The most recommended books about spacecraft

Who picked these books? Meet our 51 experts.

51 authors created a book list connected to spacecraft, and here are their favorite spacecraft books.
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What type of spacecraft book?


Who Goes There?

By John W. Campbell,

Book cover of Who Goes There?

Michael Brumm Author Of The Cryptid Club #1: Bigfoot Takes the Field

From the list on monster lovers (aka a "beast" for the senses).

Who am I?

On the wall in my office, I have an old newspaper article containing a recipe for Boris Karloff's guacamole. (If you're interested, the title of the article is "Boris Karloff Mad About Mexican Food.") I keep it there because it reminds me of what I love about this genre, in that monsters can contain multitudes. They're not just evil... they can also love guacamole. A good monster novel will have you both cowering in fear and feeling a pang of empathy for the creature, making it a ton of fun to read. 

Michael's book list on monster lovers (aka a "beast" for the senses)

Why did Michael love this book?

This book was the basis for the movie The Thing, which I love—the first movie, not the remake.

To me, this book is just an awesome setting for a monster tale. Researchers in the Antarctic trapped with a thawed-out alien creature? I mean, come on! That’s everything I want in a book. It’s a quick read, but it’s truly phenomenal… and frightening.

By John W. Campbell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Who Goes There? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who Goes There?, the novella that formed the basis of the film The Thing, is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient body of a crash-landed alien.

Six Wakes

By Mur Lafferty,

Book cover of Six Wakes

Louise Carey Author Of Inscape

From Louise's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Escape room designer Dungeon master Reader Horror movie fanatic

Louise's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Louise love this book?

I was hooked on this locked room mystery from the opening premise: six newly minted clones awake on a generation ship and must solve their own murders.

The rest of the story did not disappoint, taking me on a crash course through the history, ethics, and sociological implications of cloning, a technology that in this future society has made many people functionally immortal.

I love a satisfying mystery, especially one with strong sci-fi underpinnings, so this really hit the spot for me.

By Mur Lafferty,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Six Wakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this Hugo nominated science fiction thriller by Mur Lafferty, a crew of clones awakens aboard a space ship to find they're being hunted-and any one of them could be the killer.

Maria Arena awakens in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. She has no memory of how she died. This is new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria's vat is one of seven, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so…

Book cover of The Things We Learn When We're Dead

Janet Philp Author Of The Lama Drama 2019 (The 3rd Sphere)

From the list on that make you think ‘what if…’.

Who am I?

I am a freelance anatomy educator, artist, author, mother, and dog owner. I like to fill my time by engaging the public with science, meeting them where they are and exploring their boundaries. If they are interested in zombies, or flying unicorns then let's start there and mix fantasy and reality to make them think.

Janet's book list on that make you think ‘what if…’

Why did Janet love this book?

In quite a challenging tale Lorna Love finds herself dead and on a spaceship. As the memories of her life return we find a question being posed; does the way you remember things affect the influence they have on your life? It’s quite a quirky book but generates a lot of thought about the way you view events and the way you let them affect you.

By Charlie Laidlaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Things We Learn When We're Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Things We Learn When We're Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital - but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.

It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional…

Book cover of Journey to the Moon (Library of Flight)

Don Eyles Author Of Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir

From the list on by Apollo insiders.

Who am I?

I have read most of the books written about Apollo, especially those ostensibly written by my fellow participants. I have read these books for pleasure, to find out about parts of the moon effort that I did not see first-hand, and to learn what I could from the authors’ mistakes and successes — with a view to the writing of my own book. The books I have come to value the most are the books that seem to have been created for some other reason than commercial gain, the books unmarred by ghostwriting or heavy-handed editing, the books where the author’s authentic voice speaks from the page.

Don's book list on by Apollo insiders

Why did Don love this book?

Eldon Hall led the development of the Apollo Guidance Computer, that one-cubic-foot device with 76kb of memory that navigated, guided, and controlled each of the Apollo spacecraft — the machine that I helped program. His book is both a detailed description of the Apollo computer and a history of its development. The most dramatic chapter chronicles the bold decision to use integrated circuits in the design of the computer — all of the same type, to encourage the vendor to keep making them — although that technology was then anything but reliable. 

