10 books like The Maiden Voyage

By Marcus Alexander Hart,

Here are 10 books that The Maiden Voyage fans have personally recommended if you like The Maiden Voyage. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

Mel Laytner Author Of What They Didn't Burn: Uncovering My Father's Holocaust Secrets

From my list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a foreign correspondent seven time zones from home when my father died of a sudden heart attack. My grief mixed with guilt for never having sat down with him to unravel his vague vignettes about life and loss in the Holocaust. I wondered, how did he survive when so many perished? How much depended on resilience, smarts, or dumb luck? As reporters do, I started digging. I uncovered a Nazi paper trial that tracked his life from home, through ghettos, slave labor, concentration camps, death marches, and more. The tattered documents revealed a man very different from the quiet, quintessential Type-B Dad I knew…or thought I knew. 

Mel's book list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II

Mel Laytner Why did Mel love this book?

I first read Slaughterhouse-Five as a callow college student, concluding with the certainty of youth that this was a brilliant but weird amalgam of dark humor and sci-fi wrapped inside an autobiographical anti-war screed. However, my real ‘duh’ moment came after rereading the book decades later.

The opening line, “Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time” – tells you everything you need to know: It’s about PTSD, written from the inside looking out. Like Billy Pilgrim, I could see myself time-jumping and being abducted by aliens to escape the trauma of war. Interestingly, the term “PTSD,” the acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, had not entered our lexicon when Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse Five in the 1960s. Poignant and personal, it's still a brilliant amalgam of dark humor and sci-fi. 

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had…


Book cover of All Systems Red

Julia Huni Author Of The Vacuum of Space

From my list on Science Fiction books to make you smile.

Why am I passionate about this?

My tagline is “sci-fi with heart and humor,” and that’s the core of who I am. Making others smile is my reason for being—whether that’s through the books I write, the silly things I say, or the crazy things I do. I’ve written twenty-eight books so far, and the purpose of every one of them is to make you giggle. I’ve written funny sci-fi, cheerful space opera, and a series of terrestrial romantic comedies set in a kitschy, over-the-top small town. 

Julia's book list on Science Fiction books to make you smile

Julia Huni Why did Julia love this book?

I heard so many people rave about the Murderbot Diaries (this is book 1) that I launched my own one-person boycott—until someone gave me a copy. Then, I wondered why I had resisted for so long. It’s fantastic! I love Murderbot’s dry delivery—very similar to my own style of humor. The story is fabulous—full of action, technology, and danger—and Murderbot slowly reveals its backstory and personality as it carries you through the story.

I loved that the built-to-work-tirelessly Murderbot is instinctively lazy, prefers to watch soap operas over doing its job, and cleverly hides those “failings” from the people it is supposed to be serving. The satisfying ending made me pick up book 2 almost immediately. 

By Martha Wells,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked All Systems Red as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All Systems Red by Martha Wells begins The Murderbot Diaries, a new science fiction action and adventure series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. It appeals to fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or lain M. Banks' Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans. In a corporate dominated s pa cef a ring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by…


Book cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Ben Forta Author Of Captain Code: Unleash Your Coding Superpower with Python

From my list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read and write lots and love doing so. So when I need a break, the last thing I want is another book, right? Wrong! I take a break with books, and I love fun books that are an escape from the normal day-to-day, ones that won’t lull you to sleep, ones that end too quickly. It’s a sickness, I know, and I’ll deal with it as soon as I have worked through this pile of books on my desk.

Ben's book list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away

Ben Forta Why did Ben love this book?

Oh, what’s not to love? Space travel, poetry writing aliens, a criminal galactic president, the end of the world, a depressed robot … this book has it all, and I reread it (and the other 4 volumes in the trilogy, yes, trilogy) every year or so.

This is a fun escape, I discovered this volume as a kid, fell in love with it, and it’s my favorite book still to this day all these centuries later.

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This box set contains all five parts of the' trilogy of five' so you can listen to the complete tales of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Bebblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android! Travel through space, time and parallel universes with the only guide you'll ever need, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Read by Stephen Fry, actor, director, author and popular audiobook reader, and Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He is well known as Tim in The Office.

The set also includes a bonus DVD Life, the Universe and…


Book cover of Animal Farm

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

When we think of scary animals we think of gnashing teeth and tearing claws, but obviously Orwell’s famous parable presents a very different kind of malevolence: that of overweaning ambition and our deep-seated instinct to control.

The pigs that present themselves as heroes and then slowly, greedily, inexorable turn into murderous dictators, forcing the other animals to do their bidding and then slaughtering them when they become too old, are of course not really pig-like at all—they are human-like, and therefore all the more terrifying. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the…


Book cover of The Knight, the Fool and the Dead

Richard Powell Author Of A Rescue In Time

From my list on science fiction for a good belly laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I became enthralled with both science and history. Also, who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? The chance to combine all three? A dream come true!

