100 books like Worldshifter

By Paul Di Filippo,

Here are 100 books that Worldshifter fans have personally recommended if you like Worldshifter. 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 Dog Stars

Mark Wish Author Of Necessary Deeds

From my list on gruesome murders and genuine love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had the passion to write Necessary Deeds because: 1) as someone who'd spent 20+ years writing novels, dealing with untrustworthy literary agents, and book-doctoring other writers’ novels in order to pay rent, I'd come to know betrayal (“best friend” writers who stole drafts of mine and called them their own, novelists who backstabbed me after I helped them land agents and book contracts, and so on); 2) like many people who lived through the drug-and-alcohol-laced Eighties, I had a long relationship with someone that ended because they cheated on me. So I never doubted that, as I wrote Necessary Deeds, my heart knew well what motivated its characters.

Mark's book list on gruesome murders and genuine love

Mark Wish Why did Mark love this book?

This book leans a bit more toward the literary fiction category than do most books I read these days, but it’s among my top five because of two elements it develops, and poignantly so: 1) the constant threat of death for not only the narrator but also others he knows, and 2) a love story.

And the love story, much as it got to me emotionally, never once struck me as sappy. Instead, it was very realistic. Very human. Very no-b.s. As a result, altogether, this novel offers terrific storytelling.

By Peter Heller,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Dog Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ROAD - but with hope. Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, and eventually the temptation to find out who else is still alive becomes irresistible. So he takes his plane over the horizon, knowing that he won't have enough fuel to get back. What follows is scarier…

Book cover of The Road to Winter

Paula Weston Author Of The Undercurrent

From my list on YA set in Australia – but not quite as we know it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Australian and there’s a big place in my heart for Australian-set stories. I read mostly for escapism, but there’s a deeper connection with tales from my own backyard. I’ve also always loved speculative fiction – everything from epic and paranormal fantasy to space opera and dystopian thrillers – and I’m excited when my favourite genres and setting come together. My day job is in local government. I’ve seen how government decisions can impact the trajectory of a society, and I’m particularly drawn to stories that explore that theme. I’m the author of five speculative fiction novels with Australian settings: the four novels in The Rephaim series (supernatural fantasy) and The Undercurrent (slightly futuristic/pre-apocalyptic). 

Paula's book list on YA set in Australia – but not quite as we know it

Paula Weston Why did Paula love this book?

It’s a dystopian YA novel where the Australian landscape is beautifully rendered in all its glory and danger. It’s also a tightly written and intense page turner, when even quiet moments are infused with a sense of menace.

It has echoes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, although this book is unmistakably Australian - right down to speculation around where our nation’s attitude to asylum seeks may lead us. It’s not as bleak as The Road (a book I admire), but Mark reminds us how easily our veneer of society could slip away in the wake of a catastrophic, world-changing event.

I did worry for Finn’s dog as much as for Finn himself. (I’m still scarred by The Knife of Never Letting Go. This has parallels to that nail-biting novel, too.)

By Mark Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since a deadly virus and the violence that followed wiped out his parents and most of his community, Finn has lived alone on the rugged coast with only his dog Rowdy for company.

He has stayed alive for two winters—hunting and fishing and trading food, and keeping out of sight of the Wilders, an armed and dangerous gang that controls the north, led by a ruthless man named Ramage.

But Finn’s isolation is shattered when a girl runs onto the beach. Rose is a Siley—an asylum seeker—and she has escaped from Ramage, who had enslaved her and her younger sister,…

Book cover of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Caraline Brown Author Of The Candlelit Menagerie

From my list on set in a post apocalyptic future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love writing historical fiction. I enjoy the research and creating long-lost worlds filled with little-known historical accuracies that intrigue my readers. It is no surprise then that I enjoy reading about the future - the other side of the coin. I always find it interesting to see how writers create a post-apocalyptic society. What was the catastrophic event? (TCE) What caused it and how do the different characters react to adversity when their old world is taken away from them? Inevitably they have to survive in the new system but will they have learned their lesson or will they return to their old ways?  

