100 books like The Coming of the Quantum Cats

By Frederik Pohl,

Here are 100 books that The Coming of the Quantum Cats fans have personally recommended if you like The Coming of the Quantum Cats. 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 Rendezvous with Rama

Peter Cawdron Author Of The Artifact

From my list on classic science fiction on first contact.

Who am I?

I’m a hard (plausible) science fiction author, born in New Zealand and currently living in Australia. Over the course of my career, I’ve written 26 novels in my First Contact series, looking at all the various different ways in which First Contact might unfold. If you enjoy stories that leave you thinking long after the final page, check out my First Contact series.  

Peter's book list on classic science fiction on first contact

Peter Cawdron Why did Peter love this book?

Although the characters are wooden and the dialogue is stilted by today’s standards, the vision of Arthur C. Clarke to imagine what an interstellar spacecraft would be like is astonishing.

His understanding of the mechanics and physics involved comes through, making the story compelling. And there are unforeseen antagonists in the form of politics and religion. This book is being developed into a screenplay for adaptation by Denis Villeneuve (who also directed Arrival and Dune).

I’d highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie.  

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Rendezvous with Rama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year 2130, a mysterious and apparently untenanted alien spaceship, Rama, enters our solar system. The first product of an alien civilisation to be encountered by man, it reveals a world of technological marvels and an unparalleled artificial ecology.

But what is its purpose in 2131?

Who is inside it?

And why?


Book cover of Dragon's Egg

John Gribbin Author Of Don't Look Back

From my list on science fiction by scientists.

Who am I?

John Gribbin has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is best known as an author of science books. But he has a not-so-secret passion for science fiction. He is the award-winning author of more than a hundred popular books about science, ranging from quantum mysteries to cosmology, and from evolution to earthquakes. He has also produced a double-handful of science fiction books. He specialises in writing factual books about the kind of science that sounds like fiction (including time travel), and fictional books based on scientific fact (including climate change). His recent book Six Impossible Things was short-listed for the prestigious Royal Society prize, but he is equally proud of Not Fade Away, his biography of Buddy Holly.

John's book list on science fiction by scientists

John Gribbin Why did John love this book?

The idea of intelligent life existing on the surface of a neutron star as massive as our Sun, the size of a mountain, and with a surface gravity 67 billion times that of Earth seems like sheer fantasy but Forward presents impeccable science to make it all seem entirely plausible.

By Robert L. Forward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dragon's Egg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“In science fiction there is only a handful of books that stretch the mind—and this is one of them.”—Arthur C. Clarke
 
In a moving story of sacrifice and triumph, human scientists establish a relationship with intelligent lifeforms—the cheela—living on Dragon’s Egg, a neutron star where one Earth hour is equivalent to hundreds of their years. The cheela culturally evolve from savagery to the discovery of science, and for a brief time, men are their diligent teachers.
 
Praise for Dragon’s Egg
 
“Bob Forward writes in the tradition of Hal Clement’s Mission of Gravity and carries it a giant step (how else?)…


Book cover of Contact

Andrew Fraknoi

From my list on science fiction books that use good astronomy.

Who am I?

I am an astronomer and college professor who loves science fiction. For many years, I have kept a webpage recommending science fiction stories and novels that are based on good astronomy. I love explaining astronomy to non-scientists, and I am the lead author of OpenStax Astronomya free online textbook for beginners, which is now the most frequently used textbook for astronomy classes in the U.S. I actually learned English at age 11 by reading science fiction comics and then books for kids,  After many decades as a fan, I have recently realized a long-held dream and become a published SF author myself.

Andrew's book list on science fiction books that use good astronomy

Andrew Fraknoi Why did Andrew love this book?

I especially enjoyed this book because it was written by an astronomer (with some help from his wife, who was a science writer) and because the main character was based on a colleague of mine, Dr. Jill Tarter.

In the book, Carl Sagan tells the story of how a SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) project might actually go about finding a signal from a civilization around another star. (The book was made into a movie, where Jodie Foster played the main scientist who made the discovery. She actually came out to the SETI Institute, where Jill Tarter worked, and spent some time with Jill, learning how to portray a scientist in this field.) 

I also liked that the alien civilization we find is more advanced than we are, which is likely, given how long the stars in our Galaxy have been around, and how recently we humans evolved.

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In December 1999 a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who - or what - is out there?


Book cover of Cosm

John Gribbin Author Of Don't Look Back

From my list on science fiction by scientists.

Who am I?

