The most recommended genetic engineering books

Who picked these books? Meet our 92 experts.

92 authors created a book list connected to genetic engineering, and here are their favorite genetic engineering books.
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Book cover of The Album of Dr. Moreau

Henry Lien Author Of Future Legend of Skate and Sword

From Henry's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Storyteller Writing Instructor Non-Western storyteller Kung-fu figure-skating expert

Henry's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Henry Lien Why did Henry love this book?

This book is a locked-room murder mystery about a boy band made up of animal/human hybrids. It’s the most fun I’ve had reading in a very long time.

The characters and dialogue are so charming and playful. The affectionate satire about boy bands, fandom, and science fiction/mystery tropes is sharp and funny. And, like a good album, you want to listen to it over and over again.

By Daryl Gregory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A 2022 Sturgeon Award Nominee!
A 2022 Edgar Award Nominee!

Daryl Gregory's The Album of Dr. Moreau combines the science fiction premise of the famous novel by H. G. Wells with the panache of a classic murder mystery and the spectacle of a beloved boy band.

It’s 2001, and the WyldBoyZ are the world’s hottest boy band, and definitely the world’s only genetically engineered human-animal hybrid vocal group. When their producer, Dr. M, is found murdered in his hotel room, the “boyz” become the prime suspects. Was it Bobby the ocelot (“the cute one”), Matt the megabat (“the funny one”),…

Book cover of Deal with the Devil

Michael J Brooks Author Of Republic Falling

From my list on delivering thought-provoking social inspection.

Who am I?

Since childhood, I’ve been a consumer of fiction entertainment. I’m a fan of comic books, anime, television series, fiction books, movies, video games, etc. Influenced by all of these forms of storytelling, I seek to entertain people with my science fiction books and help take their minds off their troubles. At a young age, I also realized fiction can be a gateway into exploring and bringing awareness to crucial issues. With an MFA from Howard University, I’m naturally a creative person, and if I’m not creating, I’m not living. I hope readers will check out my latest book, and best so far, Republic Falling: Advent of a New Dawn.

Michael's book list on delivering thought-provoking social inspection

Michael J Brooks Why did Michael love this book?

What I found unique about Deal with the Devil was that it was written by two authors who specialize in writing steamy romance books, who, together, go by the pen name Kit Rocha. Genetically and cybernetically enhanced humans has always been one of my favorite sci-fi concepts. This book has two teams of enhanced humans. There is Nina and her all-female crew, who are the book’s main characters, and there is Knox and his all-male crew. I enjoyed learning about the different abilities and troubled pasts of these characters. And with the setting being in a dystopian environment, another concept I enjoy, coupled with the book having all the spiciness and sensuality you'd usually find in an urban fantasy novel, this sci-fi story was intriguing. I believe it will be a winner for adult male and female readers.

By Kit Rocha,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Deal with the Devil is Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha.

Nina is an information broker with a mission--she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he's fighting to survive.

They're on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each…

Book cover of Upgrade

David W. Burns Author Of Heart of Stone

From David's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Storyteller Fantasist Optimist Romantic fool

David's 3 favorite reads in 2023

David W. Burns Why did David love this book?

What great science fiction is all about: taking a trend in modern science and running rampant with it.

In this near-future world, genetic manipulation of crops and humans has decimated society, forcing authorities to strictly police the scientific community. When he is exposed to an unlicensed gene bomb, biologist Logan Ramsay finds himself changing into something both more and less than human.

I loved the frantic pace of this book, as our hero is propelled into a desperate race for survival. The difficulty of effectively conveying a growing suprahuman intellect was deftly handled, and the action scenes were tense and electrifying, with several edge-of-your-seat surprises thrown in. A thoroughly satisfying story from start to finish. 

By Blake Crouch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Upgrade is the mind-bending thriller from Blake Crouch, author of the bestselling Dark Matter and Recursion.

'You are the next step in human evolution . . .'

What if you were capable of more?

