100 books like Seveneves

By Neal Stephenson,

Here are 100 books that Seveneves fans have personally recommended if you like Seveneves. 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 Dune

Liam Lombard Author Of The Calling

From my list on fantasy great world building relatable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the intricacies and secrets our world has to offer. In pursuing knowledge, I delved deep into the ‘magic’ of science to learn about its mysteries. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment with the laws of our world. After much schooling and reading many fantasy books, I eventually wrote about a fantastical world where science has been tweaked just enough to make things interesting. I hope you enjoy my list of books and that they excite you as much as they have excited me. 

Liam's book list on fantasy great world building relatable characters

Liam Lombard Why did Liam love this book?

This book is probably the best I have ever read. The way characters think and feel is expressed magnificently, and the subtle ‘awe’ moments drive the plot forward.

I have never felt more attached to characters and their magic. Paul’s journey is believable and incredibly crafted. World-building is effortless, and I was never bored at any point while listening to the book.

I fear reading more in the series because this book is so good. I don’t want anything to spoil its perfection. 

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

57 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 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 The Fifth Season

Duncan Hubber Author Of Notes from the Citadel: The Philosophy and Psychology of A Song of Ice and Fire

From my list on The best philosophical fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic at the University of Queensland whose research areas include horror films, screen trauma theory, the cinematic representation of urban spaces, and the collision of romanticism and postmodernism in fantasy literature. My first book, POV Horror: The Trauma Aesthetic of the Found Footage Subgenre, was adapted from my PhD thesis. I am an avid member of the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom, and my second book represents over a decade of talking and writing about George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, having grown out of conversations in forums, podcasts, symposiums, and fan conventions, as well as my own background in literary analysis and research.

Duncan's book list on The best philosophical fantasy novels

Duncan Hubber Why did Duncan love this book?

The Fifth Season is set in a world plagued by intermittent climate catastrophes and inhabited by a group of people called orogenes, who possess the ability to control energy and, therefore, thwart these catastrophes.

It follows two talented oregenes named Syenite and Alabaster, who are forced by the ruling class to marry and undertake a dangerous mission together. Jemisin’s story is a riveting exploration of environmental ethics, transhumanism, and the concept of the Anthropocene. She challenges her characters and readers to consider their responsibility for the earth and the other organisms that share it. She also depicts the role that social oppression plays in the exploitation and destruction of the environment.

By N. K. Jemisin,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked The Fifth Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends. . .for the last time.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land…


Tidelands: Ghosts and Monsters

By Gareth J. Southwell,

Book cover of Tidelands: Ghosts and Monsters

Gareth J. Southwell

New book alert!

What is my book about?

In a flooded city on the brink of collapse, the arcology provides a high-tech haven – for those who can afford it. Here, safe in her pampered confinement, Eva longs for escape. But each day she is made to play The Game, a mysterious virtual environment that seems more designed to monitor and test than to entertain.

Outside, life is a different story, where unregulated tech spawns nightmares to rival those of fairtytale and folklore – ghosts and monsters, the no-longer-human and the never-should-have-been. Here, Squirrel is a memory thief, eking out a fraught existence in service to the criminal…

Tidelands: Ghosts and Monsters

By Gareth J. Southwell,

What is this book about?

Tidelands is an ongoing sci-fi and fantasy serial. Set some years in the future, it is a dystopian blend of cyberpunk, first contact, Lovecraftian horror and dark humour.

In a flooded city on the brink of collapse, the arcology provides a high-tech haven – for those who can afford it. Here, safe in her pampered confinement, Eva longs for escape. But each day she is made to play The Game, a mysterious virtual environment that seems more designed to monitor and test than to entertain.

Outside, life is a different story, where unregulated tech spawns nightmares to rival those of…


Book cover of Parable of the Sower

Fiona Tolan Author Of The Fiction of Margaret Atwood

From my list on dark, dystopian futures written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic and a passionate reader of women’s fiction. My job title, Reader in Contemporary Women’s Writing, is also, fortunately, my hobby. I love to think about how women’s writing explores women’s lives today. I chose the theme of dystopian fiction because The Handmaid’s Tale has been so central to my work. Still, other potential topics that came to mind were motherhood, home and domestic labour, reproductive politics, and feminist protest. It strikes me now that each of the books on my list also cover these topics. This is the element of my work I love – drawing out the connections and political convictions that make today’s women’s writing so powerful.