Richard's book list on science fiction for a good belly laugh

Richard Powell Why did Richard love this book?

The penultimate time traveler? What is not to love here. A time lord racing through time, saving the world past and present maintaining the status quo in a phone. Adventure, romance all done with a chuckle that will warm the coldest heart. Of course, a steady diet of this might lead one to become a cosplay addict existing from one Comic-con to the next.

By Steve Cole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We live forever, barring accidents. Just like everyone else in the universe.

The Doctor travels back to the Ancient Days, an era where life flourishes and death is barely known...

Then come the Kotturuh - creatures who spread through the cosmos dispensing mortality. They judge each and every species and decree its allotted time to live. For the first time, living things know the fear of ending. And they will go to any lengths to escape this grim new spectre, death.

The Doctor is an old hand at cheating death. Now, at last, he can stop it at source. He…


Book cover of Clean Sweep

Julia Huni Author Of The Vacuum of Space

From my list on Science Fiction books to make you smile.

Why am I passionate about this?

My tagline is “sci-fi with heart and humor,” and that’s the core of who I am. Making others smile is my reason for being—whether that’s through the books I write, the silly things I say, or the crazy things I do. I’ve written twenty-eight books so far, and the purpose of every one of them is to make you giggle. I’ve written funny sci-fi, cheerful space opera, and a series of terrestrial romantic comedies set in a kitschy, over-the-top small town. 

Julia's book list on Science Fiction books to make you smile

Julia Huni Why did Julia love this book?

Some might claim this book is more urban fantasy than science fiction, but the characters are aliens who fly spaceships and travel through portals, and to me, that means science fiction. And although they are vampires and werewolves, they’re still aliens. 

Dina Demille runs a bed and breakfast that serves a very special clientele—aliens visiting the protected planet Earth. Dina is an amazing protagonist. She’s smart enough to pull off daring schemes but human enough to make me love her. I also love the supporting characters who constantly distract her from her goals in often hilarious ways. And, of course, my favorite part is the happy ending. 

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Clean Sweep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***Notice: This is a special Collectors Edition, trade-paperback volume, which includes Black and White original illustrations. It is a short novel, of approximately 60,000 words in length/227 pages***

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the…


Book cover of Nexus Talks to Aliens

Julia Huni Author Of The Vacuum of Space

From my list on Science Fiction books to make you smile.

Why am I passionate about this?

My tagline is “sci-fi with heart and humor,” and that’s the core of who I am. Making others smile is my reason for being—whether that’s through the books I write, the silly things I say, or the crazy things I do. I’ve written twenty-eight books so far, and the purpose of every one of them is to make you giggle. I’ve written funny sci-fi, cheerful space opera, and a series of terrestrial romantic comedies set in a kitschy, over-the-top small town. 

Julia's book list on Science Fiction books to make you smile

Julia Huni Why did Julia love this book?

This book isn’t objectively funny, but it left me with a smile on my face. It has a well-written, believable, neurodiverse character who grabbed my heart. I have a child on the autistic spectrum, and Booth captured the essence of autism without slipping into the depressing parts.

Nexus’s confusion over things “normal” people do, for example, tickled my funny bone but didn’t make me laugh. The characters who help him on his journey aren’t sappy do-gooders but people who genuinely like him and want to help. The overall tone of the book made me believe the world could be a better place. 

By Ginger Booth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nexus Talks to Aliens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Nexus catches the attention of the alien croc ambassador, his first space travel goes weirdly astray.

A backwoods Earth terraformer, young Nexus is awkward with people, good with creatures, at a time when the human worlds are bumping against the alien races who surround them.

He sets off to explore human space.

But to leave home, he must first repay a debt of honor, and smuggle a highly illegal sentient robot off-planet. Memory murky, the poor robot got stranded on Earth before Nexus was born.

Nexus is delighted when the alien ambassador boards his space train to Luna. Most…


Book cover of The Emerald Enigma

Kerry Nietz Author Of A Star Curiously Singing

From my list on modern science fiction from a Christian worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

A computer programmer turned author; I’ve been a fan of science fiction for as long as I remember. Star Wars, Dune, Alien, you name it. I’ve also been a follower of Christ since childhood and so enjoy stories where authors have a faith component to their work. It’s hard to imagine a future where belief systems won’t be in play—for good and evil. So, why not explore that element? Even if it means taking the Amish into space to encounter vampires? (As I did in one of my stories.) Hopefully, we discover something about ourselves and the world we live in along the way.

Kerry's book list on modern science fiction from a Christian worldview

Kerry Nietz Why did Kerry love this book?

