10 books like The Masque Of Manana

By Robert Sheckley,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Masque Of Manana. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Oh God

By Avery Corman,

Book cover of Oh God

Oy, forget the mediocre movie. George Burns was perfectly cast but the reason God appears as a little old Jewish man is that he’s granting an interview to a Jewish freelance journalist, not a white bread grocery store clerk played by John Denver. This book taught me that a writer could be laugh out loud funny and still have something serious to say, something I’ve aspired to in my own fiction.

Oh God

By Avery Corman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For a God whom philosophers have proclaimed dead, it’s time for a little PR in this novel from the New York Times–bestselling author of Kramer vs. Kramer.
 “God grants you an interview. Go to 600 Madison Ave., room 3700, Monday, at 11 a.m.” When a struggling writer receives this typed note in the mail one morning, curiosity wins out and he finds himself keeping this mysterious  appointment. Soon he’s in an ordinary conference room with an intercom on the floor, furiously scribbling shorthand notes as he interviews God, a deity who badly wants to improve His public profile. Sometimes God…


Envoy to New Worlds

By Keith Laumer,

Book cover of Envoy to New Worlds

Laumer’s satirical books about Jame Retief, a functionary in Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne, were inspired by his real-life career in the U.S. Foreign Service. They don’t have to be read in any order and mix short stories (as in this collection) and novels. Much of the humor comes from Retief ignoring the diplomatic niceties in dealing with the problems involving Earth and various alien races.

Envoy to New Worlds

By Keith Laumer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Envoy to New Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first-ever collection of Retief stories by Keith Laumer. Includes "Protocol," "Sealed Orders," "Cultural Exchange," "Aide Memoire," "Policy," and "Palace Revolution."


Martians Go Home

By Frederick Brown,

Book cover of Martians Go Home

Brown was another author who mixed SF and humor. Here he stood the alien invasion premise on its head. Instead of spaceships from an advanced civilization laying waste to our great cities, Brown wonders how we’d react if the invaders weren’t interested in mass murder or enslaving humanity but simply annoying the hell out of us. His little green men from Mars enjoy insulting and pestering Earthlings. After a while, “War of the Worlds” might be a preferable encounter.

Martians Go Home

By Frederick Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THEY WERE GREEN, THEY WERE LITTLE, THEY WERE BALD AS BILLIARD BALLS AND THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!

Luke Devereaux was a science fiction writer, holed up in a desert shack waiting for inspiration. He was the first to see a Martian - but he certainly wasn't the last.

It was estimated that one billion of them had arrived - one to every three human beings on Earth. Obnoxious green creatures who could be seen and heard (but not harmed) and who probed private sex lives as shamelessly as they exposed government secrets.

No one knew why they had come. No one…


Wandering Stars

By Jack Dann (editor),

Book cover of Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction

Wandering Stars is a landmark anthology that should be the starting point for anyone interested in Jewish science fiction and fantasy. It contains a collection of incredible short stories; it’s nearly impossible to pick out the best. My own favorites include William Tenn’s “On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi,” Avram Davidson’s “The Golem,” Harlan Ellison’s “I’m Looking for Kadak,” and Isaac Bashevitz Singer’s heartbreaking, “Jachid and Jechidah.”

Wandering Stars

By Jack Dann (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wandering Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jewish science fiction and fantasy? Yes! The distinguished list of contributors includes: Bernard Malamud, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Pamela Sargent, Avram Davidson, Geo. Alec Effinger, Horace L. Gold, Robert Sheckley, William Tenn, and Carol Carr.

William Tenn's futuristic story "On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi" takes on the volatile issue of "Who is a Jew?"--a question certainly as timely in 1998 as he imagines it will be in 2533. Asimov's "Unto the Fourth Generation" takes on the issue of Jews as endangered species in America, a theme that is even more apparent today than…


Mining the Sky

By John S. Lewis,

Book cover of Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From the Asteroids, Comets and Planets

This book is about the positive side of Near-Earth Objects – that is, they can benefit mankind as well as threaten it. Lewis explains how asteroids are chock full of valuable minerals – iron, nickel, platinum, iridium, and so on – that are either rare or difficult and messy to extract on Earth. Lewis persuasively argues that it’s not just possible but almost inevitable that Earthlings will eventually start extracting those space rock riches -- not so much to bring them back to Earth but to use them for manufacturing industries in space, thus sparing our planet from much of the pollution that threatens our world. It’s not just futuristic day-dreaming; already private companies are spending big money to develop space-mining technologies. The bottom line of this fascinating book is that there’s gold in them thar hills – or rather, in them thar far reaches of space. And sooner than…

Mining the Sky

By John S. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

While we worry over the depletion of the earth's natural resources, the pollution of our planet, and the challenges presented by the earth's growing population, billions of dollars worth of metals, fuels, and life-sustaining substances await us in nearby space. In this visionary book, noted planetary scientist John S. Lewis explains how we can mine these precious metals from the asteroids, comets, and planets in our own solar system for use in space construction projects. And this is just one of the possibilities. Join John S. Lewis as he contemplates milking the moons of Mars for water and hollowing out…


Station Eternity

By Mur Lafferty,

Book cover of Station Eternity

I’ve always wondered about those amateur detectives who just happen to be nearby when murder occurs, especially the sixth or seventh time. Surely they are secretly serial killers, or they’re really, really unlucky. It’s the latter for Mallory Viridian, so when the possibility arises she flees Earth to a space station inhabited only by aliens to escape. I love truly alien aliens, and there are plenty of those on board, with strange customs and otherworldly motives for the ever-increasing number of murders. I also really loved how this book delves into the question of why murder seems to follow Mallory around, and the resolution is satisfying and delightfully science fictional.

