63 books like Sheepfarmer's Daughter

By Elizabeth Moon,

Here are 63 books that Sheepfarmer's Daughter fans have personally recommended if you like Sheepfarmer's Daughter. 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 The Forever War

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From my list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Nathan W. Toronto Why did Nathan love this book?

When I met Joe Haldeman, I was struck by how such an unassuming, witty person could write such a gritty, visceral novel about war. Haldeman served in Vietnam, and (by his own admission) his combat experience shines through in Forever War. Yes, this novel captures combat in unflinching detail, but I’m a former professor of war, so what I really care about is the intriguing interplay of time, space, and war. As captured so well in the short story version of the novel, “Time Piece,” this novel is less about fighting and dying and more about what war over relativistic distances does to society. I love this novel because it says just as much about those who stay home as it does about those who go into combat.

By Joe Haldeman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Forever War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time…


Book cover of Jade City

Troy Church Author Of The Severing

From my list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a great passion for fantasy books and from a very early age spent any time I could with my nose in a fantasy book traveling to fantastical worlds. In my teens, I got into dungeons and dragons and began creating my own worlds and stories until I took the next step and decided to write my own stories. I work as a prison guard and while too busy during the day to write or read much I have many nightshifts that allow me ample reading and writing time. I still run role-playing games once a week and am always searching for that next great book to read.

Troy's book list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night

Troy Church Why did Troy love this book?

I chose this book because I have a love of Asia, especially Japan and this story has a rich Asian setting with martial arts, yakuza-like elements, and a magic system based around the precious stone, jade that provides the wearer with special abilities. I also like how the story is centered around a family and the complex relationships between the different members which you don’t see very often in fantasy novels. This complicated family saga had me engrossed as it racked up the tension with great pacing, awesome characters, and dialogue.

By Fonda Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD

'An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book' KEN LIU

'Gripping!' ANN LECKIE, author of Ancillary Justice and The Raven Tower

'Lee's astute worldbuilding raises the stakes for her vivid and tautly-described action scenes' SCOTT LYNCH, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

*****Shortlisted for the Nebula Awards, the Locus Awards, the Aurora Awards, the Sunburst Awards and an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month*****

TWO CRIME FAMILIES, ONE SOURCE OF POWER: JADE.…


Book cover of The Complete Hammer's Slammers

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From my list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Nathan W. Toronto Why did Nathan love this book?

Drake served in an armor unit in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, so it’s no coincidence that Hammer’s Slammers, a collection of short stories, revolves around a tank unit. So many military SFF stories focus on knuckle-dragging ground-pounders, so it’s refreshing to see war from a tank turret. Drake has been accused of writing gun porn, but I find a lot of nuance in his writing, especially on combat motivation and small-unit leadership. He was one of the first military SFF authors to write an openly gay character, and women fight right alongside men without the misogynistic or objectifying undertones that sometimes afflict the subgenre. To get a sense for Drake’s writing, “But Loyal to His Own” and “Caught in the Crossfire” are two of my favorite stories.

By David Drake,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Complete Hammer's Slammers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling series that rocketed David Drake to Military Science Fiction stardom is collected in this first of three volumes.


Book cover of On Basilisk Station

Catherine Wells Author Of Mother Grimm

From my list on science fiction from the backlist.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who published her first book in 1991, I have several decades of reading experience with excellent speculative fiction now considered “backlist.” Yes, the technology can seem dated, but if you’re willing to go with it, you will find these novels by award-winning authors still have characters and situations relevant to us today. And isn’t that what fiction is about? The opportunity to see people just like us through a foreign lens, and know that despite our differences, we hold many things in common.

Catherine's book list on science fiction from the backlist

Catherine Wells Why did Catherine love this book?

I am frequently unimpressed by the way male authors write female protagonists, but David Weber is an exception. His Honor Harrington character feels completely authentic to me in this first book of a military space opera series. Having run afoul of a superior officer, Honor is relegated to a backwater outpost with an aging gunship and a cantankerous crew. That would be bad enough if the place was quiet, but this star system is rife with smugglers and merchant cartels, and interstellar politics threaten to trap her between the ruling body and an adversarial power.

Book cover of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Adam Gaffen Author Of The Road to the Stars

From my list on to learn about hopepunk SF and why we need it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Why hopepunk, and why me? Look, it’s no surprise that you can look around today and find all sorts of indicators that we are entering Heinlein’s “Crazy Years.” Imagining a dystopian or grimdark future isn’t difficult; all you have to do is read the news. But I think that we are writing the history of the future right now, by the choices we make every day. Writing stories that present that optimistic view of the future is not just the right thing to do but necessary, at least to me. As Heinlein said, “A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun…”

Adam's book list on to learn about hopepunk SF and why we need it

Adam Gaffen Why did Adam love this book?

