No Man’s Sky was one of the most anticipated video game releases of the year, with its developers promising unlimited exploration and an almost infinite amount of worlds, animals, and plants to discover on your journey towards the center of the galaxy. While a lot of folks have been disappointed by its release, saying it hasn’t lived up to all the hype, I’ve enjoyed playing around and traveling to worlds, naming my discoveries as I go. But what do you do if you want a story to go along with your travels? Or what if you’re unhappy with No Man’s Sky and want something more fulfilling?
Check out these books if you’re in the mood for some aliens, space exploration, and more.
(Note: There may be slight “spoilers” for No Man’s Sky ahead.)
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
This book/series immediately comes to mind while playing No Man’s Sky. If you’re a fan of hunting down monoliths to add more Gek words to your vocabulary, pondering different alien cultures, or just tricking out your exosuit, Old Man’s War has this and more.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Is one of your favorite parts of No Man’s Sky hunting down trading posts, visiting space stations, and wishing you could see what a vast alien empire looks like before it turns to ruins? The Imperial Radch trilogy, comprised of Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and Ancillary Mercy, space stations have a mind of their own, trading is a matter of politics, and the Radchaai run the galaxy.
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
If your favorite part of No Man’s Sky is discovering the… unique… wildlife the galaxy hosts, or visiting planets with purple or green skies, you might enjoy Dark Eden, which takes place on a planet with no sun and some crazy bio-luminescent creatures.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
In Sleeping Giants, a beyond top-secret team of scientists and pilots search the globe for the missing parts to a giant robot, so if you like hunting down new alien tech, scouring planets to find new upgrades for your ship or multi-tool, or looking for the ruins of alien civilizations, this might be the book for you.