20 Must-Read Books Like The Bobiverse Series (Hard Sci-Fi)

Dennis E. Taylor’s The Bobiverse is a love letter to techies (and Trekkies) everywhere. A computer programmer himself, Taylor crafts a fun, rip-roaring, and smart story about Bob Johansson, a software mogul who finds himself in a sticky situation.

A century after his death, Bob has been uploaded to a computer and is set to be the driving AI behind an intergalactic probe for human-suitable planets. 

If you geeked out over this series and need a further sci-fi fix, look no further than these twenty must-read books similar to The Bobiverse.

20 Must-Read Books Like The Bobiverse Series (Hard Sci-Fi)

The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

The All-Consuming World

Like The Bobiverse, Cassandra Khaw’s The All-Consuming World is a spellbinding tale of death, AI, and all their accompanying consequences. 

Galactic criminal Maya has died, lived, and died again in more cyborg bodies than she can count. In her latest body, Maya is determined to track down her former outlaw team and figure out what the hell went wrong on their last mission—and rescue an old friend on the way. But the galaxy’s AI is determined to stop them, and if Maya and her crew want to succeed, they must first outrun their pursuers. 

Highly energetic and unabashedly queer, you’re in for a wild ride with this book. 

Pick up The All-Consuming World here.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

It’s humans versus robots in this delightfully entertaining sci-fi venture. Daniel H. Wilson spins a story of our technology turning against us in Robopocalypse. Told as an oral history by a survivor of the AI attack, this novel explores all the dark possibilities that come with humanity’s desire to always improve technology. 

You can find Robopocalypse here.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time (Children of Time, 1)

In Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time, the few remaining humans strive to find another planet to inhabit in the face of a dying Earth. When they find a prepared, terraformed world, they believe they have stumbled upon a blessing. 

Yet blessing becomes a curse, and humanity’s fate is in question. Can the human race survive on this hostile new planet?

Discover the answer when you pick up Children of Time here.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley-Robinson

Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

For another story of terraforming, turn to Red Mars. 

Kim Stanley Robinson’s classic novel portrays the siren song of Mars and one hundred colonists’ efforts to colonize it. They go to great scientific lengths to turn Mars into an oasis for humanity, yet even in the face of their work, someone is desperate to stop them from altering Mars at all.

Compulsively readable and scientifically informed, Red Mars is an astonishing story that challenges you to think beyond the known.

Be sure to grab your copy here.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves

When the moon disastrously shatters, apocalyptic events begin on Earth. Suddenly, it’s a race to preserve humanity and shuttle as many people as possible to space. As scientists’ efforts grow more desperate, the question of who will evacuate arises, as well as concerns about how humans will carry on. 

Drawing from several sciences to create a compelling narrative, Seveneves is a brilliant exploration of how the world might respond when faced with the incomprehensible.

You can find Seveneves here.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain is a pulse-pounding crisis novel that delves into the story of a deadly military space probe crash.

In the crash’s wake, a horrifying phenomenon leaves only two people alive in an Arizona town twelve miles from the landing site. Now, the US government must call in four biophysicists to contain the disaster and prevent it from leading to a global nightmare.

Follow the scientists’ efforts when you pick up The Andromeda Strain here.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

Red Rising

Red Rising soars high to become a standout entry into dystopian fiction. The saga follows Darrow, a member of society’s lowest caste, as he embarks upon an epic journey to overthrow the ruling class after a tragedy. With a sprawling cast and intricate plot, this series is bound to become your next obsession.

Find Red Rising, the first in a series of five books and counting, here.

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Goddess in the Machine

Set in a desolate future, Lora Beth Johnson’s Goddess in the Machine is a fascinating study of linguistics and science. 

Andra wakes in the year 3012 to find everyone calling her Goddess. She expected her cryogenic sleep to end with settling on another planet with her fellow colonists. Yet now, everyone Andra knows is dead, and their descendants believe Andra is their only hope for survival. If she can’t save them? She’ll meet the same gruesome fate as the previous two goddesses.

Clever and sharply twisty, you’ll delight in Goddess in the Machine’s interrogation of technology and human culture.

Grab your copy here.

Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

Babel-17 / Empire Star

Like Goddess in the Machine, Babel-17 is another intriguing tale of language and linguistics. The futuristic story follows a famous poet’s efforts to decode the complex language that is vital to an enemy’s violent attacks. To do so, she must voyage to the predicted site of the subsequent siege with a crew of misfits. 

Thoughtful and mesmerizing, Babel-17 will ask you to interrogate everything you believe about language.

Find your copy here.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

The Left Hand of God

If you haven’t read Ursula Le Guin’s groundbreaking The Left Hand of Darkness, here’s your chance.

The 1969 novel follows a human ambassador on Winter, an icy alien planet without a gender binary. The ambassador must persuade Winter to join a larger galactic collective, yet in doing so, he finds his views challenged and his life in jeopardy.

Told through scientific, anthropological, and emotional lenses, The Left Hand of Darkness is an unforgettable exploration of what it means to be human. 

You can find it here.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor 

Binti (Binti, 1)

Binti is the first of her people, the Himba, to receive an offer to study at the galaxy’s highest learning institution. 

To do so means leaving everything she knows behind and stepping into the stars with people who do not respect her. It also means she finds herself in harm’s way from aliens that the university wronged. Now, to survive and receive her education, Binti must find a balance between her people’s gifts and the institution’s lessons.