Fiona's book list on dark, dystopian futures written by women

Fiona Tolan Why did Fiona love this book?

This is the first book I ever read by Butler and it remains my favourite. Butler’s vision of near-future America is one of climate crisis, economic collapse, and social anarchy. The scenes of violence and degradation are terrifying.

What I love about this novel is how Butler creates a true hero – visionary, determined, and inspirational – in Lauren, a teenage girl. Written as a journal, the protagonist’s youth can be heard in her language ("I hate being a kid," she complains), but Butler has every faith in her as an extraordinary leader. In many ways, it’s a classic quest novel, as Lauren’s followers head north in search of safety; it’s also an attempt to articulate a new way of thinking about the earth and our relationship to it.

Butler uses elements familiar to dystopian writing, and the novel reminds me of many others, but it somehow manages to be…

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked Parable of the Sower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The extraordinary, prescient NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling novel.

'If there is one thing scarier than a dystopian novel about the future, it's one written in the past that has already begun to come true. This is what makes Parable of the Sower even more impressive than it was when first published' GLORIA STEINEM

'Unnervingly prescient and wise' YAA GYASI

--

We are coming apart. We're a rope, breaking, a single strand at a time.

America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to…


Book cover of The Luminous Dead

Ness Brown Author Of The Scourge Between Stars

From my list on sci-fi about space missions gone terribly wrong.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astrophysicist with a passion for narratives that stare unflinchingly at the inherent hostility of outer space. Professionally, I study graduate astrophysics and research the ways high-energy celestial objects impact cosmic evolution. Creatively, I use my training to write science fiction horror exploring the spookiest things the universe has to offer. I particularly love stories that throw wrenches in the best-laid plans of star-faring protagonists, and will never get tired of a good old space mission gone terribly and tragically awry.

Ness' book list on sci-fi about space missions gone terribly wrong

Ness Brown Why did Ness love this book?

Deep space can be scary, but I consider deep caves to be much more terrifying.

The Luminous Dead has an eerie mission to the depths of a cave on a distant exoplanet—the worst of both worlds! This book follows a non-regulation diver on a dangerous job shrouded in secrets and the enigmatic, untrustworthy voice in her helmet guiding her through the darkness.

Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take long for the characters to descend into antagonism and uncertainty about whether the other things lurking in the cave are figments of paranoia or dangerously real. If you like feeling queasy, secondhand claustrophobia, The Luminous Dead is for you.

By Caitlin Starling,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Luminous Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best First Novel!

"This claustrophobic, horror-leaning tour de force is highly recommended for fans of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation and Andy Weir's The Martian." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she'd be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She…


Book cover of Project Hail Mary

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

Okay, I’ve only read this book once, but I can tell you I’ll be reading it again. It’s that good.

It's a classic amnesia story. The hero wakes up from a coma and has no recollection of who he is. Over the course of the story, he discovers he’s a middle school science teacher. And he’s in a spaceship. Alone. And he may happen to be humanity’s only hope to survive.

Wow! Talk about a new spin on the amnesia trope. I’m rooting for Ryland Grace from the jump. No matter how crazy bad it gets, and it gets bad, our hero never loses his sense of humor. I laughed out loud many times. I loved the science, and I dug the author’s writing style.

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Project Hail Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through…


Book cover of Sphere

Craig A. Falconer Author Of Not Alone

From my list on how things will change when the aliens show up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a longstanding interest in space, and particularly in aliens. In researching my breakthrough novel Not Alone, I extensively read as much nonfiction content on the topic as I could find, including governmental-backed scenario analyses of how things might actually play out in a contact or invasion scenario. Naturally, I have also read widely in the sci-fi genre for my own pleasure, with most of my interest in this specific topic.

Craig's book list on how things will change when the aliens show up

Craig A. Falconer Why did Craig love this book?

