100 books like Hyperion

By Dan Simmons,

Here are 100 books that Hyperion fans have personally recommended if you like Hyperion. 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 Contact

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

This is my favorite hard sci-fi classic. I love the beautiful mix of real science (wormholes excepted), compelling story, and characters, and it touches on both first contact and the way in which human nature might cause us to react to it. That is the power combo, in my opinion!

The movie of the book was very good — Robert Zemeckis is a brilliant director — although it left out some fantastic details that, as a math and science fan, I really loved! (I won’t spoil it here; it’s too good.)

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In December 1999 a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who - or what - is out there?

Book cover of Dune

Liam Lombard Author Of The Calling

From my list on fantasy great world building relatable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the intricacies and secrets our world has to offer. In pursuing knowledge, I delved deep into the ‘magic’ of science to learn about its mysteries. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment with the laws of our world. After much schooling and reading many fantasy books, I eventually wrote about a fantastical world where science has been tweaked just enough to make things interesting. I hope you enjoy my list of books and that they excite you as much as they have excited me. 

Liam's book list on fantasy great world building relatable characters

Liam Lombard Why did Liam love this book?

This book is probably the best I have ever read. The way characters think and feel is expressed magnificently, and the subtle ‘awe’ moments drive the plot forward.

I have never felt more attached to characters and their magic. Paul’s journey is believable and incredibly crafted. World-building is effortless, and I was never bored at any point while listening to the book.

I fear reading more in the series because this book is so good. I don’t want anything to spoil its perfection. 

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…

Book cover of Artemis Fowl

Sam Middleton Author Of Eluthienn: A Tale Of The Fromryr

From my list on novels that blend science fiction and fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fantasy uniquely combines elements of science fiction (advanced technology, futuristic settings) with those of fantasy (magic, mythological creatures, and supernatural elements). This fusion creates rich and versatile storytelling that often comes with a deep sense of mystery beyond what science fiction or fantasy achieves on their own.

This blend also requires greater “buy-in” from the reader to believe in the world we’re being presented. As readers, we often accept dwarves in fantasy with little to no explanation. We do the same with spaceships in science fiction. But dwarves in spaceships require truly creative storytelling to achieve a much higher buy-in threshold. The author who can pull this off has my attention.  

Sam's book list on novels that blend science fiction and fantasy

Sam Middleton Why did Sam love this book?

The only Young Adult book on this list but firmly deserving of its place, this book is the perfect example of how to successfully blend science fiction and fantasy. 

Colfer takes a traditional fantasy fairy society and gives them advanced weaponry, surveillance gadgets, and time-stopping devices. It works incredibly well, and through convincing world-building I was immediately bought into the idea of fantasy creatures with sci-fi technology. 

A standout feature of the novel is the characters, whose backstories, motivations, and behaviours all help to build this science fantasy world. We get an elf “LEPRecon” officer with access to bionic wings, a centaur who heads the technology department of the “Lower Elements Police,” and a dwarven thief who sells stolen human property on the black market. They were all enormously fun to read.

By Eoin Colfer,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Artemis Fowl 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?

Now an original movie on Disney+!

Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous--and extremely high-tech--fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family's fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies' powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?

Disney's “Artemis Fowl” is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie, with Josh Gad, and Judi Dench.

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 Storm Front

Kaeleb LD Appleby Author Of Crime in Me'tra

From my list on sci-fi fantasy crime stories that will blow your mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

The sci-fi/fantasy/crime genre is probably one I’ve known the least about, and I only really started to dive down the rabbit hole when I began writing my series. I’m glad I did. The world-building and lore that is woven into this genre truly sets it apart from the usual stuff. On top of needing an intricate technological imagination that has some grounding in the real world, these kinds of books also need to have characters that are believable and a narrative that is not so futuristic that it strains credulity. It’s a tough mix to get right, but when I find a story that nails these aspects it really immerses me into the world and narrative like nothing else.   

Kaeleb's book list on sci-fi fantasy crime stories that will blow your mind

Kaeleb LD Appleby Why did Kaeleb love this book?

What I enjoyed most about these books was the pure entertainment, blending moments of tension, thrilling suspense, and poignant emotions that resonated deeply. Loved the way it blended the occult with your classic detective novels.

I also really enjoy the character of Harry Dresden and the rich supernatural world crafted by Butcher, where Dresden operates as a supernatural detective (or wizard for hire). Plus, the writing is very similar to the detective noir styles of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, which brings unique vibes.

By Jim Butcher,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Storm Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago…

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put…

Book cover of The Gunslinger

Ty'Ron W. C. Robinson II Author Of Lost in Shadows: Remastered

From my list on dark fantasy books that fascinate the minds of storytellers and their craft.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about dark fantasy stories due to the fact of their characters and worlds. The eeriness of their landscapes can tell a tale of their own. Dark fantasy has always been a drawing interest for me when it comes to telling stories. I read these books mainly because of their dark fantasy worlds. The stories and characters which come to life as I read them only captivated my creativity to tell my own stories. It is my sincere desire that you take a look into these books on this list and have your creativity sparked just as my own to craft your own dark fantasy stories.

Ty'Ron's book list on dark fantasy books that fascinate the minds of storytellers and their craft

Ty'Ron W. C. Robinson II Why did Ty'Ron love this book?

I loved how The Gunslinger pulls you into a new world. A world layered with mystery and intrigue.

Who is The Gunslinger? Who is The Man in Black? What is The Dark Tower? These questions form in my mind as I read through the pages. Seeing how much the landscape of Mid-World brings. This book in particular had inspired me in many ways of my own creativity.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Dark Tower is now a major motion picture starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.

'The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.' The iconic opening line of Stephen King's groundbreaking series, The Dark Tower, introduces one of his most enigmatic and powerful heroes: Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger.