Station Eternity

By Mur Lafferty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Amateur detective Mallory Viridian’s talent for solving murders ruined her life on Earth and drove her to live on an alien space station, but her problems still follow her in this witty, self-aware novel that puts a speculative spin on murder mysteries, from the Hugo-nominated author of Six Wakes.

From idyllic small towns to claustrophobic urban landscapes, Mallory Viridian is constantly embroiled in murder cases that only she has the insight to solve. But outside of a classic mystery novel, being surrounded by death doesn’t make you a charming amateur detective, it makes you a suspect and a social pariah.…


Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Book cover of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Many are familiar with the hugely popular Chocolate Factory book and the films made about it. But I remember reading this lesser-known sequel in 4th grade, and then dressing up like Willy Wonka to do a book report presentation about it for class. I even included a “magic trick” with the hat. I liked that it furthered the original character’s adventures and got even sillier with the Vermicious Knid aliens, aging pills, and taking elevators into space. It stretches kids’ brains imaginatively and takes the story in the least predictable directions, which is something I strive to achieve in my writing.  

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A splendiferous new hardback of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, part of a collection of truly delumptious classic Roald Dahl titles with stylish jackets over surprise printed colour cases, and exquisite endpaper designs.
WHOOSH! Inside the Great Glass Elevator, Willy Wonka, Charlie Bucket and his family are cruising a thousand feet above the chocolate factory.
They can see the whole world below them, but they're not alone. The American Space Hotel has just launched. Lurking inside are the Vernicious Knids - the most brutal, vindictive murderous beasts in the universe.
So grab your gizzard! Hold your hats! Only Charlie…


Space Chronicles

By Neil Degrasse Tyson,

Book cover of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

During his speech at the World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai, Neil deGrasse Tyson confessed that his original title for the book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier was Failure to Launch: The Dreams and Delusions of Space Enthusiasts. The publisher rejected this title. I would have purchased this book either way, but the original title is on the mark. Tyson is one of my greatest sources of inspiration because he is so clear-eyed about practical challenges in space travel: from the physical and biological to the political and philosophical. Space Chronicles is one of many fine entry points into his brilliant mind.

Space Chronicles

By Neil Degrasse Tyson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold, Tyson's views on the future of space travel and America's role in that future are especially timely and urgent.


Life With Hubble

By David S. Leckrone,

Book cover of Life With Hubble: An Insider's View of the World’s Most Famous Telescope

Do you recall when the Hubble Space Telescope was launched with supposedly the world’s most perfect mirror, but proved out of focus, a billion-dollar “techno-turkey?” Despite widespread doubts (including mine), it was repaired in space and became arguably the most powerful telescope ever, making extraordinary discoveries about the birth of stars, the age of the universe, what happens when comets smash into Jupiter, and much more. Behind the scenes there were engineering quandaries, inter-agency disputes, and MacGyvering repairs by astronauts. Dave Leckrone, the ultimate insider who worked on Hubble for 33 years, ending as its top Project Scientist, knows what really happened, the “story behind the story,” aided by what must be a photographic memory, incessant notetaking, and one guesses, closely-held Hubble X-files. He tells all of it here.

Life With Hubble

By David S. Leckrone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most important scientific and engineering endeavors of our time. It has given humankind the first truly clear view of the heavens and has revolutionized almost every area of modern astronomy. The author of this text, David Leckrone, worked as a project scientist on Hubble for 33 years. From 1992–2009 he was the Senior Project Scientist for Hubble at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. In that role he had an insider’s view of the trials and triumphs of the Hubble mission, including its extraordinary scientific discoveries and the personal journeys of the astronomers…


This New Ocean

By William E. Burrows,

Book cover of This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age

The current era of exploration began after World War II, announced by the International Geophysical Year. With Antarctica as a pivot, exploration moved down to the world’s ocean depths and out to interplanetary space. Space got the most attention – it was visible and had a literature that ice and abyss couldn’t match.

With vigor, clarity, and a lively tempo, This New Ocean narrates the space race in both its manned and robotic expressions, its American and Soviet versions, its technology, and its politics. Burrows is an enthusiast, but not an ideologue or a blinkered astrofuturist. A good survey and introduction, This New Ocean makes a lively read.

This New Ocean

By William E. Burrows,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It was all part of man's greatest adventure--landing men on the Moon and sending a rover to Mars, finally seeing the edge of the universe and the birth of stars, and launching planetary explorers across the solar system to Neptune and beyond.
        
The ancient dream of breaking gravity's hold and taking to space became a reality only because of the intense cold-war rivalry between the superpowers, with towering geniuses like Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolyov shelving dreams of space travel and instead developing rockets for ballistic missiles and space spectaculars. Now that Russian archives are open and thousands of…


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