75 books like Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions

By James Tiptree Jr.,

Here are 75 books that Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions fans have personally recommended if you like Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions. 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 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 The Crucible of Time

C. S. Friedman Author Of This Alien Shore

From my list on aliens in science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind. What instincts and influences make us who we are? This Alien Shore grew out of research I was doing into atypical neurological conditions. It depicts a society that has abandoned the concept of “neurotypical”, embracing every variant of human perspective as valid and valuable. One of my main characters, Kio Masada, is autistic, and that gives him a unique perspective on computer security that others cannot provide. What might such a man accomplish, in a world where his condition is embraced and celebrated? Good science fiction challenges our definition of “Other,” and asks what it really means to be human, all in the context of an exciting story.

C. S.'s book list on aliens in science fiction

C. S. Friedman Why did C. S. love this book?

A planet in its equivalent of the stone age is passing through a galactic debris field. An alien stargazer realizes that sooner or later some object will strike the planet and destroy it. The only hope of survival his species has is to leave the planet before that happens. But the concept is a mere abstraction to his people, the equivalent of a Neanderthal saying “we need to travel to the moon,” and the task is further complicated by the fact that their technology is biological in nature, focused on the manipulation of living tissue. It is hard to imagine how such technology could ever produce a spaceship. 

The novel--structured as a series of novellas-- follows the development of a fascinating alien species from its primitive roots to an age of high technology, each chapter focusing on a different time period. Always the stargazer’s warning is proclaimed by a few…

By John Brunner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traces the development over milennia of a civilization of an unusual alien species, whose sense of humor, resourceful adaptibility, and metalworking skills are the strengths and the hope of their society


Book cover of Dawn

Anna McFarlane Author Of Cyberpunk Culture and Psychology: Seeing through the Mirrorshades

From my list on body horror birth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lecturer in medical humanities at the University of Leeds in England and I’m currently writing a book about the portrayal of traumatic pregnancy in fantastic literature (science fiction, horror, fantasy…). ‘Medical humanities’ is a field of study that looks at medical issues using the tools of the humanities, so it encompasses things like history of medicine, bioethics, and (my specialty) literature and medicine. Thinking about literature through the lens of traumatic pregnancy has led me to some fascinating, gory, and philosophical books, some of which I’m including on this list. 

Anna's book list on body horror birth

Anna McFarlane Why did Anna love this book?

I couldn’t finish this list without including one of the most famous examples of pregnancy in science fiction.

Humanity comes face-to-face with an alien species, the Oankali, who use gene editing, cloning, and mating to refresh their gene pools. The focus is on Lilith, a black woman taken hostage by the aliens who must learn about their plans for her and strategize her responses.

I really appreciate the way Butler’s work manages to speak to the legacy of slavery, particularly through a scene where the aliens create the circumstances for Lilith to breed with a human man in aid of their experiments. Lilith’s refusal to succumb to this animalistic treatment confronts the legacy of breeding humans during slavery.

I find Lilith (like many of Butler’s other characters) a driven character who deals with outlandish situations and the potential invasion of her own body with a pragmatic determination that invites me,…

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the most significant literary artists of the twentieth century' JUNOT DIAZ

'Octavia Butler was playing out our very real possibilities as humans. I think she can help each of us to do the same' GLORIA STEINEM

One woman is called upon to reconstruct humanity in this hopeful, thought-provoking novel by the bestselling, award-winning author. For readers of Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When Lilith lyapo wakes in a small white room with no doors or windows, she remembers a devastating war, and a husband and child long lost to her.

She finds herself living…


Book cover of A Song for Lya

C. S. Friedman Author Of This Alien Shore

From my list on aliens in science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind. What instincts and influences make us who we are? This Alien Shore grew out of research I was doing into atypical neurological conditions. It depicts a society that has abandoned the concept of “neurotypical”, embracing every variant of human perspective as valid and valuable. One of my main characters, Kio Masada, is autistic, and that gives him a unique perspective on computer security that others cannot provide. What might such a man accomplish, in a world where his condition is embraced and celebrated? Good science fiction challenges our definition of “Other,” and asks what it really means to be human, all in the context of an exciting story.

C. S.'s book list on aliens in science fiction

C. S. Friedman Why did C. S. love this book?

Years before Game of Thrones became a household name, Martin was best known for this hauntingly beautiful and deeply disturbing novella. Two telepaths, Robb and Lya, are sent to an alien planet to investigate a disturbing religious movement. The planet is home to a race called the Shkeen, and to a gelatinous parasite called the Greeshka. In middle age the Shkeen allow the Greeshka to infect them, and ten years later they visit a cave where they allow a massive specimen to consume them. Some humans living on the planet have even joined the native religion, and have allowed themselves to be infected and devoured. The administrators are desperate to know why.

