100 books like Tea From An Empty Cup

By Pat Cadigan,

Here are 100 books that Tea From An Empty Cup fans have personally recommended if you like Tea From An Empty Cup. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From my list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Guy Morpuss Why did Guy love this book?

For me speculative fiction is about twisting one aspect of the real world, and then playing with the consequences. I love the way that Philip K Dick does this.

Some of his ideas seem absurd, but as a reader you quickly buy into them. This is not a traditional crime novel in any sense, but is about a bounty hunter tracking down escaped androids. As he confronts questions about his own humanity, it raises ethical issues for the reader as to what it is to be human.

Like all Dick’s works it is clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…


Book cover of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Christopher Shevlin Author Of The Spy Who Came in from the Bin

From my list on making you laugh and feel better.

Who am I?

I write books that I hope will make people laugh and feel better – so far, they are the three Jonathon Fairfax novels and a novella called The Pursuit of Coconuts. I suffer from depression, and have always found the world quite a difficult and confusing place, so – ever since I learned to read – I’ve escaped into books. Reading is so soothing and absorbing, and there’s something oddly intimate about joining an author inside a book. When a book’s genuinely funny, it feels as though – in a flash – it reveals the essential foolish absurdity of the world. I’ve listed five of the books that have worked that little miracle on me.

Christopher's book list on making you laugh and feel better

Christopher Shevlin Why did Christopher love this book?

Looking through the small ads in the back of my parents’ newspaper (we got really bored before the internet), I saw one for a holistic detective agency – ‘missing cats and messy divorces a speciality’. My sister dared me to call. When I did, I heard a message saying, ‘This is Dirk Gently. If you’d like to leave a message, you can’t.’ It then revealed the existence of the book, which of course I bought.

It’s my favourite Douglas Adams: set in the real world, but standing at a finely calculated distance from reality. There’s the character who’s killed early on, but continues regardless. There’s the software that tells you why it’s a good idea to do whatever it is you want to do (the Pentagon uses an outdated version). There’s the sofa that gets wedged in a staircase in contravention of all known physics.

Then there’s Dirk himself, a…

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Douglas Adams, the legendary author of one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, comes a wildly inventive novel of ghosts, time travel, and one detective’s mission to save humanity from extinction.

DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY
We solve the whole crime
We find the whole person
Phone today for the whole solution to your problem
(Missing cats and messy divorces a specialty)

Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly) once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time travel, eccentric computer geniuses, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the…


Book cover of The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Rod Kackley Author Of Empty Minute: A Murder Mystery

From my list on cops and reporters bringing bad guys to justice.

Who am I?

Crime fiction, true crime, mystery, and suspense books allow us to brush up against the worst society has to offer without getting hurt. There’s a lot to be said for vicarious thrills, isn’t there. I am just a simple man telling simple stories about good vs. evil. And sometimes, in my stories, fiction or not, the bad guys win. But I do love telling stories, and when I find a good one, I can’t wait to tell you aboutit. That’s what I have done here.

Rod's book list on cops and reporters bringing bad guys to justice

Rod Kackley Why did Rod love this book?

I’ve read this book so many times that I had to buy a hardcover edition to replace the paperback I wore out.

Michael Chabon creates an alternative world where the Jewish people didn’t last long in Israel after World War Two. They wound up in the Federal District of Sitka, Alaska, with a lease for the land from the U.S. government, but now the lease is up, and they have to move. Somewhere. Almost anywhere.

Good story if it ends there, right?

But wait, this one doesn’t.

In the middle of this political conundrum, homicide detective Meyer Landsman finds a neighbor in the fleabag hotel he calls home murdered. And get this; the dead man might be the Messiah the Jewish people have been waiting for.

Good story, End it here? Nope.

Guess who shows up unexpectedly. Meyer’s ex-wife! And now she’s his boss. Awkward!

And it’s also a hell…

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Yiddish Policemen's Union as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brilliantly original new novel from Michael Chabon, author of THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY and WONDER BOYS.

What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after the Second World War? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking 'Alyeska', Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home. Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its…


Book cover of The Caves of Steel

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From my list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Guy Morpuss Why did Guy love this book?

I grew up reading Isaac Asimov, and it must be at least forty years since I first read this.

Far in the future, a New York detective is partnered with a robot to investigate the murder of a leading citizen. At the heart of the book is an intriguing murder mystery. However, what makes this a favourite of mine is the growing relationship between the two investigators.

Asimov wrote this to prove that crime and science fiction are not incompatible genres – and succeeded brilliantly, paving the way for those who have followed him.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Caves of Steel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Isaac Asimov's Robot series - from the iconic collection I, Robot to four classic novels - contains some of the most influential works in the history of science fiction. Establishing and testing the Three Laws of Robotics, they continue to shape the understanding and design of artificial intelligence to this day.