Are you a fan of Galaxy Quest, Futurama, or The Orville? Then this is the series for you.

There are scant few science fiction stories that have caused me to laugh out loud, but Paul Regnier’s Space Drifters did. Often. All three Space Drifters books are witty, action-packed, and fun. The main character, Captain Glint Starcrost, is perpetually broke, with a less-than-adequate starship and a bounty on his head. To make matters worse, he has a passive-aggressive ship computer, a pacifist alien “warrior,” and a time-traveling teen as his crew. Of course, there’s an unattainable love interest in the mix, along with a quest or two. Space Drifters is enjoyable and unique. 

By Paul Regnier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Space heroes or cosmic rejects?

Captain Glint Starcrost is not having the carefree, adventurous life the space academy brochures promised star pilots.

Broke, with an unreliable star freighter and a bounty on his head, Glint is desperate enough to try anything. Even set out on a quest to find a fabled good luck charm, the Emerald Enigma.

Now for a crew. A passive aggressive ship computer, a peaceable alien warrior, and time-traveling teen from the past aren’t what he had in mind. But they’ll have to do.

The Emerald Enigma won’t wait forever and neither will the bounty hunter tracking…


Book cover of The Audacity

G.M. Nair Author Of Dicks For Hire

From my list on comedic fantasy and sci-fi to fill the void.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I’d always been fascinated by science fiction narratives, having been suckered in by Star Wars at a very young age. But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy that I realized stories didn’t have to take everything so seriously. This pivoted to an obsession with comedy, leading me to write skits for the stage and screen in my late 20s as a fun side-gig along with my own comedic sci-fi novel series. I’ve always appreciated stories that lean into the lighter side of things. Reality is grim and dark enough as it is, our escapism doesn’t need to double down on that.

G.M.'s book list on comedic fantasy and sci-fi to fill the void

G.M. Nair Why did G.M. love this book?

Carmen Loup's The Audacity is the successor to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that I've been looking for for a long time. Loup takes strands of Hitchhiker's Guide DNA lovingly engineers it into its own unique tale filled with bright, colorful, and snarky characters and a fun, insightful (and, indeed, inciteful) voice that rings incredibly true to an Americanized Douglas Adams (that is, lacking in British poise and restraint). The Audacity is simply an amazing sci-fi comedy from start to finish and feels like a love letter to The Hitchhiker's Guide and, indeed, to all its fans. Plus, the entire first trilogy is available now (with more to come!).

By Carmen Loup,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rocket racing can be deadly, but working in food service is worse. 

May’s humdrum life is flung into hyperdrive when she’s abducted, but not all aliens are out to probe her.  She’s inadvertently rescued by Xan, an “I Love Lucy” obsessed alien with the orangest rocket ship in the universe. 

But you still have to eat in space, and rocket racing is a quick, if life-threatening, way to make a living. 

Finally, May has a career she loves and a friend to share her winnings with. Until a Chaos goddess possessing Xan’s ex decides to start a cult on Earth…


Book cover of Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China

Tom Carter Author Of Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China

From my list on Chinese prostitution and vice.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for what would become a two-year backpacking sojourn across all 33 Chinese provinces, the first foreigner on record to do so. Since then, I have published three books about China; my anthology Unsavory Elements was intended as a well-meaning tribute to the expatriate experience, however my own essay – a bawdy account of a visit to a rural brothel – was understandably demonized. The following five books expand on that illicit theme.

Tom's book list on Chinese prostitution and vice

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

Whilst studying in the U.S. in the early-2000s, Tiantian Zheng decided to return to her home city of Dalian, in northeast China, to embed herself for over two years with sex workers at local karaoke parlors. There, she witnessed, and at times personally endured, all manner of customer abuse, police crackdowns, government corruption, and catty relationships between hostesses, while somehow managing to keep copious secret notes for her ethnographic fieldwork (which eventually became Red Lights). It is an eye-opening but purely academic text, not a mass-market page-turner, which will primarily be of interest only to those of us researching socioeconomic conditions in China.

By Tiantian Zheng,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In China today, sex work cannot be untangled from the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, the entertainment industry, and state power. In Red Lights, Tiantian Zheng highlights the urban karaoke bar as the locus at which these three factors intersect and provides a rich account of the lives of karaoke hostesses-a career whose name disguises the sex work and minimizes the surprising influence these women often have as power brokers.

Zheng embarked on two years of intensely embedded ethnographic fieldwork in her birthplace, Dalian, a large northeastern Chinese seaport of over six million people. During this time, Zheng lived and worked…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Christianity, pacifism, and I Love Lucy?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Christianity, pacifism, and I Love Lucy.

Christianity Explore 615 books about Christianity
Pacifism Explore 19 books about pacifism
I Love Lucy Explore 7 books about I Love Lucy