The most recommended military science fiction

Who picked these books? Meet our 110 experts.

110 authors created a book list connected to military science fiction, and here are their favorite military science fiction books.
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Book cover of A Memory Called Empire

R.M. Olson Author Of Redshift

From my list on restoring your faith in humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former journalist-turned-lawyer and a recovering news junky, I’ve spent much of my life watching unhappy scenarios play out. But what’s always astonished me me is how, no matter how bad things get or how difficult the situation, there’s a spark of humanity, of kindness and compassion and optimism, that comes out in people at the most unexpected of times. Now, as an author and a parent, I find myself drawn to stories that remind me of that—that no matter how bleak life may look, how cruel or arbitrary the circumstances, there’s something good and beautiful and worth fighting for, not “somewhere out there,” but inside us. 

R.M.'s book list on restoring your faith in humanity

R.M. Olson Why did R.M. love this book?

The delicious worldbuilding, with its gorgeous, sensual details, and the intriguing story setup, were the things that grabbed me and pulled me into the book. The characters—funny, complicated, and utterly loveable—convinced me to stay.

But it was the complex, beautiful exploration of identity, belonging, love, grief, and longing that’s stayed with me since I listened to the last word of the audiobook. This book manages to be both an exciting and action-packed adventure and a beautiful tribute to the bittersweet complexities of being human. 

By Arkady Martine,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Memory Called Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This incredible opening to the duology recalls the best of John le Carre, Iain M. Banks's Culture novels and Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy.

In a war of lies she seeks the truth . . .

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire's interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn't accidental - and she might be next.

Now Mahit must navigate the capital's enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the…


Book cover of Damnation Alley

Justin Oldham Author Of Search for Haven

From my list on post-apocalyptic showcasing humanity’s drive to survive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong fan of all things post-apocalyptic. Books, movies, television, games – I have enjoyed all of it. I knew I wanted to write post-apocalyptic fiction before I was ten years old. I had to wait almost three decades before life gave me the opportunity to do it. I’ve always been fascinated by the many different ways people can survive these kinds of catastrophes. As dark and visceral as the genre can sometimes be, I will always look for the elements of hope.

Justin's book list on post-apocalyptic showcasing humanity’s drive to survive

Justin Oldham Why did Justin love this book?

This might be the ultimate post-apocalyptic road trip. I enjoyed the fast pacing and irreverent humor. The urgency of the task at hand is there from start to finish. I liked the plot and the pacing. This story made me appreciate the lighter side of the genre. Even though the world has gone to pot, people are still people, and fun is part of the human experience.

By Roger Zelazny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hell Tanner isn't the sort of guy you'd mistake for a hero: he's a fast-driving car thief, a smuggler, and a stone-cold killer. Facing life in prison for his various crimes, he's given a choice: Rot away his remaining years in a tiny jail cell, or drive cross-country and deliver a case of antiserum to the plague-ridden people of Boston, Massachusetts. The chance of a full pardon does wonders for getting his attention. And don't mistake this mission of mercy for any kind of normal road trip-not when there are radioactive storms, hordes of carnivorous beasts, and giant, mutated scorpions…


Book cover of Armor

Wayne Santos Author Of The Chimera Code

From my list on science fiction and fantasy books with a ton of action.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Canadian-Filipino science fiction and fantasy author who’s grown up on a steady diet of genre novels, movies, television, anime, and video games. I’m just as happy writing about the intricacies of hacking a system as I am about the ways magic can enrich or complicate lives. I’ve always loved explosive action in other media but since I’ll never be a director with resources to trash real cars or demolish buildings, I became a novelist. You can have all the actions and explosions you want without needing a 100 million dollar budget, and I’ve found some amazing examples of other writers who do just that.

Wayne's book list on science fiction and fantasy books with a ton of action

Wayne Santos Why did Wayne love this book?

While a lot of people look to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers as the first book to tackle powered battle armor, and soldiers using them to fight aliens, Armor made a far greater impression on me and had me coming back to it again and again.