Robb and Lya have an unusually close relationship, but she suffers from a sense of isolation that telepathy cannot banish. While they watch some Shkeen being devoured by the Greeshka, she can sense how isolated the Shkeen feel…

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Song for Lya as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two telepaths investigate the newly discovered world of Shkea, where every native inhabitant, and an increasing number of human colonists, worships a mysterious and deadly parasite. Winner of the 1975 Hugo Award for Best Novella.


Book cover of Contagion

A.K. Caggiano Author Of Throne in the Dark

From my list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every morning when I sit at my computer, I’m reminded by a post-it note stuck to my monitor that my self-ordained purpose is to “bring readers joy.” Like many, I escaped into books as a child, and I’ve been seeking out stories that encapsulate wonder, delight, and, most importantly, love ever since. I began my self-publishing journey in 2020 and am thrilled to have found my place in the fantasy romance genre, writing romcoms with a heaping spoonful of ridiculous magic. I’ve written a number of standalone novels as well as a (sub)urban fantasy series, Vacancy, and a traditional fantasy romance series with a satirical twist, Villains & Virtues.

A.K.'s book list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon

A.K. Caggiano Why did A.K. love this book?

This book should perhaps be classified as sci-fi, but hear me out: the bulk of this novella follows two characters, one who is technically supernatural (we just happen to call him an alien), as they break out of captivity and quest through a forest. That’s fantasy enough for me, and the syrupy sweetness of these two can overcome any hesitation over on-page, spacey jargon.

I’ve never read a book that so wholly gets into the head of a non-human species as this, and it also had me cracking up the entire time. Simmi, the alien in question, is a germaphobe, to put it lightly, but his partner in escaping, Aurora, is patient and kind with him, and the love that blossoms between them is kick-your-feet delightful.

Book cover of The Last City

Maree Kimberley Author Of Dirt Circus League

From my list on girl power young adult sci-fi and fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love young adult fiction. I especially love it when female characters face their fears and fight for what’s right. And if they’re not afraid to run headfirst into a battle, even better. I think it’s incredibly important for young women to have access to books that break free of female stereotypes. None of the heroines in these books are waiting for someone to save them. They’re in the thick of it, confronting their demons, and maybe slaying a few, too! My PhD explored power and belonging in YA fiction, and I’ve written and presented on the importance of strong female characters. Here’s to girl power!

Maree's book list on girl power young adult sci-fi and fantasy

Maree Kimberley Why did Maree love this book?

Fast-paced action, adventure, humour, combat, and brilliant world building: The Last City has it all. The female characters fight alongside — and against the male characters in this action-packed sci-fi novel, set in the multi-layered city of Scorpia. I loved immersing myself in this fictional world inhabited by a legion of post-human species. The struggles of the main female characters, including Sihlo, whose history means she’s a target for the bad guys, and object-morphing Diega, are drawn with clarity and depth that meant I really cared for these oddball creatures and cheered for them to defeat the enemy. This book is such a lot of fun, and I loved it from start to finish.

By Nina D'Aleo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An intoxicating blend of noir crime, science fiction and fantasy The Last City is Blade Runner meets Perdido Street Station.

Scorpia - the last city of Aquais - where the Ar Antarians rule, the machine-breeds serve and in-between a multitude of races and species eke out an existence somewhere between the ever-blazing city lights and the endless darkness of the underside.

As a spate of murders and abductions grip the city, new recruit Silho Brabel is sent to the Oscuri Trackers, an elite military squad commanded by the notorious Copernicus Kane. But Silho has a terrible secret and must fight…


Book cover of Collins Complete British Insects: A Photographic Guide to Every Common Species

Jane Adams Author Of Nature's Wonders: Moments That Mark the Seasons

From my list on entertaining and fascinating UK nature books.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a UK nature writer and amateur naturalist, I have a fascination with the natural world. If it squeaks, buzzes, croaks, hisses, or tweets, I want to know more about it. I enjoy books that are both captivating and easy to understand, and I’m at my happiest when uncovering unusual facts and exploring the rich folklore surrounding our wildlife. As a writer, I contribute to magazines focusing on nature and wildlife-friendly gardening. I also teach creative writing and have authored a book celebrating the wonders of our UK wildlife. I live in Dorset and find endless joy in observing and nurturing whatever wanders or flies into my overgrown garden.

Jane's book list on entertaining and fascinating UK nature books

Jane Adams Why did Jane love this book?

In the summer, this book takes over from British Wildlife as my favourite reference book that doesn’t bamboozle me with science. I nearly always find the insect I’m looking for and then inevitably spend half an hour lost in details of the plants it eats or places it lives.

