100 books like Stray Bats

By Margo Lanagan, Kathleen Jennings (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Stray Bats fans have personally recommended if you like Stray Bats. 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 Candescent Blooms

Eugen Bacon Author Of Danged Black Thing

From my list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. I have a master's degree with distinction in distributed computer systems, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. The short story is my sweetest spot. I have a deep passion for the literary speculative, and I write across genres and forms, with award-winning genre-bending works. I am especially curious about stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other, and betwixt.

Eugen's book list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

Andrew Hook is a European slipstream author proficient in the literary weird. He certainly does not disappoint in his new collection of Hollywood’s living dead. Candescent Blooms rouses legends of the silver screen right there in your living room, and they are broken, unbroken, full of many secrets. And you know, you know—because history says so—that the actors and actresses are dead, yet living, right there on your page. Imbued with levity wrapped in anguish. Thimble-sized, you will not find a literary collection this superb in a long time.   

By Andrew Hook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Candescent Blooms is a collection of twelve short stories which form fictionalised biographies of mostly Golden Era Hollywood actors who suffered untimely deaths. From Olive Thomas in 1920 through to Grace Kelly in 1982, these pieces utilise facts, fiction, gossip, movies and unreliable memories to examine the life of each individual character set against a Hollywood background of hope and corruption, opportunity and reality.


Book cover of Songs for Dark Seasons

Eugen Bacon Author Of Danged Black Thing

From my list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. I have a master's degree with distinction in distributed computer systems, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. The short story is my sweetest spot. I have a deep passion for the literary speculative, and I write across genres and forms, with award-winning genre-bending works. I am especially curious about stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other, and betwixt.

Eugen's book list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

Sometimes uncanny stories are the best place to start in discovering your new author. Lisa Hannett’s Songs for Dark Seasons is a literary degustation that gives more than a hint of what to expect from this author. Her stories are clever and full of twists, wretched with longing yet swathed in hope. Fast-paced, tense, and transforming—all the reasons to familiarise yourself with South Australian Lisa Hannett’s magic.

By Lisa Hannett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Songs for Dark Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a twang in its heart and a song for luck on its tongue, Songs for Dark Seasons takes readers back to the lonesome dream counties introduced in the World Fantasy Award-nominated collection, Bluegrass Symphony.

Trailer parks and graves are only temporary homes for souls in these tales, where gods dwell in churches and parking lot groves. Friday night football stars mingle with sirens; hunters’ wives help their kids not to shoot, but to fly; Chanticleers spar their way into local government; and rash-afflicted men take dryads for lovers. In backwater towns, some witches have the know-how to pin pageant…


Book cover of A Primer to Jeffrey Ford

Eugen Bacon Author Of Danged Black Thing

From my list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. I have a master's degree with distinction in distributed computer systems, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. The short story is my sweetest spot. I have a deep passion for the literary speculative, and I write across genres and forms, with award-winning genre-bending works. I am especially curious about stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other, and betwixt.

Eugen's book list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

Jeffrey Ford is an exhilarating American writer in his own right. This collection gives you the best of Ford in stories that remind you why this distinguished ambassador of words is an author to read. Casting oddities that stay indelible in your mind, this primer, an homage to Ford, is immersive with folklore, darkness, tricksters, ancient traditions, and psychological thrillers. Incorruptibly delicious.  

By Jeffrey Ford, Eric J. Guignard (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Primer to Jeffrey Ford as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author of the fantastic and the bizarre, Jeffrey Ford’s work has won awards and acclaim across the globe for his stories of humor, horror, and unconventional beauty. “Powerful and disturbing in the best possible way” (Gawker) and “Intensely engaging” (Publishers Weekly), Ford crosses speculative genres with literary ideals, which has earned him the World Fantasy Award (seven times), the Shirley Jackson Award (four times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and France’s vaunted Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire.

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to his work, the fourth in a series of primers exploring modern…


Book cover of Miniatures: A Collection of Short Stories

Eugen Bacon Author Of Danged Black Thing

From my list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. I have a master's degree with distinction in distributed computer systems, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. The short story is my sweetest spot. I have a deep passion for the literary speculative, and I write across genres and forms, with award-winning genre-bending works. I am especially curious about stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other, and betwixt.

