85 books like One Second After

By William R. Forstchen,

Here are 85 books that One Second After fans have personally recommended if you like One Second After. 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 The Road

Stephen M. Sanders Author Of Passe-Partout

From my list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since my dad introduced me to the original Star Trek (in reruns) and The Lord of the Rings in my youth. I’ve always loved thinking about possibilities—large and small—so my work tends to think big when I write. I also write poetry, which allows me to talk about more than just the everyday or at least to find the excitement within the mundane in life. These works talk about those same “possibilities”—for better or worse, and in reading, I walk in awareness of what could be.

Stephen's book list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels

Stephen M. Sanders Why did Stephen love this book?

Cormac McCarthy does the impossible in this book—he writes an emotionally satisfying, literary-minded travelogue of horrors. It shatters the reader but then lifts them up with its beautifully wrought prose.

Be patient: the novel gets brutally dark before the light.

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


Book cover of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Bennett R. Coles Author Of Virtues of War

From my list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 4 years old when I first saw Star Wars, and it changed my entire world view. Basically, from that moment forward everything was cooler if it was in SPACE! Eventually, I grew up, and today, I’ve served more than 20 years in uniform, but I discovered along the way that most sci-fi doesn’t portray the military accurately. When I started writing, one of my goals was to present as realistic a depiction of the military as I can (in space!) and I’ve always enjoyed books like the ones on my list that do the same. 

Bennett's book list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military

Bennett R. Coles Why did Bennett love this book?

World War Z offers an intriguing insight into the method of warfighting. The zombies are attacking New York, and the US Army is there to stop them. But the ammunition the Army has brought is designed, as the expert on scene describes, to overwhelm and terrorize the enemy. The intent is not to kill the enemy so much as to break their spirit. The zombies, knowing no fear, just keep advancing, and the tactic is a failure.

I appreciate this insight into the psychology of war and the preference for “shock and awe” tactics rather than full-on destruction. Don’t get me wrong – many people die in war. But Max Brooks accurately identified the truth that most soldiers don’t want to kill their enemy: they just want everyone to go home.

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked World War Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginning of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight against the horde, World War Z brings the finest traditions of journalism to bear on what is…


Book cover of Before I Fall

Jodi Perkins Author Of Chasing Echoes

From my list on where time is out to get you.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my fifth year teaching 7th grade, I found myself repeating the same lessons as prior years, participating in the same club events, marching in the same parades, etc. My students would inevitably reach the end of the school year and move on, while I was forever frozen in 7th grade. Herein my fascination with time loops was born. Over a decade later, I’m now happily teaching high school English while moonlighting as a writer of stories featuring temporal anomalies and time travel. I hope to spread my wings into dystopians and fractured fairy tales in the future, but until then…I may or may not have 22 clocks in my house.

Jodi's book list on where time is out to get you

Jodi Perkins Why did Jodi love this book?

Before I Fall is Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day, with the popular and pretty protagonist, Sam, forced to relive February 12th (her beloved “Cupid’s Day”) over and over. In the beginning, I had no love for Sam and was appalled by her and her friend’s nasty behavior, but Sam’s character growth throughout the novel is inspirational. The time-turning in the novel is handled flawlessly with repeated events never growing dull, and each new loop offering another layer to Sam’s redemption. Admittedly the book didn’t end the way I wanted (I’m a fan of fairy tale endings, even if unrealistic), but watching Sam evolve from a shallow mean girl to a beautiful soul was a moving experience and made the book worth the read.

By Lauren Oliver,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Before I Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A bestselling summer read as heartbreaking as The Lovely Bones and as gripping as Jenny Downham's Before I Die.

**Now a major Netflix movie starring Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley*

'Gossip Girl meets Groundhog Day' Grazia

'Tender, funny and raw' Marie Claire

'A clever, funny, insightful and utterly addictive novel' Daily Mail

'Compelling and poignant, a truly memorable read' Closer

They say 'live every day as if it's your last' - but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.
The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't…


Book cover of A Fire Upon the Deep

Marc B. DeGeorge Author Of A Call to the Sky

From my list on sci-fi about unorthodox families and friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my day job, I’m immersed either with technical equipment or managing people and I enjoy the duality of both challenges. It’s difficult to say which I like best, but because part of my job is people focused, I’ve enjoyed learning to understand the social and interpersonal dynamics between coworkers and clients alike. So books with strong character relationships and stories that are driven by their wants and desires, however right or wrong they may be, are a favorite of mine. The science fiction aspect comes with my love for technology, mainly in music and film and I find many parallels between those arts and writing books. 

Marc's book list on sci-fi about unorthodox families and friendships

Marc B. DeGeorge Why did Marc love this book?

My sister and I were only close because we’re only two years apart. But recently we’ve had some tragedy in our family, and that brought us closer.

