Space Books List

Here is our selection of space-related books. All listings include space as an essential element. If you'd like to vote, or add your own suggestions, please register on the site and become a member! As member, you'll also be able to comment and vote on which space activities and technologies are most important. You will also have the opportunity to become a contributor or editor, and help to build the comprehensive database of important space activities and resources. Join us!
Rank Author Titlesort descending Year Category Your Vote Body
no votes Jay Barbree "Live From Cape Canaveral" 2007 Non-fiction
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The author has the unique distinction of being the only reporter who has covered every single mission flown by astronauts. Through the decades of covering every crewed mission (and tons of robotic missions) he has interviewed most of the key players from astronauts to NASA administrators...in many cases he's interviewed people several times. This is an inside look at the program and the heroes inside it.
no votes Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 Fiction
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This classic novel featured a robust space infrastructure by 1999. Central character Heywood Floyd travels from Earth to the Moon. Features commercially owned and operated space transportation, a huge wheel style space station with artificial gravity, and a large lunar base. The story also includes alien guidance in human affairs, a crewed mission to Saturn with David Bowman and Francis Poole, and artificial intelligence...HAL.
no votes Arthur C. Clarke 2010: Odyssey Two 1982 Fiction
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A mission is dispatched to rendezvous with the Discovery spaceship (sent to Jupiter in 2001 in earlier book). The mission's primary aim is to determine what went wrong in the earlier mission. The Chinese are also interested and a race develops between the U.S./Russian mission and one mounted by China. David Bowman appears (sort of) and more is gradually unveiled about the aliens.
no votes Gerard O'Neill 2081 1981 Non-fiction
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Written by the author of the High Frontier, this book has great content about computers, automation, space colonies, energy, and communications. If you're interested in what life can be like in 2081…here's a roadmap for you.
no votes Gregory Benford Across the Sea of Suns 1984 Fiction
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While exploring the Moon, humans found an alien spaceship that had crashed long ago. From the wreck, the technology of a Bussard ramjet was deduced. Later, while building a space colony, life is detected around a nearby star. The space colony is repurposed to become an interstellar ship. Complex alien interactions occur.

no votes Michael McCollum Antares Dawn 1986 Fiction
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500 years in the future humanity has established colonies beyond our home star system. The colony on Alta was cut off from interstellar travel when a nearby star exploded. After being on their own for a century or so a large warship reached their system. The warship had been badly damaged in a huge battle which was frightening since it outclassed any of the ships the human colony had. 1st novel of trilogy.
no votes Greg Bear Anvil of Stars 1992 Fiction
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82 humans that escaped Earth's destruction are aboard a The Ship of the Law. It's a huge ship hundreds of light years away from the wreckage of Earth treavelling at almost the speed of light. Their mission is to locate and kill the aliens who destroyed Earth. It's the sequel to Forge of God.

no votes David Weber Apocalypse Troll, The 1999 Fiction
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This book is hard to describe but it contains space travel, time travel, and aliens and spans a time period of about 500 years. Key characters are navy Seal captain Dick Aston and Colonel Ludmilla Leonovna of the Terran Marines.
no votes Alan Bean Apollo: An Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan Bean 1998 Non-fiction
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This is a beautiful coffee table book filled with the gorgeous paintings of astronaut Alan Bean. The book features an introduction by John Glenn and Andrew Chaikin assisted with the book.
no votes John Steakley Armor 1984 Fiction
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The novel has many parallels to Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Earth's soldier are dispatched to fight against vast numbers of hostile insect style aliens. They wear powered suits of armor.
no votes Robert McCall Art of Robert McCall, The 1992 Non-fiction
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Robert McCall was one of the most respected space artists of the 20th century. His paintings ranged from very detailed depictions of hardware and spacecraft to fanciful paintings of extrasolar planets. You can still see examples of his work at NASA field centers and bringing life to governmental reports and presidential commission findings about space. A great book for your coffee table!
no votes Kevin Anderson Assemblers of Infinity 1993 Fiction
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In the near future our space efforts are booming featuring a large lunar base. A huge structure is discovered on the far side of the Moon…apparently built by advanced alien nanotechnology. People that approach the structure die. Is this the opening move of an invasion?

no votes John S. Lewis Asteroid Mining 101: Wealth for the New Space Economy 2014 Non-fiction
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John Lewis has been one of the main authorities on asteroid mining for a long time. This latest book (published in 2014) has the benefit of being as up to date as possible. Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources have revealed their plans to eventually mine asteroids for water and other resources. This activity will be happening sooner than most people realize.
no votes Homer H. Hickam Back To The Moon 1999 Fiction
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Jack Medaris has been working for years to launch a probe to the Moon to bring back a quantity of Helium3 in an effort to help Earth benefit from fusion power. His lunar probe is sabotaged and destroyed. Medaris feels he has no choice but to hijack space shuttle Columbia from her mission to test a new rocket engine he designed to instead take Columbia to the Moon.
no votes Robert A. Heinlein Between Planets 1951 Fiction
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In this Heinlein juvenile novel, stresses are breaking out between Earth, Mars, and Venus. The central character, Don Harvey, is in a unique situation as he was born on a spaceship in interplanetary space and therefore is not a citizen of any particular planet. A key character is a Venerian dragon named Sir Isaac Newton. Along the way Don must protect a ring containing critical secrets.
no votes Charles Sheffield Between the Strokes of Night 1985 Fiction
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Earth is suffering badly from global warming. There are many space settlements and asteroid mining has created great wealth for the space settlements. A huge nuclear war breaks out before the key character was able to send space settlements beyond our star system using suspended animation technology.
no votes Wil McCarthy Bloom 1998 Fiction
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Self replicating entities have gotten out of control and have spread widely throughout the inner solar system. While people hide in and around the moons of Jupiter, they develop a spaceship that they think can make it through the infected areas all the way to Earth. Seven astronauts set out for Earth.
no votes Kim Stanley Robinson Blue Mars 1996 Fiction
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In the culmination of the trilogy, the terraforming of Mars is complete and people can survive on the surface without having to wear walkers (simplified spacesuit replacements). However now that Mars has been terraformed, Earth is in grave trouble for a wide variety of reasons. Immigration rates are a huge issue for the Mars locals and humanity grapples with where to colonize next.
no votes Robert Zubrin Case For Mars, The 1996 Non-fiction
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This book is an overview of why we need to explore and settle Mars, how we can do so at far less cost than most people think, and how we can do it NOW…in under a decade. One of the key aspects of his plan is harvesting the Mars atmosphere and using chemical processes to make fuel on site. This drastically reduces the fuel that must be taken to Mars and drives down mission costs.
no votes John C. Mankins Case for Space Solar Power, The 2014 Non-fiction
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While the idea of space based solar power has been with us for decades, Mankins has tied in some new approaches and the lower launch costs that are now available. Economies of scale are a large part of his concept. Instead of making gigantic structures where there are a relatively small number of huge components, Mankins advocates building SBSP using huge numbers of identical modules. This will reduce costs & simplify maintenance.

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