Felix is a volunteer in a war against the aliens nicknamed “ants,” and while he can’t stand the carnage and senseless loss of life, he’s also very, very good at combat. The first quarter of the book is like the Normandy invasion set on another planet, with amazing battles and acts of, if not courage, survival. A gripping tale of the toll of war.

By John Steakley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Felix is an Earth soldier, encased in special body armour designed to withstand Earth's most implacable enemy - a bio-engineered, insectoid alien horde. But Felix is also equipped with internal mechanisms that enable him and his fellow soldiers to survive battle situations that would normally destroy a man's mind. This is a remarkable novel of the horror, the courage and the aftermath of combat - and how the strength of the human spirit can be the greatest armour of all.


Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

Book cover of Price of Vengeance

Kurt D. Springs

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Teacher Cook Barista Guardian

Kurt's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Liam was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a soldier. After being cut off from the city, Liam finds that there is an alien intelligence behind the chitin. To defeat it, he must discover who he is and how to use his powers. Then, Liam discovers that a traitor, responsible for his birth parents' deaths, had…

Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

What is this book about?

"From the cover to the opening pages, Price of Vengeance grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride. Fasten your seat belts for this book." -S. J. Francis, author of Shattered Lies

What is the Price of Vengeance? One could understand why Liam was angry. He was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a…


Book cover of The Age of Odin

Amalia Dillin Author Of From Asgard, With Love

From my list on Norse gods set in the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been immersed in Norse Myth for more than a decade and writing books about the Gods I’ve always wanted to read. My Fate of the Gods trilogy is a mythic mash-up of Biblical, Norse, Greek, and Egyptian myth, and writing as Amalia Carosella, my book Daughter of a Thousand Years is Viking age historical fiction about Freydis, the daughter of Erik the Red. Additionally, as a Norse Pagan polytheist myself, finding books that do justice to the Gods in our modern world is that much more important to me than your average reader - I’m always looking to celebrate the books that bring them to life!

Amalia's book list on Norse gods set in the modern world

Amalia Dillin Why did Amalia love this book?

The God: Skadi, Freya, Thor (and more!)

Another take on Ragnarok, but wholly different from Norse Code. Set in a post-apocalyptic mini Ice Age—the fimbulwinter that precedes Ragnarok—and following a soldier/mercenary who signs himself up with no real idea of what he’s in for, Age of Odin gives us an action-packed war-driven adventure with fun takes on familiar and less familiar gods along the way—even including Ratatosk, the squirrel who resides upon and spreads gossip all along the World Tree.

By James Lovegrove,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gideon Coxall was a good soldier but bad at everything else, until a roadside explosive device leaves him with one deaf ear and a British Army half-pension. So when he hears about the Valhalla Project, it's like a dream come true. They're recruiting former service personnel for excellent pay, no questions asked, to take part in unspecified combat operations.

The last thing Gid expects is to find himself fighting alongside ancient Viking gods. The world is in the grip of one of the worst winters it has ever known, and Ragnaroek - the fabled final conflict of the Sagas -…


Book cover of Contact Front

Tyler E. C. Burnworth Author Of Redshift

From my list on military sci fi that will keep you awake at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing since I was 7 years old. Star Wars had a big influence on me, but as I got older I gravitated toward Halo: Combat Evolved and Starship Troopers. Modern stories by the likes of Jason Anspach and Nick Cole, JN Chaney, and Rick Partlow...these are the stories that keep me up at night, my mind reeling with the insanity of what I've just read, pondering how close we are as a society to achieving the outlandish adventures contained in these books. I was in the Air Force for 14 years as an F-16 mechanic. I found my voice by combining my experiences and my passion for Science Fiction.

Tyler's book list on military sci fi that will keep you awake at night

Tyler E. C. Burnworth Why did Tyler love this book?

