-person perspective. The utter insignificance of mankind, in relation to the grand time span of the cosmos. As well as the almost perfunctory inclusion of a nubile human race in relation to a much vaster multiverse, definitely set a precedence for all expansions of the borders of consciousness to come. Way ahead of his time, the mythos of HP Lovecraft were vastly underappreciated in their day, but have become the inspiration for a whole slew of successful modern authors.  

At the Mountains of Madness

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the Mountains of Madness is a science fiction-horror novella by American author H. P. Lovecraft.

An expedition to Antarctica goes horribly wrong as a group of explorers stumbles upon some mysterious ancient ruins, with devastating consequences. At the Mountains of Madness ranks among Lovecraft's most terrifying novellas, and is a firm favourite among fans of classic horror.


The Wrong Stars

By Tim Pratt,

Book cover of The Wrong Stars

Good space opera is built on time-honored tropes, and Pratt hits them all on the head. Space princess? Check. Ragtag crew? Check. Strange, otherworldly aliens and a dash of romance? Double check. The Wrong Stars is space opera at its finest, with a classic adventure between humans and aliens, good versus evil, and technological innovation that makes you stop and consider current trends. 

The romance line is sapphic, age gap, flirtatious and commanding. Callie is our commanding captain, cool and in charge. Elena has been in cryosleep on a generational ship that was attacked by violent aliens and has some trauma to work out. Who better to help than Callie? And of course the whole crew needs to go investigate these new aliens. The fate of the galaxy is at stake!

The Wrong Stars

By Tim Pratt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials... and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Adrift | Liar Liar | Golden…


Claiming T-Mo

By Eugen Bacon,

Book cover of Claiming T-Mo

In Claiming T-Mo, Australian-African writer Eugen Bacon re-invents and shatters all the familiar codes of the magical sci-fi genre. A novel about women, magic, fate, and freedom, Claiming T-Mo is also a deep reflection on motherhood, love, masculinity, and identities. As the different female narrators share their views and feelings about T-Mo, the elusive central character, more questions about filiation and heritage unroll, making the reader a part of the quest. I love Eugen Bacon because she is an incredibly versatile talent, who turns everything she writes about into pure gold. 

Claiming T-Mo

By Eugen Bacon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this lush interplanetary tale, Novic is an immortal Sayneth priest who flouts the conventions of a matriarchal society by choosing a name for his child. This act initiates chaos that splits the boy in two, unleashing a Jekyll-and-Hyde child upon the universe. Named T-Mo by his mother and Odysseus by his father, the story spans the boy’s lifetime — from his early years with his mother Silhouette on planet Grovea to his travels to Earth where he meets and marries Salem, and together they bear a hybrid named Myra. The story unfolds through the eyes of these three distinctive…


Solaris

By Stanislaw Lem, Steve Cox, Joanna Kilmartin

Book cover of Solaris

I’m often attracted to characters who seem to be haunted – whether by places, people, or their own past. Stanislaw Lem ups the ante a good deal by having his cast of characters apparently haunted by the entire ocean of the planet they’ve landed on. But that isn’t why I find Solaris so moving and intriguing. Just as we’re starting to orientate ourselves to how the planet can bend reality for the astronauts who are based there, Lem throws an entirely unexpected question into the mix – what if the ‘monsters’ don’t realise they’re ‘monsters’, what if they’re as bewildered by the situation as the ‘victims’? That blindsided me (which is another thing I like stories to do) and, for me, it adds a special layer of poignancy to the book.

Solaris

By Stanislaw Lem, Steve Cox, Joanna Kilmartin

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface he is forced to confront a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others suffer from the same affliction and speculation rises among scientists that the Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates incarnate memories, but its purpose in doing so remains a mystery . . .

Solaris raises a question that has been at the heart of human experience and literature for centuries: can we truly understand the universe around us without first understanding what…


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