By Eldon C. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Journey to the Moon (Library of Flight) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first of its kind, Journey to the Moon details the history and design of the computer that enabled U.S. astronauts to land on the moon. The book recalls the history of computer technology, both hardware and software, and the applications of digital computing to missile guidance systems and manned spacecraft. The book also offers graphics and photos drawn from the Draper Laboratories' archives that illustrate the technology and related events during the Apollo project. Written for experts as well as lay persons, Journey to the Moon is the first book of its kind and a must for anyone interested…

Astro Pea

By Amalia Hoffman,

Book cover of Astro Pea

Katherine Pryor Author Of Zora's Zucchini

From the list on to help kids like vegetables and one fruit.

Who am I?

Katherine Pryor is the award-winning author of several picture books about food and gardens. In addition to writing, she has worked to create better food choices at institutions, corporations, and food banks. She gardens with her young twins at their home on an island in northwest Washington. 

Katherine's book list on to help kids like vegetables and one fruit

Why did Katherine love this book?

When I first read this board book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Amalia Hoffman’s vibrant chalk art is amazing, but the plot is a bit odd and the puns were corny. (Sorry, one really can’t help making vegetable puns after reading this book.) But my kids were obsessed! It moved into heavy rotation at our house, and I came to love little Pete the pea who leaves his safe pea pod to travel the galaxy on his carrot spaceship. It’s full of jokes and adventures perfect for the preschool crowd. I mean, who doesn’t want carrot rocketships for a snack?

By Amalia Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Imagine what would happen if fresh veggies could go on a cosmic adventure! Well, blast off with Pete the pea and find out what he discovers outside his pod. Pete joins other curiously shaped vegetables such as an eggplant, artichoke, cauliflower, ear of corn, and mushroom as they each take a starring role in this creative tale of space exploration, daring, and friendship.Who knew healthy food could be so much fun? Let your imagination run to space and back as ordinary vegetables take on a whole new meaning!

Rendezvous with Rama

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Book cover of Rendezvous with Rama

James L. Cambias Author Of The Scarab Mission

From the list on exploring big things in space.

Who am I?

I first stumbled on the idea of colonizing space when I read Adrian Berry's The Next Ten Thousand Years and T.A. Heppenheimer's Colonies in Space, back in the late 1970s. In those post-Apollo, pre-Space Shuttle years, colonizing outer space seemed inevitable. I was hooked: this stuff was real, and it was going to happen. It might even happen to me. But living in space isn't very exciting to read about. Of course, just a few years after reading those books I was watching Indiana Jones dodge deathtraps in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Combine the two: space colonies full of danger and surprises are much better!

James' book list on exploring big things in space

Why did James love this book?

Rama is a spaceship, not a space station, but it's huge and ancient, and at first appears to be abandoned. Then the human explorers realize it's just sleeping. This is a prime example of science fiction's "sense of wonder" at the strangeness of the Universe. When I read it, at about age 14, it utterly blew me away with its combination of rock-hard science and utter weirdness. It also has the best final line ever.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Rendezvous with Rama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year 2130, a mysterious and apparently untenanted alien spaceship, Rama, enters our solar system. The first product of an alien civilisation to be encountered by man, it reveals a world of technological marvels and an unparalleled artificial ecology.

But what is its purpose in 2131?

Who is inside it?

And why?


By Octavia E. Butler,

Book cover of Dawn

Ryan Southwick Author Of Holtondome

From the list on science fiction that broke the mold.

Who am I?

Although I grew up reading fantasy, 20+ years in the tech industry inevitably drew me to science fiction. Even so, I felt the genre often focused too much on the technical aspects of storytelling and not enough on people. I also admired the bold authors who blended radically different concepts into seamless and compelling stories that even non-science-fiction fans could enjoy. And so with each of the 12 books I’ve written to date, I’ve endeavored to push the boundaries of science fiction in new and interesting directions while keeping it centered on the human experience and accessible to general readers, just as the books in this list have.

Ryan's book list on science fiction that broke the mold

Why did Ryan love this book?

Dawn was the first book that nailed my jaw to the table from the opening chapter right through to the last page. I marveled not only at Butler’s wonderful style and inventiveness, but at the boundaries she crossed that I had never dared, and did so without inflicting emotional destruction. Better, she married these shocking concepts with complex social relationships, sensuality, a brilliantly emergent plot, and radical views of a future that still make me squirm (in a good way). An absolute masterpiece that changed my definition of science fiction done well.

