100 books like The Red

By Linda Nagata,

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

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By Malka Older,

Book cover of Infomocracy

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Author Of The Ten Percent Thief

From the list on science fiction novels exploring the near future.

Who am I?

I’m a novelist and game designer from Bangalore. I’ve been a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy. Growing up, I almost never encountered futures that included people like me—brown women, from a country that isn’t the UK/ US, and yet, who are in sync with the rapidly changing global village we belong to. Over the last decade, though, I've found increasing joy in more recent science fiction, in which the future belongs to everyone. The Ten Percent Thief is an expression of my experiences living in dynamic urban India, and represents one of our many possible futures. 

Lavanya's book list on science fiction novels exploring the near future

Why did Lavanya love this book?

I’m fascinated by the possibilities presented by post-nation futures. Infomocracy looks at a future where ‘centenals’—groups of 100,000 people without historic nationalist borders—elect an international corporate-affiliated body to govern the world.

High-stakes political intrigue fuels the biggest election in a century as multiple factions battle it out to seize power through the vehicle of futuristic democracy. To me, the highlight of this novel is its exploration of democracy—it’s peppered with paradoxical and intense arguments that are rewarding to engage with, and enhance the richness of its world. 

By Malka Older,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line. With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information…


By Annalee Newitz,

Book cover of Autonomous

M. J. Kuhn Author Of Among Thieves

From the list on where no one is 'the good guy'.

Who am I?

I love a book where the good guys are pure-hearted and the bad guys are evil, but there's something so fascinating about a story where the lines of good and evil blur and bend. I firmly believe that everyone is the hero in their own story… and everyone is the villain in at least one other person’s story. My Tales of Thamorr duology features multiple heists and hijinks, and every member of our crew has plans to betray their fellows. My goal in writing stories where no one is the ‘good guy’ is to create a reading experience where you want to root for everyone and no one at the same time.

M. J.'s book list on where no one is 'the good guy'

Why did M. J. love this book?

Autonomous is one of those books you finish reading and then just want to sit and stare off into space for a while.

The story takes place in a future world where Big Pharma runs basically the entire show. The main character is a drug pirate, fabricating expensive drugs to provide them to the population on the cheap… but when one of her fabbed drugs causes some horrible side effects, it kicks off a domino effect of chaos and death.

Other characters include a military agent sent to hunt our drug pirate down and his robotic, AI-powered partner. Every character is riddled with absolutely deal-breaking flaws, so if you’re looking for heroes, you’ve come to the wrong place. The story raises questions about morality, freedom, AI, and more. I can’t recommend it enough! 

By Annalee Newitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the internet' NEAL STEPHENSON

'Something genuinely and thrillingly new' WILLIAM GIBSON

'Holy hell. Autonomous is remarkable' LAUREN BEUKES


Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap medicines for those who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their…

We Are Satellites

By Sarah Pinsker,

Book cover of We Are Satellites

Paul Indigo Author Of Love Deleted

From the list on story ideas with characters you fall in love with.

Who am I?

I’m a storyteller who loves ‘oh my gosh’ ideas. Something that, the moment I hear about it, it captivates me. I also love characters who are deeply heart-warming and pleasurable to be around. For me, delving into the intimacy of a character’s mind and their shifting relationships with others is a pleasure. This is why I’m so attracted to contemporary domestic family issues or love stories with living, breathing characters. By pairing it with a puzzling or shocking wow of an idea to investigate, I can explore my character’s unique world and set it at odds with something that threatens that existence.

Paul's book list on story ideas with characters you fall in love with

Why did Paul love this book?

This is an uplifting family drama about technology that could – and possibly is (if we think about AI and smartphones) – already happening.

It’s a social comment about a brain surgery that improves the functions of thinking. The implant proves so popular, it begins to bias society to favour those who have the implant and sideline those who don’t. The story is told from the viewpoints of a lesbian couple and their two children, demonstrating how easily divided we can be, enough to threaten the breakdown of society. 

It’s a wonderful story with very real characters, commenting on mega technology and exploitative commercial enterprise yet is also at its heart, about the importance of the family unit.

By Sarah Pinsker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked We Are Satellites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

Get one - or get left behind.

Val and Julie just want what's best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when David comes home from school begging for a new brain implant to help with his studies, they're torn. Julie grew up poor and knows what it's like to be the only kid in school without the new technology, but Val is terrified by the risks and the implications.

