86 books like The Moon is Hell

By John W. Campbell,

Here are 86 books that The Moon is Hell fans have personally recommended if you like The Moon is Hell. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Contact

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

This is my favorite hard sci-fi classic. I love the beautiful mix of real science (wormholes excepted), compelling story, and characters, and it touches on both first contact and the way in which human nature might cause us to react to it. That is the power combo, in my opinion!

The movie of the book was very good — Robert Zemeckis is a brilliant director — although it left out some fantastic details that, as a math and science fan, I really loved! (I won’t spoil it here; it’s too good.)

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

15 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 Dune

Johnny B. Truant Author Of Dead City

From my list on Sci-Fi real science that justifies unreal things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I was an author, I was a scientist pursuing a PhD in molecular genetics. When I left the lab and started writing, that scientist’s need for real-world sense stuck with me and became a theme in everything I write. The authors I like understand that “suspension of disbelief” is a limited resource, so they’d better only ask readers for it when it counts. Get the baseline facts and logic right, and I’ll believe and enjoy the fantastical stuff spun from it so much more. 

Johnny's book list on Sci-Fi real science that justifies unreal things

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

This has been one of my favorite books since I was a kid. I love it for two main reasons: The first is that I’m a fiend for exploring the real limits of ability (which the Bene Gesserit and Fremen do). The second is that as fantastical as the world is, it’s grounded in real science. 

There are no giant sandworts on my own planet, but I completely believe why and how they’d exist on Arrakis. Herbert even includes an appendix to explain how it works, called “The Ecology of Dune.” 

Fiction requires a leap of faith, but the real-science grounding in Dune makes that leap a whole lot easier because I believe where it’s coming from.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of Stranger in a Strange Land

John Walters Author Of The Misadventures of Mama Kitchen

From my list on celebrating the psychedelic sixties.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became a young man near the end of the sixties, and I have always been enthralled by the era's various idiosyncrasies, both good and bad. For instance, I loved the complex yet pleasant rock music and the freewheeling lifestyle. On the downside, the war in Vietnam cast its pall over the times, and I narrowly escaped being drafted and sent off to Southeast Asia. Overall, it was an era in which good and evil were starkly defined, and many people were attempting to create a better, more peaceful world. There is still much we can learn from this time.

John's book list on celebrating the psychedelic sixties

John Walters Why did John love this book?

Although this book is ostensibly set in the future, countercultural enthusiasts of the sixties were quick to claim it for their own, with its references to transcendental enlightenment, out-of-body experiences, communal living, and free sex.

It became a best-selling phenomenon as contemporary young people reacted positively to its iconoclastic attitudes. That's what happened to me, too, when I came across the book shortly before the move to the Bay Area that opened my eyes to the reality of the psychedelic sixties.

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Stranger in a Strange Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The original uncut edition of STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Hugo Award winner Robert A Heinlein - one of the most beloved, celebrated science-fiction novels of all time. Epic, ambitious and entertaining, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND caused controversy and uproar when it was first published and is still topical and challenging today.

Twenty-five years ago, the first manned mission to Mars was lost, and all hands presumed dead. But someone survived...

Born on the doomed spaceship and raised by the Martians who saved his life, Valentine Michael Smith has never seen a human being until the day a…


Book cover of Non-Stop

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

This is an evocative story world with many great twists as the plot unfolds, and I’m a sucker for a great twist. I also love the very cool mix of sci-fi, human evolution, and complicated choices.

It not only explores how we might evolve on a journey so long that our tribal factions have forgotten we are even on a journey, but it gets even more interesting when we find out where we are.

By Brian Aldiss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were - that was forgotten.

Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down ...

Non-Stop is the classic SF novel of discovery and exploration; a brilliant evocation of a familiar setting seen through the eyes of a primitive.


Book cover of Illegal Alien

Andrew Fraknoi

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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 liked this book because it has a sense of humor and yet approaches interesting questions about how we might meet another species of intelligent life in the universe.

Sawyer is not a scientist, but an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, with training in anthropology and a fascination with the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, interests that inform many of his novels.

I also enjoyed this novel as a detective mystery with an astronomical puzzle that is part of its solution. 

By Robert J. Sawyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a disabled spaceship enters Earth's atmosphere, seven members of the advanced Tosok race are welcomed by the world. Then a popular scientist is murdered, and all evidence points to one of the Tosoks. Now, an alien is tried in a court of law-and there may be far more at stake than accounting for one human life.


Book cover of Through a Life

Mónica Armiño Author Of A Wolf Called Wander

From my list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a professional illustrator for 20 years. In all this time I have gathered a vast collection of picture books, animated movie artbooks, children's books... I use them as a source of inspiration for my work, but I really collect them because they are my treasure. I don't just look for books with beautiful illustrations, but that really give me something, that make me think, or that stay in my memory. They are timeless books, that are not aimed at any age, that anyone can enjoy, but that at the same time have deep meaning if you know how to look at them. Not all picture books are just for kids.

Mónica's book list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult

Mónica Armiño Why did Mónica love this book?

Through a Life is a book that won me over for its intelligence. The premise may not be new, since it presents the life of a man from his birth to his death. But the way it is presented is absolutely original: on the left page appears a specific fact of the protagonist's life and on the right appears what the protagonist sees at that moment. Or maybe it's what he remembers because that's what life is, what we build through our memories. The concise graphics and very intelligent use of color fascinate me, and I think they make it a marvel of graphic design. A beautiful and painful book at the same time, which leaves you thinking for hours.

