40 books like The Revolt on Venus

By Carey Rockwell,

Here are 40 books that The Revolt on Venus fans have personally recommended if you like The Revolt on Venus. 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 Flashman

Austin Grossman Author Of Crooked

From my list on set in alternate histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lot of things. I design games. I study literature and theater. I write novels that are messy fusions of literary and genre fiction. I'm endlessly curious. Each of my books starts with when I hear in my head, the voice of a character asking a question. It's always a silly question, and it's always the one that matters more to them than anything else in the world. "Why does being superintelligent make you evil?" became Soon I Will Be Invincible. "What are people who play video games obsessively really looking for?" became You. Answering the question isn't simple, but of course that's where the fun starts.

Austin's book list on set in alternate histories

Austin Grossman Why did Austin love this book?

Flashman does a thing I love, which is to tell the story of another book's least notable character.

Harry Flashman comes from Thomas Hughes's 1850 novel Tom Brown's School Days (the entire basis for the Harry Potter novels), where he's a sub-Draco Malfo figure, a useless bully.

Flashman tells the story of his later years as the Victorian Empire's most cowardly soldier, rattling around British colonies, stumbling through their various atrocities and debacles. I wish the book were even harsher on the Brits, but it's a deeply fun counter-text and a lovely bit of escapism nonetheless.

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For George MacDonald Fraser the bully Flashman was easily the most interesting character in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and imaginative speculation as to what might have happened to him after his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness ended in 12 volumes of memoirs in which Sir Harry Paget Flashman - self-confessed scoundrel, liar, cheat, thief, coward -'and, oh yes, a toady' - romps his way through decades of nineteenth-century history in a swashbuckling and often hilarious series of military and amorous adventures. In Flashman the youthful hero, armed with a commission in the 11th Dragoons, is shipped to India, woos and…


Book cover of Lives of Girls and Women

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

Great adventure doesn’t always mean jungles, star-wastes, or derring-do. The human heart – what one poet called "the wilderness behind the eyes" – can be as electrifying as any firefight. In this tradition, Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. Lives of Girls and Women is her second novel, and like all great adventure stories will tell you more about yourself than you ever suspected. As Sir Walter Scott said of Jane Austen: "That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life."

By Alice Munro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through the women and men she encounters, Del becomes aware of her own potential and the excitement of an unknown independence. Alice Munro's previous books include "Dance of the Happy Shades" and "The Beggar Maid", which was nominated for the 1980 Booker Prize.


Book cover of Raintree County

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

My friends and I discovered Raintree County as undergrads, and found in it everything that matters – history, character, politics, and above all action. Here is life with all its pleasure and horror, apostasy and faith, sacrifice and victory. Here too is the core of American democracy, its glories and fiascos: a love letter to the Republic, more than ever relevant in the factional bitterness of today. An unforgettable novel from a man who killed himself at 34.

By Ross Lockridge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Throughout a single day in 1892, John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father. Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period in which he lives, a rural land of springlike women, shady gamblers, wandering vagabonds, and soapbox orators. Yet here on the banks of the Shawmucky River, which weaves its primitive course through Raintree County, Indiana, he also feels and obeys ancient rhythms. A number-one bestseller when…


Book cover of Flying Colours

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

"I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining," said Winston Churchill in the best short review ever written. Forester takes you back 200 years to an age of wooden ships and iron men. Here you smell the powder, see the mainsails strain, hear the roar of cannon and the clang of steel – and learn more about the Napoleonic Wars than any textbook could convey. The Hornblower books are all electrifying, but to my mind, this is the best.

By C. S. Forester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The seventh volume in the classic naval adventure series finds Captain Hornblower a prisoner in the French fortress of Rosas, having to surrender his ship, but only after seriously disabling three French ships. C.S.Forester also wrote "The African Queen".


Book cover of Delta of Venus

Tobsha Learner Author Of Quiver

From my list on for when familiarity sets in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book was Quiver, a collection of erotic short stories. I wrote it to immortalize the hedonism of Sydney in the 1990s, wanting to show a nonjudgmental, joyful side. The fact that it touched a lot of people compelled me to write two more collections Tremble and Yearn – each exploring different themes: Tremble is an erotic re-imagining of various root myths, whilst Yearn has more historical and fantastical elements. I interweave all the characters in the stories throughout the whole collections. Humor is also important to me when it comes to the ironies and emotions around sex, the other aspect is gender power play and all the sublime reversals that can encapsulate. 

Tobsha's book list on for when familiarity sets in

Tobsha Learner Why did Tobsha love this book?

