100 books like O Human Star

By Blue Delliquanti,

Here are 100 books that O Human Star fans have personally recommended if you like O Human Star. 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 Gideon the Ninth

Tim Pratt Author Of Heirs of Grace

From my list on fantasy with women heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been reading fantasy for 42 years and writing it for 40, and because I was raised by badass women, I've always enjoyed tales of clever, kickass, indomitable heroines. I've written a bunch of them (a dozen books in an urban fantasy series about a sorcerer named Marla Mason; four books in the Axiom space opera series about ship captain Callie Machedo and her love interest, time refugee xenobiologist Elena Oh; contemporary fantasy/romance Heirs of Grace, about an art student who discovers a magical inheritance, and more). I'm also a longtime book reviewer, editor at SF/fantasy trade magazine Locus, and frequent award juror (Bradbury Prize, Philip K. Dick Award, and more), so... I think about SF/fantasy books a lot. 


Tim's book list on fantasy with women heroines

Tim Pratt Why did Tim love this book?

Gideon the Ninth lit up the sky of the science fiction/fantasy world when it was published, launching the Locked Tomb series (which is ongoing, and great; third volume Nona the Ninth is especially lovely).

It's been described as "lesbian necromancers in space" but it's more "lesbian necromancer and swordsperson on various weird planets in the far future with a god-emperor who uses death magic to fight planet-sized spectral monsters...." for a start.

The whole series is enigmatic, complex, and laced through with humor, action, and yearning, but the first book is notable for the power of Gideon's voice.

By Tamsyn Muir,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Gideon the Ninth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

15+ pages of new, original content, including a glossary of terms, in-universe writings, and more!

A USA Today Best-Selling Novel!

"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab

"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles Stross

"Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through." --NPR

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth, first in The Locked Tomb Trilogy, unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as…


Book cover of The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

Yvesdot Author Of Something's Not Right

From my list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took me far too long to realize that I, childhood absorber of all things fantastical, counted as an SFF fan; all the books I saw listed as “popular” or “classic” SFF were cis/het white dude parties. But SFF at its best uses the fantastical as metaphor for the mundane; imagines better (or worse) worlds; does something different, in screaming color! Who can do that better than the books lost on the fringes? To that end, I’ve organized this list based on rough reverse popularity, so if you don’t find something new by the beginning, you’ll almost certainly get it by the end. Happy reading!

Yvesdot's book list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read

Yvesdot Why did Yvesdot love this book?

The Merry Spinster falls into my big bucket of fairytale retelling faves, but it hardly sticks to tradition: rather than simply following old plots, Lavery draws on the tone and style of classic fairy tales to create a gender-warped world where daughters use he/him pronouns and mermaids are sort of, but distinctly not, girls. Even better, the playful attitude towards gender now seems to foreshadow Lavery’s own coming out and transition, both occurring after he published this book—something that fills me with a special kind of trans-author love. Reading this for the first time, I had the sensation of slipping pleasantly into an utter dreamworld of gender/sexuality beauty, like a warm bath: I recommend you fall in, too.

By Daniel M. Lavery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales"--Front flap.


Book cover of When I Arrived at the Castle

Yvesdot Author Of Something's Not Right

From my list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took me far too long to realize that I, childhood absorber of all things fantastical, counted as an SFF fan; all the books I saw listed as “popular” or “classic” SFF were cis/het white dude parties. But SFF at its best uses the fantastical as metaphor for the mundane; imagines better (or worse) worlds; does something different, in screaming color! Who can do that better than the books lost on the fringes? To that end, I’ve organized this list based on rough reverse popularity, so if you don’t find something new by the beginning, you’ll almost certainly get it by the end. Happy reading!

Yvesdot's book list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read

Yvesdot Why did Yvesdot love this book?

With her singular art style and effortless storytelling skill, Emily Carroll has long been a favorite of mine. When I Arrived at the Castle is a tour de force in erotic horror, comic artistry, and, yes, a very complicated catgirl x vampiress relationship. This is one of those books I am shocked even exists, so thoroughly does it cater to my deepest desires: lush shots of catgirls in bathtubs, peeks at vampiresses through their bedroom keyholes, metaphors so subtle I always find something new when I reread. Carroll outdoes herself with suspense, sexuality, and a sexy red-black-and-grey limited color palette.

By Emily Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When I Arrived at the Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets; what unfurls under its fluttering flags. Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.


Book cover of The Dark and Other Love Stories

Yvesdot Author Of Something's Not Right

From my list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took me far too long to realize that I, childhood absorber of all things fantastical, counted as an SFF fan; all the books I saw listed as “popular” or “classic” SFF were cis/het white dude parties. But SFF at its best uses the fantastical as metaphor for the mundane; imagines better (or worse) worlds; does something different, in screaming color! Who can do that better than the books lost on the fringes? To that end, I’ve organized this list based on rough reverse popularity, so if you don’t find something new by the beginning, you’ll almost certainly get it by the end. Happy reading!