Think Starship Troopers updated for a modern audience, with a compelling main character whose rough upbringing launches his career as a military leader against a vicious and unique enemy.

I found myself mesmerized by the nuance, feeling, and technology in this book. No detail is too small to be left out, and it really fleshes out the universe presented in this book. The military lifestyle is captured with stark clarity, political intrusions on the military's operations are poignant and realistic, and the characters come alive with every turn of the page.

Do not sleep on this one, it's exactly the kind of story that will keep you up at night, thinking that the future could turn out just like the ideas presented in this epic story.

By Rick Partlow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Go to war or go to jail.

For small-time street hustler Cam Alvarez, the choice is simple.  He has no family, no friends, no place in the world…nothing to lose.  When his latest con results in the death of a cartel hitman, Cam opts to join the Marines and leave Earth to fight a vicious alien enemy.  

Drafted into the Marine Drop-Troopers, Cam discovers there’s one thing he’s even better at than running street-con games, and that’s killing the enemy.  Wrapped in an armored battlesuit, Cam finds purpose amidst the horror and destruction of the war, and the opportunity for…


Book cover of Star Trek: Destiny #1: Gods of Night

Bernd Perplies Author Of Star Trek Prometheus: Fire with Fire

From my list on Star Trek novels that will warp you into hyperspace.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a Star Trek fan and storyteller all my life. The first stories I wrote at school, the first Star Trek episodes I watched as The Next Generation debuted on German TV. Many years have gone by since then. I watched hundreds of Star Trek episodes and professionally penned dozens of fantasy and science fiction novels for children and adults, like Drachengasse 13 (“Dragon’s Alley 13”, not translated) or Der Drachenjaeger (“Black Leviathan,” Tor Books). The culmination of both being a fan and a writer came in 2016 when, with Star Trek: Prometheus, I was allowed to add my own small part to the ever-growing Star Trek literary universe.

Bernd's book list on Star Trek novels that will warp you into hyperspace

Bernd Perplies Why did Bernd love this book?

Many Star Trek books are about dangers threatening a starship, a colony, or even a planet. “Hold my beer,” said Mack – and let the Borg, this mechanical hive-mind terror, invade the whole Alpha and Beta Quadrant of our galaxy.

Star Trek Destiny (a trilogy, but you can buy it as an omnibus edition) depicts a catastrophe on a scale that’s hardly imaginable. I can’t tell you how much I was on the edge of my seat when the first armada of Borg cubes arrived – with no intention of assimilating anyone at all!

Although there are world-breaking tragedies to be witnessed, the book is not all about fighting battles. It also delves into the origin of the Borg, and it concludes their overall story arc in a very “trekkie” way. I like that a lot!

By David Mack,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Borg return -- with a vengeance! Blitzkreig attacks by the single-minded aliens with their hive mentality and their mission to assimilate every intelligent being they encounter are leaving whole worlds aflame. No one knows how they are slipping past Starfleet's defences, so Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprisecreware detailed to find out -- and to put a stop to it if they can. Meanwhile, thousands of light years away, Captain Will Riker and the crew of the Titanfollow bizarre energy pulses to a mysterious, hidden world. There they find a figure out of legend: a Starfleet captain long thought…


Book cover of Velocity Weapon

Andrew Sweet Author Of Southern Highlands: Obi of Mars

From my list on sci-fi featuring world-changing female badasses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved science fiction. My father was an Asimov junkie, and our house was packed with science fiction novels and stories from Azimov to Heinlein to Wyndham and Wilhelm. I began writing science fiction in high school, yet only recently published my first 4 novels (one of which won a Bookfest award). I hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science (bioinformatics), and I stay on top of science to inform my writing. It’s through this background that I select novels, seeking out new tropes and ideas in technological advancement. Each of these novels I mention exceeded my expectations and then some. Pick one up today—you won’t be disappointed!

Andrew's book list on sci-fi featuring world-changing female badasses

Andrew Sweet Why did Andrew love this book?