By Tom Haugomat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through a Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Rodney spends his life looking through. Windows give way to screens as he comes to age dreaming of what lies beyond Earth's atmosphere... This powerfully silent graphic novel by Tom Haugomat follows the saga of a boy who grows up to be an astronaut, just like he always wanted...until a fatal shuttle crash upends his life, and he begins to find solace in beauty here on earth. Told through a series of poignant vignettes, Through is a sweeping story of dreams, expectations, nature, and loss.


Book cover of The Romance of Ballooning: The Story of the Early Aeronauts

Deborah Noyes Author Of Lady Icarus: Balloonmania and the Brief, Bold Life of Sophie Blanchard

From my list on being lighter than air and above it all.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid student of curious social history, I’ve wanted to tell the story of early flight for a while. A friend once took me up in a hot-air balloon for my birthday, and I’ve been a balloonomaniac ever since. I’ll never forget the awe I felt that morning in Vermont—the sensation of drifting softly above it all, passing spirit-like through orange-pink clouds just after sunrise with the muffled bark of a distant dog the only sound for miles. It was, to quote Sophie Blanchard, a “sensation incomparable.” 

Deborah's book list on being lighter than air and above it all

Deborah Noyes Why did Deborah love this book?

This oversized coffee-table book is an archival treasure trove: a collection of primary source materials—contemporary articles, letters, broadsheets, and other rare material—arranged chronologically and packed with line drawings and spectacular full-color plates. The author lets the painstakingly harvested entries speak for themselves, with little comment or imposed context beyond the archival images, and the result is a rich tribute to the art of ballooning and its practitioners. Beautifully curated and visually dazzling, this is a browser’s delight.

By Edita Lausanne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hard cover unique book fully illustrated about the romance of ballooning.


Book cover of Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet

Robert S. Pindyck Author Of Climate Future: Averting and Adapting to Climate Change

From my list on climate change and what to do about it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an economist who has written broadly on microeconomics, energy and natural resource markets, and environmental economics. My recent work in environmental economics has focused on climate change, and I’ve published a book and many articles on the topic. I think it’s important to understand that while there is a lot we understand about climate change, there is also much we don’t understand, and what the uncertainty implies about what we should do. My concern is the possibility of a climate catastrophe. What are the chances, and what should we do? Those questions have driven much of my research and writing. 

Robert's book list on climate change and what to do about it

Robert S. Pindyck Why did Robert love this book?

This book provides a nice introduction to the science and economics of climate change. It explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the nature of the uncertainty regarding what we might expect, and it emphasizes the possibility of an extreme climate outcome. Given that possibility, it explains the importance of “radical” forms of adaptation, an example of which is geoengineering. And the book is short enough to be read in one sitting. 

By Gernot Wagner, Martin L. Weitzman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet? In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter…


Book cover of Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book

Diana Mayo Author Of Molly on the Moon

From my list on for children who love space and science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I usually enjoy painting pictures for storybooks about nature I know, so it was a treat to depict an imaginary place that I’ve never actually seen! I was so inspired to illustrate Mary’s story about the moon, as I could focus on creating an other-worldly atmosphere, adding to the drama that could have happened anywhere. The story focuses on Molly and her family moving to the moon and includes scientific facts about how gravity would impact their everyday life. I used Mary’s knowledge as reference to underpin the imaginative side of my process. Painting the inside of a moon module enabled me to use textures, colours, and lighting in such a fun, expressive way!

Diana's book list on for children who love space and science fiction

Diana Mayo Why did Diana love this book?

As an illustrator myself, I’m always drawn to picture books of beauty that have a style I admire. Britta Teckentrup’s textured, detailed, gentle artworks perfectly compliment the author’s rhyming text, bringing magical life to facts about the lunar cycle. I love the moodiness and atmosphere captured that gives feeling to the science described, and it’s all packaged with beautiful heavy-weight paper, bringing class and a gift-like quality.

By Britta Teckentrup,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the much-loved children’s series that began with Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book comes an informative book with peek-through holes that show the moon’s different phases with each turn of the page.

Over deserts and forests, Arctic tundra and tropical beaches, the moon shines down on creatures around the world. Children will love discovering how it changes from day to day as the lunar cycle is shown through clever peek-through holes, each revealing the moon in a different size and shape.
 
It’s the perfect light nonfiction book for young stargazers—and an ideal bedtime book, ending with a giant moon hovering…


Book cover of The First Men in the Moon

Michael Newton Author Of The Origins of Science Fiction

From my list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a cultural historian, film critic, literary critic, editor, and essayist–and a frustrated fiction writer–fascinated by ‘the fantastic’ in art or in life. Answering that fascination, I wrote Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (2002), and I’ve written two books for the BFI Film Classics series on two great movies of the fantastic, Rosemary’s Baby (2020) and It’s A Wonderful Life (2023). I also edited three anthologies of Victorian and Edwardian fantasy, The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce (2010) and Victorian Fairy Tales (2015), and now an anthology, Origins of Science Fiction (2022) for Oxford World’s Classics. 

Michael's book list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds

Michael Newton Why did Michael love this book?

I fell in love with this book when I was eleven years old, and I still love it now. That’s despite the fact that I now see just how corrupt and vicious the first human visitors to the moon truly are.

Yet there are moments here that still hold the old enchantment. There’s the instant when the "hero" grasps that night is falling on the moon, and as the shadow of a new, strange "sunset" starts to lengthen that he has perhaps only minutes to live, or there’s the encounter with the Selenites and the realization that he faces an absolutely alien consciousness with no connection to his own.

No-one outdoes Wells in making the fantastic utterly real to the reader.

By H. G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When penniless businessman Mr Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr Cavor, an absent-minded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money, and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find - a world of freezing nights, boiling days and sinister alien…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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