Yvesdot's book list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read

Yvesdot Why did Yvesdot love this book?

This final book is the catalyst for my own: the book that, resting in my hands at the library, made me realize that I could just do this. If I loved reading short stories so much, if I so deeply enjoyed reading about gay girls with horses and game show contestants going to Mars, why couldn’t someone love my own body of work, transsexually languishing in my Google Drive? There can never be enough praise for The Dark, which delivers tonally consistent and individually unique stories that glue me to my seat every time. A big thank you to Deborah Willis, and to whoever put her book on hold that day I was volunteering at the library: I loved her work, and it inspired me to put mine out there. 

By Deborah Willis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The characters in these thirteen masterful and engaging stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted. A drug dealer's girlfriend signs up for the first manned mission to Mars. A girl falls in love with a man who wants to turn her into a bird. A teenaged girl and her best friend test their relationship by breaking into suburban houses. A wife finds a gaping hole in the floor of the home she shares with her husband, a hole that only she can see. Full of longing and strange humor, these…


Book cover of The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories

Jimmy Craig Author Of Are You Gonna Eat That? The Essential Collection of They Can Talk Comics

From my list on webcomics that are even better in print.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a comic fan first, then a comic creator. I grew up on the classics—Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side and excitedly watched as new comics popped up online. I love comic strips and have rows of collections lining my bookshelves. The coolest part of starting my own series has been becoming a member of a cartoonist community that I have always been a huge fan of.  

Jimmy's book list on webcomics that are even better in print

Jimmy Craig Why did Jimmy love this book?

I remember discovering The Perry Bible Fellowship while I was in college.

It was like nothing I had ever seen before, like some underground secret being passed between friends. The comics were clever, vulgar, sometimes graphic, and always funny.

As a long-time reader of the Funnies Pages in newspapers, Nicholas’ comics opened my eyes to what comics could be in the age of the internet. The Perry Bible Fellowship inspired me, along with an entire generation of cartoonists, to start their own comics.

My comic might not look like it was influenced by Nicholas’ work, but it sparked my imagination and led me to rediscover my love for comic strips.

I’ll admit that I don’t like the term ‘webcomic’, they’re all comics, whether they’re online or in print. And while I might have a preference, one format isn’t inferior to the other, after all—the internet has been an invaluable tool…

By Nicholas Gurewitch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning Perry Bible Fellowship has a achieved a cult following both online and in its weekly appearances in newspapers and magazines around the world. Now, for the first time, the hilarious cartoons of Nicholas Gurewitch are being collected in this handsome hardcover edition.


Book cover of Eliza and Her Monsters

Annie Wood Author Of Just a Girl in the Whirl

From my list on teen girls finding themself in the midst of chaos.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Hollywood native, writer/actor/mixed-media artist/creative compulsive. When I was a kid, I was really close to my older brother who was an addict. Unfortunately he never stopped using and died too young. I dealt with it by allowing the experience to inspire me. In my recent young adult novel, Just a Girl in the Whirl, the father character is inspired by him. I express myself through all art forms in order to make my way in the world and I love reading about other female characters who do the same! I’m a lifelong optimist and I love feeling inspired and inspiring others to love themselves, find the humor in everything, and create! 

Annie's book list on teen girls finding themself in the midst of chaos

Annie Wood Why did Annie love this book?

It’s about a girl, Eliza, who created a super successful webcomic. IRL, Eliza is shy and withdrawn so when she meets a boy who loves her comics she doesn’t tell him that she’s the creator. This book is so now and reminds me of the importance of showing your true self and embracing your gifts. 

By Francesca Zappia,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Eliza and Her Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

"A love letter to fandom, friendship, and the stories that shape us, Eliza and Her Monsters is absolutely magical."-Marieke Nijkamp, New York Times-bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends


Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Noelle Stevenson's Nimona in this acclaimed novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. "A must-have."-School Library Journal

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and…


Book cover of Vulnerability Is My Superpower

Jimmy Craig Author Of Are You Gonna Eat That? The Essential Collection of They Can Talk Comics

From my list on webcomics that are even better in print.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a comic fan first, then a comic creator. I grew up on the classics—Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side and excitedly watched as new comics popped up online. I love comic strips and have rows of collections lining my bookshelves. The coolest part of starting my own series has been becoming a member of a cartoonist community that I have always been a huge fan of.  

Jimmy's book list on webcomics that are even better in print

Jimmy Craig Why did Jimmy love this book?

Vulnerability is My Superpower does something really well that I’ve always struggled to do in my own work—be vulnerable.

