100 books like Greybeard

By Brian W. Aldiss,

Here are 100 books that Greybeard fans have personally recommended if you like Greybeard. 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 1984

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Humans are always curious about what the future will look like. They are also concerned about the state impinging on their privacy and interfering with their lives. George Orwell masterfully combined these two human impulses in his classic novel. He wrote the book in 1949 to present his view of the future.

I read this book when I was in my mid-20s. I found it an interesting read, especially since many of his predictions did not come true. I was curious to know how past generations viewed our generation. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


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 Make Room! Make Room!: The Classic Novel of an Overpopulated Future

Prentis Rollins Author Of The Furnace: A Graphic Novel

From my list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been hooked on science fiction since I saw Westworld in its first run in 1973, at age 7 (it’s the first movie I saw in a theatre). I started drawing my own sci-fi comics at age 11, when the first Star Wars came out, and kept it up through adolescence. Eventually, my love of sci-fi led me to a passion for philosophy, which I majored in in college. And the philosophy I learned has since informed my later choices in sci-fi reading, and even more my sci-fi writing and illustration. The books I talk about below are very dear to my heart—I’m sure you won’t regret checking them out.

Prentis' book list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart

Prentis Rollins Why did Prentis love this book?

Written in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the 1973 film Soylent Green—it’s one of those great books that (like The Exorcist) was totally overshadowed by its equally great film version. It’s set in 1999, in a grossly overpopulated and polluted world in which people are scrambling for ever-diminishing resources. It mainly follows the life of NYC detective Andy Rusch and his elderly roommate Sol—who has finagled a bicycle-powered generator to run the TV and refrigerator in their small apartment. Rusch falls in love with Shirl, the young mistress of a rich man whose murder Rusch is investigating, but Shirl dumps him when she realizes she has better options with the rich rather than the poor.

Make Room! Make Room! is a cautionary tale about unchecked population, and it’s driven not so much by plot as by what Harry Harrison had on his mind: pollution,…

By Harry Harrison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gangster is murdered during a blistering Manhattan heat wave. City cop Andy Rusch is under pressure solve the crime and captivated by the victim's beautiful girlfriend. But it is difficult to catch a killer, let alone get the girl, in crazy streets crammed full of people. The planet's population has exploded. The 35 million inhabitants of New York City run their TVs off pedal power, riot for water, loot and trample for lentil 'steaks' and are controlled by sinister barbed wire dropped from the sky.

Written in 1966 and set in 1999, Make Room! Make Room! is a witty…

Book cover of This Perfect Day

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From my list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

The news is full of stories about chilling developments in artificial intelligence.

And you don’t have to venture into the fantasy world of killer robots to be terrified. Already, “chatbots” are blurring the lines between human and machine intelligence.

It’s gotten to the point that you can’t trust what you see or read online—because it may have been created by some AI designed to cheat or scare you into doing something you really don’t want to do.

Ira Levin’s novel, published in 1970, shows us a world ruled by artificial intelligence. It’s dystopia in the truest sense—and it’s likely to frighten you, as it did me.

By Ira Levin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Marvellously entertaining. A cross between Brave New World and Doctor Who' Look Magazine

Considered one of the great dystopian thrillers - alongside A Clockwork Orange and Brave New World- Ira Levin's terrifying glimpse into the future continues to fascinate readers even forty years after publication.

Set in a seemingly perfect global society, where uniformity is the defining feature, one man leads the resistance against UniComp - a central computer that has been programmed to keep every single human on the surface of the earth in check. All ethnic groups have been eugenically merged into a single race called 'The Family',…

Book cover of It Can't Happen Here

Larry Mellman Author Of The Man With Sapphire Eyes

From my list on historical fiction with a twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved historical fiction as a reader, but my passion to write it caught fire during the years I lived in Venice, Italy, when I discovered the curious institution of the ballot boy within the Byzantine complexities of the thousand-year Venetian Republic. Since ballot boys were randomly chosen over a period of six hundred years, choosing my particular Doge and ballot boy required a survey of the entire field before I circled in on Venice, 1368, IMHO the peak brilliance of that maritime empire. It is a peculiarity of history that the names of all 130 doges of Venice are recorded, but none of their ballot boys are mentioned. The challenge was irresistible. 

