If you enjoy Dark Matter and are looking for a book that is similar in spirit, might I suggest the following ten scifi novels.
Whether it’s kickass characters, a shipboard setting, an anti-villain premise, or a sense of humor, Dark Matter shares a little something with each of these amazing titles…
The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle, #1) by Jason M. Hough
In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.
Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.
Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox, #1) by Rachel Bach
Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.
That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.
Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire, #1) by Yoon Ha Lee
The first installment of the trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, centers on disgraced captain Kel Cheris, who must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles in order to redeem herself in front of the Hexarchate.
To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.
Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.
Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.
The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.
Dark Run (Keiko, #1) by Mike Brooks
The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune and adventurers, travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And nobody talks about their past.
But when a face from Captain Ichabod Drift’s former life send them on a run to Old Earth, all the rules change.
Trust will be broken, and blood will be spilled.
Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War, #1) by John Scalzi
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce– and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine–and what he will become is far stranger.
Revenger (Revenger, #1) by Alastair Reynolds
The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.
And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them.
Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection–and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.
Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.
Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future–a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance…
Diving into the Wreck (Diving Universe, #1) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she s an active historian. She wants to know about the past to experience it firsthand. Once she s dived the ship, she ll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It s a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.
Then one day, Boss finds the claim of a lifetime: an enormous spacecraft, incredibly old, and apparently Earth-made. It s impossible for something so old, built in the days before Faster Than Light travel, to have journeyed this far from Earth. It shouldn t be here. It can t be here. And yet, it is. Boss s curiosity is up, and she s determined to investigate. She hires a group of divers to explore the wreck with her, the best team she can assemble. But some secrets are best kept hidden, and the past won t give up its treasures without exacting a price in blood.”
The Wreck of the River of Stars by Michael Flynn
This is a story of the glory that was. In the days of the great sailing ships in the mid-21st century, when magnetic sails drew cargo and passengers alike to every corner of the Solar System, sailors had the highest status of all spacemen, and the crew of the luxury liner The River of Stars, the highest among all sailors.
But development of the Farnsworth fusion drive doomed the sailing ships and now The River of Stars is the last of its kind, retrofitted with engines, her mast vestigial, her sails unraised for years. An ungainly hybrid, she operates in the late years of the century as a mere tramp freighter among the outer planets, and her crew is a motley group of misfits. Stepan Gorgas is the escapist executive officer who becomes captain. Ramakrishnan Bhatterji is the chief engineer who disdains him. Eugenie Satterwaithe, once a captain herself, is third officer and, for form’s sake, sailing master.
When an unlikely and catastrophic engine failure strikes The River, Bhatterji is confident he can effect repairs with heroic engineering, but Satterwaithe and the other sailors among the crew plot to save her with a glorious last gasp for the old ways, mesmerized by a vision of arriving at Jupiter proudly under sail. The story of their doom has the power, the poetry, and the inevitability of a Greek tragedy.
The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson
For two thousand years, the starship Astron has searched the galaxy for alien life–without success. Now, just as the ship is falling apart, the only direction left to explore is across the Dark, a one-hundred-generation journey through empty space.
The ship’s captain–immortal, obsessed–refuses to abandon the quest. He will cross the Dark, or destroy the ship trying.
Only Sparrow, a young crewman uncertain of his own past, can stand against the captain, and against the lure and challenge of the dark beyond the stars…
Legion of the Damned by William C. Dietz
There is one final choice for the hopeless the terminally ill, the condemned criminals, the victims who cannot be saved: becoming cyborg soldiers in the Legion. Their human bodies are destroyed and they are reborn as living weapons. But when aliens attack the Empire, the Legion must choose sides.”
10 thoughts on “July 3, 2017: Dark Matter-like book recommendations!”
Going to add Diving the Wreck to my reading list, thanks once again for reading recommendations!
Huh, I was expecting to see Mur Lafferty’s recent novel Six Wakes on this list, given that my first thought upon hearing it described was “Hey, that sounds a lot like Dark Matter”. Seriously, here’s the blurb from Amazon.com:
Maria Arena awakens in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. She has no memory of how she died. This is new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.
Maria’s vat is one of seven, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it can awaken. And Maria isn’t the only one to die recently…
I mean, the people are waking up in cloning vats rather than in deep-sleep chambers, but you’ve still got a half dozen or so people who don’t remember what they had been doing on this ship and trying to figure out what the heck happened. (With rather more urgency than in Dark Matter, as it soon becomes clear that the previous generation of clones of the crew all met decidedly not-natural ends and at least one of the crew is a murderer….)
I am still enjoying John Scalzi’s work, Old Man’s War got me onto the rest of the series,(and can even be a stand alone read) its one of those books you can re-read and enjoy very much. thanks for telling me about it a few moons ago. Hubby enjoys it also, along with Diving the Wreck,, so many of your suggestions are spot on good. Might be checking out some of your other books here, thank you. Always looking for my next good book.
I loved “Old Man’s War” and highly recommend it! “Fortune’s Pawn” was a good read but it did have that love story, teen angst stuff? I would read it again but still.
Thanks for the list and I’ll look a few of those others up. My hubby and I love Audiobooks, so I’m going to see if they come in Mp3’s. Currently, I’m listening to “The Whistler” by John Grisham (very good!). Hubby’s re-listening to “The Robot Novels”.
rmtodd: Thanks! I’ll look “Six Wakes” up, also.
Good list, read a couple of these already so looking forward to taking a look at others in similar vein. Thanks!
“The Darwin Elevator” sounds really interesting, but this line – “…with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures.” had me wondering if this has already really happened, and I just missed it.
I’m currently reading “Old Man’s War”, and really enjoying it!
This list came at a perfect time. Thank you for the recommendation! 🙂
I’d swear I’ve read “Diving into the wreck”. The plot sounds so familiar but I haven’t found it on my book shelves or my electronic devices. I ordered the Mp3 version for my hubby. If it’s the book I think it is, I enjoyed it a lot and I won’t mind listening to it again. Thankfully, we both like sci-fi.
As always, I do appreciate your recommendations. 🙂
Drea: Dr Jo’s in the hospital again. Something about electrolyte imbalances and running tests. It’s not all bad news, these hospital visits seem to set her right for a while. (fingers crossed)
I love to read. Thank you for your suggestions and reviews. By the way: Your blog is the best. Thanks again.
“Wreck of the River of Stars” is one of the few books I’ve ever bought that I did not finish. I hated each and every character.