I couldn’t put Velocity Weapon down for days and it very much interfered with my life (in a good way). This novel makes artificial intelligence a central theme but avoids the simplistic pitfall attraction of “what if AI goes evil”. Megan O’Keefe highlights what we see in real life: AI reflects the community in which it was created. The twists and turns in this novel are worthy of the world’s best roller coasters, and it’s impossible not to root for Sanda and Biran Greeves, siblings separated during an interplanetary conflict. Megan also drops little easter eggs into her novel (I particularly love the reference to Ada Lovelace in the planet named Ada Prime). If you want a novel that keeps you guessing, this is the one for you!

By Megan E. O'Keefe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOMINATED FOR THE PHILIP K. DICK AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL * Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera trilogy by award-winning author Megan O'Keefe.
Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction.
However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding…


Book cover of All You Need Is Kill

Aaron Dennis Author Of Beyond the End of the World: Lokians 1

From my list on sci-fi books with a good dose of science.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who am I to be an expert? I'm not. I know what I like and why, and I also know what I dislike. I have no idea what you like or dislike, and I don't presume to know more than anyone else. I do not have a passion for sci-fi; I have a predilection for it. I've been writing creatively all my life. Sci fi is not all I read or write either. At the end of the day, I only need to know that I've given life my best shot.

Aaron's book list on sci-fi books with a good dose of science

Aaron Dennis Why did Aaron love this book?

This book doesn't really need a reason to be recommended. I mean, c'mon, we've all seen The Edge of Tomorrow, and admittedly, I did not read the novel until after I saw the movie. Most Americans don't know much about, less yet come across, Japanese graphic novels unless they're already into that kind of stuff.

Regardless, reading the book after seeing the movie was a pleasant surprise. It's like reading Dreamcatcher by Stephen King after seeing the movie. The movies never do the books justice.

By Hiroshi Sakurazaka,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked All You Need Is Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armour and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji's escape, or to his final death?


Book cover of Altered Carbon

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?

What I like most about this novel is how well crafted it is and the pure imagination behind it. The plot is a usual noir mystery, with the mystery actually remaining as such until the end. The characters are also fantastic and completely believable.

I really enjoyed how the story explored the implications of a transhuman world where individuals can transfer their thoughts, memories, and even personalities into different bodies based on their financial means. 

By Richard K. Morgan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Altered Carbon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

MAJOR NEW NETFLIX SERIES

This must-read story is a confident, action-and-violence packed thriller, and future classic noir SF novel from a multi-award-winning author.

Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.

But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a…


Book cover of The Guns Above

Shae Ford Author Of Harbinger

From my list on sci-fi/fantasy featuring fierce warrior women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Texas during a time when girls still had to wear poofy dresses and pantyhose, and boys got to have all the fun. The whole idea of traditional womanhood never fit me. It took a long time, but I finally reconciled with the fact that being able to run in heels and pop a grackle off the birdfeeder from thirty yards out are not mutually exclusive: a skill is a skill, and the injection of some femininity into a traditionally masculine feat can be wildly refreshing. We’ve only just begun to explore the genre of the fierce warrior woman—mine is merely one of infinite definitions.   

Shae's book list on sci-fi/fantasy featuring fierce warrior women

Shae Ford Why did Shae love this book?

This novel begins in the fiery aftermath of a gruesome airship battle—and it only gets better from there. Our heroine, Josette, is a scrappy, hardworking airship captain who must contend with the undermining efforts of the fleet’s dubious general and his spies, all while fighting *actual* battles against an enemy that wants to blow her crew out of the sky. What really captured my attention about this book was the incredible descriptive voice displayed by the author: from the gory battle scenes to the complex inner workings of an airship, this is a truly immersive adventure. Josette is a smart, relatable heroine who pulls no punches and doesn’t let herself get sucked into the political minutiae, which keeps the story moving at a good clip. 

By Robyn Bennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They say it's not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He's also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

When the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of…