73 books like Quicksilver

By Neal Stephenson,

Here are 73 books that Quicksilver fans have personally recommended if you like Quicksilver. 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 Dune

Jean Gilbert Author Of Shifters

From my list on science fiction books that suck you into their world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have prosopagnosia, Face Blindness. I can’t recognize my face, let alone anyone else. Not being able to remember people makes for a lonely existence. Ever since I was little, I created worlds inside my head. These were places where I could control what happened when the real world felt lonely and out of control. Discovering books that created worlds I could immerse myself in was life-changing for me. It was like finding my lost tribe. Science fiction became a comfortable home, becoming a science fiction writer was a natural progression. I still get excited when I find a book that sucks me into its world.

Jean's book list on science fiction books that suck you into their world

Jean Gilbert Why did Jean love this book?

I was a young teenager the first time I read this book. At the time, I didn’t understand all that was going on, but I knew I liked the story and the world. But as an adult, all the underlying tensions and the deeper story touched something deep within me. I think it has to do with the struggle to survive and how to cope in a hostile environment–man and planet alike.

The idea that something so simple as a worm on a seemingly insignificant desert planet affected the whole universe fascinated me. If I had the power Paul Atreides had, would I have made the same difficult choices he had made? Probably. And that’s what scares me the most.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

56 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 Foundation

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?

Forgive me for citing another classic in the Science Fiction genre. My interpretation of Seldon’s Psychohistory is that it is a reasonable premise, being based on the law of large numbers. If only there was something in our present day based on large data models, like maybe language? Yes, we’re living in the dawn of “psychohistory,” but instead of predicting fundamental shifts in human society, today’s AI is telling us what detergent to buy and which politician to vote for. Sad.

It takes a lot of time and a great deal of commitment to read the Foundation Series and the titles I have listed do not include several set in the same universe but not written by Asimov. But consider, it’s Asimov, one of Science Fiction’s gods. This series is nothing if not foundational to Science Fiction.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series

THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION, NOW STREAMING • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
 
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings…


Book cover of Master and Commander

Tristan Nettles Author Of The Shepherd: A Bronze Age Tale

From my list on books to read when living on a small island.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading, mostly due to a speech impediment that left me awkward and shy. I was lucky enough to experience world travel at a young age. My parents' divorce set me on a different path. Five middle schools and seven high schools later, I volunteered as a Marine Corps infantryman. I left the USA in 2015 to travel the world, from Micronesia to Nepal to Honduras and even Ukraine, where I fought with the Ukrainian Foreign Legion. 

Tristan's book list on books to read when living on a small island

Tristan Nettles Why did Tristan love this book?

This book is the penultimate adventure story set on the high seas during the Napoleonic Wars. The characters are expertly made and presented around a plot line that takes every pain to stay true to the truth of past events while still offering the reader a series of novels that will keep even the greenest of landlubbers glued to their seats.

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.


Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

By K.R. Wilson,

Book cover of Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

K.R. Wilson Author Of Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Reader History enthusiast Occasional composer Sometime chorister

K.R.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When King Priam's pregnant daughter was fleeing the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Jesus of Nazareth was beaten and crucified, Stan was there - one crossover. He’s been a Hittite warrior, a Silk Road mercenary, a reluctant rebel in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, and an information peddler in the cabarets of post-war Berlin. Stan doesn't die, and he doesn't know why. And now he's being investigated for a horrific crime.

As Stan tells his story, from his origins as an Anatolian sheep farmer to his custody in a Toronto police interview room, he brings a wry, anachronistic perspective to three thousand years of Western history. Call Me Stan is a Biblical epic from the bleachers, a gender fluid operatic love quadrangle, and a touching exploration of what it is to outlive everyone you love.

Or almost everyone.

Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

By K.R. Wilson,

What is this book about?

Long-listed for the 2022 Leacock Medal for Humour

When King Priam's pregnant daughter was fleeing the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Jesus of Nazareth was beaten and crucified, Stan was there - one cross over. Stan has been a Hittite warrior, a Roman legionnaire, a mercenary for the caravans of the Silk Road and a Great War German grunt. He’s been a toymaker in a time of plague, a reluctant rebel in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, and an information peddler in the cabarets of post-war Berlin. Stan doesn't die, and he doesn't know why. And now he's…


Book cover of Time and Again

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

Being a romantic I loved Time and Again (as well as the movie) for the story’s construction. I appreciate verisimilitude in historical novels and Finney has done his homework. Having briefly visited New York City twice, I do not know it personally. 