While I was making this list of books, I was reminded of this story and how much I enjoyed it, not just for the prose, which I take notice of and will drop a book if it’s bad, but for that reminder of the brother and sister story here. Not to mention the rescue crew of odd characters which reflects a belief of mine: truth is universal.

Any human or alien can understand compassion and suffering and choose the better of the two.

By Vernor Vinge,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Fire Upon the Deep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fleeing a menace of galactic proportions, a spaceship crashes on an unfamiliar world, leaving the survivors - a pair of children - to the not-so-tender mercies of a medieval, lupine race. Responding to the ship's distress signal, a rescue mission races against time to retrieve the children.


Book cover of Replay

Larry A. Brown Author Of Temporal Gambit

From my list on time travel resulting in alternate realities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read SF, starting with the classic Jules Verne, since I was a young teenager. Soon I discovered Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Ellison, Zelazny, Dick, all of whom lit up my mind with wondrous and sometimes dangerous visions of possible futures. During the COVID shutdown period, when our university went to online instruction, my wife convinced me to try my hand at writing in my favorite genre. Previously I had written a textbook, How Films Tell Stories (listed here at Shepherd), but never any fiction, so I wrote Temporal Gambit, a time-travel adventure combined with themes of first contact, artificial intelligence, and alternate history. I then followed it with a sequel. I hope you enjoy. 

Larry's book list on time travel resulting in alternate realities

Larry A. Brown Why did Larry love this book?

If you could go back and change something about your life, would you?

The hero of this story inadvertently finds himself returning to his past time and again, each instance trying to follow a different path to success or happiness. But just as he finds what he thought he wanted, the cycle begins again. 

By Ken Grimwood,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Replay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

At forty-three Jeff Winston is tired of his low-paid, unrewarding job, tired of the long silences at the breakfast table with his wife, saddened by the thought of no children to comfort his old age. But he hopes for better things, for happiness, maybe tomorrow ...

But a sudden, fatal heart attack puts paid to that. Until Jeff wakes up in his eighteen-year-old body, all his memories of the next twenty-five years intact. If he applies those memories, he can be rich in this new chance at life and can become one of the most powerful men in America.

Until…


Book cover of The Peace War

Laurence E Dahners Author Of Quicker

From my list on “what if” in science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a surgeon and scientist who has had a lifelong interest in science and science fiction, I can’t help being fascinated by “what if” questions, especially as regards the impact of inventions on human society and the world. As an optimist, I tend to enjoy exploring inventions that benefit mankind much more than those that bring on an apocalypse.

Laurence's book list on “what if” in science fiction

Laurence E Dahners Why did Laurence love this book?

This riveting tale asks “what if” a future technology allows the “bobbling” of spherical volumes of invincible space within which time is stopped. In a misguided effort to stop a war, the Peace Authority bobbles military groups and war-making machinery all around the world with unexpected consequences. 

But, for me, the stars of the show are the bobbles themselves, especially when they unexpectedly start popping, releasing people, war machines, and exploding bombs that have been in stasis for decades. 

By Vernor Vinge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First in a quintessential hard-science fiction adventure, Hugo Award-winning author Vernor Vinge's The Peace War follows a scientist determined to put an end to the militarization of his greatest invention--and of the government behind it.

The Peace Authority conquered the world with a weapon that never should have been a weapon--the "bobble," a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force known to mankind. Encasing governmental installations and military bases in bobbles, the Authority becomes virtually omnipotent.

But they've never caught Paul Hoehler, the maverick who invented the technology, and who has been working quietly for decades to develop a way to…


Book cover of Far Seer

Laurence E Dahners Author Of Quicker

From my list on “what if” in science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a surgeon and scientist who has had a lifelong interest in science and science fiction, I can’t help being fascinated by “what if” questions, especially as regards the impact of inventions on human society and the world. As an optimist, I tend to enjoy exploring inventions that benefit mankind much more than those that bring on an apocalypse.

Laurence's book list on “what if” in science fiction

Laurence E Dahners Why did Laurence love this book?

This book asks “what if,” on another world dinosaurs evolved intelligence. What if they were discovering the same things about the universe that humans such as Galileo and Copernicus discovered here on Earth? How would their path of discovery be influenced by their biological differences and the fact that their world orbits a gas giant?

By Robert J. Sawyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sixty-five million years ago, aliens transplanted Earth's dinosaurs to another world. Now, intelligent saurians -- the Quintaglios -- have emerged. Afsan, the Quintaglio counterpart of Galileo, must convince his people of the truth about their place in the universe before astronomical forces rip the dinosaurs' new home apart.

ROBERT J. SAWYER has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial, Seiun, and Aurora Awards, all for best science fiction novel of the year. His novels include Hominids, Rollback, Wake, and FlashForward (basis for the TV series).


