The best Star Wars books

9 authors have picked their favorite books about Star Wars and why they recommend each book.

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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

By Ken Liu,

Book cover of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

I love, love, love "The Paper Menagerie". It’s one of my favorites. In fact, I’ve not come across one story by Liu yet that failed to take me to another place. His work has appeared in numerous pro markets and featured in the Netflix series, Love, Death, & Robots. Now you can get the wealth of it in one place, and I’m thankful for it. Liu is a fantastic writer with unique and diverse ideas and world-building. 


Who am I?

I grew up reading short stories in the annual Reader’s Digest books my parents collected, so I’ve always liked the short form. Perhaps that is why I pursued it in college, wanting to know what made them work. So I took a lot of classes in college to do just that, to dissect stories to see what made them resonate with readers. And although I’ve been trying to push myself to write longer fiction, I’ll never be able to fully abandon the short fiction. I love a story you can read in a day and think about all night.


I wrote...

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction

By Kenneth W. Cain,

Book cover of Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction

What is my book about?

In his youth, Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing. There's a little something for every reader.

These 25 short speculative stories represent the smoldering remains of a blaze, the fiery bits meant to ignite the mind with slow-burning imagery and smoky twists and turns. These are the very embers of Cain's soul. In this collection, Cain features stories of troubled men and women, both living and dead. Themes of loss and the afterlife take on many forms, as he explores the unknown.

From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)

By Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Sabaa Tahir, Nnedi Okorafor

Book cover of From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)

With only two books out (referencing Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) the From a Certain Point of View books are brilliant. So brilliant. I can’t explain how much I love these books in one short paragraph. They are a collection of short stories written by dozens of authors who recall events in the films both big and small. Did you ever want to know who the guy is on Hoth who interrupts Han and Leia arguing? Well, now you do! With each story taking only about 20 minutes to read, they’re a perfect nighttime story that add such richness to the films we’ve all seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times.


Who am I?

With a background in theoretical astrophysics and a life-long passion for science fiction, I am now lucky enough to have a dream job of working in one of my favorite sci-fi worlds: Star Trek. This role as science advisor for the franchise has bridged my career between hard science and fictional writing. Like many fans, I am one who simply wants to walk, live, and breathe in these fictional worlds that bring us so much joy. I always look for new ways to immerse myself, be it episode or movie rewatches, extended universe shows, comics, video games, and yes, books!


I wrote...

The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel

By Erin Macdonald,

Book cover of The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel

What is my book about?

As a fan of science as well as science fiction, Dr. Erin Macdonald (PhD, Astrophysics) takes you on an audio journey through the fantastical uses of spacetime in science fiction. Beginning with quick lessons on Newtonian and Einstein gravity, you’ll learn about the different ways we see artificial gravity, multiverses, and even time travel in popular science fiction and how it relates to actual science. Written and narrated by Dr. Erin, this is a perfect introduction to spacetime and physics while geeking out with fellow science fiction fans!

The People

By Zenna Henderson,

Book cover of The People: No Different Flesh

Zenna Henderson's entire The People series is worth reading, including the original short stories. These were all published at a time when very few female sci-fi authors were published. There is also a film that is fairly faithful to the books. Her creativity, her understanding the experience of immigrants and those who are “different,” and her depictions of the ways humans and immigrants are likely to re/act are timeless, offering stellar insights into our modern-day experiences. Sci-fi authors would do well to read all her books to learn how to do world-building, draw parallels between non-human species and humans, and analogize modern dilemmas as speculative fiction plots.

Who am I?

I started reading sci-fi in 1962 with 1957's Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars and have loved it ever since. I became a sci-fi writer with my first three books in utopian speculative fiction, The Spanner Series. Unfortunately, I stalled out due to a TBI, a cross-country move, and other distractions, but I do plan to continue with the other 7 volumes in my utopian speculative fiction series some day. The writers in my “best of” list are some of my lifelong inspirations, so I hope newer readers can enjoy and learn from their works as much as I have.


I wrote...