I have rarely felt a compulsion to turn the pages of a book as quickly as I did while reading this book. I grew up as a huge fan of Jurassic Park and read this book many years later with little idea of what to expect.

The claustrophobic surroundings and relentless tension made this a very fast book to read, but the philosophical considerations made sure it is one that has stayed in my mind ever since.

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Ingenious and beguiling.”
—Time

“Crichton keeps us guessing at every turn in his best work since The Andromeda Strain.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Sphere may be Crichton’s best novel, but even if it ranked only second or third, it would be a must for suspense fans.”
—Miami Herald

A classic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Crichton, Sphere is a bravura demonstration of what he does better than anyone: riveting storytelling that combines frighteningly plausible, cutting edge science and technology with pulse-pounding action and serious chills. The gripping story of a group of American scientists sent to the…


Book cover of Snow Crash

Kian N. Ardalan Author Of Eleventh Cycle

From my list on think about humanity's legacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Something that annoys me to no end is when people avoid reading fantasy or sci-fi because it isn’t realistic. I argue that realism isn’t about the veracity of flying dragons or building a fusion reactor that can fit in our hands; it’s about the human elements in between. Sci-fi can be a reminder of the dangerous trajectory we are heading in. Fantasy can reflect inequality by condensing resources to one mystical gem. To this end, any book that ends with me understanding the danger of language by describing it as a virus or showing me how books can bridge the gap between past and present makes me grow as a person.

Kian's book list on think about humanity's legacy

Kian N. Ardalan Why did Kian love this book?

A virus that moves through language? It's insane, and yet, I can’t stop seeing it in action.

When I first started the book, I had to roll my eyes at the cliché of a protagonist in a videogame who was also one of the most renowned samurais in the world. It explored themes that, at the beginning, seemed so comical. And yet, I finished that book and walked away feeling pensive.

I knew inherently that a language can be destructive. It can sow discord and preach hate. But the perspective of seeing it as a virus brought a whole new light to the concept. It’s something I never considered before, especially when imagining how hate can spread so virulently.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

12 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…


Book cover of The Martian

D. Greg Scott Author Of Trafficking U

From my list on people like me who became heroes under pressure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a dad, a grandfather, an alcoholic family survivor, a writer, and a Christian, and I do technology for a living. I'm pretty good with cybersecurity. This gives me a unique background to present modern stories. My novels so far feature technology elements, but never any Hollywood hacker scenes. I respect my audience too much for that. But look deeper to find ordinary people overcoming extraordinary challenges. I draw inspiration from my own life—Jerry Barkley is pretty much me with the benefit of an editor. But Jesse Jonsen is pure fiction. Look for the human element behind the technology in my stories. Enjoy the fiction. Use the education. 

D.'s book list on people like me who became heroes under pressure

D. Greg Scott Why did D. love this book?

Dean Koontz, Jerry Jenkins, and others advise authors to plunge the main character into terrible trouble as fast as possible. This book delivers the best opening of any novel I’ve seen. It would have been even stronger without the profanity.

The story feels plausible, and I can feel Mark Watney fighting to live while reasoning his way through challenge after challenge. I was querying Virus Bomb shortly after this one came out, and I noticed many agents’ manuscript wish lists wanted stories where nature was the antagonist. I had to see why—and so, I bought the book.

Main character Mark Watney inspired his world by surviving and making it back home. Author Andy Weir inspired me by writing a great story.

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Martian 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?

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old human error are…


Book cover of Cryptonomicon

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

About WWII codebreaking, the reason this makes my ‘Best 5’ is that, besides being constantly inventive and informative, it’s also very funny. (I’m that shallow.)

There are similarities, I think, with Catch 22, in the plot’s intelligence, absurdity, and dreamlike turns.

I think Stephenson’s character Bobbie Shaftoe, a soldier who carries out counterintelligence deceptions, is hilarious. Also, Stephenson’s use of real historical characters–he presents believable portraits of Alan Turing, Douglas MacArthur, Karl Dönitz, and Hermann Göring, with a walk-on appearance by Albert  Einsteingave me license to do so in my own fiction.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With this extraordinary first volume in an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence…


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