As a teenager this collection of short stories blew my mind; it’s one of the first to really explore sexual pleasure from a female perspective and I loved the way it wove psychology, power, culture, and erotic play up seamlessly and provocatively. It was most likely an unconscious template for my own collections of erotic short stories, the perfect format for the pillow book (to be read out loud to one’s lover/husband/guilty pleasure). Nin, a friend of Henry Miller and a number of Paris-based groundbreaking artists and intellectuals in the 1920s, is the perfect conduit for the louche erotic experimentation of the era, and yet this book is still timeless and still delivers in terms of fantasy.  

By Anaïs Nin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As influential and revelatory in its day as Fifty Shades of Grey is now, Anais Nin's Delta of Venus is a groundbreaking anthology of erotic short stories, published in Penguin Modern Classics

In Delta of Venus Anais Nin conjures up a glittering cascade of sexual encounters. Creating her own 'language of the senses', she explores an area that was previously the domain of male writers and brings to it her own unique perceptions. Her vibrant and impassioned prose evokes the essence of female sexuality in a world where only love has meaning.

This edition includes a preface adapted from Anais…


Book cover of The Space Merchants

Gary Gibson Author Of Echogenesis

From my list on cynical takes on space colonisation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I was exposed to the same influences as most other SF writers of my generation – Clarke, Heinlein, and Asimov. But I was also exposed to the more nuanced, more psychologically realistic work of writers like Harlan Ellison, Norman Spinrad, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J.G. Ballard, none of whom shared the unquestioning techno-utopianism of an earlier generation of writers. They taught me not to automatically respect power or authority, and to always question ideas that might otherwise be taken for granted. It’s an approach that’s carried over into my own writing ever since.

Gary's book list on cynical takes on space colonisation

Gary Gibson Why did Gary love this book?

Pohl drew heavily on his experience as an advertising copywriter in this, perhaps his most famous novel co-written with C.M. Kornbluth. Although not directly set on a colonized world, it’s easily one of the darkest takes on the subject as the protagonist, a ‘star-class copysmith’ is given the job of selling people on the idea of emigrating to Venus…while carefully avoiding the reality of Venus being barely, if at all, habitable, with nothing to promise but a harsh existence and generations of toil before the planet can be fully terraformed.

By Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a vastly overpopulated near-future world, businesses have taken the place of governments and now hold all political power. States exist merely to ensure the survival of huge transnational corporations. Advertising has become hugely aggressive and boasts some of the world's most powerful executives.

Through advertising, the public is constantly deluded into thinking that all the products on the market improve the quality of life. However, the most basic elements are incredibly scarce, including water and fuel.

The planet Venus has just been visited and judged fit for human settlement, despite its inhospitable surface and climate; colonists would have to…


Book cover of Beyond Apollo

Allen Steele Author Of Coyote

From my list on lost classics of space science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Okay, so you’ve read Dune, you’ve read Starship Troopers, you’ve read 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe you’ve even read From Earth to the Moon and The First Men in the Moon. Seen the movies, too (or maybe you cheat and say you’ve read the books when you’ve only seen the flicks). Bet you think that makes you an expert on science fiction about space, right? Not even close! If you want to read more than just the well-known classics everyone else has, find these books. Some have become obscure and are now out of print, but they’re not hard to find; try ABE, eBay, and local second-hand bookstores. They’re worth searching for, and then you’ll really have something to talk about.

Allen's book list on lost classics of space science fiction

Allen Steele Why did Allen love this book?

In contrast to Marooned (and, in fact, just about every other SF space novel of the ’60s and ’70s) is this short and very dark masterpiece. The first winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, this novel about the aftermath of a doomed mission to Venus is Malzberg’s dark answer to the over-optimistic view of space exploration that was prevalent in the post-Apollo period, and a stark reminder that the universe is an unforgiving and dangerous place.

By Barry N. Malzberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two astronauts travel on the first manned expedition to the planet Venus. When the mission is mysteriously aborted and the ship returns to Earth, the Captain is missing and the First Officer, Harry M. Evans, can't explain what happened. Under psychiatric evaluation and interrogation, Evans provides conflicting accounts of the Captain's disappearance, incriminating both himself and lethal Venusian forces in the Captain's murder. As the explanations pyramid and the supervising psychiatrist's increasingly desperate efforts to get a straight story falter, Evans' condition and his inability to tell the "truth" present terrifying expressions of humanity's incompetence, the politics of space exploration,…


Book cover of The Transit of Venus

Julie Metz Author Of Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

From my list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce.

Why am I passionate about this?