Caraline's book list on set in a post apocalyptic future

Caraline Brown Why did Caraline love this book?

A generation or so after The Calamitous Event (TCE), our hero’s dog is stolen by an unexpected visitor to their remote home in the Outer Hebrides. This book is my definition of a cracking good read. It has adventure, surprises, and insights into the human condition that led to TCE in the first place. Above all, it features a boy and his overwhelming mission - to get his dog back. If, like me, you love dogs you are going to love this book.

By C.A. Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'You'll remember A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World long after you finish reading'
Peng Shepherd, author of The Book Of M

'Fletcher's suspenseful, atmospheric tale imagines a near future in which our world is in ruins . . . an adventure saga punctured by a gut-punch twist'
Entertainment Weekly

'Truly engrossing . . . brings hope and humanity to a cold and scary world'
Keith Stuart, author of A Boy Made of Blocks

'I promise you're going to love it'
Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History…

Book cover of Voyage of the Dogs

Clare Rhoden Author Of The Pale

From my list on dystopian books with heart, soul, and dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

The first book I read on my own was the Little Golden Book of Puppies and Kittens. I decided then, aged three, that the best books have animals in them…and I haven’t changed my mind. While fantasy novels with animals are among my all-time favorites, I’ve developed a deep love for dystopian novels which leave room for hope. I especially love the stories that show more than just humans living on Planet Earth. What better species to represent all that’s good on Earth but dogs? I can’t imagine ever writing a story without a dog in it. 

Clare's book list on dystopian books with heart, soul, and dogs

Clare Rhoden Why did Clare love this book?

Lopside the Barkonaut is sure to make you smile. Humanity needs to find a new planet to live on, and the Barkonauts go along to ensure the best qualities of both humans and dogs survive.

Voyage of the Dogs is a middle-grade book (ages 10+) but completely enjoyable for dog lovers of all ages. Disaster strikes when the human astronauts disappear – are they dead? – and the Barkonauts have to figure out stuff for themselves. 

I love that all of these space-faring dogs have flaws and a past history that they have to carry around. Lopside discovers that some of his fellow Barkonauts are nothing like what they seem. Despite all the obstacles, eventually, there is a wonderful outcome that will bring you joy for a long time after you finish reading. Read it for yourself – or even better, read it to a kid who needs strength and…

By Greg Van Eekhout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voyage of the Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Dogs in space! Share this book with middle graders who enjoy stories about dogs, space adventures, or action adventure stories-or all three! Perfect for fans of Homeward Bound and Woof.

Lopside is a Barkonaut, a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet.

When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship.

Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts-and Barkonauts always complete their mission.…

Book cover of Shadow & Claw

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

This book drew me in from the first sentence: “It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future.” I was amazed that in just eleven words, Wolfe conjured three time periods (the present moment, the future, and a later future while looking back).

The incredible adventures of the narrator, Severian, span five books, and I’ve read them all several times. Shadow is also one of the most challenging science fiction books I’ve read because the author leaves mysteries behind for me to figure out myself.

By Gene Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Shadow & Claw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A major work of twentieth-century American literature...Wolfe creates a truly alien social order that the reader comes to experience from within...once into it, there is no stopping.” ­―The New York Times on The Book of the New Sun

Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by the Washington Post.

THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN is unanimously acclaimed as Wolfe’s most remarkable work, hailed as “a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis” by Publishers Weekly and “one of the most ambitious works of…

Book cover of Chariots of the Gods

Balakrishna Kamath Author Of The Ace of Shadows

From my list on thrilling spy adventures and awesome mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Balakrishna Kamath has to his credit a 39-year-long service in one of India’s premier Intelligence agencies. His long service has taken him to many places and enabled him to gain considerable experience in handling challenging operations. The coveted national-level honors - The Indian Police Medal and President's Police Medal, he had received during his service, would indicate the distinction he has earned in his career. After his retirement, he has written two novels – The Velvet Gloves (November 2018) and The Ace of Shadows (March 2022). These novels dwelling on intelligence operations have been recently signed for adaptation into web series. 