John Gribbin has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is best known as an author of science books. But he has a not-so-secret passion for science fiction. He is the award-winning author of more than a hundred popular books about science, ranging from quantum mysteries to cosmology, and from evolution to earthquakes. He has also produced a double-handful of science fiction books. He specialises in writing factual books about the kind of science that sounds like fiction (including time travel), and fictional books based on scientific fact (including climate change). His recent book Six Impossible Things was short-listed for the prestigious Royal Society prize, but he is equally proud of Not Fade Away, his biography of Buddy Holly.

John's book list on science fiction by scientists

John Gribbin Why did John love this book?

At the other extreme from Contact, Greg Benford’s COSM involves very small wormholes. Or at least, a wormhole that starts out small. In his variation on the theme, an experiment on Earth accidentally opens a wormhole which in effect creates a new universe, which the experimenters can study and eventually communicate with through the wormhole. Again, real science, but technology a little (this time only a little!) beyond our present capabilities. And it raises the intriguing question of whether our Universe might have been made in this way by a race of superior beings (gods?) in another universe.

By Gregory Benford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

COSM brings the extraordinary passion, drama and politics of scientific research to life in a stunning near-future thriller.

On an otherwise ordinary day not long from now, inside a massive installation of ultra-high-energy scientific equipment, something goes wrong with a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment. But this is not a calamity. It will soon be seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in history. For the explosion has left something behind: a sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science. As the forces of academia, government, theology and the mass media fight for control…


Book cover of Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different

Chris Ferrie Author Of Where Did the Universe Come From? and Other Cosmic Questions: Our Universe, from the Quantum to the Cosmos

From my list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible.

Who am I?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

Quantum physics is supposed to be weird and mysterious, right? You might then get the impression that Beyond Weird will explain how quantum physics is weirder than weird. But, no! Beyond Weird is about how we can beyond the concept that quantum physics is weird. Philip Ball does an amazing job telling the story of how physicists have tried to make sense of quantum theory.

By Philip Ball,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."

Since Niels Bohr said this many years ago, quantum mechanics has only been getting more shocking. We now realize that it's not really telling us that "weird" things happen out of sight, on the tiniest level, in the atomic world: rather, everything is quantum. But if quantum mechanics is correct, what seems obvious and right in our everyday world is built on foundations that don't seem obvious or right at all-or even possible.

An exhilarating tour of the contemporary quantum landscape, Beyond Weird is a book about what…


Book cover of Baby Loves Quantum Physics!

Chris Ferrie Author Of Quantum Physics for Babies

From my list on quantum physics to grow up on.

Who am I?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics to grow up on

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

Baby Loves Quantum Physics is a cute book about Schrodinger’s Cat, which was featured in a “thought-experiment” nearly 100 years ago about what quantum physics ought to look to big things like humans or cats. The illustrations are engaging for young readers and the language is pitched at a suitable level. This a great step on baby’s quantum quest!

By Ruth Spiro, Irene Chan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baby Loves Quantum Physics! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.

Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book engages readers in a game of hide-and-seek with Schrodinger's famous feline. Can cat be awake and asleep at the same time? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

With tongue firmly in cheek, the Baby Loves Science series introduces highly intellectual science concepts to the littlest learners.


Book cover of Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

Mitch Horowitz Author Of Daydream Believer: Unlocking the Ultimate Power of Your Mind

From my list on the extra-physical potentials of the mind.

Who am I?

I'm a PEN Award-winning historian of alternative spirituality and a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library. I track the impact and substance of supernatural beliefs—a source of fascination since my Queens, NY, boyhood—in books including Occult America, The Miracle Club, and Uncertain Places. I often say that if you do not write your own history, it gets written for you—usually by people who may not care about or even understand the values that emanate from your work. Given my personal dedication to the spiritual search, I call myself a believing historian (which most historians of religion actually are). I labor to explore the lives, ideas, and practices behind esoteric spirituality.

Mitch's book list on the extra-physical potentials of the mind

Mitch Horowitz Why did Mitch love this book?

The most controversial aspect of nearly a century of research in quantum mechanics is how the perspective of an observer, either sentient or mechanical, determines reality on the subatomic scale. What does this say—if anything—about life in our above-ground, macro world? With zero sensationalism and great rigor, not to mention witty and accessible writing, physicists Rosenblum and Kuttner sort out questions of particle mechanics, quantum theory, and consciousness in a manner that is understandable to the layperson yet faithful to the findings of this most confounding of the hard sciences. 