I’m going old-school, back to one of the grandfathers of science fiction, Robert Heinlein.

Not only is his book a masterful example of character-driven storytelling, but it takes a critical eye to many of the things our current society takes for granted as being “true” and “right,” finding them wanting. It’s also been a huge influence on me in my writing, as have many of Heinlein’s other works, and I couldn’t not put it in here.

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2075, the Moon is no longer a penal colony. But it is still a prison...

Life isn't easy for the political dissidents and convicts who live in the scattered colonies that make up lunar civilisation. Everything is regulated strictly, efficiently and cheaply by a central supercomputer, HOLMES IV.

When humble technician Mannie O'Kelly-Davis discovers that HOLMES IV has quietly achieved consciousness (and developed a sense of humour), the choice is clear: either report the problem to the authorities... or become friends.

And perhaps overthrow the government while they're at it.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has been called…


Book cover of Ship of the Line

Matt Barron Author Of Prentice Ash

From my list on fantastic heroes at war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like so many boys, I grew up playing soldiers with my friends. Now I’m a trained historian and running around waving a stick as a pretend rifle yelling rat-a-tat, or sword fighting with fallen branches, just isn’t a good look for me. But I can still appreciate the heroism of soldiers that drew me to play those games in the first place. These books scratch that itch, as well as meeting the standard of truthfulness that the historian in me needs. Believable settings with heroes you can root for and stakes that feel real. That’s what I like to read and that’s what I write.

Matt's book list on fantastic heroes at war

Matt Barron Why did Matt love this book?

This is C.S. Forester’s famous naval hero Horatio Hornblower at his best. Captain Hornblower is in command of his first ship of the line. Forester knows ships from bowsprit to sternchasers and you can feel it in every word. There's a truth to the writing that puts you right down in the thick of it. Duty, skill and courage are on display throughout and the climax, when Captain Hornblower accepts an impossible task to protect his allies, and turns his ship to face three to one odds, knowing he cannot win? It’s a masterclass in writing a battle scene, sailors facing certain death with iron will. Nerve wracking doesn’t begin to cover it.

By C.S. Forrester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

May, 1810 - and thirty-nine-year-old Captain Horatio Hornblower has been handed his first ship of the line . . .

Though the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland is 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy' and a crew shortage means he must recruit two hundred and fifty landlubbers, Hornblower knows that by the time Sutherland and her squadron reach the blockaded Catalonian coast every seaman will do his duty. But with daring raids against the French army and navy to be made, it will take all Hornblower's seamanship - and stewardship - to steer a steady course to victory and…


Book cover of The Jewel in the Skull

Matt Barron Author Of Prentice Ash

From my list on fantastic heroes at war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like so many boys, I grew up playing soldiers with my friends. Now I’m a trained historian and running around waving a stick as a pretend rifle yelling rat-a-tat, or sword fighting with fallen branches, just isn’t a good look for me. But I can still appreciate the heroism of soldiers that drew me to play those games in the first place. These books scratch that itch, as well as meeting the standard of truthfulness that the historian in me needs. Believable settings with heroes you can root for and stakes that feel real. That’s what I like to read and that’s what I write.

Matt's book list on fantastic heroes at war

Matt Barron Why did Matt love this book?

This is a masterpiece of the New Wave fantasy novels of the 1960s and 1970s. The hero, Dorian Hawkmoon, is a nobleman in the far future where science has become so advanced it is indistinguishable from magic. Hawkmoon is forced to work for his enemies by a magical jewel they embed in his forehead. Hawkmoon’s world is Europe, but hardly recognisable, and a vast empire with impossible super-technology is conquering the whole continent. It’s a story of heroism vs magic in a war where the technological wonders feel alien and familiar all at once. The evil empire of Granbretan, where everyone is continuously masked, is one of the most original of the trope that has ever been written.