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the most significant literary artists of the twentieth century' JUNOT DIAZ

'Octavia Butler was playing out our very real possibilities as humans. I think she can help each of us to do the same' GLORIA STEINEM

One woman is called upon to reconstruct humanity in this hopeful, thought-provoking novel by the bestselling, award-winning author. For readers of Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When Lilith lyapo wakes in a small white room with no doors or windows, she remembers a devastating war, and a husband and child long lost to her.

She finds herself living…

Book cover of Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

Ryan Dalton Author Of This Last Adventure

From the list on embracing your inner geek.

Who am I?

I’ve always described myself as a lifelong geek. I grew up reading King Arthur legends, watching Star Wars and The NeverEnding Story until I could recite every line, running secret science experiments in my room, and burying my nose in every book I could get my hands on. As I grew, I came to appreciate that there are many different varieties of geeks. Being a geek generally means that you have a true, deep passion for something, and you pursue it unapologetically and with joy. So I wanted to give book recommendations that will appeal to whatever kind of geek you consider yourself.

Ryan's book list on embracing your inner geek

Why did Ryan love this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner space adventure geek. Seventh Grade vs. The Galaxy grabs your hand and pulls you into deep space for a grand, fun, and funny star-sweeping good time. There’s excitement, cool spaceships, scary alien races, and an awesome group of kids that suddenly finds themselves in over their heads. You won’t believe how quickly you zip through this book. You just won’t want to put it down.

By Joshua S. Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Percy Jackson meets Star Trek

PSS 118 is just your typical school―except that it's a rickety old spaceship orbiting Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter. Jack's dad used to be the science teacher, until he got fired for tinkering with the ship. Now Jack just wants to get through the last day of school without anything else going wrong.

But when the school is mysteriously attacked, Jack discovers that his dad has built humanity's first light-speed engine―and given Jack control of it. To save the ship, Jack catapults it hundreds of light-years away . . . and right into the clutches…

The Witches of Karres

By James H. Schmitz, Eric Flint (editor),

Book cover of The Witches of Karres

Jerry Oltion Author Of Paradise Passed

From the list on classic science fiction that bear re-re-reading.

Who am I?

I've been reading science fiction since I was old enough to hold a book upright, and writing it for almost as long. I grew up on the classics and still go back to them. I re-read books to study how their authors managed their craft, hoping to learn something useful in my own writing, but I also re-read books for the sheer pleasure of revisiting a favorite adventure. When I read something for the second (or the seventh) time, I know I'm going to enjoy it, and can savor the language as well as the story. It's like ordering a favorite meal in a restaurant: You know what you're getting, and can relax and enjoy it.

Jerry's book list on classic science fiction that bear re-re-reading

Why did Jerry love this book?

I can still quote the opening of this novel verbatim: "It was around the hub of the evening on the planet of Porlumma that Captain Pausert, commercial traveler from the republic of Nikkeldepain, met the first of the witches of Karres. It was just plain fate, so far as he could see." Thus opens the most delightful romp in all of science fiction. When Pausert rescues three enslaved young girls, he sets in motion a comedy of errors, conspiracy, piracy, and intrigue that expands to involve the entire galaxy. Just who are these mysterious witches of Karres, and how can Captain Pausert return them safely to their home when everyone who's anyone is out to get them...and him?

By James H. Schmitz, Eric Flint (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Witches Of Karres

Across the Universe

By Beth Revis,

Book cover of Across the Universe

A.N. Willis Author Of The Corridor

From the list on YA sci-fi/fantasy with a swoon-inducing love story.

Who am I?

I fell in love with young adult romance from the first time I read Twilight. Teenagers feel a first-time love so deeply—especially when there are life-and-death fantastical dangers surrounding them! I couldn’t get enough of these sci-fi/fantasy love stories, so I started writing my own. These picks are for YA fans who enjoy a sprinkling of magic or an epic space battle thrown in with their heart-pounding romance.

A.N.'s book list on YA sci-fi/fantasy with a swoon-inducing love story

Why did A.N. love this book?

A love story for the ages, set inside of a giant spaceship! Amy wakes up from cryogenic sleep only to fall for a boy she was never supposed to meet… Add in great writing, a murder mystery, and the dark vacuum of space, and you’ve got every ingredient for a timeless young adult journey. Amy + Elder forever.

By Beth Revis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone.

Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her; and more if she'll let him.

But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies? A killer is out there - and Amy has nowhere to hide .…

It Starts with a Kiss

By J.L. Peridot,

Book cover of It Starts with a Kiss

Skye McDonald Author Of The Not So Nice Girl

From the list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon.

Who am I?