Balakrishna's book list on thrilling spy adventures and awesome mysteries

Balakrishna Kamath Why did Balakrishna love this book?

Published in the 1960s, Chariots of the Gods is a book forever! Mysteries do not limit to fiction works alone. There are stunning mysteries remaining shrouded in the limitless cosmos. What is there in the space? Are we the only intelligent beings in the universe? Thousands of years ago, how were the pyramids in Egypt and South America built, without the help of developed tools and technology? What do the magnificent cave drawings, and huge carved granite temples in India and elsewhere, tell us? A well-researched book Chariots of the Gods takes the readers on an exploratory trip to the fascinating cosmos and beyond. The possibilities are countless and life proves to be different from what we knew. The lucid narration could keep even ordinary readers glued to the book.

By Erich von Däniken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


The groundbreaking classic that introduced the theory that ancient Earth established contact with aliens.

Immediately recognized as a work of monumental importance, Chariots of the Gods endures as proof that Earth has been visited repeatedly by advanced aliens from other worlds. Here, Erich von Daniken examines ancient ruins, lost cities, spaceports, and a myriad of hard scientific facts that point to extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all, however, is von Daniken's theory that we are the descendants of these galactic pioneers-and he reveals the archeological discoveries that prove it...

The dramatic discoveries…

Book cover of Bird Box

Susan Whiting Kemp Author Of The Climate Machine

From my list on disasters where society fails suddenly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written or edited thousands of science and engineering proposals, blog posts, and reports, and in the past decade, disaster resilience has become a major subject of these documents. I’ve come to realize that while it’s possible to be ready for disasters, few people truly are. In the books I’m recommending, something vital to life has been stolen and the disasters are so overpowering that mere survival is a nearly impossible goal. This forces the characters into unusual and heroic action. Their choices are sometimes surprising and always compelling, and I loved sharing their journeys.   

Susan's book list on disasters where society fails suddenly

Susan Whiting Kemp Why did Susan love this book?

It fascinates me how in a disaster, from one day to the next, nothing is ever the same again.

In Bird Box, where something is turning people violently suicidal, “…it definitely begins when a person sees something.

At first there’s a rumor in a faraway country, but later the world abruptly changes. Nobody can be outside without a blindfold, millions are dying, and society collapses.

It would be bad enough to literally never see the world outside of your house, but then Malorie has to take a journey on a river…while blindfolded...with two blindfolded children…amidst creatures she knows almost nothing about.

That’s pure insanity that makes for a riveting, absorbing book, and Malorie’s determination is beyond inspiring. 

By Josh Malerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Josh Malerman's debut novel Bird Box is a terrifying, Hitchcockesque psychological horror that is sure to stay with you long after reading.

Malorie raises the children the only way she can: indoors.

The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows.

They are out there. She might let them in.

The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall.

Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them.

Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.

Book cover of The Glass Box

Madison Lawson Author Of The Registration

From my list on thriller books for adults who miss YA dystopian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated with the macabre since childhood and have always been drawn to the darker sides of humanity. In nearly every story, the villain is my favorite character, and I’m most intrigued with their motives. From The Magic Tree House to Artemis Fowl to The Hunger Games to The Purge, I’ve consumed as much sci-fi, dystopian, thriller fiction as possible my entire life. I’ve written several thriller novels and dystopian books and have worked with Bradley Fuller, the producer of The Purge and A Quiet Place, on the possible movie adaptation of my debut novel. If you also like dystopian thrillers, feel free to check out my recommendations!

Madison's book list on thriller books for adults who miss YA dystopian

Madison Lawson Why did Madison love this book?

I love this book because it’s a classic and engaging sci-fi thriller with an original twist that kept me on my toes, a remarkable main character, and a compelling supporting cast. The dystopian element kept me hooked throughout, and the masterful storytelling often made me forget I was reading.

