Best Space Books and Sci-Fi: A Space.com Reading List
Space.com's editors present a reading list for space and sci-fi lovers, as well as children who are interested in astronomy and spaceflight.
Credit: Space.com/Jeremy Lips

There are plenty of great books out there about space — so many, in fact, that it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out where to start. So the editors and writers at Space.com have put together a list of their favorite books about the universe. These are the books that we love — the ones that informed us, entertained us and inspired us. We hope they'll do the same for you.

We've divided the books into five categories, which each have their own dedicated pages. On this page, we feature books we're reading now and books we've recently read, which we will update regularly. Click to see the best of:

We hope there's something on the list for every reader of every age. We're also eager to hear about your favorite space books, so please leave your suggestions in the comments, and let us know why you love them. You can see our ongoing Space Books coverage here.

By Seth Fishman, Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg

"A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars" (Greenwillow Books, 2017) by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg.
"A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars" (Greenwillow Books, 2017) by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg.
Credit: Greenwillow Books

In "A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars," Seth Fishman Tackles the numbers that permeate everything around us. Not just any numbers, mind you, but enormous numbers. Gigantic, mind-bogglingly tremendous whoppers of numbers. Numbers that the human mind can scarcely comprehend.

Accompanied by delightful illustrations by Isabel Greenberg, Fishman makes infinitesimal figures like the number of seconds in a year (31,536,000), the distance between the Earth and the moon (240,000 miles), and how many people go shoulder-to-shoulder every day on our big blue marble (7,500,000,000) relatable to the four-to-eight age group.

"A child isn't necessarily going to get the number of raindrops in a thunderstorm (1,620, 000,000,000,000)," Fishman said, "but maybe it'll help them connect with what the word 'trillion' means because they know what a thunderstorm looks like." He also throws in fun facts that pint-size readers will take delight in. Who knew that a great white shark has about 300 teeth? Or that we might eat up to 70 pounds of bugs in our lifetime? Fishman's numbers will thrill, amaze, and elucidate. ~Jasmin Malik Chua

Read an interview with the author here.

By Ann Leckie

"Provenance" (Orbit books, 2017) by Ann Leckie
"Provenance" (Orbit books, 2017) by Ann Leckie
Credit: Orbit Books

A young woman plots to find stolen artifacts in "Provenance," which takes place in the same universe as author Ann Leckie's award-winning "Ancillary" trilogy of books — but introduces readers to a new selection of future human cultures with a more straightforward and less high-concept adventure story. Don't let that fool you, though: The book's exploration of multiculture, multispecies conflict (with aliens called the Geck) works just as much intriguing worldbuilding into the mix as her previous books. Plus, there are mind-controlled robots, stolen alien ships and a society with three genders. ~Sarah Lewin

Read an interview with Leckie about the book here.

By Lucas Ellerbroek, translated by Andy Brown

"Planet Hunters: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life" by Lucas Ellerbroek
"Planet Hunters: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life" by Lucas Ellerbroek
Credit: Reaktion Books

"Planet Hunters" takes readers through the history of the search for worlds around other suns  — from heretical belief to science fiction flight of fancy to one of the fastest-growing fields of astronomical research. Author Lucas Ellerbroek highlights the passion of exoplanet researchers as they learn about the countless planets circling other stars.

"I really want to bring across the message that science is something not to be read purely in an encyclopedia, because encyclopedias change, and science is a dynamic enterprise done by humans," Ellerbroek says of the book. ~Sarah Lewin

Read an interview with the author here.

By Tyler Nordgren

"Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets" (Basic Books, 2016) by Tyler Nordgren.
"Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets" (Basic Books, 2016) by Tyler Nordgren.
Credit: Basic Books

Throughout history, solar eclipses have transformed from terrifying omens to the subject of scientific study. In "Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets," astronomer-artist Tyler Nordgren traces the natural history of eclipses and how they have inspired eclipse chasers to travel the world and witness the natural phenomenon.

Nordgren's narrative also details how observations of total solar eclipses have contributed to scientific discoveries about the sun, moon and Earth's place in the universe throughout history. ~Samantha Mathewson

Read an interview with the book's author here

By Tim Peake

"Hello, Is This Planet Earth?" by Tim Peake
"Hello, Is This Planet Earth?" by Tim Peake
Credit: Little, Brown and Co.

British astronaut Tim Peake's photo book takes its name from an unusual moment during his six months on the International Space Station — he tried to call his family on Christmas Eve in 2015, but dialed the wrong number instead, confusing the answerer with an unusual greeting: "Hello, is this Planet Earth?"

The book is filled with Peake's favorite photo selections of night and day, oceans and rivers, mountains and deserts,  towns and cities, and the Earth overall, as well as the satellites, cargo craft and other gear that made appearances during his time on the space station. His images are interspersed with descriptions of how he captured the photos and anecdotes about his time in space. ~Sarah Lewin

Read more about the book here, and see a gallery of some of the book's images here.

Again, check out our full lists here:

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