Roland is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey toward the mysterious Dark Tower, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.

On his quest, Roland begins a friendship with a kid from New York named Jake, encounters an alluring woman and faces…

Book cover of Leviathan Wakes

Morgan Biscup Author Of In Spite of the Inevitable

From my list on sci-fi books moral and perspective dilemmas.

Why am I passionate about this?

In writing character-driven space fantasy, heavily influenced by my training as an electromechanical engineer, I’ve realized a love for stories with a heavy emphasis on moral dilemmas and shifts in thinking. How does a character change direction after realizing much of what they always believed was a lie? When well-trained instincts pull them backward instead of propelling them forward? I love these stories, mirroring my own messy self-discovery journey through life. The settings and stakes are more fantastical, but that makes them more appealing. A way to confront my own trials without becoming burdened by them. If the characters can do it, so can I.

Morgan's book list on sci-fi books moral and perspective dilemmas

Morgan Biscup Why did Morgan love this book?

This book's storyline unfolds from the POV of two characters with similar but incompatible morals: a jaded, alcoholic Belter cop and an excessively honest Earther from Montana now serving as executive officer of a water hauler from Saturn's rings.

Their stories converge in unexpected ways as they chase down their own mysteries. They each have strengths the other lacks and weaknesses that put them at odds with each other, heightening the weight of their interactions as they strive to save the solar system, each in their own way.

I loved so much else about this book, from the full cast of characters to the unfolding mystery behind the growing war. The ending hit me hard in the best of ways, as opposing philosophies fought and converged to yield unexpected compromises.

By James S. A. Corey,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Leviathan Wakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the…

Book cover of Project Hail Mary

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

Okay, I’ve only read this book once, but I can tell you I’ll be reading it again. It’s that good.

It's a classic amnesia story. The hero wakes up from a coma and has no recollection of who he is. Over the course of the story, he discovers he’s a middle school science teacher. And he’s in a spaceship. Alone. And he may happen to be humanity’s only hope to survive.

Wow! Talk about a new spin on the amnesia trope. I’m rooting for Ryland Grace from the jump. No matter how crazy bad it gets, and it gets bad, our hero never loses his sense of humor. I laughed out loud many times. I loved the science, and I dug the author’s writing style.

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Project Hail Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through…

Book cover of The Quantum Thief

Theodore Irvin Silar Author Of Sex Quests: Two Tales of Futures Possible

From my list on literary science fiction with style and is well plotted.

Why am I passionate about this?

First off, I have a PhD in English from Lehigh University. I’m particularly interested in seeking out literary science (and speculative) fiction, SF that has style, that is well-written, well-plotted, SF that avoids the flat characters and cliched writing to which the genre can be all too prone. Some readers find genre fiction in general off-putting, associating it with poor style. Literary genre fiction thus gets sequestered beside its less-felicitous brethren and sistren. Which is too bad. Because plenty of stylistically-adept SF exists. One just needs someone to sift through the detritus for one, prize out the pearls, and display them in fine settings for one’s perusal.

Theodore's book list on literary science fiction with style and is well plotted

Theodore Irvin Silar Why did Theodore love this book?

It is a truism that Science Fiction dates itself. SF stories that were written only a few years previous often fail to foresee technological innovations ̶ cell phones, GPS, gene-splicing ̶ that seem obvious and inevitable to hindsight-blessed present-day readers. Those disconcerted by such, let us call them “backwards anachronisms,” should find Quantum Thief a welcome relief for decades to come, because the novel is set so far in the future that hi-tech things like, say, cell phones seem quaint curios out of far-distant days of yore. Long-distance communications in Quantum Thief are effected by something more like telepathy (although the word is never used).

“Quantum” is the operative term in this novel, make no mistake.

Be forewarned: Quantum Thief is chock-full of coined terminology. But have no fear. You have a choice. Either use the online glossary - or you can just read for the story and absorb the…

By Hannu Rajaniemi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The solar system's greatest thief is wanted for murder. To prove his innocence, he needs to pull off a heist even he thought was impossible . . .

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking…

Book cover of Red Mars

Perry Kivolowitz Author Of Get Off My L@wn: How a Computer Geek and His Wife Survived the Zombie Apocalypse

From my list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science Fiction can explore many themes, including relationships, philosophy, politics, and more. While this is common to many genres, SF is unique in that it also focuses on science-based “what ifs.” What if we could travel to distant stars? What if we could visit the past? The theme of “what if” hinges upon the forward progress of science. This explores the realm of the possible… a realm for which I am passionate.

Perry's book list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction

Perry Kivolowitz Why did Perry love this book?

Another work spanning more than a hundred years and featuring many rich characters, crises, and drama, the Mars Trilogy makes a great summer read. At a little more than 1600 pages, the trilogy is like three seasons of a really engrossing television series.

The trilogy contains ample portions of science, science fiction, politics, and explorations of the human condition. There’s even some boom-boom for those who like a few explosions in their stories. Like my other preferences, there’s little “magic” in the Trilogy’s universe; instead, things mostly make sense after accepting a couple of assumptions. The richness of the characters really stood out for me, helped by the fact that the characters, by and large, experience long lifetimes!

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Red Mars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in Kim Stanley Robinson's massively successful and lavishly praised Mars trilogy. 'The ultimate in future history' Daily Mail

Mars - the barren, forbidding planet that epitomises mankind's dreams of space conquest.

From the first pioneers who looked back at Earth and saw a small blue star, to the first colonists - hand-picked scientists with the skills necessary to create life from cold desert - Red Mars is the story of a new genesis.

It is also the story of how Man must struggle against his own self-destructive mechanisms to achieve his dreams: before he even sets foot…

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