Best Books, Education, Fiction, Nonfiction, Science & Nature

The 27 Best Books About Space (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

November 30, 2015

“What are the best books about outer space?” We looked at 18 articles and 177 different books in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find our results of the 27 top space books (fiction and non-fiction) of all-time. Click here to learn more or buy the books listed, and click here to see the methodology used for ranking the books.

The Type of Intro Paragraph That Can be Found in a Best Space Books Listicle

Outer Space, the universe, the ever expanding nothingness and everythingness, the black cold blanket. We’ve all looked into the night sky at one point of our lives thinking about how it was created and what our place in it is. For some, this thought is as fleeting as a human life in comparison to space-time, for others, these questions need answers. Answers that inevitably will only bring more questions that need answers and so on. For these people it’s not the destination that matters as much as the mind-expanding educational journey. A journey that can only be helped by a listicle.

The type of things you will find when looking at outer space best of lists:
  • Dark pictures everywhere
  • Profound statements
  • Talk about what we do and don’t know about life
  • The word “Expanding”
The Top Fiction and Non-Fiction Books About Outer Space (in ascending order):

Total lists consulted: 18
Unique books listed:  177 (see bottom of article for full list)



Editors Pick: The Day We Found the Universe by Marcia Bartusiak

Occasionally we will include a single Editors Pick at the top of the lists. These books are ones that did not appear on any of the other top lists, but that we read and enjoyed enough to include ourselves.

Buy

The Day We Found the Universe Book by Marcia Bartusiak


28.) A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts By Andrew Chaikin 

Appears On: 2 lists

Buy

A Man On The Moon- The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin


27.) A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt 

Appears On: 2 lists

Buy

A Talent for War (Alex Benedict #1) by Jack McDevitt


26.) Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S Thorne

Appears On: 2 lists

Buy

Black Holes & Time Warps- Einstein's Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne


25) Cosmos Carl Sagan

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
Cosmos by Carl Sagan


24.) Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir by Bryan Burrough

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy

Dragonfly- NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir by Bryan Burrough


23.) Dune by Frank Herbert

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy

Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) by Frank Herbert


22.) Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy

Moondust- In Search Of The Men Who Fell To Earth by Andrew Smith


21.) Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void By Mary Roach

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy

Packing for Mars- The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach


20.) Singularity Sky by Charles Stross

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy

Singularity Sky (Eschaton #1) by Charles Stross


19.) Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
Solaris by Stanisław Lem


18.) Startide Rising by David Brin

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga #2) by David Brin


17.) The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks


16.) The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy #1) by Kim Stanley Robinson


15.) The Martian Chronicles By Ray Bradbury

Appears On: 2 lists
Buy
15.) The Martian Chronicles By Ray Bradbury


14.) A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy
A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought #1) by Vernor Vinge


13.) Ender’s Game By Orson Scott Card

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card


12) Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Foundation (Foundation Universe) by Isaac Asimov


11.) Gateway By Frederik Pohl

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Gateway (Heechee Saga #1) by Frederik Pohl


10) Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey


9) Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Old Man's War (Old Man's War #1) by John Scalzi


8.) Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Rendezvous with Rama (Rama #1) by Arthur C. Clarke


7.) Revelation Space by Alastair

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Revelation Space (Revelation Space #1) by Alastair Reynolds


6.) Ringworld by Larry Niven

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Ringworld (Ringworld #1) by Larry Niven


5.) Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson


4.) The Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

The Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson


3.) The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Appears On: 3 lists
Buy

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe


2.) Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Appears On: 4 lists
Buy

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1) by Dan Simmons


1.) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams

Appears On: 4 lists
Buy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams

 



 

