10 books like Neuromancer

By William Gibson,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Neuromancer. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Rendezvous with Rama

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Book cover of Rendezvous with Rama

James L. Cambias Author Of The Scarab Mission

From the list on exploring big things in space.

Who am I?

I first stumbled on the idea of colonizing space when I read Adrian Berry's The Next Ten Thousand Years and T.A. Heppenheimer's Colonies in Space, back in the late 1970s. In those post-Apollo, pre-Space Shuttle years, colonizing outer space seemed inevitable. I was hooked: this stuff was real, and it was going to happen. It might even happen to me. But living in space isn't very exciting to read about. Of course, just a few years after reading those books I was watching Indiana Jones dodge deathtraps in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Combine the two: space colonies full of danger and surprises are much better!

James' book list on exploring big things in space

Discover why each book is one of James' favorite books.

Why did James love this book?

Rama is a spaceship, not a space station, but it's huge and ancient, and at first appears to be abandoned. Then the human explorers realize it's just sleeping. This is a prime example of science fiction's "sense of wonder" at the strangeness of the Universe. When I read it, at about age 14, it utterly blew me away with its combination of rock-hard science and utter weirdness. It also has the best final line ever.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Rendezvous with Rama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year 2130, a mysterious and apparently untenanted alien spaceship, Rama, enters our solar system. The first product of an alien civilisation to be encountered by man, it reveals a world of technological marvels and an unparalleled artificial ecology.

But what is its purpose in 2131?

Who is inside it?

And why?

The Dispossessed

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Book cover of The Dispossessed

Nick Fuller Googins Author Of The Great Transition

From the list on ward away your global warming anxiety.

Who am I?

I was working installing solar panels in rural Maine when I first had the idea to write a climate crisis novel. I grew up in the woods of New England, and have always loved nature, but I was feeling pretty despondent about global warming. I started to wonder: what would it feel like to be part of a mass mobilization installing solar, wind, and so on, to save the planet? Those were the seeds of the novel. When I’m not writing, I’m a fourth grade teacher. I worry about the planet my students will inherit, and if I’m doing enough to make that world as hopeful as possible.

Nick's book list on ward away your global warming anxiety

Discover why each book is one of Nick's favorite books.

Why did Nick love this book?

This is the grandmother of all great utopian fiction, my favorite science-fiction novel by my favorite science-fiction author, and the number-one source of inspiration for my book.

The novel opens on a moon (not ours) where a utopian anarchist society has long existed, but is now under threat from a host of antagonists on the mother planet. The novel is masterful because it is both enormous in scope (covering entire economies and political structures) but also extremely intimate (following one man, one relationship, one family).

The novel does not have to do with the climate crisis, or Earth, but I’m including it here because of the role it played in my writing; when I set out to write a climate crisis utopia, The Dispossessed was absolutely instrumental, offering me a blueprint on how to build tension and make a utopia personal. Most of all, it will give you so much…

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the very best must-read novels of all time - with a new introduction by Roddy Doyle

'A well told tale signifying a good deal; one to be read again and again' THE TIMES

'The book I wish I had written ... It's so far away from my own imagination, I'd love to sit at my desk one day and discover that I could think and write like Ursula Le Guin' Roddy Doyle

'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER

The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous…

Book cover of Woman on the Edge of Time

Karin Schönpflug Author Of Feminism, Economics and Utopia: Time Travelling through Paradigms

From the list on utopian visions of feminist economics.

Who am I?

I studied economics and found it incredibly boring, exclusive, and confusing at the same time. Eventually, I discovered feminist economics and realized that economics is loaded with crazy mathematical jargon aiming to hide exploitation processes such as unpaid work in the household, precarious production especially in former colonies of the “Global South”, as well as environmental destruction. I found that utopian and sci-fi novels are not only fun to read but may also carry antidotes to reshape traditional economic thinking. Check out my TEDx talk where I can tell you more about all this.

Karin's book list on utopian visions of feminist economics

Discover why each book is one of Karin's favorite books.

Why did Karin love this book?

This is an amazing book to really get sucked into.

Written in 1976, it is a fantasy to go hide in from today’s dystopia of post-COVID and early climate change. You can join 1960s Consuela Ramos in her escape from a forced hospitalization in a mental institution to a utopian world that she visits with Luciente, a time-traveler.

That future is full of amazing people who do not celebrate hierarchies of race and gender but live in anarchist poly-amorous villages where hard labor is performed by machines and babies are produced in breeders with biological components of three parents.

The book is rich in blueprints for liberated education, conflict resolution, socio-economic innovation, and relationships. The beautiful world is threatened by a wicked parallel future world that Consuela must help to prevent.

