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 Carl Sagan Pale Blue Dot 1994 Non-fiction
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The star of the hugely popular TV show Cosmos wrote this great book showcasing our exploration of space up through its writing in 1994, and also includes his views on why humanity's survival may depend on us exploring and developing space.
no votes G. Harry Stine Halfway to Anywhere 1996 Non-fiction
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While unknown beyond the space community, this book is an insider's classic. The book explores the concept of Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO). There's a particular focus on the DC-X test vehicle that flew in the mid 1990s. He presents the view that SSTO can be developed and that the result would eventually be aircraft style operations.
no votes John Ringo Citadel 2011 Fiction
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Tyler Vernon continues to develop a wide variety of huge space infrastructure projects, many of which also have military aspects. Between the huge battle station Troy (made by inflating a metallic asteroid), a gigantic solar powered laser system, and advanced AI computer systems compliments of friendly aliens, Tyler Vernon has added military power to his economic power. 2nd of 3.
no votes Jim Lovell Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 1994 Non-fiction
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This is the incredible story of Apollo 13. With three lives in the balance, NASA rallied around and brought these men home safely against all odds. This is where the saying "Failure is not an option" comes from. Told by Jim Lovell who commanded the mission, it's a great story and a tale of heroism and never giving up. These events were also portrayed in a movie starring Tom Hanks.
no votes David Meerman Scott Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program 2014 Non-fiction
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While there have been countless books about the technical aspects of the Apollo program, this book delves into how Apollo was marketed to the American public. Given that many space advocates have been holding their breath for decades in the hope of another Apollo style program, this should be interesting reading for them.
no votes Ron Miller Grand Tour: A Traveler's Guide To The Solar System 1993 Non-fiction
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Filled from cover to cover with incredible images this book takes you on a tour of our solar system. While not as exciting as the inhabited worlds of the science fiction realm, these are pictures of our backyard along with plenty of text information to provide some solid info along with the eye candy.
no votes Roger D. Launius NASA & The Exploration of Space 1998 Non-fiction
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This is a diverse and wonderful collection of artworks focused on spacecraft of all kinds, people, planets, moons, etc. While the artwork is supplemented by significant information, this book is focused on the art and certainly deserves a prominent place on your coffee table.
no votes Andy Weir Martian, The 2014 Fiction
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A small crew of astronauts lands on Mars and begins to explore. A huge storm hits and the crew needs to evacuate. One crew member, Mark Whatney, is injured during the storm and separated from the others. Believing him dead, they evacuate Mars without him. It turns out that he is still alive and the book is his story of how he uses science to try to survive alone on Mars.
no votes John Clute Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, The 1995 Non-fiction
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This is a great companion volume to the Illustrated Sci Fi encyclopedia by the same author. They both cover the same time period, but by not having images, this 1,400 page volume contains a massive amount of information and should be a fixture in any Sci Fi fan's library.
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 David Weber Empire from the Ashes 2003 Fiction
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This story starts when Lt. Colin MacIntyre is on a standard training mission in lunar orbit…but then things get just a little bit crazy. Huge starships, self aware computer systems, and the secret of our Moon. This book was originally three separate books: Mutineer's Moon, Armageddon, and Heirs of Empire.
no votes Peter Hamilton Reality Dysfunction: Emergence 1997 Fiction
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Humanity has moved out into space in a very big way. Lots of people are what's called Edenists (they're genetically modified to live well in space habitats while being mentally linked with their ships). The other group is called Adamists - they pioneer the old way (primitive planetary surface living). The two groups interact on the planet Lalonde. 1st of 2.
no votes John Ringo Hot Gate, The 2012 Fiction
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Various alien societies have been keeping a close eye on Earth's rapid development and one species decides to wipe us out. While by this time Earth has a fleet of ships, much of Earth's defense consists of Tyler Vernon's two giant battlestations (Troy and Thermopylae) and his crazy powerful mining laser.
no votes Jay Barbree Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight 2014 Non-fiction
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Jay Barbree is one of the world's top space journalists and he knew and interviewed Neil Armstrong many times over a 50 year span. Enjoy this inside look at one of the most famous men in history. Join him as he flies combat missions over Korea before moving on to the X-15, and other spacecraft culminating of course in Apollo 11 when he became the first man to step onto the lunar surface.
no votes Robert A. Heinlein Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, The 1966 Fiction
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In 2076 the Moon is a colony populated by convicts and the descendants of convicts. Manny Davis, Professor de la Paz, Wyoming Knott, and a self aware computer named Mike decide that the Moon is ripe for independence and they start a revolution. TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Lunar ice mining, lunar and Earth based catapults for transportation. An incredible vision of life on the Moon in the future.
no votes Homer H. Hickam Rocket Boys 1998 Memoir
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If you saw the movie October Sky, this is the book it was based on. The is a great memoir of boys growing up in the late 1950s and 1960s with stars in their eyes…and in their hearts. They started out launching model rockets in a West Virginia mining town and went on to launch real rockets that have helped us explore our solar system.
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.
no votes T.A. Heppenheimer Colonies in Space 1977 Non-fiction
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While not as well known as Gerard O'Neill's The High Frontier, this book about space settlements was also written in 1977 and contains great information and insights on space settlements. With an introduction by Ray Bradbury, the book talks about living in space, space based solar power, spaceships, lunar mining, a temporary construction shack for workers who will build larger permanent settlements, space farming, recreation, and lots more.
no votes Arthur C. Clarke Interplanetary Flight 1985 Non-fiction
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The book discusses Earth's gravity field, development of rockets, and why it's so difficult for a rocket payload to achieve orbit. Probes and crewed missions to the Moon are covered followed by discussions of the challenges of interplanetary flight. Nuclear propulsion is explored as are spaceships and space stations. He concludes with some discussion of the long run of the space frontier. A small book packed with information.
no votes John Scalzi Old Man's War 2005 Fiction
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On a future Earth suffering from overpopulation and military incursions by alien races, older citizens are encouraged to join the army and leave earth…never to return. When you join the Colonial Defense Force you are rejuvenated and if you survive your term in the service you are richly rewarded. 1st of 9 novels.

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