The 149 other books mentioned in the top outer space articles
  • 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
  • A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey: 1957, The Space Race Begins by Michael D’Antonio
  • A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
  • A Deepness is the Sky
  • A Fire Upon the Sky
  • A User’s Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty”By Dave Goldberg
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Aliens For Breakfast by: Jonathan Etra
  • Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  • Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon by Mike Gray
  • Apollo: The Race to the Moon by Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox
  • Astronauts Today By: Rosanna Hansen
  • Astronomy Demystified
  • Astronomy for Dummies
  • Astronomy Today (4th Edition)
  • At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program by Milton O. Thompson
  • Aurora By Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Avalon by Mindee Arnett
  • Bad Astronomy
  • Barrayar by Miles Vorkosigan Saga & Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Beyond Earth
  • Big Silver Space Shuttle By: Ken Wilson-Max
  • Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
  • Blood Music by Greg Bear
  • Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins
  • Cassastar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
  • Chariots for Apollo: The Untold Story behind the Race to the Moon by Charles R. Pellegrino & Joshua Stoff
  • Comm Check: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia By Michael Cabbage and William Harwood
  • Complete Idiots Guide to Astronomy
  • Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
  • Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Countdown: A History of Space Flight by T. A. Heppenheimer
  • Cyteen  by C.J. Cherryh
  • Deathstalker
  • Decoding the Universe by Charles Seife
  • Deke! (U.S. Manned Space: From Mercury to the Shuttle) by Donald K. “Deke” Slayton with Michael Cassutt
  • Don’t Know Much About the Universe
  • Dread Empire’s Fall: The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams
  • Elephant Joe is a Spaceman! by David Wojtowycz
  • Failure Is Not An Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Eugene F. Kranz
  • Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • First Lensman by Edward E. Smith
  • First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
  • Floating in Space By: Franklyn Branley
  • Flying Birthday Cake? By: Louis Sachar, Amy Wummer
  • Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
  • Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
  • Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton
  • Have Space Suit-Will Travel by Robert Heinlein
  • Hello, Is Anybody There? By: Jostein Gaarder
  • How Apollo Flew to the Moon by W. David Woods
  • How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet  by Robert Zubrin
  • How We’ll Live on Mars By Stephen L. Petranek
  • Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension By Michio Kaku
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • Incandescence by Greg Egan
  • Infinite Worlds By Michael Soluri
  • Interworld by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves
  • Iron Sunrise
  • Korolev by James J. Harford
  • Larklight by Philip Reeve
  • Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos by Gregory L. Matloff, Les Johnson & C. Bangs
  • Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos by Dennis Overbye
  • Look Inside Space By Rob Lloyd Jones, Illustrated by Benedetta Giaufret and Enrica Rusiná
  • Lost Moon by James Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger
  • Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century by W. W. Mendell, Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin
  • Making Space Happen by  Paula Berinstein
  • Managing Martians by Donna Shirley
  • Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter
  • Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission by Andrew Kessler
  • Max Goes to the Space Station By Jeffrey Bennett, Illustrations by Michael Carroll
  • Moonrush by Dennis Wingo
  • Neverness by David Zindell
  • Newton’s Wake by Ken MacLeod
  • Nightwatch
  • On Basilisk Station by David Weber
  • Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton
  • Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery By Margaret A. Weitekamp, with David DeVorkin, Illustrated by Diane Kidd
  • Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
  • Project Orion by George Dyson
  • Raft by Stephen Baxter
  • Rainbows Endby (Vernor Vinge
  • Return to the Moon by Harrison H. Schmitt
  • Return to the Moon by Rick Tumlinson
  • Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane
  • Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space By Tam O’Shaughnessy
  • Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
  • Science Explorer: Astronomy
  • Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir by Tom Jones
  • Skyship Academy by Nick James
  • Space Odyssey
  • Space School: Crash Course by Tony Bradman and Tom Bradman
  • Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo by Nicholas de Monchaux
  • Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles by Roger E. Bilstein
  • Starglass by Phoebe North
  • Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
  • The Anabasis
  • The Best Book of Spaceships By: Ian Graham
  • The Book Nobody Read by Owen Gingerich
  • The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must By Robert Zubrin
  • The Centauri Device by M. John Harrison
  • The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark By Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
  • The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  • The Edge of Physics by Anil Ananthaswamy
  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  • The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clark
  • The Genesis Quest and Second Genesis by Donald Moffitt
  • The Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist’s Guide by Neil F. Comins
  • The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks
  • The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Race in Space by Eugene Cernan with Don Davis
  • The Lost Fleet by John G. Hemry
  • The Lunar Base Handbook by Peter Eckart, McGraw-Hill
  • The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System By: Joanna Cole, Bruce Degen
  • The Man on the Moon! by Simon Bartram
  • The Mote In God’s Eye by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven
  • The Night’s Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
  • The Once and Future Moon by Paul D. Spudis
  • The Orbital Perspective By Ron Garan, NASA astronaut
  • The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut By Clayton C. Anderson
  • The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton
  • The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Rocket Company by Patrick J. G. Steinnon and David, M. Hoerr
  • The Serrano Legacy
  • The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner
  • The Sky is Full of Stars By: Franklyn Branley, Felicia Bond
  • The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • The Star Web by George Zebrowski
  • The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • The Vattas
  • The Very First Light by John C Mather and John Boslough
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
  • Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci
  • Titan by Stephen Baxter
  • To Space and Back By: Sally Ride, Susan Okie
  • Tourists in Space: A Practical Guide by Erik Seedhouse
  • Toys in Space by Mini Grey
  • Trading Danger by Elizabeth Moon
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
  • Ursula le Guin’s Hainish Series
  • Vacuum Diagrams by Stephen Baxter
  • Wanda’s Space Party by Sue Hendra
  • Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet By Buzz Aldrin, with Marianne J. Dyson
  • Welcome to Moon Base by Ben Bova

The Article Sources Arranged by Publish Date

 

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