The best telepathy books

13 authors have picked their favorite books about telepathy and why they recommend each book.

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The Sense of Being Stared at

By Rupert Sheldrake,

Book cover of The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds

Have you ever sat on the top deck of a bus and stared hard at someone on the pavement below. It is surprising how often that person will then look up at you. How does this work? Rupert Sheldrake’s book delves deeply into such matters, ones for which there must be scientific explanations but which the traditional conservative scientist in a white coat dismisses without looking into the matter. Too many scientists, it seems, prefer the comfort of the status quo. We haven’t really moved on much from when Galileo was rubbished for suggesting the earth goes around the sun. Rupert Sheldrake reveals more about the human than we knew before.


Who am I?

We all need to understand more about how the world ticks, who is in control, and why they act as they do. And we need to salute those of courage who refuse to go along with the flow in a craven or unthinking way. I was an MP for 18 years and a government minister at the Department for Transport with a portfolio that included rail, bus, active travel, and then at the Home Office as Crime Prevention minister. After leaving Parliament, I became managing director of The Big Lemon, an environmentally friendly bus and coach company in Brighton. I now act as an advisor to the Campaign for Better Transport, am a regular columnist and broadcaster, and undertake consultancy and lecturing work.


I wrote...

...And What Do You Do?: What the Royal Family Don't Want You to Know

By Norman Baker,

Book cover of ...And What Do You Do?: What the Royal Family Don't Want You to Know

What is my book about?

The royal family is the original Coronation Street – a long-running soap opera with the occasional real coronation thrown in. Its members have become celebrities, like upmarket versions of film stars and footballers. But they have also become a byword for arrogance, entitlement, hypocrisy, and indifference to the gigantic amount of public money wasted by them.

In this book, former government minister Norman Baker argues that the British public deserves better than this puerile diet. … And What Do You Do? is a hard-hitting analysis of the royal family, exposing its extravagant use of public money and the highly dubious behaviour of some among its ranks, whilst being critical of the knee-jerk sycophancy shown by the press and politicians. Baker also considers the wider role the royals play in society, including the link with House of Lords reform, and the constitutional position of the monarch, which is important given Prince Charles’s present and intended approach.

Gnomon

By Nick Harkaway,

Book cover of Gnomon

Harkaway has serious literary pedigree but is determined to put exactly what he damn well likes in his books. Gnomon is labyrinthine, its characters sizzle with personality and it is set in researched, vibrant worlds that reek of authenticity, from antiquity to modern-day Greece. It’s also, partly, set in a dystopian, ultra-surveillance future (an arch glance at the political developments of recent years) and shamelessly combines mysticism, time-bending, and no shortage of sharks. Its rejection of convention but adherence to good, thoughtful writing is one hell of a ride.


Who am I?

I’m still in love with good sci-fi and fantasy after 30 years, but folk can get most terribly sniffy about it: ‘Lack of character’, ‘leaden exposition’, the list of accusations rolls on (sadly, a chunk of today’s SFF earns it). But. Every so often a work pops up that looks to the unwary book clubber like a ‘proper novel’; beneath its sexy but abstract cover and pared-back blurb lies a world of adventure that’s like LSD in an innocent mug of tea. Some writers just refuse to accept that speculation (about time and/ or space) needs to sacrifice truth. I’ve picked a few books that stand out to me for this reason – debate their merits with gusto, preferably over a good Martini at 2am.


I wrote...

Echo Cycle

By Patrick Edwards,

Book cover of Echo Cycle

What is my book about?

Gladiator meets 1984 in this near-future thriller featuring timeslips, ancient magic, and a disturbingly plausible dystopian Britain. 68 CE: Fleeing disaster, young Winston Monk wakes to find himself trapped in the past, imprisoned by the mad Emperor Nero. The Roman civilization he idolized is anything but civilized, and his escape from a barbaric home has led him somewhere far more dangerous.

2070 CE: As the European Union crumbled, Britain closed its borders, believing they were stronger alone. After decades of hardship, British envoy Lindon Banks joins a diplomatic team to rebuild bridges with the hypermodern European Confederacy. But in Rome, Banks discovers his childhood friend who disappeared without a trace. Monk tells a different story: a tale of Caesars, slavery, and something altogether more sinister. Monk's mysterious emergence sparks the tinderbox of diplomatic relations between Britain and the Confederacy, controlled by shadowy players with links back to the ancient world itself.

A Song for Lya

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Song for Lya

Years before Game of Thrones became a household name, Martin was best known for this hauntingly beautiful and deeply disturbing novella. Two telepaths, Robb and Lya, are sent to an alien planet to investigate a disturbing religious movement. The planet is home to a race called the Shkeen, and to a gelatinous parasite called the Greeshka. In middle age the Shkeen allow the Greeshka to infect them, and ten years later they visit a cave where they allow a massive specimen to consume them. Some humans living on the planet have even joined the native religion, and have allowed themselves to be infected and devoured. The administrators are desperate to know why.