In the vast, domed cities of Earth, artificial intelligence is strictly controlled; in the distant Outer Worlds, colonists and robots live side by side.

A Spacer ambassador is found dead and detective Elijah Baley is assigned to find the killer. But with relations between the two cultures in the…


Book cover of Forging

Shami Stovall Author Of Knightmare Arcanist

From my list on progression fantasy.

Who am I?

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved fantasy novels, movies, and video games. When I got to high school, I finally met people who played Dungeons and Dragons, and it was all downhill from there! I started Dungeon Mastering at a young age, but everyone said I had a real talent for it. The stories I created always caught the imagination of the players, and more than once, people told me I should write books. Well, here I am. I love escapist fantasy, epic adventures, wonderful characters, and terrible villains. I can’t get enough of them, and every day I immerse myself in the fantastical, whether it be reading another book, writing another story, or booting up another Final Fantasy game.

Shami's book list on progression fantasy

Shami Stovall Why did Shami love this book?

The Land by Aleron Kong is the third litRPG on this list, and probably the most famous. Every litRPG uses a few ways to denote progression, but this book has an almost unending series of charts, numbers, rules, and powers for everything. And I do mean everything.

Character growth. Weapon quality. Town building. To career building. Even dungeon building.

Everything progresses. Everything has level-ups. The world is huge, and the events feel extremely epic. This is also the longest series on the list, with books so massive, you could knock a fool out with one.

Definitely worth the time, though. Don’t miss out.

By Aleron Kong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover Dr. Aleron Kong, the Father of American LitRPG! #1 in Cyberpunk and Video Game Science Fiction! Over SEVENTEEN HUNDRED positive reviews on Goodreads!!! The second captivating installment of Aleron Kong's, Chaos Seeds series. "We are life takers and heart breakers," Richter shouted. "Let's go!" Richter and Sion are at it again! Even more of what you loved in the first book! Leveling, world building, awesome items, and what's that you say? Sure! Why not? What's a little necrophilia between friends!?! Join your favorite Chaos Seed as he answers the call of adventure and deals with the invaders, greedy dwarves,…


Book cover of Opening Moves

Shemer Kuznits Author Of Life Reset

From my list on engaging LitRPG.

Who am I?

I’ve been a huge fan of D&D and RPG games since I’ve been old enough to play them. The idea of grooming a character, growing it in terms of strength and levels until it becomes powerful enough to take on gods always captured my imagination. LitRPG is a relatively new book genre, and reading it (the good ones at least) makes you feel like you’re playing those games yourselves. Following a new protagonist growth and journey, often illustrated by actual numeric values you can easily keep track of (like skills and levels) is so much fun, and I think more people should be aware it exists.

Shemer's book list on engaging LitRPG

Shemer Kuznits Why did Shemer love this book?

An excellent Litrpg sci-fi series. The protagonist goes out beyond earth to discover new races and worlds, slowly gain power, and unearth the secret of the ancient race that started it all. He’s just a human, but he’ll change the galaxy in his quest for knowledge.

The best scfi-fi litrpg in my opinion, the character growth is very visible and keeps you glued to the pages as the protagonist struggle to raise himself. Through his eyes, I got to experience unearthing ancient, hidden cultures, find ancient relics, and uncover galactic-wide schemes that blew my mind away.

By Cosimo Yap,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Artificial Intelligence, LitRPG, Cyberpunk adventure.

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game.

A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.


Book cover of True Names

Ramsey Isler Author Of Ghosts of ARCADIA

From my list on virtual reality games.

Who am I?

As a geek and tech professional, I've worked on software and gadgets in multiple countries and just as many industries. I'm fascinated by work that leads us to a better future built on technology while being fully aware of the dangers involved if we're not vigilant. I've built websites, fitness devices, and even spent some time working on Wikipedia's data structure. But my first tech love was that strange and beautiful blend of art and science we call video games. I’ve played more games than I can count and created a few of my own, but as a novelist and reader I found myself drawn to books about games just as much as the games themselves.

Ramsey's book list on virtual reality games

Ramsey Isler Why did Ramsey love this book?

This one doesn’t involve a game in the traditional sense but indulge me for a moment. Imagine an online world of subterfuge and countermoves where the stakes are the revelation of your true identity and the loss of your freedom. It's a world where digital avatars mask influential hackers determined to bring down real-world institutions, and the manipulative games they play against each other aren’t for points or pride, but power. This is the world of True Names, arguably the first book to lay the foundations of cyberspace fiction. This short 1981 novella is like an ancient artifact reflecting the beginnings of a major shift in civilization. Although some of the tech references are so dated many readers won't even recognize them, a lot of the concepts were far ahead of their time.