Jackie’s autobiographical comics are charming, honest, and a joy to read. I think it’s a brave move to put your life on paper and bare it for the internet, a historically critical bunch, and this collection does it in a beautifully illustrated manner.

I think comics are best read printed on paper instead of on a phone, but this series is especially suited to print, since it reads as a diary of sorts.  

By Jackie Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vulnerability Is My Superpower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By being her anxious, honest, and just plain silly self, Jackie Davis' potato-shaped character proves that, even though opening up to others is scary at first, vulnerability can be a superpower.

Vulnerability Is My Superpower features Jackie Davis's relatable diary comics about self-discovery, mental health, relationships, and childhood. From bouts with anxiety and insecurity to the thrill of simple pleasures like secretly trying on other people's coats at a party, she's figuring things out as she goes along, navigating domestic life with her husband, Pat (aka "the Purple Guy"), and sharing her most embarrassing thoughts and habits so you don't…


Book cover of What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

K.T. Lee Author Of A Nose for Mischief

From my list on readers who love science, dogs, and crime fighting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love great storytelling, whether it’s in the form of a great mystery, romance, science fiction/fantasy, or non-fiction. I even love a story well told through the medium of television (I see you, The Good Place!). The books on this list are books I’ve read and loved and/or used as research to write my own series of dog-based cozy mysteries.

K.T.'s book list on readers who love science, dogs, and crime fighting

K.T. Lee Why did K.T. love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if the sun went out or if you could create a jetpack by firing machine guns into the ground, this is the book for you. And if you haven’t ever wondered these things before, but are wondering now, this book may also be for you.

I do not think I am spoiling this hilariously educational book by letting you know that the answers to the absurd hypothetical questions in this book range from the mundane to the catastrophic. You may find yourself enjoying the journey so much that you don’t notice that Munroe’s quick-witted stick figures are also teaching you some pretty advanced scientific concepts!

By Randall Munroe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?

In pursuit of answers,…


Book cover of The Book of Onions

Jimmy Craig Author Of Are You Gonna Eat That? The Essential Collection of They Can Talk Comics

From my list on webcomics that are even better in print.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a comic fan first, then a comic creator. I grew up on the classics—Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side and excitedly watched as new comics popped up online. I love comic strips and have rows of collections lining my bookshelves. The coolest part of starting my own series has been becoming a member of a cartoonist community that I have always been a huge fan of.  

Jimmy's book list on webcomics that are even better in print

Jimmy Craig Why did Jimmy love this book?

I immediately loved Jake’s comics. The art style and humor is right up my alley.

They’re a perfect intersection of print comics like The Far Side and online ones like The Perry Bible Fellowship.

The internet seems especially suited for timely comics that don’t always age well, they’re scrolled past and never read again, but this collection is perfect for print because the comics are timeless and worth repeat reading.  

By Jake Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Book of Onions is a collection of darkly funny comics from Jake Thompson, creator of the celebrated bi-weekly webcomic "Jake Likes Onions."

Ranging from the relatable to the utterly nonsensical and bizarre, The Book of Onions focuses on themes of loneliness, desperation, and failure. And misplaced optimism. And perverted talking fruit. Sort of like Gary Larson's "The Far Side," if Gary were way less accomplished and suffered from depression.


Book cover of Run Program

Will Hartzell-Baird Author Of The Taste of Cashews

From my list on science fiction for people who enjoy comedy.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my teenage years, it was sci-fi (and later fantasy) comedies that made me fall in love with reading. There was just something about exploring worlds where anything could happen mixed with the joy of laughter that kept drawing me back in. Naturally, in the many...many...years that followed, I've read countless novels from a wide variety of genres, but sci-fi comedy will always hold a special place in my heart.

Will's book list on science fiction for people who enjoy comedy

Will Hartzell-Baird Why did Will love this book?

Is it even a list of sci-fi books if you don’t include a story with a rogue artificial intelligence? Sure, it’s not necessarily the funniest premise, but when you throw in the fact that the A.I. in question has the mind of a six-year-old, the heroes trying to catch him are essentially his daycare providers, and the author is Scott Meyer, creator of the webcomic Basic Instructions and the Magic 2.0 series, and you’re sure to have a good time.

By Scott Meyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the popular Magic 2.0 series comes the witty tale of a mischievous A.I. gone rogue.

Al, a well-meaning but impish artificial intelligence, has the mind of a six-year-old and a penchant for tantrums. And the first one to discover just how much trouble Al could cause is Hope Takeda, the lab assistant in charge of educating and socializing him. Day care is a lot more difficult when your kid is an evolving and easily frightened A.I.

When Al manages to access the Internet and escape the lab days before his official unveiling, Hope and her team…


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