I’m a woman. Laughing, crying, and swooning are all things I know intimately—sometimes heart-achingly. I’m living my life with my heart open, learning to be unashamedly me. That means I love, sometimes recklessly. That meant I hurt, sometimes more than anyone could know. And that means I swoon, not only for romance but also for the beauty of this “wild and precious life.” My recommended novels take you through all the feels. My own novels use my roots in Nashville, TN. Family and music are key. But more than that, my books are about learning to love yourself. I’ve learned personally that that’s the true happily ever after.

Skye's book list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon

Why did Skye love this book?

It Starts With A Kiss is a cyber romance novella. JL Peridot’s prose is lyrical and beautiful. This book has steam and spaceships. What’s not to love for a romantic geek like me? 

Peridot's style fascinates me. Her voice is unique, almost like she’s casting a spell. The story may unfold on a spaceship, but she paints with words in a way that keeps the cold darkness of space anything but detached. And, come on: it’s not every author who can make a pair of coveralls sexy like Peridot does in this book!  

If you enjoy It Starts With A Kiss, I highly recommend following Peridot’s newsletter. She often writes short fiction and anthology contributions. All of her stories are beautifully told. Even when she’s writing chilling romantic horror, you’ll still be mesmerized.

The Employees

By Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (translator),

Book cover of The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century

Akil Kumarasamy Author Of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea

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

Who am I?

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

Why did Akil love this book?

The novel consists of interviews on a spaceship in the 22nd century.

The writing is beautiful and poetic, describing abstract objects in moving ways. I was deeply impressed how one can piece together various narrative threads through these truncated interviews. And it is a novel inspired by a visual arts exhibit. I love the collaborative aspect of it!

By the end, you’ll begin questioning what it means to be human. It’s translated from Danish, so yes, please, everyone read more translated fiction!

By Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, The Employees chronicles the fate of the interstellar Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew becomes strangely and deeply attached to them, even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids.
Olga Ravn's prose is chilling, crackling, exhilarating, and foreboding. The Employees probes into what makes us human, while delivering a hilariously stinging critique of life governed by the logic of productivity.

Star Of Gypsies

By Robert Silverberg,

Book cover of Star Of Gypsies

Bruce Golden Author Of Red Sky, Blue Moon

From the list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures.

Who am I?

I've always been interested in Native American culture, while at the same time horrified at the way most European settlers treated them. (My best friend as a child was Native American.) Without consciously planning on it, many of my other books and short stories feature Native American customs and characters—though not as thoroughly as Red Sky, Blue Moon. I've also always been fascinated by Viking history, though I only recently discovered I'm a direct descendant of a fairly famous Viking—Rollo. I had no particular expertise with these cultures when I began this book, but I spent many hours of research to be sure I got everything right.

Bruce's book list on sci-fi incorporating various earth cultures

Why did Bruce love this book?

I'd never known anything about Gypsy culture (except cinematic stereotypes) until I read Silverberg's Star of Gypsies. Even though this book takes place on other worlds, centuries into the future, the traditions and the society of Gypsies survives. These nomadic spacefarers have evolved into important pieces of a galactic empire – an empire upon which the protagonist will have a profound effect. I loved the inventive world building and the complex yet often humorous main character, Yakoub. The tale fully engaged me from the very beginning and is one of those books I give my highest compliment – a page-turner you don't want to put down.

By Robert Silverberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Yakoub was once the legendary King of the Rom, the Gypsy race that has evolved from the days of caravans into lords of the spaceways - the only pilots capable of steering ships safely between the many worlds of the Galaxy. Weary and proud, Yakoub has relinquished his power and lives in exile on a distant, icy world. In his absence, chaos fills the vacuum of power. The fate of the entire Galactic Empire hangs in the balance. Yakoub must journey across the cosmos and fight to regain his throne. Only then can he fulfil his dream - to return…

The Ship Who Sang

By Anne McCaffrey,

Book cover of The Ship Who Sang

Jaleta Clegg Author Of Nexus Point

From the list on classic space operas written by women.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy, and specifically space opera, since I was seven and first discovered The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. I read my way through every book in the school library and public library that dealt with aliens, space travel, starships, and especially adventure.

Jaleta's book list on classic space operas written by women

Why did Jaleta love this book?

Helva is a ‘brain’, a person with a defective body who becomes meshed with a starship as its controller. Each brain-ship is partnered with a ‘brawn’, a human who acts as the liaison for the ship as well as its partner and protector. Helva loves singing and brings heart to her role as a scoutship brain.

