64 books like The Stars My Destination

By Alfred Bester,

Here are 64 books that The Stars My Destination fans have personally recommended if you like The Stars My Destination. 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 The Road

Stephen M. Sanders Author Of Passe-Partout

From my list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since my dad introduced me to the original Star Trek (in reruns) and The Lord of the Rings in my youth. I’ve always loved thinking about possibilities—large and small—so my work tends to think big when I write. I also write poetry, which allows me to talk about more than just the everyday or at least to find the excitement within the mundane in life. These works talk about those same “possibilities”—for better or worse, and in reading, I walk in awareness of what could be.

Stephen's book list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels

Stephen M. Sanders Why did Stephen love this book?

Cormac McCarthy does the impossible in this book—he writes an emotionally satisfying, literary-minded travelogue of horrors. It shatters the reader but then lifts them up with its beautifully wrought prose.

Be patient: the novel gets brutally dark before the light.

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked The Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


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 The Island of Doctor Moreau

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

Wells is one of the great early masters of science fiction, creator of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, but with Moreau he was also one of the masters of what David Cronenberg fans know as body horror—the gross, startling, and menacing intermingling of the human body with exterior elements.

In this case, pumas, pigs, you name it. With characters like Ape-Man and Sloth-Man, there is a definitely campiness here, but never enough to distract from the fact that it’s deeply, resonantly disturbing.  

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Island of Doctor Moreau as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

The Island of Doctor Moreau has inspired countless homages in literature, film and television.


Book cover of Kafka on the Shore

Bobby Palmer Author Of Small Hours

From my list on talking animals for grown ups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British author who has always had a fascination with magical realism and novels that blend the serious with the strange. For that reason, though I write literary fiction for adults, I take so much of my inspiration from children’s literature. There’s something so simple about how kids’ books stitch the extraordinary into the every day without having to overexplain things. I now live not far from the forest that inspired A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, and my latest novel is set in and inspired by this part of rural England–with all the mystery and magic that a trip into the woods entails.

Bobby's book list on talking animals for grown ups

Bobby Palmer Why did Bobby love this book?

Murakami is a magical realist genius, and this book is him at his mystifying, dream-like best. Expect otherworldly portals, sexually voracious ghosts, woodlands afflicted by mysterious fainting episodes, and, of course, an entire cast of talking cats.

What amazes me about Murakami’s writing is his ability to transfuse the mundane with the truly magical and to avoid all whimsy–even when writing about something as inherently whimsical as talking cats.

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Kafka on the Shore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A stunning work of art that bears no comparisons" the New York Observer wrote of Haruki Murakami's masterpiece, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. In its playful stretching of the limits of the real world, his magnificent new novel, Kafka on the Shore is every bit as bewitching and ambitious. The narrative follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his highly simplified life suddenly overturned. Their parallel odysseys - as…


Book cover of Dreaming the Biosphere

Fred Nadis Author Of Star Settlers: The Billionaires, Geniuses, and Crazed Visionaries Out to Conquer the Universe

From my list on botched space colonization efforts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated with techno-utopian schemes. Decades ago, I had conversations with a friend who believed that humanity needed to evolve and leave the planet, just as early life once left the oceans. It was an intriguing idea that I have tried to follow up, critically, in Star Settlers. My book is a history not so much of the technology and nuts and bolts of space travel (although I do cover some of that), but of the rationale behind it—the idea that humanity’s ultimate destiny is in the stars. The idea is beguiling—but, likely, wrong-headed. To write the book, I spoke with physicists, science fiction writers, and space enthusiasts of all stripes. 

Fred's book list on botched space colonization efforts

Fred Nadis Why did Fred love this book?

The Biosphere 2 project was the wackiest multimillion-dollar enterprise to emerge from the New Age movement. This book is a nonfiction account of how a New Mexico commune, with a charismatic leader, developed a plan to test the viability of off-planet living by creating a sealed-off biosphere, which would be a self-sustaining and organizing ecosystem in which humans could survive. The goal was to create not a sterile environment but one that supported life that would make off-planet living appealing. The four men and four women sequestered for two years in the 3.14-acre domed-off area outside Tucson grew into two factions that hated one another. All came close to starvation, CO2 poisoning, and madness. For readers that simply must have narrative in fiction form, T. Corraghesson Boyle’s The Terranauts is based on this same early 1990s episode. 