Eugen's book list on short stories in literary and speculative fiction

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

It’s rare that you’ll find someone who’s mastered the craft of short story writing with such precision as Susan Midalia. Miniatures is exactly that: a collection of short short stories. Midalia is an expert in capturing with bladelike sharpness profound awkwardness in the everyday. Herein: ordinary people, you and me, in the mundanity of suburbia—then she yanks the ground off your feet with the most perverse ending that leaves you brooding. Miniatures is an intelligent and relatable book with its whisper of simple language that roars the biggest ideas. It’s a book that’s as coyly subversive as it’s fulsomely entertaining. 

By Susan Midalia,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Begin, End, Begin: A #Loveozya Anthology

Verity Croker Author Of Jilda's Ark

From my list on YA set in Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Australian author and an avid reader. Although I love reading books set in other countries, I particularly enjoy stories that take place in Australia, as I can really identify with them. I especially relate to those set in the Australian outback or small rural towns, as for several years I lived in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. I understand how in small towns it is very difficult to keep secrets, as everybody knows everyone else’s business, and I now realise this is becoming an underlying theme in my writing. I have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Tasmania.

Verity's book list on YA set in Australia

Verity Croker Why did Verity love this book?

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology is a great collection of short stories, written in a cross-section of genres, on different themes, by a variety of Australian authors. Reading these stories gives you a taste of the authors’ writing styles, and, as many of them also write novels, you can choose which authors’ works you’d like to read more of.

By Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis , Michael Pryor , Lili Wilkinson

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The YA event of the year. Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all. With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA. Ages 14+


Book cover of The Mammals of Australia

Danielle Clode Author Of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

From my list on Australian animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 

Danielle's book list on Australian animals

Danielle Clode Why did Danielle love this book?

The Mammals of Australia is one of the go-to books on my bookshelf. It covers all the mammals in Australia with great pictures, maps, simple summaries, and readable and interesting facts. When it was published, it summarized all the latest information in one place and has been an invaluable reference ever since. Every time I pick it up I find myself reading about some other fascinating species as well as the one I was looking up.

It covers everything from koalas and quolls to dugongs and dingoes, to monotremes and marsupial moles. It covers bats and seals and introduced mammals (although not whales). I wish I had a book like this for every major taxonomic group. 

By Ronald Strahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written in a style readily understood by the general reader, this book surveys the rich and varied world of Australian mammals, including such creatures as koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingos, and wombats. Because of the continent's isolation, Australian mammals have developed as no where else on earth. The native fauna is composed largely of marsupials (pouched mammals) and monotremes (egg-laying mammals).
A magnificent photographic record, this book provides an account of every native species as well as introduced species now living in a wild state. Each species account summarizes behavior and habitat, diet, reproduction and growth, and factors that lead…


Book cover of Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape

Peter Stanley Author Of Bad Characters

From my list on Australian military history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Research Professor in history at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. I now mostly write on the military history of British India history but for 27 years I worked at the Australian War Memorial, Australia’s national military museum, where I became Principal Historian. Much of my career was devoted to Australian military history and more than half of my 40 or so books are in that field. That puts me in a good position to comment upon what I think are the five best books in the field of Australian military history (my own excepted, of course). 

Peter's book list on Australian military history

Peter Stanley Why did Peter love this book?

Ken Inglis, an Australian who began as a scholar of religion in Victorian Britain, discovered in the 1980s that he wanted to understand the way war (which had been neglected by Australians more interested in organised labour or ‘the Bush’) had shaped the nation in the twentieth century. He found that war memorials, a pervasive feature of the Australian landscape, provided a key to that question. Based on a huge national survey and the labour of willing volunteers, in 1998 he, at last, published his magisterial Sacred Places, a study of ‘war memorials in the Australian landscape’. Rightly revered by those fortunate to have known him as a wise and humane scholar, Ken’s book – successively revised as anniversaries and war memorials proliferated – appeared in three prize-winning editions. Ken died in 2017, mourned as a key pioneer in understanding how war has permeated Australia’s modern history.