Anne McCaffrey brings her signature romance to this book with a complex relationship that grows between Helva and her brawn as they explore the universe. McCaffrey is deft at creating characters that are vulnerable but still strong in their own way. Though Helva has no physical strength, she has a heart that loves to sing. Even though she is basically a starship, she holds on to her humanity.

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The brain was perfect, the tiny, crippled body useless. So technology rescued the brain and put it in an environment that conditioned it to live in a different kind of body - a spaceship.

Here the human mind, more subtle, infinitely more complex than any computer ever devised, could be
linked to the massive and delicate strengths, the total recall, and the incredible speeds of space. But
the brain behind the ship was entirely feminine - a complex, loving, strong, weak, gentle savage -a personality, all-woman, called Helva...

Book cover of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Kimberly Baer Author Of The Haunted Purse

From Kimberly's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Author Grammar guru Bookworm Power-walker Dreamer

Kimberly's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Kimberly love this book?

There’s nothing like a good plot twist to rev up the reading experience—and the one in this YA sci-fi novel is a doozy.

Romy, a teenager, is alone on a spaceship following the deaths of her astronaut parents, and she’s the sole character throughout most of the story. The author has skillfully captured the eeriness of being utterly alone in outer space, far from human civilization.

I was innocently bopping along, watching Romy progress from despair to hope as salvation came within reach. Then—boom! The plot took a 90-degree turn that had me gasping in horror. Nothing turned out the way I expected, but that’s a good thing. This is a story I’ll never forget.

By Lauren James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Loneliest Girl in the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist
The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents' tragic deaths left her alone on The Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.
Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can't help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, The Eternity,…


By Jack Campbell,

Book cover of Dauntless

Karen McCreedy Author Of Unreachable Skies

From the list on science fiction that will take you on a journey.

Who am I?

Although I’ve written non-fiction articles on films and British history for magazines, my fiction reflects my love of science fiction, which goes right back to when I watched Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, and Star Trek on television as a child. You can read – or watch – the stories as straightforward adventures in imagination, or take away clever commentaries on contemporary problems. The possibilities are endless, and I always enjoyed conjuring stories and scribbling them down – though it took a long time for those scribbles to translate into publishing success! My first novel, Unreachable Skies was published in 2018 by Mirror World, with Exile in 2019 and Ascent in 2020 completing the trilogy.

Karen's book list on science fiction that will take you on a journey

Why did Karen love this book?

Dauntless is the first in the six-book Lost Fleet series, and sets off on an epic SF journey like no other. Jack Campbell’s approach to space battles feels realistic; while the tensions and terrors of the characters are sharply realised. The opening chapters take an entire fleet of ships deep into enemy territory – and maroon them there, under the sudden and unexpected command of Captain “Black Jack” Geary. A space legend, due to his presumed death, his rescue from hibernation means he is by far the most senior officer on any of the ships – a cause for resentment and conflict on his own ship and around the fleet. And as if that’s not enough for him to deal with, his ships face annihilation from the duplicitous Syndics who lured them into a deadly trap. How will they find their way home?

By Jack Campbell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel in the New York Times bestselling Lost Fleet series!

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century—and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief....

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet as it…

Jane Bond

By V R Tapscott,

Book cover of Jane Bond

Allen Ballantine Author Of CFS Seeker: Shattered System, book one

From Allen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Christian Avid reader Retired

Allen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Allen love this book?

The first book of V.R. Tapscott’s Jane Bond series of humorous science fiction is a good release when you just need a lighthearted laugh.

While on break from her school librarian job, Jane Bond (no relation to the famous spy) finds part of a spaceship containing the AI pilot and sets off on an adventure to find more missing parts, sending her into plenty of humorous and dangerous situations. A very fun and enjoyable series.

By V R Tapscott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An alien pilot.A chocolate cake.A doomed relationship or two.Jane’s life as an elementary school librarian gets sidetracked when she digs up the AI pilot of a 140 million year-old spacecraft.Now, she’s running all over the world looking for spaceship parts, falling in and out of love and trying to keep her friends from thinking she’s going crazy.To make matters worse, the ship she’s recovering is starting to sound a bit more like the Death Star than the Millennium Falcon.When did life get so complicated?Join Jane for high-tech gadgets, action, adventure, and an alien intelligence for a sidekick, because it's just…

The Integral Trees

By Larry Niven,

Book cover of The Integral Trees: And the Smoke Ring

Peter J. Bentley Author Of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Ten Short Lessons

From the list on no hype and no nonsense artificial intelligence.