Your concentration was better, you could multitask quicker, read faster, memorize more, sleep deeper.

For Logan Ramsay, it's happening. He's beginning to see the world around him, even those he loves the most, in whole new ways.

He knows that it's not natural, that his genes have been hacked. He has been targeted for an upgrade.

Logan's family legacy is one he has been trying to…

Book cover of Wither

Shauna Granger Author Of World of Ash

From my list on dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic.

Who am I?

I’m a writer who loves to read and wants to write all the fantasy genres, or at least, wants to try. I’ve always been fascinated by monsters and the question, “What if?” Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, and Fantasy gives us the freedom to explore both these things. It’s amazing how these genres can bend our world and expectation when we explore these two things. What if the world ended but not in the way we expect? What if monsters were real? What if we are the real monsters? These questions are terrifying but so fascinating to consider and blending fantasy with apocalyptic has been a safe way to explore them.

Shauna's book list on dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic

Shauna Granger Why did Shauna love this book?

This one is totally different than the others on my list, but when I was diving into these related genres and finding myself more and more inspired by them, it was always a surprise and a treat to find a book that just completely defied all genre expectations. The book blends Sci-Fi with Fantasy, something I’ve always enjoyed if done well, and something that made me think maybe I could try my hand at this. I was never that great in science or math, even though I tried, but the idea that we could mix Sci-Fi with Fantasy, now that was intriguing. And throw in a little unexpected romance and I think you have a really well-rounded adventure. Humans are the root cause of the ending of the human race, so obviously humans have to undo what they’ve done, but your average person is just trying to survive the fallout.

By Lauren DeStefano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wither 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?

A stunning debut YA novel, destined to blow the dystopian genre wide open - The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation. This edition will contain a sneak preview of Fever, and a brand new short story by Lauren DeStefano: "The First Bride".

Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home - before her time runs out forever.

What if you knew you exactly when you would die?

In our brave new…

Book cover of Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Jack Kelley Author Of Crystal and the Underlings: The future of humanity

From my list on that capture the not-so-distant future.

Who am I?

Ever since middle school, when our teacher promised that we would have flying cars in our lifetimes, I’ve had a keen interest in scientific and technological breakthroughs. And now, with the advancements in Artificial Intelligence and genetic engineering, my interest has only grown. I love technology, but my concern is that with the acceleration of AI, science is outpacing common sense. Are we creating our replacements? I hope you read my new novel: Crystal and the Underlings: the future of humanity, and discover what could happen when AI takes over!

Jack's book list on that capture the not-so-distant future

Jack Kelley Why did Jack love this book?

Michio Kaku’s Visions inspired me to write my first novel focusing on artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and Androids.

Kaku interviewed one hundred and fifty peers in the scientific community to predict what the future might be like. Genetic Elites will roam the earth as well as Humanoid Robots, where Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing lead the way to seemingly impossible breakthroughs.

Kaku’s Visions is fast becoming our reality.

By Michio Kaku,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New in paperback, from the bestselling author of Hyperspace, this spellbinding book brings together the cutting-edge research of today's foremost scientists to explore the science of tomorrow. Michio Kaku describes the development of computers and artificial intelligence, reveals how the decoding of the genetic structure of DNA will allow us to alter and reshape our genetic inheritance, and observes how quantum physicists are perfecting new ways of
harnessing the matter and energy of the Universe. Visions is an exhilarating adventure into the future of our planet and ourselves.

Book cover of What Sort of People Should There Be? Genetic Engineering, Brain Control and their Impact on our Future World

Françoise Baylis Author Of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing

From my list on genetic engineering and designer babies.

Who am I?

I'm a philosopher with a specialization in bioethics. My work is at the intersection of policy and practice. It is grounded in a deep commitment to public education, engagement, and empowerment, as well as a strong desire to “make the powerful care.” I maintain that “the human genome belongs to us all. It’s something we have in common, and so we all have the right to have a say.” I believe the pivotal question that we all need to ask is “What kind of world do we want to live in?” Once we have an answer to this question, we can meaningfully address the more pointed question, “Will CRISPR technology help us build that world?”

