Recommended Reading

I’ll keep the following list quite short, otherwise I’ll end up getting carried away and list a million books. This list represents a small selection of my favourite sci-fi of all time, and is very inspirational for my own writing. I’ve added a Books 2 Read link for each title, which will give you a list of all the stores where it is available. Please be aware that some of these links may be affiliate links, which means I make a small amount of money if you click through and buy.

Gaunt’s Ghosts


“The last warriors of a dead world, the Tanith First and Only follow their charismatic commander, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, through the deadly wars of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in search of glory and honour – if they can survive their Chaos-tainted enemies and the contempt of their fellow Imperial Guard units. ”

Now spanning 13 books, start off with either First and Only or the The Founding omnibus which collects the first three books in the series. The whole series is a great example of how to mesh together amazing action and brilliant characters that you really start to fall in love with. The major problem, it’s probably not wise to get too attached to some characters. This is all-out war after all.

Pandora’s Star


“Earth AD 2329: Humanity has colonized over four hundred planets, all interlinked by wormholes. For the first time in mankind’s history there is peace. Then a star over a thousand light years away suddenly vanishes, imprisoned inside a force field of immense size.”

Spanning two books, Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, this is space opera on a truly epic scale. After 2,000 pages, the ending feels a little bit flat, but it still contains my favourite single chapter of any book ever. I’d urge you to read it if you haven’t come across it before.

Use of Weapons


“The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances’ foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action.
The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.
The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman’s life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.”

This is a stupendous book that constantly builds towards an amazing finale. It seems quite divisive though, and I’ve seen it on best and worst books of all time. All due to the ending. You need to read this.

A Scanner Darkly


“Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Substance D doesn’t just alter the mind, it splits it in two, and neither side knows what the other is doing or that it even exists. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.”

This is the shortest read of the bunch, and it’s no worse for it. It’s a stark and paranoid thriller with a strong dose of intelligence, and it keeps you guessing and trying to work out where it’s going right until the very end.