Book cover of The Last Policeman

Patrick Forsyth Author Of Once A Thief

From my list on surprisingly unconventional crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for many years in business consultancy (writing many books like the bestselling “Successful Time Management [Kogan Page]) before branching into other genres, including fiction and light-hearted travel writing (e.g., Beguiling Burma [Rethink Press]). My five novels all involve ordinary people caught up in situations that involve mystery or crime (or both). Like most fiction writers, I find it difficult to recognize where ideas come from, though I do draw on various aspects of my own life; for example, Long Overdue [Stanhope Books] involves sailing and a missing person. Certainly, I relate to sailing and, for many years, owned a boat. 

Patrick's book list on surprisingly unconventional crime

Patrick Forsyth Why did Patrick love this book?

Another unusual premise. An asteroid has been spotted on a collision course with Earth, and civilization appears doomed, yet our hero remains set on solving his current case, a death originally dismissed as suicide, which is, in fact, a murder.

Surprisingly, the two themes are made to sit well together, and the intent to solve the crime never seems inappropriate in dire circumstances. This is a real page-turner, which I loved.

By Ben H. Winters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Last Policeman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In THE LAST POLICEMAN, Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Ben H. Winters, offers readers something they've never seen before: A police procedural set on the brink of an apocalypse. What's the point in solving murders when we're going to die soon, anyway? Hank Palace, a homicide detective in Concord, New Hampshire, asks this question every day. Most people have stopped doing whatever it is they did before the asteroid 2011L47J hovered into view. Stopped selling real estate; stopped working at hospitals; stopped slinging hash or driving cabs or trading high-yield securities. A lot of folks spend…


Book cover of I Am Currency

Julie L. Casey Author Of Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II

From my list on apocalyptic event that causes a dystopian future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I got interested in the theme of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world after hearing years of doomsday predictions, most of which never came true or were far from catastrophic. I wondered what some real threats to our way of life are and in 2015, started writing a novel, Defenders of Holt, about what a dystopian future might look like. After that book, I wanted to write about the events that led up to that dystopian world and settled on a coronal mass ejection (CME) as the apocalyptic event in the Teenage Survivalist series. I did many hours of research to back up my stories to make them as realistic as possible. 

Julie's book list on apocalyptic event that causes a dystopian future

Julie L. Casey Why did Julie love this book?

In this 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist book, a different scenario of an apocalyptic event—a meteor that slams into earth, causing a shift in the planet’s magnetic core—ushers in the end of the age of technology and the beginning of a dystopian future where knowledge is not only power, it is currency. I loved this book because it’s a clever and exciting take on a dystopian tale. Being set in Australia provides lots of interesting scenes and plot twists and the idea of using knowledge as currency brings new meaning to the phrase "knowledge is power." This is a thoroughly enjoyable story that is hard to put down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure with just a touch of romance!

By Whitney L. Grady,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist**
When a meteor slams into earth causing a shift in the planet’s magnetic core, the age of technology ends and economies across the globe crash. Years later, knowledge is not only power…it is currency. Bookkeepers are invaluable in this post-apocalyptic world.

Nevel can never tell anyone he is a bookkeeper. His photographic memory is his secret. With a dystopian government that keeps all known books under lock and key looming as a constant threat and with parents involved as agents in the U.B.M. (Underground Book Movement) to protect that secretly exist, Nevel is…


Book cover of Life

Julie L. Casey Author Of Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II

From my list on apocalyptic event that causes a dystopian future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I got interested in the theme of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world after hearing years of doomsday predictions, most of which never came true or were far from catastrophic. I wondered what some real threats to our way of life are and in 2015, started writing a novel, Defenders of Holt, about what a dystopian future might look like. After that book, I wanted to write about the events that led up to that dystopian world and settled on a coronal mass ejection (CME) as the apocalyptic event in the Teenage Survivalist series. I did many hours of research to back up my stories to make them as realistic as possible. 

Julie's book list on apocalyptic event that causes a dystopian future

Julie L. Casey Why did Julie love this book?

In this dystopian novel, the apocalyptic event is the financial collapse of the United States. In the neighborhood of Logan Pond, the neighbors must work together to survive while hiding from the tyrannical government which has usurped authority after the collapse. I loved this book because the characters were so genuine, I almost believed they were real. If it weren't for the horrifying situation these characters found themselves in, I think I would actually enjoy the challenge of living off-grid in a community like this. The ending of the story was satisfying, not exactly a happy ending, mind you, but a hopeful one all the same. This is a must-read for anyone who likes the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre or is worried about the financial stability of our country. Highly recommended! 

By Rebecca Belliston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A powerful, realistic story about life and love and the resilience of the human spirit. Just the right mix of action, drama, and romance." - Readers' Favorite

IN A WORLD WITHOUT MONEY, THE FIGHT TO SURVIVE BEGINS . . .

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people and maintain contact with Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up.

A man with the ambition to help them survive. A…


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