Robb and Lya have an unusually close relationship, but she suffers from a sense of isolation that telepathy cannot banish. While they watch some Shkeen being devoured by the Greeshka, she can sense how isolated the Shkeen feel…


Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind. What instincts and influences make us who we are? This Alien Shore grew out of research I was doing into atypical neurological conditions. It depicts a society that has abandoned the concept of “neurotypical”, embracing every variant of human perspective as valid and valuable. One of my main characters, Kio Masada, is autistic, and that gives him a unique perspective on computer security that others cannot provide. What might such a man accomplish, in a world where his condition is embraced and celebrated? Good science fiction challenges our definition of “Other,” and asks what it really means to be human, all in the context of an exciting story.


I wrote...

This Alien Shore

By C.S. Friedman,

Book cover of This Alien Shore

What is my book about?

When Earth’s superluminal drive altered the genes of the first interstellar colonists, Earth abandoned them. But the colonists survived, and now there is a new civilization among the stars, peopled by mental and physical “Variants”. Earth’s children have become alien to her.

In Terran space, orphan Jamisia Shido is guided by mysterious voices in her head. After a devastating attack on her station, she is forced to flee to the Variant worlds, where she must uncover the secrets locked within her own brain before those who destroyed her home can find her. In Variant space, a computer virus is killing the only pilots capable of guiding ships through deep space. Security expert Kio Masada must track down the source of the virus before all of Variant society collapses. And the key to doing that may lie hidden within the mind of a young Terran fugitive. 

The Exile Waiting

By Vonda N. McIntyre,

Book cover of The Exile Waiting

Vonda N. McIntyre is an often over-looked science fiction and alternate history author whose prose is lush, whose imagination is daunting, and who was unfailingly generous to the fan community, and to the community of writers she knew and supported; she was also my teacher, my mentor and my friend of thirty years, and she knew how to make you laugh! Exile is back in print after being out of print, and it is a terrifyingly beautiful, thought-provoking read.


Who am I?

I am a professor of English at the University of Florida, and an author of SF/F myself; I teach it both as a creative writer, and as a scholar of both American Literature and feminist thought. This is my subject and I am passionate about it, and I’ve been teaching SF/F, American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries for thirty years, so I know my topic well.


I wrote...

Asteroidea

By Stephanie A. Smith,

Book cover of Asteroidea

What is my book about?

Asteroidea is about regeneration: personal, professional, cellular. As the novel opens, marine biologist Claire Holt is at a crossroads. Having spent her career experimenting on starfish, seastars or asteroidea, to transfer their regenerative capabilities to mammals, she’s grown depressed.

With her grants running dry, and her two daughters facing their own life changes, Claire feels defeated. To cope, she takes a journey back to her childhood home, only to discover several destabilizing facts about her past. As she tries to handle the resulting intergenerational and emotional fallout, a graduate student arrives at her lab with a newly discovered species of asteroidea. Juggling emotional and familial upheaval, as well as this fresh direction for her research challenges Claire to re-engage in both her work and in life.

The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham,

Book cover of The Chrysalids

My high school English teacher introduced me to the work of science fiction writer John Wyndham when I was in my mid-teens and I promptly read every title by this author and found a new favourite genre. Along with encouraging me to read outside my usual choices, this teacher gave me some invaluable writing advice after I handed in a short story: "Continue to write in this light-hearted vein and you will do well." Unfortunately, it took me a while to follow it and I spent quite a few years trying unsuccessfully to write serious literary fiction.


Who am I?

I can’t remember a time in my life without stories in it. I grew up in an English/Italian family where everyone’s tales about their lives captured my imagination. Books also opened a window into the wonderful world of stories and my ambition to be a writer was born. I decided to write for children in 1971 after our son was born. Ten years of rejections later, my author dream came true and my first picture book was published. It was a stranger danger story that attracted some publicity, which led to invitations to speak at schools. Inspiring children to go on their own story writing adventure has become one of my greatest joys.


I wrote...

Just Write: An easy guide to story writing

By Teena Raffa-Mulligan,

Book cover of Just Write: An easy guide to story writing

What is my book about?

Writing stories is like having an adventure. Your imagination can take you anywhere. Yet not every kid finds story writing easy. Sometimes getting started can feel too hard. Making it to the end can look impossible.

Just Write can help to kick-start the process. Find out how to come up with ideas, create interesting characters, paint word pictures, and more in this easy-to-follow guide full of activities and helpful examples. Presented in a friendly, conversational style by a multi-published children’s author, it offers a simple process for children to turn ‘I can’t write stories’ into ‘I can be a writer.’