Finney makes it breathe in 1882 with fascinating detail that never bores, and by using photographs. I thought the novel was perfect, and it stuck in my head as much for production/construction values as well as the story. When I first researched Treadwell at the Alaska Historical Library in Juneau I came across dozens of photographs, and the form for the novel coalesced in my head.

In retrospect I realize the novels I loved taught me about the architecture of story as well as entertaining me.

By Jack Finney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Time and Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Si Morley is bored with his job as a commercial illustrator and his social life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, when he is approached by an affable ex-football star and told that he is just what the government is looking for to take part in a top-secret programme, he doesn't hesitate for too long. And so one day Si steps out of his twentieth-century, New York apartment and finds himself back in January 1882. There are no cars, no planes, no computers, no television and the word 'nuclear' appears in no dictionaries. For Si, it's very like Eden,…


Book cover of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

Dead Wake is fact that reads like fiction. Not often do I choose a book already knowing how it ends. His artistic rendering of the world in 1915 is alone worth the read. He introduces us to the passengers of the SS Lusitania, who they are, why they are on the ship, and he makes us care.

Larson limns Captains Turner of the Lusitania, and Schweiger of the U-20, the Imperial German submarine. The author carefully choreographs the final voyage of the doomed ship. The sinking is not the end of the story. 

The last third of the book is devoted to what happened after the torpedo hit. Captain Turner survives the attack as well as many of the passengers. This is a beautifully researched, but heartrending read. 

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dead Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover,…


Book cover of 1919

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

I first read 1919 by Dos Passos when I was a teenager in the Navy. Having a yen for history since the age of eight, I was transported to an era where hopes and dreams have shattered or vanished. The author created the gritty and tawdry ambiance of characters as far out of their depth as was the reader.

We meet many limned characters with engaging flaws and hopes. The point-of-view shifts constantly and the narrative is spaced with advertising jingles from period radio programs and magazines to promote visualization.

The USA trilogy never left me. After pursuing art and making my living as a commercial artist for 15 years I turned to writing. I realized I wanted to create an immersive portrait of Juneau using similar tactics. I believe I succeeded.

By John Dos Passos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1919 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A Depression-era novel about American tumult has—perhaps unsurprisingly—aged quite well.”—The New Yorker

In 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum).

Employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of the era with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos’s characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow…


Book cover of The Van Rijn Method

D.J. Butler Author Of Abbott in Darkness

From my list on science fiction adventures about traders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science fiction and fantasy novelist and editor. I’m also a corporate lawyer and mergers and acquisitions consultant. I have a passion for trade, in history, games, literature, and even real life. I fear that we have far too much art glorifying killers and bullies, and I think the future will be built, as the past has been, by people who are willing to explore, meet other cultures, get to know them, and work to find deals that will benefit everyone involved.

D.J.'s book list on science fiction adventures about traders

D.J. Butler Why did D.J. love this book?

This omnibus collects eleven short stories about space merchant Nicholas Van Rijn. Van Rijn (no coincidence that he’s Dutch) is literate, clever, eccentric in speech, archaic in dress, and occasionally valiant in battle – but he’d much rather trade than fight, and although he describes trade as “swindling each other,” he characteristically strikes deals that benefit all parties.

Van Rijn’s trade-in spices (he is CEO of the Solar Spice and Liquors Company) is a callout to the history of the Dutch East India Company. The great early modern companies (and specifically, the British East India Company) are one of the inspirations in my book: they founded some fortunes and give to startling adventure stories, but the contradictions inherent in their nature also led to corruption and oppression.

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Van Rijn Method as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Follow the exploits of Nicholas Van Rijn, one of Science Fiction's most popular characters, as told by Science Fiction's Grand Master, Poul Anderson, in Volume 1 in the Complete Technic Civilization Series.


Book cover of The Pride of Chanur

Keith Stevenson Author Of Traitor's Run

From my list on novels written from an alien perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

Aliens have fascinated me since childhood. The idea of living on an alien planet with different biology, social structures, and ways of thinking has to be the ultimate act of imagination. Authors use aliens to highlight and interrogate aspects of humanity or to explore different ways of living, and the best alien novels invite me to inhabit the skin of an alien and open my mind to new thoughts and perspectives. As a science fiction writer, these stories inspire me to be more creative in my own flights of imagination. Here are five of the best alien science fiction novels to help you share my journey into the truly alien.