Though I’ve been a great reader since childhood, I sometimes describe myself as an accidental writer—I came to this work later in my life, following the events that I write about in my first memoir Perfection. Before I became a writer, I did spend many years in the publishing business designing book covers, so I appreciate all sides of the work of bringing books to readers. My favorite books help me enter new worlds for a time and re-reading favorites is like visiting a faithful friend. My recommendations here are a mix of both memoir and fiction and include some of my “desert island” favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Julie's book list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce

Julie Metz Why did Julie love this book?

In this masterpiece, we follow two sisters from post-World War Two onward through love, betrayal, marriages, and widowhood. She manages to cover a good part of adult female experiences as lovers and wives and beyond. But truly, this is a book worth reading and re-reading because with every new pass, you’ll find something new to marvel at. The twists and turns of the plot are subtle…this is sentence by sentence prose amazingness. The book was published in the 1980s but it feels edgy and modern in its way of slipping into the minds of the two sisters as they make their way through the challenges of their lives. Somehow Shirley Hazzard manages to inject a dark story with so much humor. It’s one of those laughing and crying at the same time reads. And once you’ve read it, we can discuss!

By Shirley Hazzard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Transit of Venus is one of the great English-language novels of the twentieth century." - The Paris Review

Finalist for the National Book Award
Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award

The award-winning, New York Times bestselling literary masterpiece of Shirley Hazzard-the story of two beautiful orphan sisters whose fates are as moving and wonderful, and yet as predestined, as the transits of the planets themselves

The Transit of Venus is considered Shirley Hazzard's most brilliant novel. It tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life…


Book cover of The Venus Throw

Josiah Osgood Author Of Rome and the Making of a World State, 150 BCE–20 CE

From my list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of ancient Rome. My interest was sparked in my high school Latin classes. On my first trip to Rome, several years later, I truly fell in love. I could see the famed orator delivering his fierce attacks against Catiline amid the grand temples of the Forum and its surrounding hills. I could imagine myself standing in a crowd, listening. In Washington DC, where I now live and teach at Georgetown University, there are classical buildings all around to keep me inspired. I have written a number of books about Roman political history and have also translated the biographer Suetonius and the historian Sallust.

Josiah's book list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome

Josiah Osgood Why did Josiah love this book?

Mystery writer Steven Saylor’s recreations of late Republican Rome are the best out there. The Venus Throw finds Saylor’s detective, Gordianus the Finder, investigating the death of an Egyptian ambassador visiting the city. Through Gordianus’ search we meet a range of Romans known from historical sources including a noble woman, a love poet, and a eunuch priest of the eastern goddess Cybele. Saylor captures the variety of the city’s inhabitants and its places. You step into elegant houses, a dive bar with sour wine, and public baths where the floor is “heated to just the right temperature by the hot-water pipes underneath.” The Venus Throw is not the first entry in the Gordianus series but you can start with it, as I did, and then read all the others. One of these books’ many strengths is attention to the lives of slaves.

By Steven Saylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a chill January evening in 56 B.C. , two strange visitors to Rome--an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest--seek out Gordianus the Finder whose specialty is solving murders. But the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, has come to ask for something Gordianus cannot give--help in staying alive. Before the night is out, he will be murdered.

Now Gordianus begins his most dangerous case. Hired to investigate Dio's death by a beautiful woman with a scandalous reputation, he will follow a trail of political intrigue into the highest circles of power and the city's most hidden arenas of debauchery. There…


Book cover of The Orphan Boy

Gail Nyoka Author Of Voices of the Ancestors: Stories & Lore From Ghana’s Volta Region

From my list on folktales from Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

Once upon a time, I didn’t know any stories from Africa. I found one, and it stirred me to my core. I found others and read them to my children. These were oral stories that had been trapped between the covers of books. One day, I discovered the oral tradition – stories told as they were originally heard. They had been liberated from the page and flew into my heart. A storyteller was born in me. I went on my own journey to collect stories in Ghana. I now tell stories from traditions around the world.

Gail's book list on folktales from Africa

Gail Nyoka Why did Gail love this book?

I found this book moving. On one level it is the mythology of the planet we know as Venus, from the perspective of the Maasai people. On another level it speaks to the condition of age and loneliness. And I love the illustrations, which take the reader into the landscape of East Africa and show us the humanity of the old man. Like all the best tales, it can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

By Tololwa M. Mollel, Paul Morin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Orphan Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Seaching the sky for a familiar star, an old man encounters a mysterious boy, Kileken. As he comes to love the boy as a son, he agrees to let him keep the one thing he owns: a secret.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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