By Bruce Rosenblum, Fred Kuttner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdotes about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, emphasizing what is and what is not speculation. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is heatedly controversial. But…


Book cover of The Direction of Time

Craig Callender Author Of What Makes Time Special?

From my list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking.

Who am I?

I am a philosopher of science who has an obsession with time. People think this interest is a case of patronymic destiny, that it’s due to my last name being Callender. But the origins of “Callender” have nothing to do with time. Instead, I’m fascinated by time because it is one of the last fundamental mysteries, right up there with consciousness. Like consciousness, time is connected to our place in the universe (our sense of freedom, identity, meaning). Yet we don’t really understand it because there remains a gulf between our experience of time and the science of time. Saint Augustine really put his finger on the problem in the fifth century when he pointed out that it is both the most familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Craig's book list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking

Craig Callender Why did Craig love this book?

Most academics have played the game David Lodge calls “Humiliations” in his novel Changing Places: you have to list books that you should have read but didn’t, the more scandalous the better. For a while, Reichenbach’s book was my go-to. I was writing my PhD on the direction of time but hadn’t read Reichenbach. Because it was old I figured I indirectly knew everything in it. Holy moly was I wrong! Not only is The Direction of Time the first serious blend of good philosophy and physics tackling the direction of time — plus a great example of the type of philosophy I deeply value — but it is still packed with insights. No question, I should have read it earlier in my life.  

By Hans Reichenbach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever a source of philosophical conjecture and debate, the concept of time represents the beating heart of physics. This final work by the distinguished physicist Hans Reichenbach represents the culmination and integration of a lifetime's philosophical contributions and inquiries into the analysis of time. The result is an outstanding overview of such qualitative, or topological, attributes of time as order and direction.
Beginning with a discussion of the emotive significance of time, Reichenbach turns to an examination of the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum…


Book cover of Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure

Chris Ferrie Author Of Quantum Physics for Babies

From my list on quantum physics to grow up on.

Who am I?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics to grow up on

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure is part picture book, part encyclopedia, part graphic novel, and all quantum awesome. The facts in here go beyond the quantum world into all the things quantum physics touches, like forces, energy, and time. The diagrams are descriptive, yet engaging. This is another great reference book for the quantum collection!

By Dominic Walliman, Ben Newman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Class is in session, and the subject is physics. Your teacher? Why, he's the smartest cat in the galaxy!

In this brilliant follow up to Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space, our trusty feline returns to take you on a journey through the incredible world of physics. Learn about energy, power and the building blocks of you, me and the universe in this all new ATOMIC ADVENTURE!


Book cover of Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Non-scientists

Tracy J Holroyd Author Of The Enchanted Mirror

From my list on spirituality, consciousness and nature of reality.

Who am I?

I am a writer and lecturer who is irresistibly drawn to the spiritual and paranormal, but whose academic qualifications are in maths and science. So, I have struggled to find my niche in life: a belief in God and Spirit, a passion for the ‘paranormal,’ and an attraction to the scientific – subjects whose advocates attack one another without compunction. Then, I watched the film What the Bleep Do We Know? and found the communion of spirit and science that had eluded me for so long. Thus, I have a new passion: quantum physics, consciousness, and the creation of reality  which means, for me, the Universe is truly full of magic.

Tracy's book list on spirituality, consciousness and nature of reality

Tracy J Holroyd Why did Tracy love this book?

I was so impressed by What the Bleep… that I wanted to learn more, so turned to one of its contributors: theoretical physicist, Fred Alan Wolf. In Taking the Quantum Leap, the quirky Dr. Wolf waltzed me through the history of physics, until I arrived (breathless with anticipation!) at the biggie: the ‘new science’ of the 20th century; the science that practically threw the scientific community into turmoil. Dr. Wolf not only linked this plethora of knowledge to consciousness, but also equipped me, as a layperson, with the mental tools required to indulge in some deep scientific, philosophical, and spiritual discourse. Without a doubt, casually throwing his subject into conversation leaves me looking very impressive intellectually. Only problem: no one invites me to parties anymore….

By Fred A. Wolf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taking the Quantum Leap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book entertainingly traces the history of physics from the observations of the earlyGreeks through the discoveries of Galileo and Newton to the dazzling theories of such scientists as Planck, Einstein, Bohr, and Bohm. This humanized view of science opens up the mind-stretching visions of how quantum mechanics, God, human thought, and will are related, and provides profound implications for our understanding of the nature of reality and our relationship to the cosmos.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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