It is not only gripping but thought-provoking, with commentary on societal issues, much like YA dystopian novels from my childhood. What’s most frightening about this book is that it's easy to see that this sort of thing could happen today. 

By J Michael Straczynski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A USA Today bestseller

"Echoes of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest reverberate through this cinematic tale...readers looking for an adrenaline-inducing resistance plot will find this worth their time." --Publishers Weekly

From award-winning author J. Michael Straczynski, The Glass Box is a hard-hitting, fast-paced sci-fi novel about the choices we make and the ramifications we face.

Riley Diaz was born to fight back.

When she's incarcerated under the authority of a shadowy new defense act, Riley is sent to one of a growing number of American Renewal Centers (ARCs)--institutions modeled after psychiatric facilities--for mandatory reeducation.

Forced therapy, involuntary medication, solitary…

Book cover of The Last Gardener

David D. Bernstein Author Of The Portal

From my list on journeys of imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading and writing Children’s books for many years. I have an MLS and have worked in school libraries and recreation departments. I have a strong connection to people. My passion for book writing and reading began the moment I learned to read. I've been in this business for over 30 years and have six books published. Probably my biggest accomplishment was the three years I worked as a freelance book reviewer for Scholastic Books. To this day I continue to dream, read, imagine, meet, and create new worlds that will be available for everyone. My passion for books and writing go beyond the physical but also the emotional and spiritual.   

David's book list on journeys of imagination

David D. Bernstein Why did David love this book?

I just finished reading this book from a friend of mine and I loved it. I recommend it for several reasons. First of all, this book is about a young inventor Dameon Gardener who is looking forward to summer break to tinker with his beloved gadgets ends up traveling many years into the future to a dystopian world that is falling apart. He does not know it, but this journey puts him on a quest to save the bleak world of the future of time. That concept is also found in my books, and it is a kind of basic outline of most Fantasy and Science Fiction books.

They have a hero who journeys on a quest to save a world, a person, or even a creature. This is universal and used by these kinds of books. My books are also set in a dystopian world. I also like the…

By Tracy Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Young, inventive Dameon Gardener is looking forward to his summer break when he can spend all day tinkering with his beloved gadgets. At least that was his plan until his workaholic dad came home unusually early and announced that his grandfather had passed away, leaving him his massive estate. Eager to explore their new inheritance, the Gardener family embarks on their first-ever vacation with great anticipation.
Dameon, his schedule-loving mom, and video-game-obsessed younger brother are appalled when they arrive at the decrepit Victorian mansion situated on top of a mountainside overlooking a secluded, rundown, ocean-side mining town. However, Dameon soon…

Book cover of The Memory Police

Akil Kumarasamy Author Of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea

From my list on weird sci-fi to reimagine the world around you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ursula K. Le Guin said science fiction is a metaphor of the now. It allows us to defamiliarize ourselves with the issues around us, so we can see everything from a new lens. As someone who worked in tech spaces and once wrote a poetry-generating program, I am interested in how people use language to write about technology, at all levels. I appreciate the blend of older forms of technology like phonographs along with newer forms like ChatGPT. Languages interest me: how we translate to speak to machinery or people, and how translation itself can feel like a kind of wormhole into another world. 

Akil's book list on weird sci-fi to reimagine the world around you

Akil Kumarasamy Why did Akil love this book?

The novel really captures the nature of memory and what it means to love and care about others.

Frightening stuff happens in the book—things are disappearing—but it’s told with a warm and light tone, almost as if you’re sailing down a river. Ogawa captures quiet moments like friends eating a slice of cake with such luminosity.

Even when the world is falling apart, there is time for conversations with friends and meals together. 

By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Memory Police as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020, an enthralling Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance from one of Japan's greatest writers.

'Beautiful... Haunting' Sunday Times
'A dreamlike story of dystopia' Jia Tolentino

Hat, ribbon, bird rose.

To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.

When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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