By Rebecca Reider,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Biosphere rises from southern Arizona's high desert like a bizarre hybrid spaceship and greenhouse. Packed with more than 3,800 carefully selected plant, animal, and insect species, this mega-terrarium is one of the world's most biodiverse, lush, and artificial wildernesses. Only recently transformed from an abandoned ghost dome to a University of Arizona research center, the site was the setting of a grand drama about humans and ecology at the end of the twentieth century.

The seeds of Biosphere 2 sprouted in the 1970s at Synergia, a desert ranch in New Mexico where John Allen and a handful of dreamers united…


Book cover of Neuromancer

Kaeleb LD Appleby Author Of Crime in Me'tra

From my list on sci-fi fantasy crime stories that will blow your mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

The sci-fi/fantasy/crime genre is probably one I’ve known the least about, and I only really started to dive down the rabbit hole when I began writing my series. I’m glad I did. The world-building and lore that is woven into this genre truly sets it apart from the usual stuff. On top of needing an intricate technological imagination that has some grounding in the real world, these kinds of books also need to have characters that are believable and a narrative that is not so futuristic that it strains credulity. It’s a tough mix to get right, but when I find a story that nails these aspects it really immerses me into the world and narrative like nothing else.   

Kaeleb's book list on sci-fi fantasy crime stories that will blow your mind

Kaeleb LD Appleby Why did Kaeleb love this book?

I enjoy this book because it essentially serves as a link between the older 60s post-modernist dystopian science fiction and the more contemporary, technology-driven, emotionally burdened weariness that has characterised authors since the 80s.

This book was outstanding; I found it impossible to stop reading. Gibson masterfully crafts an edge and tension that permeates the entire story, gripping the reader and refusing to let go.

Arguably, Neuromancer not only defined its genre but also left a noticeable imprint on literature and film ever since.

By William Gibson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The book that defined the cyberpunk movement, inspiring everything from The Matrix to Cyberpunk 2077.

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

William Gibson revolutionised science fiction in his 1984 debut Neuromancer. The writer who gave us the matrix and coined the term 'cyberspace' produced a first novel that won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, and lit the fuse on the Cyberpunk movement.

More than three decades later, Gibson's text is as stylish as ever, his noir narrative still glitters like chrome in the shadows and his depictions of…


Book cover of Foundation

Perry Kivolowitz Author Of Get Off My L@wn: How a Computer Geek and His Wife Survived the Zombie Apocalypse

From my list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science Fiction can explore many themes, including relationships, philosophy, politics, and more. While this is common to many genres, SF is unique in that it also focuses on science-based “what ifs.” What if we could travel to distant stars? What if we could visit the past? The theme of “what if” hinges upon the forward progress of science. This explores the realm of the possible… a realm for which I am passionate.

Perry's book list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction

Perry Kivolowitz Why did Perry love this book?

Forgive me for citing another classic in the Science Fiction genre. My interpretation of Seldon’s Psychohistory is that it is a reasonable premise, being based on the law of large numbers. If only there was something in our present day based on large data models, like maybe language? Yes, we’re living in the dawn of “psychohistory,” but instead of predicting fundamental shifts in human society, today’s AI is telling us what detergent to buy and which politician to vote for. Sad.

It takes a lot of time and a great deal of commitment to read the Foundation Series and the titles I have listed do not include several set in the same universe but not written by Asimov. But consider, it’s Asimov, one of Science Fiction’s gods. This series is nothing if not foundational to Science Fiction.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series

THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION, NOW STREAMING • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
 
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings…


Book cover of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Jeff Hopp Author Of Legend of the Mind

From my list on science fiction written by Philip K. Dick.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional artist and musician, and I owe a huge debt to Philip K. Dick. I started to read his works at a very young age (I believe I’ve read most everything he’s written at least twice), and my love of his work has continued throughout my life and he has been the greatest inspiration to my music, writing, and art. I felt so influenced and indebted that a created a comic book to honor him and to tell my stories and ideas that have populated my imagination as a result of his books.