I wouldn’t want to be without this book, and I regularly buy it as a present for friends and family. 

By Michael Chinery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collins Complete British Insects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A photographic field guide to 1,500 species of insects found in Britain A photographic field guide to all the common and some unusual species of insects across Britain that the keen amateur naturalist is likely to spot. Approximately 1,500 species are illustrated with clear photographs chosen for their help in identification. / Details of distribution for each insect, and whether it is common or rare / Includes photographs of larvae / Each section is coded with a symbol for easy reference / Information on easily confused species / All the information on the species together in the same place Insect…


Book cover of Beholder's Eye

Jaleta Clegg Author Of Nexus Point

From my list on classic space operas written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy, and specifically space opera, since I was seven and first discovered The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. I read my way through every book in the school library and public library that dealt with aliens, space travel, starships, and especially adventure.

Jaleta's book list on classic space operas written by women

Jaleta Clegg Why did Jaleta love this book?

Esen is a shapechanger, a young one. While exploring a world considered ‘safe’ by her matriarch, she is captured by the natives. Her only hope of rescue is to betray her species' strict rules and reveal her true nature to her fellow prisoner, a human.

I adore Esen as a character. She is very relatable. I also love the breadth and scope of species and habitats and worlds in this series. Julie Czerneda is one of my favorite authors. Her storytelling skills shine. Esen is definitely not human, but Czerneda creates such a warm character you can’t help but love her. Beholder’s Eye is part coming-of-age but mostly a darn good science fiction adventure.

By Julie E. Czerneda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beholder's Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

United in their natural form they are one, sharing all their memories, experiences, and lives. Apart they are six, the only existing members of their ancient race, a species with the ability to assume any form once they understand its essence.

Their continued survival in a universe filled with races ready to destroy anyone perceived as different is based on the Rules. And first among those Rules is: Never reveal your true nature to another being. But when the youngest among them, Esen-alit-Quar, receives her first independent assignment to a world considered safe to explore, she stumbles into a trap…


Book cover of The Penguins: Spheniscidae (Bird Families of the World, No. 2)

Dyan deNapoli Author Of The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue

From my list on penguins for adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and life-long animal lover. I was a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, where I worked for 9 years. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and give presentations at schools, universities, libraries, conferences (including the International Penguin Conference), and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I’ve given 4 TEDx talks, wrote and narrated a TED-Ed video about penguin conservation, and am a frequent guest expert on radio, podcasts, and TV in the US and abroad whenever penguins hit the news.

Dyan's book list on penguins for adults

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

For serious penguin geeks, this book has long been the penguin bible. If you’re looking for scientifically accurate information about the biology and behavior of each penguin species, this is a fantastic reference book. Written by a leading ornithologist who has done field research on penguins, The Penguins gives a very comprehensive overview of each species, with detailed information about everything from breeding biology, to foraging ecology, to physical measurements, and much more. There are many illustrations and graphs as well. (The Penguins is manna for natural-science geeks and hard-core bird nerds.)

By Tony D. Williams, J.N. Davies (illustrator), John Busby (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bird Families of the World is a multivolume series of handbooks, intended to serve the interests of both the professional scientist and the serious amateur ornithologist. Each volume will provide a comprehensive and accurate synthesis of our knowledge of one bird family or several related families. In each book the reader will find: * Six to nine general chapters on the biology, feeding ecology, breeding behaviour, evolutionary relationships, and conservation of the family * Specially commissioned colour plates by a leading artist, showing both sexes and juveniles of all species and many subspecies * Black and white drawings illustrating special…


Book cover of The Ultimate Book of Sharks

Deb Aronson Author Of Reptiles: King Cobras

From my list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a non-fiction writer my entire career and I love learning new things and then sharing them with readers in an approachable and engaging way, as these books do. These books encourage curiosity and that kind of “Oh! I didn’t know that!” response, which can spark a young reader to dig deeper and even share their new knowledge with others.

Deb's book list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

This book is much meatier than the others on the list. But it also delivers information in easy-to-digest blocks and is filled with amazing photographs, many of which the author himself took.

This book provides information that corrects some myths or misunderstandings that people have about sharks.

By Brian Skerry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate Book of Sharks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Dive into the wild world of sharks! Get up close to learn the truth behind these fantastic, ferocious fish with famed National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry.

Join this amazing underwater adventure to track the sharks of the world, from the teeniest dogfish to the everfeared great white. This ultimate book features every species of shark on the planet, with awesome photos, fascinating facts, the latest science, and firsthand stories of real-life encounters with these incredible creatures. Learn how sharks live, how they eat, the challenges they face, and whether or not you are actually on the menu.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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