Futuristic and with a reverence for mathematics, Binti is easy to devour in a single sitting.

Be sure to grab your copy here.

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

PREY GODS

Nicky Drayden challenges boundaries and genre conventions in her debut novel, The Prey of Gods. 

Set in a futuristic South Africa, the story follows an unlikely band of heroes as they try to save their world from an impending AI uprising, a hallucinogenic drug plaguing the country, and a bloodthirsty demigoddess with a score to settle. 

With dark humor and compelling characters whose chemistry crackles, The Prey of Gods is a memorable and unique read.

Check it out here.

The Last 8 by Laura Pohl

The Last 8 (The Last 8, 1)

For another fun sci-fi tale, check out Laura Pohl’s The Last 8.

Clover Martinez believes she’s the last surviving human after an alien attack. Yet when a mysterious radio transmission comes from Area 51, Chloe finds a band of survivors who, against all odds and expectations, have stuck together. And as strange signals and science come to light, Chloe and her newfound group are the only ones there to decipher the truth behind the attack.

Heart-pounding and hilarious, The Last 8 brings Latinx and LGBTQ+ representation to the genre. 

Grab your copy here.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, 1)

Like The Last 8, Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a chaotically cool sci-fi romp with a strong scientific undercurrent. 

When Rosemary Harper joins the Wayfarer crew looking for adventure, she keeps her expectations low. Consider Rosemary’s expectations met and exceeded as the mismatched unit accepts a life-altering mission. If they succeed, they’ll be famous. If they don’t? Well, at least Rosemary can say she had an adventure.

See how the mission turns out when you grab The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet here.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary: A Novel

You may have read Andy Weir’s The Martian, but now, it’s time to check out Project Hail Mary. 

In true “hail Mary” fashion, astronaut Ryland Grace is the one person with a shot at saving Earth from disaster. But right now, he can’t even remember his name or what his mission was in the first place. Surrounded by his dead crewmates and plagued by hazy memories, Ryland must grapple with all he does—and does not—remember to save the world.

Darkly funny and full of fascinating science, Andy Weir delivers another show-stopping, interstellar story.

Find Project Hail Mary here.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries (The Murderbot Diaries, 1)

Dive into an action-packed, gunslinging story with found family undertones in All Systems Red by Martha Wells, the first of The Murderbot Diaries

In the future, space travel and corporations reign supreme. Teams go out to explore new planets alongside corporate droids who keep them safe. Yet unbeknownst to one group, their droid hacked its mainframe, and now, it refers to itself as Murderbot. Really, all it wants is solitude, but when a nearby mission encounters a crisis, it must leap into action.

Pick up All Systems Red here.

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

Persephone Station

For a feminist, military-focused space opera, check out Stina Leicht’s Persephone Station, the story of a largely ignored planet that suddenly becomes the center of attention. Persephone Station has secrets, and now, it’s up to bar owner Rosie and ex-marine Angel to assemble a crew and fight off the army’s efforts to exploit the planet.

With stellar worldbuilding, a delightful cast of female, queer, and nonbinary characters, and a complex plot, Persephone Station is well worth your time.

Grab your copy here.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

The Light Brigade

Venture into a thrilling military sci-fi about soldiers returning from a Martian war altered. To defend Earth, low-level soldiers are broken down to light to travel from battlefront to battlefront. New recruit Dietz experiences the strange phenomenon, and suddenly starts to notice: his version of events doesn’t match up with the higher-ups’. What’s the truth?

Cinematic, creative, and furiously propulsive, Kameron Hurley dissects what it means to be human, and what it means to fight a war.

Find The Light Brigade here.

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Ninefox Gambit (1) (The Machineries of Empire)

In this thrilling military sci-fi debut, a captain finds her career in jeopardy thanks to her full-force tactics. To secure her future, she must succeed in recapturing a lost fortress, and to win the siege, she must team up with a mad, undead tactician. If she fails, her career won’t be the only casualty—the entire galaxy could be in danger. 

Packed with action and political intrigue, Yoon Ha Lee blends current topics with futuristic interests to arrive at a wholly inventive tale.

Pick up your copy of Ninefox Gambit here.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Winter's Orbit

Everina Maxwell’s debut novel is the perfect fit for those who like their sci-fi to balance character with technology. Set within a planetary collective, Winter’s Orbit follows Imperial Prince Kiem and widower Jainan as they marry for convenience—and uncover a vast military conspiracy to use illegal technology as they get to know each other. 

Dually romantic and scientifically charged, Winter’s Orbit is a wickedly entertaining outing. 

Be sure to grab your copy here.

Out of this World

Add a treat to your TBR by picking up one (or more!) of these ambitious sci-fi stories. With varying balances of science, worldbuilding, and character, there’s something here for every type of reader who wants to travel beyond Earth.

FAQs

Why is The Bobiverse classified as “hard sci-fi?”

Hard sci-fi is concerned with the realm of scientific possibility. While there may be futuristic or improbable elements, there is a basis of science within these stories.

How many books are in The Bobiverse series?

There are four books in the series, but Taylor has stated that he has a working title for a fifth book.

In what order should I read The Bobiverse?

Start with We Are Legion (We Are Bob), and after that, read For We Are Many, All These Worlds, and Heaven’s River.

Does Dennis E. Taylor have other novels?

Yes! If you want more from Taylor, check out a classic, Outland, and one of his latest novels, Roadkill.

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Morgan Spraker