Who am I?

I’ve been a geeky kid all my life. (I don’t think I’ve quite grown up yet.) Born in the 1970s, my childhood was a wonderful playground of building robots and software. I was awarded one of the early degrees in AI, and a PhD in genetic algorithms. I’ve since spent 25 years exploring how to make computers think, build, invent, compose… and I’ve also spent 20 years writing popular science books. I’m lucky enough to be a Professor in one of the world’s best universities for Computer Science and Machine Learning: UCL, and I guess I’ve written two or three hundred scientific papers over the years. I still think I know nothing at all about real or artificial intelligence, but then does anyone?

Peter's book list on no hype and no nonsense artificial intelligence

Why did Peter love this book?

When I’m not developing AI methods (or writing about them) I read. Most of what I read is science fiction. There’s nothing more imaginative than a good science fiction book, and many science fiction stories have inspired us to develop whole new technologies. This one probably won’t do that, but it has such a bizarre mind-bending world that I couldn’t resist recommending it. Niven is great at this kind of thing – the Ringworld books were a favourite of mine as a kid, and frankly, I could recommend another 30 of his books. But Integral Trees is entertaining, a little bizarre, and it even has diagrams to illustrate the underlying concepts at the start – what more could you ask for in a science fiction book?

By Larry Niven,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Niven has come up with an idea about as far out as one can get. . . . This is certainly classic science fiction—the idea is truly the hero.”—Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

When leaving Earth, the crew of the spaceship Discipline was prepared for a routine assignment. Dispatched by the all-powerful State on a mission of interstellar exploration and colonization, Discipline was aided (and secretly spied upon) by Sharls Davis Kendy, an emotionless computer intelligence programmed to monitor the loyalty and obedience of the crew. But what they weren’t prepared for was the smoke ring–an immense gaseous envelope that had…


By Melissa Landers,

Book cover of Starflight

Annie Sullivan Author Of A Touch of Gold

From the list on YA fantasy with pirates.

Who am I?

I’m a young adult fantasy author who’s been in love with pirates since before Pirates of the Caribbean came out…and who then wrote a novel inspired by it. I grew up watching every pirate movie I could and have always wanted to hunt for treasure. I feel my most calm when I’m by the ocean, and I’m a bit of a wanderer myself—having traveled to over 60 countries and to every continent (yes, including Antarctica!). I have a master’s degree in Creative Writing and love sharing my adventures with the world. 

Annie's book list on YA fantasy with pirates

Why did Annie love this book?

Pirates…in space! Maybe you weren’t expecting space pirates on this list, but they’re just as cool as sea pirates. With a mix of Star Wars and the movie Overboard vibes, this story follows a down-on-her-luck Solara as she bargains for passage to another world and another life. However, some risks are bigger than others. So are some cons. And Solara might just have to team up with the last person she wants to in order to survive. I love the “found family” trope in this one and how you learn there’s more to people than you ever thought.  

By Melissa Landers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fast-paced adventure, found family, intrigue, and enemies-to-lovers romance combine in an action-packed young adult novel for fans of Firefly.

Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. Still, off-world travel doesn't come cheap, and Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school. The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for…

Into the Fire

By Elizabeth Moon,

Book cover of Into the Fire

Daniel Szechi Author Of The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788

From Daniel's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Historian Eclectic reader Fascinated by human beings

Daniel's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Daniel love this book?

Elizabeth Moon is a great writer, consistently able to sweep you along with her narrative, create (and compromise) complex characters, and make distant worlds and alien societies credible.

So I was very pleased when she decided to continue the story of the characters who first appeared in the Vatta’s War series into a new sequence of books. Into the Fire is only the second of these, but it has got me totally hooked. There are loose ends, escaped characters from previous stories, and a really engaging heroine with a very dark side. What is not to like!

By Elizabeth Moon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Admiral Kylara Vatta and a ship full of strangers were marooned on an inhospitable arctic island, they uncovered secrets that someone on Ky's planet was ready to kill to keep hidden. Now, the existence of the mysterious arctic base has been revealed, but the organisation behind it still lurks in the shadows, doing all it can to silence her.

It is up to the intrepid Ky to force the perpetrators into the light, and uncover decades' worth of secrets - some of which lie at the very heart of her family's greatest tragedy.