By Michael Moorcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Those who dare swear by the Runestaff must then benefit or suffer from the consequences of the fixed pattern of destiny that they set in motion. Several such oaths have been sworn in the history of the Runestaff’s existence...”—The High History of the Runestaff Dorian Hawkmoon, late the Duke of Koln, fell under the power of the Runestaff, a mysterious artifact more ancient than time itself. His destiny, shaped by a vengeful oath sworn by the maddened Baron Meliadus of the Dark Empire, pitted Hawkmoon in battle against his own allies and forced him, by the Black Jewel embedded in…


Book cover of Sharpe's Eagle

Sean Gabhann Author Of Harper's Donelson

From my list on heroic epics escaping into conflicts of the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Epic war novels follow traditions that trace to the earliest civilizations. An amateur historian since high school, I would nook away for hours reading the great campaigns of the past. As a combat veteran, I still love diving into a lengthy tome about Caesar versus the Gauls or the heroic Russian stand at Borodino. Retirement provided the time to indulge this passion by concentrating on the Western Theater of the American Civil War (ACW), an interest I have researched since the ACW Centennial. I enjoy writing rigorously researched stories to give more accurate descriptions of the events, attitudes, prejudices, and consequences of this critical period in American history.

Sean's book list on heroic epics escaping into conflicts of the past

Sean Gabhann Why did Sean love this book?

This is the army counterpart to the Hornblower Series. The story begins in 1794 with 17 y/o Richard Sharpe deployed to Flanders as a private and continues through India, Spain, and France, ending as a lieutenant colonel at the Battle of Waterloo. A final volume carries the series to St. Helena and Chile, ending in 1820.

Sharpe and his men are always presented with challenges that require heroic acts of daring-do where Sharpe’s gutter-snipe cunning and that of his men ensure that he somehow accomplishes the mission. As one might expect, the size of his company of chosen riflemen dwindles continuously through the series, and becoming Sharpe’s love interest often seems a fatal prospect.

I enjoyed reading many of the stories at a time when I commuted regularly between the west and east coasts. The books are convenient in that one can begin a story during the outbound flight and…

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sharpe's Eagle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bernard Cornwell's action-packed series that captures the gritty texture of Napoleonic warfare--now beautifully repackaged

Captain Richard Sharpe prepares to lead his men against the army of Napoleon at Talavera in what will be the bloodiest battle of the war. After their cowardly loss of the regiment's colors, the men's resentment toward the upstart Sharpe turns to treachery, and Sharpe must fight to redeem the honor of his regiment.


Book cover of Sand Dancer

Steven Wilton Author Of Queen of Crows

From my list on fantasy set in strange new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Back in the dark ages, before the internet and cell phones, the most common form of off-duty soldiers’ entertainment was reading. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, but I was always most excited to read fantasy and science fiction. If a book has a wild new world, magic, or tech, I’m in and usually can’t get enough. I remain a cross-genre reader to this day, but fantasy and science fiction always feel like home. Bonus points for dragons.

Steven's book list on fantasy set in strange new worlds

Steven Wilton Why did Steven love this book?

This fantastic desert world where fire magic is common, but taboo, sucked me in right from the start. Although the main character is a young adult, I connected with her right off the bat. Her struggles as a possessor of fire magic and learning to control it, are daunting, but I couldn’t help rooting for her. Then, there are many strange and dangerous creatures to boot. I was left guessing and worrying if she’d succeed right to the end.

Book cover of Wayfarer

Steven Wilton Author Of Queen of Crows

From my list on fantasy set in strange new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Back in the dark ages, before the internet and cell phones, the most common form of off-duty soldiers’ entertainment was reading. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, but I was always most excited to read fantasy and science fiction. If a book has a wild new world, magic, or tech, I’m in and usually can’t get enough. I remain a cross-genre reader to this day, but fantasy and science fiction always feel like home. Bonus points for dragons.

Steven's book list on fantasy set in strange new worlds

Steven Wilton Why did Steven love this book?

Listed as a ‘gas lamp’ fantasy, and me being a pre-Victorian/Victorian era London fan, I had to grab this one. It had a fresh twist on the mad scientist’s experiment went wrong, creating a superhero and a supervillain. I found that exciting. I loved how the main character (the hero) struggled to learn his abilities and limitations, all the while not knowing who the villain was or what he was up to. I enjoyed this master class on how to put your main character through the wringer. And the twist ending surprised me. Great stuff. 

By K.M. Weiland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this heroic gaslamp fantasy, superhuman abilities bring an adventurous new dimension to 1820 London, where an outlaw speedster and a master of illusion do battle to decide who will own the city.

Think being a superhero is hard? Try being the first one.

Will’s life is a proper muddle—and all because he was “accidentally” inflicted with the ability to run faster and leap higher than any human ever. One minute he’s a blacksmith’s apprentice trying to save his master from debtor’s prison. The next he’s accused of murder and hunted as a black-hearted highwayman.

A vengeful politician with dark…


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