Spiked

By C.P. Rider,

Book cover of Spiked

Neely has an incredibly interesting magic power as a telepath spiker, but stays under the radar running a Mexican bakery with her uncle. I was swooning as much for her delicious pastries as for the sexy alpha werewolf. It’s great to see a proud Afro-Latina woman take the lead in an urban fantasy, and the authentic cultural touches that Rider brings to her storytelling immerses us fully in her worldbuilding. The author does a great job with Neely’s growth as she becomes more and more confident as a badass, reclaiming the hero status in her own life instead of hiding in the shadows.


Who am I?

I was an avid reader growing up, but I never saw myself reflected unless it was a book about the Holocaust. Those are crucial stories to tell, but I wanted a Jewish girl going through a wardrobe to a secret land or having magical adventures. So, I decided to write those stories for women and combine them with steamy romance, because I love that, too. All my main characters are Jewish, and I draw from Judaism and Jewish folklore for my worldbuilding and magic systems. It's also important for me to showcase my diverse hometown of Vancouver. To that end, my characters are of varying ethnicities and sexual identities.


I wrote...

Blood & Ash: A Snarky Urban Fantasy Detective Series

By Deborah Wilde,

Book cover of Blood & Ash: A Snarky Urban Fantasy Detective Series

What is my book about?

When Ash is hit during a stakeout, she discovers a mysterious tattoo on the back of her skull—a now-broken ward unleashing dangerous magic that she shouldn’t possess. Her unruly powers nearly kill her long-time nemesis, Levi, the uptight leader of the magic community. One word from him revealing her forbidden abilities, and everything she’s built will be taken from her… by force. The only bright spot is that Levi requires her supernatural skills to solve a case. After years of being underestimated by him, it’s Ash’s chance at payback and she’s going to enjoy bringing him to his knees—or stuffing him in a body bag.

Crackling with suspense, this magic detective series features an enemies-to-lovers romance and a snarky heroine solving thrilling mysteries.

Carrots

By Colleen Helme,

Book cover of Carrots

I’m stepping out a little with this one because I just have to include Ramos, the motorbike-riding hitman, in my list of hot, tortured heroes. Why he’s an outlier in this list is because he’s actually not the hero but a secondary character. Soccer mom turned mind-reading PI, Shelby Nichols, is a squeaky-clean heroine with a loving lawyer for a hubby and two teenage kids. But sparks are always flying whenever Ramos is helping Shelby get out of trouble, and she gets in a lot of trouble as she solves her mysteries. It’s clear that Ramos, who is every woman’s Latin-lover fantasy, has fallen for our heroine, and she certainly helps him with his tortured past, but though they share some hot moments and a few kisses along the way, she remains a loyal wife. He respects that, never trying to tempt her away from her family. I just love…


Who am I?

I’ve always read and written Romance. But while my real life took center stage, I consigned my manuscripts to gather dust in my bottom desk drawer and went off to teach English and History and raise a family. When my real life got less hectic and the Indie Revolution started, I dragged my stories out, dusted them off, and started publishing them. Lo and behold, readers loved them as much as I did, and suddenly I had a whole new career. Teaching literature tends to make you critical, and I was super-critical of my ‘trashy’ romances. Now I’m proud I write stories women can read to relax and be entertained by. 


I wrote...

The Barbarian's Mistress

By Nhys Glover,

Book cover of The Barbarian's Mistress

What is my book about?

Vali, the Norse giant, became the sex slave of Roman patricians when he was captured as a young teen. Since then he has grown angrier and more violent with every passing year. When his violence leads to the punishment of the gladiatorial arena he is offered one way out. He can gain his freedom if he can get the innocent and beautiful Anniana to her prospective husband in Pompeii before her unscrupulous mother makes her the wife of the vile and decadent new emperor. But when Pompeii is destroyed and her mother sends assassins to track Anniana down, it becomes a chase across the breadth of the Roman Empire to keep her safe. Vali will need to shield the sweet girl from the many dangers of the journey, as well as the worst threat of all: himself.

New Contact

By Lynn Miclea,

Book cover of New Contact

I love reading sci-fi YA books and this book was really talking to me. Peaceful contact or not?

Reading this book by the author – her first  it reminded me of the much-loved movie Avatar, which I also love.

Like in the movie, when Captain Melissa and her crew finally arrived at the new planet, to contact the people living there, they looked peaceful. They find out, that they are telepathic, not only the people, the plants, and animals as well.

After the people of the planet perform a play, they find out, what was really going on there. Not everything you see can be trusted when you look behind the scenes. From the outside, it was all peaceful, but when you touch the plants, they speak to you.