By Marge Piercy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Woman on the Edge of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of those rare novels that leave us different people at the end than we were at the beginning.' GLORIA STEINEM

'She is a serious writer who deserves the sort of considered attention which, too often, she does not get...' MARGARET ATWOOD

Often compared to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Naomi Alderman's The Power - Woman on the Edge of Time has been hailed as a classic of speculative science fiction. Disturbing and forward thinking, Marge Piercy's remarkable novel will speak to a new generation of readers.

Connie Ramos has been unjustly incarcerated in a mental institution with…

Book cover of The Island of Doctor Moreau

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From the list on malevolent beasts.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Ben's favorite books.

Why did Ben love this book?

Wells is one of the great early masters of science fiction, creator of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, but with Moreau he was also one of the masters of what David Cronenberg fans know as body horror—the gross, startling, and menacing intermingling of the human body with exterior elements.

In this case, pumas, pigs, you name it. With characters like Ape-Man and Sloth-Man, there is a definitely campiness here, but never enough to distract from the fact that it’s deeply, resonantly disturbing.  

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Island of Doctor Moreau as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Island of Doctor Moreau has inspired countless homages in literature, film and television.

Perdido Street Station

By China Miéville,

Book cover of Perdido Street Station

Noah Lemelson Author Of The Sightless City

From the list on fantasy about weird and wonderful cities.

Who am I?

Growing up in Los Angeles, I am well familiar with strange, grotesque, illogical, and wonderful cities. My love of fantasy has always been for the odd ones out, less the bucolic farmlands and forest, more for those that present a twisted mirror of modern urban life. As an amateur lover of history, I love to study the evolution, mutation, and decay of cities. I find most interesting cities, in both real life and fantasy, to be those shaped by not one single culture, but by many over history and space.

Noah's book list on fantasy about weird and wonderful cities

Discover why each book is one of Noah's favorite books.

Why did Noah love this book?

New Crobuzon is a city as weird as its name sounds, inhabited by avian Garuda, cactus-skinned Cactacae, and the scarab beetle-headed Kephri, among many other fantastical creatures.

It’s a grimy city that if you squinted might just look a bit like Victorian-era London, albeit with more frog-people, airships, and statues crafted from harden spit. And at its center, the titular Perdido Street Station, a towering immense skyrail station, too large and labyrinthine to ever map out.

Miéville crafts a fantasy city unlike any other, plagued by government corruption, organized crime, and labor disputes, that makes New Crobuzon feel real and grounded, despite being one of the strangest cities ever put to ink.

By China Miéville,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Perdido Street Station as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the August Derleth award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Perdido Street Station is an imaginative urban fantasy thriller, and the first of China Mieville's novels set in the world of Bas-Lag.

The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rivers are sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the parliament and its brutal militia have ruled over a vast array of workers and artists, spies, magicians,…

The Forever War

By Joe Haldeman,

Book cover of The Forever War

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From the list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Who am I?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Discover why each book is one of Nathan's favorite books.

Why did Nathan love this book?

When I met Joe Haldeman, I was struck by how such an unassuming, witty person could write such a gritty, visceral novel about war. Haldeman served in Vietnam, and (by his own admission) his combat experience shines through in Forever War. Yes, this novel captures combat in unflinching detail, but I’m a former professor of war, so what I really care about is the intriguing interplay of time, space, and war. As captured so well in the short story version of the novel, “Time Piece,” this novel is less about fighting and dying and more about what war over relativistic distances does to society. I love this novel because it says just as much about those who stay home as it does about those who go into combat.

By Joe Haldeman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Forever War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time…


By John Steakley,

Book cover of Armor

Wayne Santos Author Of The Chimera Code

From the list on or with a ton of action.

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian-Filipino science fiction and fantasy author who’s grown up on a steady diet of genre novels, movies, television, anime, and video games. I’m just as happy writing about the intricacies of hacking a system as I am about the ways magic can enrich or complicate lives. I’ve always loved explosive action in other media but since I’ll never be a director with resources to trash real cars or demolish buildings, I became a novelist. You can have all the actions and explosions you want without needing a 100 million dollar budget, and I’ve found some amazing examples of other writers who do just that.

Wayne's book list on or with a ton of action

Discover why each book is one of Wayne's favorite books.

Why did Wayne love this book?

While a lot of people look to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers as the first book to tackle powered battle armor, and soldiers using them to fight aliens, Armor made a far greater impression on me and had me coming back to it again and again.

Felix is a volunteer in a war against the aliens nicknamed “ants,” and while he can’t stand the carnage and senseless loss of life, he’s also very, very good at combat. The first quarter of the book is like the Normandy invasion set on another planet, with amazing battles and acts of, if not courage, survival. A gripping tale of the toll of war.