This Changes Everything: The Spanners Series, Volume I

By Sally Ember, Ed.D.,

Book cover of This Changes Everything: The Spanners Series, Volume I

What is my book about?

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, has secret visits from holographic representations from the Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planets in the multiverse. When the MWC invites Earth to join, Clara and her media partner, Espy, make the visits public and the MWC selects Clara as the Chief Communicator (CC).

Clara and the Psi-Warriors try to quell the rebelling Psi-Defiers during the Psi Wars. The CC has to manage family's and friends' reactions as well as multiple timelines. Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and she is alone and with other partners. This Changes Everything touches on many parts of the 30 years of Clara's term as Earth's Chief Communicator in The Spanners Series. Are YOU ready for the changes?

Justified

By Jon Del Arroz,

Book cover of Justified

This is high-caliber space fantasy in the realm of Star Wars or Dune. It brings together a grizzled holy warrior having doubts about his faith with a naïve and sheltered princess in a brutal world ruled by absolutely vile overlords. The perspective switches between the two of them. The warrior – Drin – grapples with whether the church’s mission to fight evil brings it to use methods too similar to the evil it fights. Meanwhile the princess – Anais – has to come to terms very quickly with the reality of life outside the palace when slavers invade her home and abduct her off-world.


Who am I?

Monsters and magic have always had a hook on me, ever since I was just a kid going through a stack of Stephen King paperbacks that I was definitely too young for my brother to have given me – not that many would call his work “fantasy” exactly, despite the amount of vampires ghosts and magic that say otherwise. Urban fantasy, blending those elements with the familiar world we know, is a particular favourite of mine. So much so, that I wrote my own! Granted, the urban area in question is 19th-century Paris, but I say that still counts.


I wrote...

The Mummy of Monte Cristo

By J. Trevor Robinson,

Book cover of The Mummy of Monte Cristo

What is my book about?

Revenge takes time; fortunately, Edmond Dantes doesn't sleep. Or breathe.

In a world of monsters and magic, Edmond Dantes has a pretty good life. He's just been made captain of a ship, and he's about to marry his sweetheart. But when jealousy, spite, and ambition conspire to frame him for treason, he loses everything. To make things right, he'll need to give up the only thing he has left: his humanity. They thought their troubles died with Edmond. They were wrong on both counts.

Heir to the Empire

By Timothy Zahn,

Book cover of Heir to the Empire

Heir to the Empire was the foundational book in my childhood. I lived and breathed the Star Wars movies, and this book was essentially another movie continuing the story rather than some authors’ fanfic projects (too many to name). Reading about Luke, Han, and Leia doing new things was a breath of fresh air after watching the movies 50 times each, but that’s not why this book is so important. I can sum it up in one word…

Thrawn.

He is a character unlike any other I’ve ever encountered and is the benchmark for me when it comes to a mastermind. He’s evil, but not completely, and you find you almost want him to win as you read through it. Not because he’s evil, but because he’s professional, motivated, and immensely skilled…as opposed to the Rebel Alliance that can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. 

Grand Admiral Thrawn…


Who am I?

My name is Aer-ki Jyr and I’m the creator of the Star Force Universe. I started writing because most of the new books coming out just plain sucked, so I figured if I could do better, then I should…and I did. What people only partially realize is that Star Force is filled with references and homages to the past great works. There’s far more in there than they realize, but those who have also read them will know when they see them. This list gives you the biggest influences that shaped my childhood mind, and why there are literally statues in the Star Force Universe to a lot of this stuff. 


I wrote...

Star Force: Origin Series (1-4)

By Aer-ki Jyr,

Book cover of Star Force: Origin Series (1-4)

What is my book about?

One of the longest-running science fiction series of all time, Star Force begins in near future Earth with a new space corporation not that different from Elon Musk's, but the difference is this one is being fueled by alien technology secretly discovered under the ice of Antarctica that begins to take you down the rabbit hole and see present day gradually transition into a wildly fantastic future beyond imagination.