By K.S. Inglis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Sacred Places" spans war, religion, politics, language and the visual arts. Ken Inglis has distilled new cultural understandings from a familiar landscape.


Book cover of A Very Important Teapot

Sue Clark Author Of A Novel Solution

From my list on funny things that make you stop and think.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved writing comedy, since my first attempt at a joke in the school magazine. I never thought I’d get to do it professionally but somehow, through cheek and luck, I found myself as a comedy scriptwriter for the BBC, penning lines for the likes of Lenny Henry and Tracey Ullman. I’ve since gone on to have a career writing more grown-up things but nothing gave me as much pleasure as creating those lines. So I’ve returned to my comedic roots, writing comic novels. And it’s still a thrill to know I’ve written words that make people laugh.

Sue's book list on funny things that make you stop and think

Sue Clark Why did Sue love this book?

I’m a sucker for a good title, and this one had me hooked before I read a word. But the fun doesn’t stop there with this cosy spy thriller. Reading this book left me breathless.

The pace never lets up as the hapless Dawson travels to Australia where, confused, he is chased by a colourful collection of Germans, Russians, Brits, and Aussies, all intent on getting their hands on the eponymous teapot. 

I love books where the underdog finds their inner hero, and Dawson–with some help from the resourceful Lucy–is such a character. I galloped through this witty, clever book, eager to discover the secret of that teapot. I wasn’t disappointed.

By Steve Sheppard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Very Important Teapot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Praised by comedienne Helen Lederer, founder of Comedy Women in Print Prize, who called it "A curiously magical thriller with suburban subterfuge and sparkle."

A Very Important Teapot is a comedy thriller revolving around the hunt for a lost cache of Nazi diamonds in Australia.

Dawson's life is going nowhere. Out of work and nearly out of money, he is forlornly pursuing the love of Rachel Whyte. But Rachel is engaged to Pat Bootle, an apparently successful local solicitor who has appeared from nowhere.

Then, out of the blue, Dawson receives a job offer from his best friend, Alan Flannery,…


Book cover of A Primer to Kaaron Warren

Eugen Bacon Author Of Secondhand Daylight

From my list on psychedelic speculative fiction from Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’.  I have a master's degree with distinction in distributed computer systems, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. The short story is my sweetest spot. I have a deep passion for the literary speculative, and I write across genres and forms, with award-winning genre-bending works. I am especially curious about stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other and betwixt.

Eugen's book list on psychedelic speculative fiction from Australia

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

No easy way describes Kaaron Warren’s darkest mind full of mischief and intensity. She’s a global legend, no worries, with her distinctive Australian tongue. Find wicked excitement in Warren’s horror, disturbing in its nature, leaving nothing untouched. Even babies are not safe. This primer is a quick introduction to ominous storytelling, that may pave way to curiosity into award-winning works, including Tide of Stone or Into Bones Like Oil. Starting here, with illustrations and an exegetical analysis by Michael Arnzen, is perhaps the soundest way to dip a toe into the humour, surreally, and darkness of this author’s alluring text. 

By Kaaron Warren, Eric J. Guignard (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Primer to Kaaron Warren as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction writing awards (Ditmar, Shadows, and Aurealis awards for The Grief Hole).

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to her work, the second in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a…


Book cover of When We Wake

Mandy Hager Author Of The Nature of Ash

From my list on speculative YA fiction from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand, I’ve always been interested in social justice and human rights, and my own writing explores such issues, including who holds the power and who exerts the control. By writing about real-world issues in a speculative future, it allows us to peel back the layers of conditioning and look at ourselves and our actions through the eyes of an outsider – which forces us to examine our best and worst human traits. I love the way speculative fiction can do this, and I love that it challenges us to do better.  

Mandy's book list on speculative YA fiction from Aotearoa New Zealand

Mandy Hager Why did Mandy love this book?

When Tegan dies, she wakes up a hundred years later, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened. As she tries to make sense of this future world, it starts to feel as if something is very wrong. Should she keep her head down and just live out her life, or should she fight to make the future better for all? An excellent story from a world-class writer. “Accessible, thoughtful and compelling — science fiction done right.” – Kirkus Reviews

By Karen Healey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When We Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea…


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