By John Steakley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Felix is an Earth soldier, encased in special body armour designed to withstand Earth's most implacable enemy - a bio-engineered, insectoid alien horde. But Felix is also equipped with internal mechanisms that enable him and his fellow soldiers to survive battle situations that would normally destroy a man's mind. This is a remarkable novel of the horror, the courage and the aftermath of combat - and how the strength of the human spirit can be the greatest armour of all.

Jade City

By Fonda Lee,

Book cover of Jade City

Troy Church Author Of The Severing

From the list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night.

Who am I?

I have a great passion for fantasy books and from a very early age spent any time I could with my nose in a fantasy book traveling to fantastical worlds. In my teens, I got into dungeons and dragons and began creating my own worlds and stories until I took the next step and decided to write my own stories. I work as a prison guard and while too busy during the day to write or read much I have many nightshifts that allow me ample reading and writing time. I still run role-playing games once a week and am always searching for that next great book to read.

Troy's book list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night

Discover why each book is one of Troy's favorite books.

Why did Troy love this book?

I chose this book because I have a love of Asia, especially Japan and this story has a rich Asian setting with martial arts, yakuza-like elements, and a magic system based around the precious stone, jade that provides the wearer with special abilities. I also like how the story is centered around a family and the complex relationships between the different members which you don’t see very often in fantasy novels. This complicated family saga had me engrossed as it racked up the tension with great pacing, awesome characters, and dialogue.

By Fonda Lee,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Jade City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book' KEN LIU

'Gripping!' ANN LECKIE, author of Ancillary Justice and The Raven Tower

'Lee's astute worldbuilding raises the stakes for her vivid and tautly-described action scenes' SCOTT LYNCH, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

*****Shortlisted for the Nebula Awards, the Locus Awards, the Aurora Awards, the Sunburst Awards and an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month*****


Book cover of An Unkindness of Magicians

Liz Michalski Author Of Darling Girl

From the list on making you believe in magic.

Who am I?

I vividly remember the first time a book transported me—it was in Mrs. Paul’s second-grade math class, and I was reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader under the desk. It carried me away to a different world. I’ve been looking for that same magic in every book since, hoping to fall into a picture or open a wardrobe door to another place and time. This list contains a few of my favorites, the stories that have earned permanent spots on my shelves, the ones that get pulled down when I need some enchantment in my life. (And don’t we all need a little magic these days?)

Liz's book list on making you believe in magic

Discover why each book is one of Liz's favorite books.

Why did Liz love this book?

Magic is real. To wield it requires sacrifice.

Its allegiance shifts and changes over time. To hold it, Houses of Magic put on an epic tournament at every Turning, where their best and brightest act as champions in battle. But what the champions don’t know, because their elders have never taught them, is that the magic itself draws from a dark source, and that source is crumbling.

Powerful magician Sydney has emerged from The House of Shadows to fight for a sponsor who wishes to establish his own house. But Sydney has first-hand experience with the darkness.

And she doesn’t want to help restore the establishment. She wants to burn it to the ground.

A fast-moving, gritty, wholly satisfying read. 

By Kat Howard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A remarkable writer." -Neil Gaiman, bestselling author of American Gods

An Alex Award Winner

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city's magicians' power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney-a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney…

Snow Crash

By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of Snow Crash

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Author Of Political Economy, Capitalism, and Popular Culture

From the list on explaining how capitalism works.

Who am I?

I am a product of Sputnik and the threat of nuclear war. Both turned me into a long-time reader of science fiction and a perpetual student in trying to understand how the world works and why? If we have free will, why do so many things seem to be predetermined? If we are rational beings, why do so many of our choices seem so absurd? And if a new world is possible, why can’t we bring it into existence? I was a professor of politics for 30 years (and I was respected! See “Soylent Green.”) and most of my research and writing try to answer these questions.

Ronnie's book list on explaining how capitalism works

Discover why each book is one of Ronnie's favorite books.

Why did Ronnie love this book?

Snow Crash was written as the Cold War came to an end and imagines how globalization and cyberspace might develop across the United States.

There is not much left of the U.S. besides the “Feds,” who can barely keep their act together. There are only four things the United States can do better than anyone else: music, movies, microcode, and high-speed pizza delivery. 

The country is littered with FOQNEs, Franchise-Organized Quasi-National Entities, and Burbclaves, which are thematic near-sovereign, gated communities. And, by the way, this is where Zuckerberg got the term “Metaverse.” Stephenson should sue.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Snow Crash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “brilliantly realized” (The New York Times Book Review) breakthrough novel from visionary author Neal Stephenson, a modern classic that predicted the metaverse and inspired generations of Silicon Valley innovators

Hiro lives in a Los Angeles where franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the autonomous city-states, where law-abiding citizens don’t dare leave their mansions.

Hiro delivers pizza to the mansions for a living, defending his pies from marauders when necessary with a matched set of samurai swords. His home is a shared 20 X 30…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in industrial espionage, hackers, and Japan?

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