Keith's book list on novels written from an alien perspective

Keith Stevenson Why did Keith love this book?

CJ Cherryh is a master at delving into the psychology and societies of her characters and making the reader feel what they feel.

The Chanur books, starting with this book, are a standout example of alien fiction because they’re told almost exclusively from the point of view of Captain Pyanfar Chanur, a cat-like member of the Hani. She’s smart and tough, which is what you need to be when hauling freight through Compact Space, home to seven very different alien species.

Caught in deadly political intrigue, Pyanfar is forced to figure out what the aliens opposing her are thinking and how they are likely to react to any move she makes. As readers, this brings us in close for a detailed consideration of these alien species, all set against a deadly game of cat and mouse and a dash to find safe haven across many star systems.

This book is…

By C. J. Cherryh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Pride of Chanur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excellent Book


Book cover of Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Diana Fedorak Author Of Children of Alpheios

From my list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a mother of two children and was raised in a noisy family of four. It was my kids who reawakened my instinct to write again and follow through on my projects. Motherhood is such a fundamental part of my life and for most women I know. It’s mundane yet transformative in the sense it brings out your inner lioness in a way you don’t anticipate. When I think about some of my favorite literary characters, they would be unrecognizable if they weren’t mothers. With that in mind, I hope readers find a lovely story for their moms on Mother’s Day.

Diana's book list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers

Diana Fedorak Why did Diana love this book?

The eternal devotion and self-sacrifice endured by the mother-daughter pair is the real heartbeat of the story as I followed Xingyin on her many adventures.

As the daughter of the exiled Moon Goddess, Xingyin is forced to flee her home when her mother fears Xingyin’s existence will be discovered by the Celestial Emperor.

Xingyin must find a way to please the very Emperor who holds her mother hostage if she has any hope of setting her mother free. Her mother gave up so much in order to give Xingyin life, and is never far from her daughter’s mind.

I could not help but hope that mother and daughter would one day be reunited.

The book also has gorgeous world-building inspired by Chinese myths that makes it an enthralling read.

By Sue Lynn Tan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Daughter of the Moon Goddess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess.

A young woman's quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm, setting her on a dangerous path where those she loves are not the only ones at risk...

*THE INSTANT TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*

THERE ARE MANY LEGENDS ABOUT MY MOTHER...

Raised far away on the moon, Xingyin was unaware she was being hidden from the Celestial Emperor - who exiled her mother for stealing the elixir of immortality. But when her magic flares and reveals her, Xingyin is…


Book cover of Never Say Die

Aly Kay Tibbitts Author Of Operation Latensification: HADES

From my list on young adult for spy lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

One fateful day in 4th grade, after finishing the Chronicles of Narnia, I picked up a YA spy novel off my teacher’s bookshelf. I never went back. I was immediately drawn to the depth of the characters, the nuance of how their public persona didn’t always match their internal thoughts, and their ability to succeed when no one thought they could. Eventually, what I read became what I wrote. Now, whenever I get overwhelmed, I love to turn to the genre that helped me through High School. Whether I reread old favorites, revisit my own stories, or find new friends, these characters remind me I can do anything.

Aly's book list on young adult for spy lovers

Aly Kay Tibbitts Why did Aly love this book?

Alex Rider is the series that first introduced me to YA spy novels. They are a defining part of my childhood and adolescence… I don’t have a favorite

After thinking the series was over, Never Say Die was the unexpected sequel I needed. I didn’t need to reread the books to be re-immersed in Alex Rider’s world—it was almost as if I’d never left.

But why choose this one? For a character that could be defined as a reluctant spy, I enjoyed seeing him use the skills that had been forced upon him for something he wanted to do for once. It taught me that we might not always have control over what skills and talents we acquire, but we do have a choice in how we use them.

By Anthony Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Say Die 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?

Alex Rider is now an IMDb TV/Amazon Original Series!

The world’s greatest teen spy is back in action in a thrilling new mission: destroy once and for all the terrorist organization SCORPIA. Americans may have purchased more than 6 million copies of Alex's adventures, but now, more than ever, we all need his heroics.

Following the events of Scorpia Rising, Alex relocates to San Francisco as he slowly recovers from the tragic death of his best friend and caregiver, Jack Starbright, at the hands of terrorists working for SCORPIA. With Jack gone, Alex feels lost and alone, but then, out…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in alchemy, scientists, and friendships?

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