By Vernor Vinge, Bob Walters (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A study of True Names, Vernor Vinge's critically acclaimed novella that invented the concept of cyberspace, features that complete text of the novella, as well as articles by Richard Stallman, John Markoff, Hans Moravec, Patricia Maes, Timothy May, and other cyberspace pioneers. Original.


Book cover of The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

Leslie Shannon Author Of Interconnected Realities: How the Metaverse Will Transform Our Relationship with Technology Forever

From my list on when hot new technology meets reality.

Who am I?

I’m the Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting for Nokia, and I’ve been with the company since the glory days of Nokia mobile phone world dominance. I know first-hand what happens when a company focuses exclusively on the technology, not the humans that use it, and how quickly that can lead to disaster. One of the lessons that I see repeated continuously in the field of innovation is that a huge amount of attention gets paid to the new technology, and not nearly enough on how the technology will interact with our existing systems, beliefs, attitudes, and culture. Learning from the mistakes is the best way to make sure that the future doesn’t repeat them!

Leslie's book list on when hot new technology meets reality

Leslie Shannon Why did Leslie love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered how on Earth Mark Zuckerberg ended up betting his Facebook empire on the unproven technology of Virtual Reality (VR), this is the recent history book for you. 

Blake Harris starts with Palmer Luckey, a homeschooled teenager who shrugged off the received wisdom of all of his elders, and just went ahead and built the first commercially viable VR headset. (That’s an amazing story in itself.) And then he got Mark Zuckerberg so excited about this new experience that, yes, Zuckerberg ended up buying Luckey’s company – and eventually forcing him out.

The History of the Future is about technology, business, the consequences of acting on visionary thinking, and, above all, about how technology is ultimately created and developed by human beings. 

By Blake J. Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A USA Today bestseller

The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus, its quest for virtual reality, and its founder's contentious battle for political freedom against Facebook, from the bestselling author of Console Wars (now a CBS All Access film).

In The History of the Future, Harris once again deep-dives into a tech drama for the ages to expertly tell the larger-than-life true story of Oculus, the virtual reality company founded in 2012 that-less than two years later-would catch the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and wind up being bought by Facebook for over $2 billion dollars.

This incredible…


Book cover of Wonderscape

Claire Fayers Author Of The Voyage to Magical North

From my list on fantastic adventures.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small Welsh town and I read to escape into other worlds. My love of myth and legend began when I came across a book of Greek myth in the library. I fell in love with the great voyages, the larger-than-life characters, the snake-haired monsters, and flying horses. I’ve been collecting legends ever since. I studied comparative literature at university, which included epic tales from all over the world and I was struck by how the same motifs come up again and again – quests, battles, magic. I love any story that takes you out of your everyday surroundings and into adventure.

Claire's book list on fantastic adventures

Claire Fayers Why did Claire love this book?

This book combines time travel, computer games, and some very thorny puzzles as a group of friends are trapped in a virtual reality game from the future. This isn’t just a simple ‘solve the puzzles to get home’ story, though: there’s something darker going on behind the scenes and as more and more was revealed, I found myself dying to know what was happening. The story is fast-paced, great fun, and different from anything I’d read before.

By Jennifer Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wonderscape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Gaming and time travel collide in this exhilarating middle-grade adventure, from bestselling author Jennifer Bell.

THE GAME IS ON. TRAVEL WITH WONDER.

When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia - a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton.

Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.

Jumanji meets Ready Player One in this fast-paced adventure featuring…


Book cover of A Maze of Death

Mike Dubisch Author Of The Earthlings

From my list on thought provoking science fiction.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy from all eras, coming from a family that was obsessed with both science and speculative fiction. I am the co-creator of Forbidden Futures magazine, the world’s only full color, fully illustrated genre fiction periodical, and I have been writing and publishing science fiction and horror comics, art, and stories for over four decades. I have contributed to the worlds of Star Wars, Aliens VS Predator, Dungeons and Dragons, DC and MARVEL comics, and The Wheel Of Time. I am an instructor teaching fantasy illustration, comics, and graphic novel writing at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Mike's book list on thought provoking science fiction

Mike Dubisch Why did Mike love this book?

This story imagines a human colony on an alien world that is both terrifying and surreal. 

One by one the colonists meet strange fates or murder each other, until they all wake up to discover the entire sequence of events was a virtual reality—a diversion designed to occupy them while awaiting an unlikely rescue from otherwise certain doom. However, elements from the virtual reality escape into the waking world, leading to salvation for at least one of the voyagers.

This book will keep you guessing right up to the end, and beyond, making the reader consider what is real, what is religion, and what do we want most out of life.

By Philip K Dick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Hugo Award–winning author Philip K. Dick, A Maze of Death is a sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet where colonists experience unexplained shifts in reality and perception.

Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it.

And the…


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