Françoise's book list on genetic engineering and designer babies

Françoise Baylis Why did Françoise love this book?

Many assert that “science is outpacing ethics.”

In my book I argue that this claim is false and disingenuous. Consider this one example. Forty years ago, Glover anticipated the myriad ways in which genetic and neuro technologies might “change the central framework of human life.”

In this prescient book, Glover anticipates the use of genetic engineering and advocates caution as well as gradualness. Avoiding the risk of irreversible disaster is a priority. Glover outlines the drawbacks of centralized decision-making as well as the problems with piecemeal, short-term decision-making.

He enjoins us to reflect on what sort of people there should be and what sort of future we should try to bring about. My own work focuses on what kind of world we want to live in and, as such, we are kindred spirits.

By Jonathan Glover,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Sort of People Should There Be? Genetic Engineering, Brain Control and their Impact on our Future World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This was the first philosophical book on the ethics of genetic choices, and (in its second half) the first book on what is now called “neuroethics”: questions about mood-changing drugs, about inhabiting virtual realities, and about the use of brain-scanning techniques to access the contents of people’s minds. "This book is about some questions to do with the future of mankind. The questions have been selected on two grounds. They arise out of scientific developments whose beginnings we can already see, such as genetic engineering and behaviour control. And they involve fundamental values: these technologies may change the central framework…

Book cover of GMOs Decoded: A Skeptic's View of Genetically Modified Foods

Jada Benn Torres and  Gabriel A. Torres Colón Author Of Genetic Ancestry: Our Stories, Our Pasts

From my list on what happens when biology and culture collide.

Who are we?

We met as “baby anthropologists” in graduate school and have stuck together ever since. With Jada’s training in genetic anthropology and Gabriel’s training in cultural anthropology, we’ve accompanied each other to our various field sites throughout the Caribbean, Spain, and the US Midwest. Aside from our book, each of us has authored many peer-reviewed publications, including an award-winning article in the journal Human Biology. Though we both have our own independent research agendas, our interests overlap on several topics including genetic ancestry. Our different anthropological training and our mutual love for our discipline always makes for interesting perspectives on a variety of topics.

Jada's book list on what happens when biology and culture collide

Jada Benn Torres and  Gabriel A. Torres Colón Why did Jada love this book?

Krimsky lays out contemporary debates about the development and use of genetically modified foods. His perspectives are evidenced-based, informative, and are useful for critically thinking about genetically modified foods. After reading this book, we felt confident about making up our own minds regarding the creation, use, and ingestion of genetically modified foods.

By Sheldon Krimsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The debate over genetically modified organisms: health and safety concerns, environmental impact, and scientific opinions.

Since they were introduced to the market in the late 1990s, GMOs (genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified crops), have been subject to a barrage of criticism. Agriculture has welcomed this new technology, but public opposition has been loud and scientific opinion mixed. In GMOs Decoded, Sheldon Krimsky examines the controversies over GMOs—health and safety concerns, environmental issues, the implications for world hunger, and the scientific consensus (or lack of one). He explores the viewpoints of a range of GMO skeptics, from public advocacy groups…

Book cover of Stand on Zanzibar

T.R. Thompson Author Of The Forked Path

From T.R.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Gamer Drinker Thinker Smart-arse

T.R.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

T.R. Thompson Why did T.R. love this book?

Another re-read, this one a lot slower and darker. Written in 1968, it depicts a future where overpopulation is rife; genetic engineering is routine, corporations have taken over democracy, technology controls human relationships, and mass-marketed drugs keep billions docile. Sound familiar?

Despite the grim world-building, it's also one of the funniest classic sci-fi novels.

By John Brunner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in a Tor Essentials edition, the Hugo Award-winning, uncannily prophetic Stand on Zanizbar is a science fiction novel unlike any before in that remains an insightful look at America’s downfall that allows us to see what has been, what is, and what is to come.