Soon, everyone at Julie's work has the implant and she's struggling to keep…


By Ramez Naam,

Book cover of Nexus

S.B. Divya Author Of Machinehood

From the list on realistic near-future science fiction.

Who am I?

Back in college, I switched from being an astrophysics major to computational neuroscience. The reasons are complicated, but suffice it to say that I found the human brain to be as big of a mystery as black holes. I’ve worked as an engineer for two decades on applications ranging from medical devices, to digital music recognition, to high speed chip design. Writing science fiction is the second act of my life, and I love drawing on my science background to inform my stories. I especially love taking cutting-edge technology and thinking about how it could impact future society, from the global to the individual.

S.B.'s book list on realistic near-future science fiction

Why did S.B. love this book?

Nexus explores the idea of collective consciousness via technology in a way that has similarities to my own writing and ideas. For one, people use drugs to modify their brains, which I find is the most likely way to get people to accept biotech. Surgery is fraught with perils, but pills are easy to swallow. The plot features plenty of action, geeks, and technology, all of which I love, and the story incorporates elements of eastern philosophy that crop up in my own work, as well.

By Ramez Naam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he's thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage - for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.


By Eric Blehm,

Book cover of Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

W. C. Bauers Author Of Unbreakable

From the list on war stories to wreck a boring weekend.

Who am I?

I sell books for a living, raise three boys on my own, serve in my local church, and write on the side. I love stories about people doing hard things. If it’s not hard, why bother? People who serve do hard things for a career, and that inspires me. I also love the stars. So. Many. Stars. As author Jack McDevitt once said, and I’ll paraphrase him here, the canvas is just too big to have been made just for us [humans]. There’s more out there. I know it. So, put hard things like military service and vast things like space together and you end up with a love for military fiction and war stories.

W. C.'s book list on war stories to wreck a boring weekend

Why did W. C. love this book?

Fearless is the true story of Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown. Brown had no business becoming a Seal. Drug addict and a rap sheet? The guy even stole from his parents, and his dad had him locked up for it. It’s a miracle the service took him at all. This guy’s story is stranger than fiction and true to life. Read it and get inspired. Brown’s story shows us how to human.  

By Eric Blehm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ECPA BESTSELLER, GOLD AWARD—Over 500,000 copies sold! Fearless takes you deep into SEAL Team SIX, straight to the heart of one of its most legendary operators.
When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my…

X Troop

By Leah Garrett,

Book cover of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From the list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Who am I?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Why did Boaz love this book?

While I direct Penn State’s Holocaust Education Initiative and produce and write documentaries, books, and articles that involve the Holocaust, I am not an expert on this topic. I am a student of it. Studying the Holocaust for 30 years, I gaze in awe at the frontiers that remain to be explored. X Troop offers one of the latest examples. Prior to reading it, I’d never heard of the German and Austrian Jews who became British commandos during World War II. One of the lessons I picked up: We should follow these men’s examples of turning weaknesses—in their case, coming from enemy territories and facing suspicion and persecution—into strengths. This is far from a perfect book. As I read it, I found myself time and again wishing it showed more and told less. In several key spots, I wanted to better understand what these commandoes did and how they did.…

By Leah Garrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich falls across Europe. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan - a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees. This top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Others simply call them a suicide squad.

From British internment camps, to the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp, Leah Garrett follows this band of brothers who will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis.

'A thrilling,…

Marine Sniper

By Charles Henderson,

Book cover of Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills

Ronny Bruce Author Of The Grunts of Wrath: A Memoir Examining Modern War and Mental Health

From the list on infantry life during modern war.

Who am I?

I’m an OG ATLien (born in Atlanta, Georgia) and served in the US Marine Corps and the US Army. I hold a degree from Kennesaw State University and taught high school social studies from 2004 - 2006, before my military reenlistment which jumpstarted the events in my memoir.   

Ronny's book list on infantry life during modern war

Why did Ronny love this book?

Charles Henderson wrote a banger of a true story involving the exploits of USMC scout sniper Carlos Hathcock during Vietnam.

Hathcock isn’t your average grunt, though. He’s a highly skilled and award-winning shooter who is arguably the greatest American sniper of all time. Sometimes crawling through thick jungle, mud, and extreme filth, Hathcock stalked his human prey for hours and days - patiently waiting for the perfect kill shot.