Larry's book list on historical fiction with a twist

Larry Mellman Why did Larry love this book?

Dystopian when it was written, Lewis set the book distinctly in its own period, the depth of the Great Depression. He could not have written a better account of the Trump presidency had he tried.

Buzz Windrip, the whirlwind populist demagogue president, is the very essence of Trumpism. The story that follows, of the fascist oppression of his enemies and his inevitable self-destruction, often funny, often not funny at all, packs all the punch of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, written almost a century later, which looks in hindsight at the same phenomenon as Charles Lindbergh unseats FDR running for an unprecedented third term.

Sinclair Lewis takes the palm for seeing it first and exposing how it can happen here.   

By Sinclair Lewis,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked It Can't Happen Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”—Salon

It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.

Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.

Called “a…

Book cover of Sleepwater Beat

Jason Pere Author Of Calling the Reaper: First Book of Purgatory

From my list on fantasy not afraid of a bittersweet ending.

Why am I passionate about this?

I currently reside in my home state of Connecticut with my darling wife and a duo of sweet cuddly dogs. I am a renaissance man having dabbled in Acting for Film and Theater, Fencing and Mixed Martial Arts, Professional Dorkary, and a bevy of other passions before coming to land on writing. Having stepped into numerous fantasy worlds over the years I have had the chance to sample many different flavors of imagination and developed a refined taste for all things dark, mystical, and tragic. 

Jason's book list on fantasy not afraid of a bittersweet ending

Jason Pere Why did Jason love this book?

A kind of perfect dystopia. The fractured storytelling is as compelling as the characters and greater narrative itself. Sleepwater Beat has a comic book level of action and appeal while also feeling incredibly intellectual and relevant to today’s hot topic issues. Again there is a healthy dose of minority repression on display in the cast of charters presented in this book. Hutson’s Sci-Fi is just as dark and gritty as her fantasy.

By Kathrin Hutson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. In Sleepwater’s world, words are literally more powerful than bullets.

Leo could always make people believe anything she says—really believe. When her chest burns and the words come from her mouth, her targets’ eyes glaze over, they forget their own thoughts, and they’ll do anything she says. It’s what keeps her alive after being on the run and living on the streets for years. But after using it on her girlfriend and her dad’s drug dealer, it’s also what got her here on the streets in the first place.

Then Sleepwater…

Book cover of Storm Girl

Stuart Aken Author Of An Excess Of ...

From my list on character-driven novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading for 69 years, writing fiction for 43 years. I’ve read many more than 10,000 books. In my own writing, I begin with characters I create from combinations of traits and personalities I’ve met in life. I get to know them as friends. I then put them into the setting I’ve devised and given them free rein to develop the story. I know the destination, but the route is left to them. This involves much re-writing once the story is down on paper, but allows me to experience the excitement, concern, fear, love, and delights felt by the characters as I write the tale.

Stuart's book list on character-driven novels

Stuart Aken Why did Stuart love this book?

I have written speculative fiction, and the protagonist, Angel, a feisty, courageous, enigmatic, curious survivor is placed into such a setting. Climate change, one of my personal concerns, has wreaked havoc with the geographical, and therefore the political world, as we know it. It deals with the way elites take what they see as the necessary action to continue their privileged lifestyles.

The author managed to make me empathize with almost all the characters on some level, regardless how selfish, wicked, good, generous, or courageous they may be. I encountered elderly heroes and heroines, resourceful individuals and communities, victims, self-serving demagogues, cruel leaders, uncaring servants, unquestioning followers, and a group of talented and determined resistance fighters bent on turning a terrifying world into a just and equable future.