“There are certain things John Brunner achieved, which no one has done before or since.” ― Bruce Sterling

Genetic engineering is routine, corporations have usurped democracy, technology governs human relationship, and mass-marketed psychosomatic drugs keep billions docile. The systems of the United States are universal in reach and out of control. Every citizen is…

Book cover of Double Helix

John Cardina Author Of Lives of Weeds: Opportunism, Resistance, Folly

From my list on science and nature by scientists.

Who am I?

I’ve been exploring the natural world most of my life as a gardener, naturalist, student, and researcher. I’ve come to appreciate the essentiality of our dependence on plant and other animal life. But I always want to know more. So I try to read across diverse areas of science as well as history, anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. I want to know the mind of the thinker, the discoverer of ideas, the developer of technology. I want to understand the process of creativity from the view of the artist or inventor. Thus, I seek first-person accounts of scientists, doctors, inventors, as they struggle to understand the world that fascinates them.

John's book list on science and nature by scientists

John Cardina Why did John love this book?

This is the classic personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. I read it as an early college assignment, but now find it rich in history, biology, and insight. Watson described himself as an ornithology undergraduate who avoided chemistry and physics courses in spite of a desire to do science—a common sentiment. He unfolds in frank detail how the world of science worked, and sometimes didn’t work, early post-WWII. We learn as much about bond angles and hydration as we do about laboratory politics and personality quirks beneath the effort to puzzle out the structure and function of DNA. The epilogue pays tribute to less well-known collaborators, especially Rosalind Franklin, sometimes dismissed as uncooperative, but recognized here for her essential contributions and competence as a scientist.

By Nancy Werlin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Double Helix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Eighteen year old Eli Samuels has just graduated from high school and lucked into a job at Wyatt Transgenics—offered to him by Dr. Quincy Wyatt, the legendary molecular biologist. The salary is substantial, the work is interesting, and Dr. Wyatt seems to be paying special attention to Eli.

Is it too good to be true? Eli's girlfriend doesn't think so, but his father is vehemently against his taking the job and won't explain why. Eli knows that there's some connection between Dr. Wyatt and his parents—something too painful for his father to discuss. Something to do with his mother, who…

Book cover of Leviathan

Reese Hogan Author Of Shrouded Loyalties

From my list on cross-dressing women in wartime.

Who am I?

As a nonbinary trans guy, I grew up obsessed with novels about women disguising themselves as men. I loved everything about the trope, and always felt disappointed when they had to go back to living as women. It is a trope I eagerly embraced when I wrote Shrouded Loyalties, and though I didn’t yet know the term “transgender,” I was already exploring my own gender identity through my reading and writing of this theme. The books I’ve chosen to highlight here are ones that became some of my very favorites, and also feature action-packed wartime settings like the one used in Shrouded Loyalties.

Reese's book list on cross-dressing women in wartime

Reese Hogan Why did Reese love this book?

With a vibrant steampunk setting that pits airships against fantastical creatures, Leviathan follows the story of Deryn Sharp, who joins the air service disguised as a male soldier. The second character we follow is a young prince disguised as a commoner, trying to flee the country Deryn is fighting. This is my favorite type of story, told in the same way as in my book: with tight points of view from drastically different characters on opposing sides of a war, who both have big secrets that could destroy them if the other finds out. Action-packed and daring, it was everything I’d hoped for when I picked it up.

By Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Leviathan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Two opposing forces are on the brink of war. The Clankers - who put their faith in machinery - and the Darwinists - who have begun evolving living creatures into tools. Prince Aleksandar, the would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, comes from a family of Clankers, and travels the country in a walker, a heavily-fortified tank on legs. Meanwhile Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, works for the British Empire, crewing the ultimate flying machine: an airship made of living animals. Now, as Alek flees from his own people, and Deryn crash-lands in enemy territory, their lives are…