Who am I?

After being rejected in school, because I had to move with my family again and again, I never had really friends and knew how being left alone and rejected felt. So I put my nose into books and developed a love for writing. Since I didn’t know what to do with them, I left them alone when I married. After being diagnosed with cancer later in my life, I couldn’t go back to work, I remembered my love to write and read so I started to write short stories again. I want to help young people going through similar rejections and bullying, to lift them up, and take the negativity out of their minds. 


I wrote...

Talon, Come Fly with Me: Inspirational Story about Adventure and Growth

By Gigi Sedlmayer,

Book cover of Talon, Come Fly with Me: Inspirational Story about Adventure and Growth

What is my book about?

An Australian girl living in Peru with her missionary parents, high up in the great Andes, was rejected by the locals because she has an affliction they don't understand. But when she made friends with a pair of great Condors, and saved their egg from poachers, everything turned around. She had to learn, what she can do to overcome her affliction and become the one, she was meant to be. 

An inspirational, highly emotional, and entertaining read for all ages. Matica, the heroine, is a strong, brave girl, who battles with her handicap and how others view her. But this isn’t a story only about her gaining acceptance or overcoming her challenges. Rather, it’s a tale packed full of exciting moments and tons of emotions.

Intervention

By Julian May,

Book cover of Intervention

I have given copies of the Galactic Milieu Trilogy as gifts more than any other book. This is the bravest near-future sci-fi series I have ever read. Intervention, published in 1987, follows events from 1945 through to 2013 when the five races of the Galactic Milieu embrace humanity. I love the merger of historical events with future possibilities in a story centred around a dynasty of ‘operant’ human beings.

As a teenager, I was fascinated by stories of telepathy, etc., but I found most books that dealt with ‘higher mind powers’ were in the fantasy or horror market. But this series is perfect sci-fi, technically plausible while politically powerful—and again, with a large, diverse cast.


Who am I?

There were 3.7 billion people on Earth when I was born. By November 2022, there will be 8 billion. I am fascinated and terrified by this growth. I love stories that address this issue head-on, be it colonisation of other planets, compulsory euthanasia, or uploading consciousness into machines. When I started writing, I didn’t realise how I was bringing these themes together—I was writing a book I’d love to read. Now I can see those influences, and I am grateful for the authors who have shaped my thinking and my work.


I wrote...

Tionsphere

By J.C. Gemmell,

Book cover of Tionsphere

What is my book about?

Forty years from now, the collapse of the Antarctic ice causes a sixty-metre rise in sea level, threatening our survival. Humanity’s solution is a technical marvel: the construction of concentric-spheres encircling the Earth. For centuries, the construction sphere is impossible to fill, but now, almost a thousand years after its completion, it has reached capacity, and its systems are on the brink of collapse.

Tionsphere is the story of people trying to make sense of their lives in an overpopulated, technology-dependent, massively interconnected world. When one young man slips away from his assigned life, discoveries are made that threaten the system and human life itself.

Catalyst

By Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough,

Book cover of Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats

Catalyst (and the sequel, Catacombs) are for anyone who cherishes cats. It’s obvious that McCaffrey and her frequent collaborator Scarborough know cats very well indeed. In this universe, a ship's cat has proven to be as essential a crew member as captain, navigator, or engineer. (I find this totally believable, as one of my cats has decided his job is to notify me when someone has left a package on my porch.) The cats in the story are evolving to be even more valuable to humans, especially when it comes to alien relations and saving a colony's livestock from destruction. Do yourself a favor and read Catacombs, too, to find out what happens when the Barque Cats meet a cat god.


Who am I?

Hi, I'm Carol Van Natta, USA Today bestselling science fiction and paranormal romance author. I write the award-winning Central Galactic Concordance space opera series and the Ice Age Shifters® paranormal romance series. In addition, I edit the bestselling Pets In Space science fiction romance anthology. I share my home with several eccentric cats. If I ever get to explore the stars or visit a magical sanctuary town, I'm taking them with me. My reader candy is science fiction stories that include pets, so I have some recommendations for you. When I read them aloud to my cats (doesn't everyone do this?), these stories are the most appreciated.


I wrote...

Pets in Space 6: A Science Fiction Romance Anthology

By Carol Van Natta,

Book cover of Pets in Space 6: A Science Fiction Romance Anthology

What is my book about?

Join the incredible authors in Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA Today bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today's bestselling science fiction romance and fantasy authors: S.E. Smith, Veronica Scott, Honey Phillips, Carol Van Natta, Cassandra Chandler, J.C. Hay, S.J. Pajonas, Greta van der Rol, Deborah A. Bailey, Melisse Aires, and Kyndra Hatch.

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