Jeff's book list on science fiction written by Philip K. Dick

Jeff Hopp Why did Jeff love this book?

I am a huge fan of dreampunk books and this book helped create the genre. Reading it took me into a dreamworld that lead into another dreamworld and then yet another.

As with all Philip K. Dick books I was left wondering if I ever did return to the reality I believe I live in. I also found the character of Palmer Eldritch himself to be one of my all-time favorites.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the overcrowded world and cramped space colonies of the late twenty-first century, tedium can be endured through the use of the drug Can-D, which enables the user to inhabit a shared illusory world.

But when industrialist Palmer Eldritch returns from an interstellar trip, he brings with him a new drug, Chew-Z, which is far more potent than Can-D. But could the permanent state of drugged illusion it induces be part of something much more sinister?


Book cover of Hull Zero Three

Fred Nadis Author Of Star Settlers: The Billionaires, Geniuses, and Crazed Visionaries Out to Conquer the Universe

From my list on botched space colonization efforts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated with techno-utopian schemes. Decades ago, I had conversations with a friend who believed that humanity needed to evolve and leave the planet, just as early life once left the oceans. It was an intriguing idea that I have tried to follow up, critically, in Star Settlers. My book is a history not so much of the technology and nuts and bolts of space travel (although I do cover some of that), but of the rationale behind it—the idea that humanity’s ultimate destiny is in the stars. The idea is beguiling—but, likely, wrong-headed. To write the book, I spoke with physicists, science fiction writers, and space enthusiasts of all stripes. 

Fred's book list on botched space colonization efforts

Fred Nadis Why did Fred love this book?

This book has the ideal traits I appreciate in science fiction—as with H.G. Wells’s classic tales, it’s reasonably short and can be read as pure adventure or allegory. We meet the archetypal figure of the “Teacher” birthed by a bioprinting machine on a starship soon to terraform an exoplanet. The Teacher has to grapple with survival, his purpose, the ship’s mission, and his realization that everything is haywire in this high-tech Eden full of monsters. Hull Zero Three is a detective tale with philosophical undertones as the Teacher slowly makes sense of the chaos that surrounds him, contends with his earlier clones, and undergoes a quest. Anyone who has ever experienced the drudgery of actual teaching will appreciate Bear’s creation of the Teacher as a mythic archetype.  

By Greg Bear,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Trapped on a mysterious spaceship, the only way to escape is to survive. A thrilling novel from the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Greg Bear.

A starship hurtles through the emptiness of space. Its destination - unknown. Its purpose? A mystery. Its history? Lost.

Now, one man wakes up. Ripped from a dream of a new home, a new planet and the woman he was meant to love in his arms, he finds himself wet, naked, and freezing to death. The dark halls are full of monsters but trusting other survivors he meets might be the greater danger.

All he has…


Book cover of Aurora

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?

Quite possibly one of the most divisive SF novels of recent years, this starts with a familiar scenario: the launch of a generation ship to transport thousands of colonists – and, ultimately, their descendants – to a distant habitable world. Despite having written Red Mars, one of the best novels about colonizing another world, Robinson has disparaged the idea that any such thing is, in fact, possible or even desirable. In Aurora, he confronts the question of what happens when those descendants, born on a ship they didn’t choose to be passengers on, decide they have a quite different idea of where they should go, and why.

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'What a saga! Scifi with honest, complex humanity, physics, biology, sociology' - Tom Hanks

'Aurora is a magnificent piece of writing, certainly Robinson's best novel since his mighty Mars trilogy, perhaps his best ever' - Guardian

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.

Aurora.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, Aurora is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

'An accessible novel packed with big ideas, wonders, jeopardy and, at the end, a real emotional punch' SFX

'Aurora is Robinson's best book yet . . . Heart-wrenching, provocative' Scientific…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in revenge, space colonization, and space horror?

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