But like The Matrix, this story is not one that can be explained. It must be experienced. Quoted by many as addictive, the story starts slow and builds following a core group of individuals chosen from across the planet to lead Humanity via Star Force into the future.

Rogue Squadron

By Michael A. Stackpole,

Book cover of Rogue Squadron: Star Wars Legends

Just as the Jade Phoenix Trilogy introduced me to mechs, Rogue Squadron is the book to explain starfighter combat. It’s the first of a long series that literally writes the book on the subject, and the tactics used actually make sense as opposed to books where they just fly around and shoot stuff. 

But more than that, it’s about a squadron, a team that works inside the cockpit and outside to have an impact on a galactic war. They don’t win it themselves, but you can see the impact of a few people at the right time and with the right motivation and gear can do a lot of good. They also show how Jedi do not just come from a Temple as kids. Sometimes adults, who had no idea of their potential, rise to great things. 

Potential isn’t just for kids, after all.


Who am I?

My name is Aer-ki Jyr and I’m the creator of the Star Force Universe. I started writing because most of the new books coming out just plain sucked, so I figured if I could do better, then I should…and I did. What people only partially realize is that Star Force is filled with references and homages to the past great works. There’s far more in there than they realize, but those who have also read them will know when they see them. This list gives you the biggest influences that shaped my childhood mind, and why there are literally statues in the Star Force Universe to a lot of this stuff. 


I wrote...

Star Force: Origin Series (1-4)

By Aer-ki Jyr,

Book cover of Star Force: Origin Series (1-4)

What is my book about?

One of the longest-running science fiction series of all time, Star Force begins in near future Earth with a new space corporation not that different from Elon Musk's, but the difference is this one is being fueled by alien technology secretly discovered under the ice of Antarctica that begins to take you down the rabbit hole and see present day gradually transition into a wildly fantastic future beyond imagination.

But like The Matrix, this story is not one that can be explained. It must be experienced. Quoted by many as addictive, the story starts slow and builds following a core group of individuals chosen from across the planet to lead Humanity via Star Force into the future.

Traitor

By Matthew Woodring Stover,

Book cover of Traitor: Star Wars Legends

The Star Wars universe started as one movie, then three, then six. It then experienced its own “big bang,” exploding with books, movies, television shows…  My favorite is one small part of that universe, which hardly anyone pays attention to. Traitor is Book 13 of the New Jedi Order series. I expected normal good guy/bad guy, dark side/light side dichotomies, but my expectations were overturned. Jacen, previously a good guy Jedi, comes under the tutelage of Vergere, a mysterious creature of indeterminate allegiance. I couldn’t tell whether she was Jacen’s teacher, protector, torturer, or captor. I was fascinated that all these concepts were meaningless here. There are many great stories in Star Wars and the New Jedi Order. This one outshines them all in what it teaches me about good and evil.


Who am I?

I grew up believing that all men are brothers and that in our hearts we all hold the same values. It’s not true. It presumes that western cultural values are the best mankind can aspire to. In fact, it’s an act of aggression to project my values onto others. I love to explore other cultures by living amongst them or reading a good book about them. As a religious, trained anthropologist, I try to discern their big questions about life, the universe, and everything. Do they have any bearing on my questions?  After all, the quest is for better questions, rather than comfortable answers (like ‘42’ - see Hitchhiker’s Guide…).


I wrote...

Quantum Cannibals

By Nathan Elberg,

Book cover of Quantum Cannibals

What is my book about?

Reincarnation and time travel are the scaffold of a five-thousand-year saga of exile, love, and loss. In an Arctic wasteland, a quantum biologist is transformed into a vengeful warrior when her husband is butchered and served at a feast. In Bronze-Age Mesopotamia she is a teacher and community leader trying to cope with the violent animosity between tribes. In a modern city, before she is born her father is expected to stop an invasion by demons holding a five-thousand-year-old grudge.

Greed and bigotry challenge grace, generosity, and empathy. It’s a struggle fought with humor, magic, lasers, stone knives, and nuclear weapons. It’s a struggle worth immersing yourself in.