If a top Vietnamese general needed to be taken out, Gunny Hathcock got the call. While tracking his objective, Hathcock navigated the harsh jungles and hills of Southeast Asia better than his enemies who lived underground there. This book takes you on a helluva ride.  

By Charles Henderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Marine Sniper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.

He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos…

Shadow Warriors

By Paul O’Brien, Wayne Fitzgerald,

Book cover of Shadow Warriors

Damien Larkin Author Of Big Red

From the list on military books written by veterans.

Who am I?

I served for seven years in the Irish Reserve Defence Forces, finishing as a weapons specialist in the infantry. I’m very grateful for the time I served in uniform and the lifelong lessons I learned that have helped me in my personal and professional life. Being a lifelong fan of military science fiction, I wrote Big Red from the point of view of a young Irish soldier thrown into a genocidal war on Mars. I’m a co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community and our online magazine Bard of the Isles.

Damien's book list on military books written by veterans

Why did Damien love this book?

Ireland is known as the land of a thousand welcomes, but most people aren’t aware of its sixty unbroken years of Peacekeeping duty with the UN and even less know of its elite special forces unit known as the Army Ranger Wing (ARW).

The ARW is seen by many as one of the most effective special forces in operation. Shadow Warriors gives an in depth look into the history of the ARW, set up against the backdrop of rising instances of international terrorism and its deployment in a variety of roles across dozens of countries. This is an easy and straightforward read for anyone interested in military related books.

By Paul O’Brien, Wayne Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the spring of 1980, the Irish Department of Defence sanctioned the establishment of a new unit within the Irish Defence Forces and the Irish Army Ranger Wing (ARW) came into being. In the decades that followed, its soldiers have been deployed on active service at home and abroad, generally without the knowledge of the wider public. The ARW is made up of seasoned men from across the island, who are selected through tough competition. Only the best of the best make it through and are trained in an extraordinary range of specialist skills. Being one of these elite operators…

Bravo Two Zero

By Andy McNab,

Book cover of Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq

Tim Pritchard Author Of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

From the list on battles that go wrong.

Who am I?

In 2003 I was travelling through Baghdad with US forces to report on the Iraq war. Suddenly an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our Humvee and a rush of hot debris swept past my face. The heavily armoured door warped inwards, and the vehicle lifted off the ground. Soldiers were screaming in terror and anger, clutching at bloody faces, arms, and legs. We’d been attacked by unknown members of the Iraqi resistance. The sheer terror of that moment gave me a new understanding of war  the sight, smells, sounds, and touch of combat – and a desire to tell the stories of the young soldiers who get caught up in it.  

Tim's book list on battles that go wrong

Why did Tim love this book?

This is a detailed account of a secret military mission behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War and how a series of minor setbacks can quickly escalate into a full-blown disaster. I first read it years before I'd had any knowledge of a battlefield. I read it again after I'd been caught up in my own terrifying experience of combat and took away a new appreciation of the realities of war – how stress on the battlefield narrows the field of vision to minute details which distort what is really going on. It's a lesson about war, but also about life – even with all the planning and the training, it's almost impossible to control what happens in the heat of battle. 

By Andy McNab,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sergeant Andy McNab recounts the story of the top secret mission that would reveal the secrets of the SAS to the world for the first time.

Their location: Iraq
Their mission: to sever a vital enemy underground communication link, to find and destroy mobile Scud launchers
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero

When eight members of the elite SAS regiment embark on a highly covert operation, they are each laden with 15 stones of equipment, needing to tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. They engage in a fierce battle. They…

Rangers at War

By Shelby L. Stanton,

Book cover of Rangers at War: LRRPs in Vietnam

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam

From the list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War.

Who am I?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. I was an instructor in the Florida Phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School for two years.

Michael's book list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War

Why did Michael love this book?

Stanton, one of the earliest and most prolific writers on the Vietnam War, details LRRP/Ranger operations primarily through unit Quarterly After Action Reports from the National Archives. Although mostly numbers and places with few actual combat stories, the book nonetheless offers an accurate assessment of the actions of LRRPs/Rangers in the war.

By Shelby L. Stanton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Shelby Stanton has emerged as the leading military historian on the war in Southest Asia."
One of the toughest and most challenging jobs in Vietnam was to be a U.S. Army Ranger running Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. The LRRPs took volunteers only, and training was designed to weed out all but the best. What emerged was an elite outfit of warriors in the finest sense of the word. Now Shelby Stanton, renowned military authority on the war in Southeast Asia, presents the first and only definitive history…

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