By Linda Nicklin, Ramon Marett (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Linda Nicklin's eco-thriller Storm Girl charts a dystopian near future. Planet earth has largely drowned under rising seas, disease is rife, society has broken down. Everything is now owned by the super-rich and exploited for their own personal gratification, including the people still struggling to live on what land remains... Angel, the Storm Girl of the title, has been harvested by a gang of Reapers and is frantic to escape what she knows to be a death sentence. Her only way out is through the treacherous waters of a drowned city. From depths of despair, she begins to find glimmers…

Book cover of Last Man Standing

Douglas Phillips Author Of Quantum Space

From my list on hard science fiction published this century.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a scientist, I love hard science fiction, especially when the story makes me think about the true nature of reality or takes me on an adventure to places unknown. We’ve all read the classics from Clarke, Heinlein, Bear, or Asimov. But books written decades ago are becoming increasingly dated as society progresses into a new century. (Will people of the future really chain smoke? And why are all the characters men?) Never fear, modern hard sci-fi is alive and well. Here are five recent books that tell an intriguing, uplifting, or awe-inspiring story. Even better than the classics, it’s hard sci-fi for the 21st century!

Douglas' book list on hard science fiction published this century

Douglas Phillips Why did Douglas love this book?

I normally avoid dystopian, but this story doesn’t dwell in misery like so many apocalyptic stories do.

Last Man Standing is more like Andy Weir’s book, The Martian, because it’s about one man’s survival under extreme conditions. A scientist is stranded on a space station after an attack that has killed everyone else onboard. What happened, and why? He doesn’t know, but he’ll do anything to stay alive and find a way to get back to Earth despite a thousand obstacles in his path and little knowledge of spaceflight.

This story can be intense, but the character stays positive and has a lot of heart.

By Craig A. Falconer,

Why should I read it?

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

Book cover of Brainwave: The Greatest Masterpiece by the Science Fiction Grandmaster

Bob Zeidman Author Of Animal Lab

From my list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today.

Why am I passionate about this?

While every single attempt at socialism in human history has failed, usually leading to the murder of millions of people, it is being revived by those who think they can “do it right this time.” I’ve been writing about American principles and American values for newspapers and magazines for years. The threat to the exceptional American experiment that has led so many people of all backgrounds to success and happiness, led me to write this novel. I hope that it is fun enough and interesting enough that many readers will enjoy it, and more importantly learn from it. And take action to preserve the values and principles of America that have uplifted and inspired so many for over two centuries.

Bob's book list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today

Bob Zeidman Why did Bob love this book?

This is another book that stuck with me for many years. What happened if animals suddenly had increased intelligence and the power of speech? They would need to start a society from scratch. How would they accomplish this? This unique premise just fascinated me, and I think it is a very underrated classic science fiction novel.

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A transcendent look at the possible effects of enhanced intelligence on our planet.

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 The Boy at the End of the World

Juliana Brandt Author Of The Wolf of Cape Fen

From my list on fantasy to escape into when life is overwhelming.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, books have always been an incredible way to escape, most especially when life is overwhelming. I read books as an escape when I was young, and now as an author, I write books to escape as well. My favorite books to escape into always include heart pounding adventure, fantastical magic, and characters I wish I could know in real life. These are the sorts of books I write; ones that give readers the chance to exist as someone else in another place, perhaps go on a wild adventure. My hope as an author is that my books allow readers to leave their own world and their own worries behind.

Juliana's book list on fantasy to escape into when life is overwhelming

Juliana Brandt Why did Juliana love this book?

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the last human left alive is a young boy, Fisher, this dystopian, fast-paced adventure story lets us glimpse a future where people tried...and failed...to save humanity. Determined to find out what happened, Fisher heads out on a wild journey with his robot, Click. This is one of the most unexpectedly laugh-out-loud middle grade novels I’ve ever read, and it combines the hilarity with incredible action scenes and a truly creepy “bad guy.” I devoured it in one sitting—this is a book I wish I could read for the first time again.

By Greg Van Eekhout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boy at the End of the World 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?

This is what he knew:

His name was Fisher.

The world was dangerous.

And he was alone.

Fisher is the last boy on Earth - and things are not looking good for the human race. The carefully crafted survival dome where Fisher and dozens of other humans have been sleeping for millenia has been destroyed. Through a lucky accident, only Fisher survived.

The world Fisher wakes up in is a lot like ours - but it's changed, too. After the human race wiped itself out, nature took over, and wild creatures evolved into barely familiar beasts. Fisher must face them…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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