Darth Vader and Son

By Jeffrey Brown,

Book cover of Darth Vader and Son

Darth Vader and Son is a collection of very funny comics, depicting the experiences Darth Vader would have had, had he been a more engaged father. Some of the jokes require minimal knowledge of Star Wars lore, but most are just an excellent illustration of how fatherhood can turn you over to the dark-side.


Who am I?

When I became a parent, I immediately became an expert on it. Don’t worry, you will too. Children are great. They fill your life with a sense of purpose. They are very good at being really cute, and they can be really fun to be with. Yet... let's face it, the little bugger wreak havoc in your life. Harnessing my experience as a writer for television, and being a man, I immediately started whining and ranting about the difficulties of raising kids, the result was the book 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting that sold the world over. I love my kids, so will you, but it is a difficult journey and you need to know you are not the only one having a hard time sometimes.


I wrote...

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

By Ohad Ouziel,

Book cover of 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

What is my book about?

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is a list rants of a loving but disgruntled father, slowly collapsing under the weight of life as a family man. Here you will find classic truths about sick kids, bedtime, chores, and many more childrearing experiences you wish you never had.

It is irreverent, honest, and full of hilarious and true insights 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is an indispensable survival guide to new parents. You will not find any advice worth following here, but you will be prepared for the many horrors of raising children.

Sailor Moon

By Kodansha,

Book cover of Sailor Moon

Nothing will create an impact on my life's work as the original transformation scene from Sailor Moon. This scene inspired me to pursue my fashion schooling, and the pages of this art book are pure inspiration. Watching traditionally drawn dresses and beautiful characters always motivated me to push my creative boundaries and strive for perfection. Revisiting the ways of creating magical light effects and textures by using only watercolors and ink is crucial for any artist, especially one wanting to connect with manga.


Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  


I wrote...

Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

By Mina Petrović,

Book cover of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

What is my book about?

This book is an intermediate-level tutorial book on how to draw manga, but with a spin on creating your own fantasy stories, worlds and characters. Guided by a decade of experience from my own manga classroom, I managed to present all the most effective shortcuts to someone who wants to make their own stories, and even inserted games to make the process fun!

This book features all the basic-level lessons, so even if you never drew anything in your life, you can start drawing manga today.

Star Wars Mazes

By Sean C. Jackson,

Book cover of Star Wars Mazes

Good things normally happen when passion and talents combine. That’s certainly true of this book by Sean C. Jackson, an experienced maze creator and lifelong Star Wars fan. There are 30 lovingly illustrated mazes that take you through the Star Wars universe, from the Death Star to Jabba’s Palace and beyond. I love the style of the mazes, they are detailed and fun to look at, and while they live together as a family, Sean manages to add plenty of variation to keep young people engaged. Also, because the maze paths are depicted as roads and paths within each setting, it is very clear where you can and can’t go, an important consideration for a maze.


Who am I?

I am an author, illustrator, and award-winning creative director. I have loved to draw and make things since a young age, mostly wacky contraptions (inspired by my love of the Hanna-Barbera Wacky Races cartoons). I’m also passionate about mazes, having spent many family holidays drawing mazes on a small whiteboard for my two boys to complete.


I wrote...

Mega-Maze Adventure!: A Journey Through the World's Longest Maze in a Book

By Scott Bedford,

Book cover of Mega-Maze Adventure!: A Journey Through the World's Longest Maze in a Book

What is my book about?

Not just a maze––the book itself is a maze! Every page (including the cover) has a portal hole cut into it, allowing the maze to run from page to page and make this the world's longest maze in a book. Every spread is a journey through an imaginative world: there's Robot World and Butterfly World, Ski World and Underwater World, Dragon World, and Skyscraper World.

Filled with hypnotic details, hidden surprises, fun facts, and bright, swirling, richly-colored details, every page is a compelling adventure. This maze book is the first of its kind, and a totally immersive, compelling, and challenging experience for young people (and their parents!).

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