8 Books Like For All Mankind On Apple TV+

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Addison Rizer


Addison Rizer is a writer and reader of anything that can be described as weird, sad, or scary. She has an MA in Professional Writing and a BA in English. She writes for Book Riot and Publishers Weekly and is always looking for more ways to gush about the books she loves. Find her published work or contact her on her website or at addisonrizer at gmaildotcom.

It’s the space race, baby! Apple TV’s For All Mankind explores an alternate history in which a Soviet Union crew, not a United States crew, was the first group of astronauts to land on the moon. In the aftermath, the United States is desperate to beat them to other celestial bodies and the space race rages on. With a huge cast of characters and tangled storylines, the show covers decades of history, digging into the drama, tragedy, and humanity at the heart of space travel. 

Audiences and outlets alike are raving, with USA Today calling it the “best show on TV right now” and CNET calling it the “most underrated show on television.” Its 90% on Rotton Tomatoes with an 82% audience score is worth recognizing, too. Everyone is loving this alternate history sci-fi adventure that makes a point to include more diversity in humanity’s reaching for the stars. It’s full of the breath-holding of lift-off, the tender heart of love and loss, and the political interworkings putting everyone’s lives at risk. Who could ask for more?

For those of you wanting a book version of the spacey sci-fi on screen, here are eight books like For All Mankind that you’ll love.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal book cover

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

After a meteorite destroys the east coast in 1952 and sends the climate out of wack, humanity takes to the skies to find somewhere else to live — and fast. Elma York, a mathematician who longs to go to space, must fight against the misogyny of the male-dominated field to prove herself. With a team of other dedicated women and a ticking clock, The Calculating Stars explores a different kind of space race.

Cover of A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

What would it look like if aliens had a say in the outcome of the space race? That question lives at the heart of Neuvel’s A History of What Comes Next. After 99 generations of mother daughter Kibsu duos, Sarah and Mia need to recruit German rocket scientist for the U.S. government while being pursued by a bloodthirsty group called the Trackers as World War II wages on. Tensions are high as the duo fight to achieve their goal of getting humans into space by whatever means necessary.

Cover of The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

As the Earth’s climate makes it clear it will be inhabitable soon, 24 teenagers start space training to make Jupiter’s moon, Europa, livable. At the end of the training program, only six will be chosen to set off into the sky to forge a new civilization. Among the trainees are swimming star Leo and whip smart Naomi who find friendship in each other as the competition’s stakes rise and strange things start happening around them. If you love the emotional stakes of For All Mankind, this one’s a great choice!

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh book cover

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

If you’re into For All Mankind’s focus on humanity set against spacey goings on, Do You Dream of Terra-Two? is perfect. One hundred years after an Earth-like planet was discovered, ten astronauts set out to build a life there. Six teenagers and four veteran astronauts embark on a new space race, but it won’t be a quick trip. Their journey will take 23 years, all of them trapped together in the tight confines of their ship. Let’s hope they can trust each other the whole way there, because there’s nowhere to hide.

Cover of The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

Kaz Zemeckis is a flight controller at NASA, overseeing the Apollo 18 mission. But when a Russian spy satellite is found on the way, the mission shifts to disabling the device before secrets are revealed. After a series of tragedies including the death of an astronaut, though, this scientific-turned-intelligence mission may prove more dangerous than anyone thought possible.

Cover of Orbital Cloud by Taiyo Fujii

Orbital Cloud by Taiyo Fujii

After a space object tracking website notices odd things in space, word gets around that there may be a weapon aimed at the International Space Station. In the Pacific, NORAD notices the same debris and starts to investigate. With a space tourist entrepreneur, secret information from supposed scientists, and government involvement stirring underneath, the threat must be dealt with before it’s too late.

the cover of Goldilocks by laura lam

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

An all-female team join together to find the planet Cavendish in the “Goldilocks Zone” so humans can live amongst the stars in the wake of environmental disasters on Earth. But because of political upheaval targeting women’s rights, their mission isn’t exactly authorized. Or legal. No matter, the five-woman team is determined to overcome illness, politics, and interpersonal issues to go where no man has gone before.

Cover of V-S Day by Allen Steele

V-S Day by Allen M. Steele

After Hitler orders scientist Wernher von Braun to build a spaceship that can bomb New York City and keep the U.S. out of World War II, British spies overhear their plans. They send warning to the United States, causing them to divert their resources to developing their own spacecraft capable of stopping the potential incoming attack. A different space race commences, one with thousands of casualties on the line.

In the mood for more space books like For All Mankind? Check out the 25 best space opera books or these 50 must-read books set in space!

If you’re looking for something more specific though, check out Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendation (TBR) service. With two levels of subscriptions providing great recommendations quarterly, you’re sure to find something you love. Maybe you want a book like your latest TV obsession or with the vibes of that childhood movie that wormed under your skin and won’t let go. Maybe you want a surprise recommendation or two that you never would have thought of yourself. Book Riot’s professional bibliologists are ready for just that!

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