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!
Ranksort descending Author Title Year Category Your Vote Body
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 John Clute Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia 1995 Non-fiction
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This is an incredible guide to all things science fiction prior to 1995. It's an extra large size volume filled with great color photographs. Covering magazines, books, film, and television this companion will keep you informed and entertained. While it does cover numerous science fiction themes other than space travel, I suspect that about half of this book is about space and therefore it's included here.
no votes Isaac Asimov Robots and Empire 1985 Fiction
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The 4th novel of the series that began with the Caves of Steel, humanity has resumed space exploration and is now operating far beyond the spacer world described earlier in the series. There are over 50 colonized worlds including Solaria, now only inhabited by a robot population. A person threatens Earth with a weapon of mass destruction.
no votes Brian Enke Shadows of Medusa 2004 Fiction
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The first crewed mission to Mars is launched, but almost everything about the mission is secret…including the entities that sponsored the mission. The Director of Mission Support is David Debacco and he's in love with Anna Schweitzer who is on the mission.
no votes Joe Haldeman Forever War, The 1974 Fiction
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Earth is in a war with aliens. The key character is William Mandella. Much of the book takes place in starships, space stations, and space suits. Due to time dilation time passes very slowly for the soldiers as they travel through space toward battles with the aliens. Each time soldiers return to Earth, the people of Earth and the technology is quite different.
no votes John Ringo Live Free or Die 2010 Fiction
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A huge circular object arrives near Earth…and alien ships come through it and attack Earth. The aliens seize control of Earth immediately. As more aliens of various species arrive from an array of planets, Tyler Vernon meets an alien ship captain looking for trade goods and discovers Earth does have something valuable to trade. Vernon becomes the richest person on Earth and embarks on a huge space development plan with many military aspects. 1st of 3.
no votes David Weber On Basilisk Station 1993 Fiction
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The first of an amazing 13 novel series. Commander Honor Harrington beats an admiral in a wargame exercise so she and her ship (Fearless) are exiled to a boring post that nobody has taken seriously for a very long time. She takes the post seriously and it becomes a flashpoint between Manticore & the People's Republic of Haven. Key characters Alistair McKeon and Hamish Alexander.
no votes Timothy Zahn Icarus Hunt, The 1999 Fiction
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Key character Jordan McKell is a Han Solo type figure smuggling various wares through space. His partner Ixil is an alien. Their ship (Icarus) is a Millennium Falcon "bucket of bolts" type of ship. The cargo is a bit hotter than expected. While clearly derivative in nature it's lots of fun.
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 Eugene Mallove Starflight Handbook, The 1989 Non-fiction
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This book is an overview of option for travelling beyond our solar system. It's quite accessible information as it's written for a general audience. Electric propulsion, nuclear rockets, antimatter propulsion, Orion, Project Daedalus, beam-powered light sails, Bussard Ramjet, electromagnetic launchers, and much more.
no votes W. Michael Gear Requiem for the Conqueror 1991 Fiction
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Humanity is effectively trapped in a fairly small region of space where resources are limited. A military group headed by Staffa Kar Therma (the Lord Commander) is the most powerful military force. Staffa's son Sinklar Fist is a key character. Lots of space and ground battles. 1st of Forbidden Borders trilogy.
no votes Judith Reeves-Stevens Federation 1994 Fiction
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There have been countless books set in the Star Trek Universe that follow the exploits of Kirk and crew and there have also been a ton of books following the more cerebral adventures of Picard. This book weaves the two crews together into a mission. Their goal...to save Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive.
no votes Alan Shepard Moon Shot 1994 Non-fiction
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An inside look at America's journey to the Moon. Written by Alan Shepard the first American in space and Deke Slayton who flew on the Apollo Soyuz mission. Great pictures and stories from the first 20 years of our space program. Includes an introduction by Neil Armstrong.
no votes William E. Burrows This New Ocean 1998 Non-fiction
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This impressive book is a detailed view of our space efforts from the beginning through the mid 1990s. The book is based on almost 200 interviews with the leaders of all aspects of the space enterprise. Billed as the first comprehensive telling of the first space age, its 700+ pages make the claim plausible.
no votes Walter A. McDougall …the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age 1985 Non-fiction
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Most people interested in space focus on the technology and the exciting vision of living and working in space. Far fewer people think about the political dimension of space. This book is all about the history of space politics through the mid 1980s. It won the Pulitzer prize, so if you're interested in space policy and politics...this one's for you.
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 Christopher Nuttall First Strike 2014 Fiction
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Another example of Earth finding itself militarily outclassed by an alien force. The decision is made that for Earth to have any chance we must strike first.
no votes Carl Sagan Contact 1985 Fiction
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A SETI researcher realizes that at long last we are getting a message from intelligent life from another star. The message is analyzed and it turns out to contain the technical information needed to build a device that will allow a human to travel to another star system. The device is built and a person undertakes the voyage. Enjoy the results with either the book or the movie starring Jodie Foster.
no votes Orson Scott Card Earth Unaware 2012 Fiction
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The story opens on a mining ship that's hard at work deep in the Kuiper belt. As astronomer/navigator aboard detects an incoming alien ship. The book explores Earth's advanced spacefaring culture and how it interacts with governments, military establishments, and corporations. The aliens are hostile, how will they be stopped? 1st of 3.

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