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9 Books Like Babylon 5 That Will Launch You Into New Worlds

These books will serve as your next great jump-gate.

books like babylon 5
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  • Photo Credit: Image from 'Babylon 5' via IMDb

Going to space has long been humanity’s dream. We’ve imagined what life might be like on distant planets and the adventures we might have traveling among the stars. And one show that brought all those possibilities to life was Babylon 5.

Set far in the future, where humans travel through the solar system and beyond through the use of jump-gates. The Babylon 5 space station is the last of its line and serves as a waystation for travelers of all species. Throughout the seasons, we watch the crew interact with various alien species, act as diplomats, and work to ensure the safety and survival of everyone on board. We gathered nine books that have the intergalactic dynamics that fans of Babylon 5 will love.

Footsteps in the Sky

Footsteps in the Sky

By Greg Keyes

A century ago, descendants of native peoples wanted to live like their ancestors. They traveled to the Fifth World and worked to terraform it. But one hundred years is a long time and the grandchildren of the original colony are angry at being forced to live on a harsh planet. Sand doesn’t know if her people exist outside of their planet, but she’d like to believe they do and isn’t ready to turn her back on their customs or way of life. But whether to stay or leave may not be a choice her people get to make. When her ancestors landed, no one wondered why the planet was habitable. And they’re about to find out why.

Achilles

Achilles

By Greg Boose

Jonah Lincoln is an orphaned teen who has lived on the streets of Cleveland his entire life. When the opportunity to leave and journey across the universe to the colonized planet Thetis, he jumps at the chance. But when their ship crash lands, it isn’t on Thetis, but the wild and unpopulated moon, Achilles. And half the ship dies. To make matter worse, all the adults disappear, leaving the teenagers alone to survive. As the situation grows dire, Jonah starts to worry that they’ll never actually reach Thetis at all. Especially when they realize that Achilles isn’t as barren as they thought.

A Passage of Stars

A Passage of Stars

By Kate Elliott

For Lily Ransome, her options on her home planet Unruli aren’t great. She can either become part of her family’s mining business or become a mother. When her martial arts instructor and father figure is kidnapped, Lily knows the only way to get him back from the alien bounty hunters is to get him herself. But venturing into space isn’t easy. She befriends a persecuted group of humans called the Ridani and finds herself in the middle of a rebellion. To survive and find her mentor, she’ll have to find the strength within herself.

Hospital Station

Hospital Station

By James White

Sector general is an enormous, sectionalized hospital designed to take care of the medical needs of any and all creatures in space. Each section is designed to care for various species, including climate, atmosphere, and habitat. These are the stories of the medical personnel and the patients they take care of.

Leviathan Wakes James S. A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes

By James S.A. Corey

Jim Holden is an officer for an ice mining company hauling ice from the rings of Saturn. On one of their runs, they stumble on a ship, the Scopuli, and find a dangerous secret within its walls. A secret worth killing millions for. A secret that could be at the heart of the brewing war between planets. Detective Miller is looking for a missing girl. His investigation leads him directly to the Scopuli, where he finds Holden and his crew. They realize the girl might be the key to stopping the war. Together, they have to navigate governments, rebels, and secretive corporations, all with their own agendas. But the Belt has always had its own rules. And one ship can change everything.

Pandora’s Star

Pandora’s Star

By Peter F. Hamilton

The Intersolar Commonwealth stretches across four hundred worlds all connected by a series of wormhole tunnels. When an astronomer watches a star disappear—an impossible event—the Commonwealth dispatches faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance to find out what happened. But not everyone believes in the mission. A rogue group believes humanity is being manipulated by an alien entity. Their attempt to sabotage the mission fails, but ex-NASA pilot Wilson Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated. As they speed towards the star, tensions rise. Will they discover something incredible? Or is it a trap that will doom humanity?

pen names

Downbelow Station

By C.J. Cherryh

The Earth Company made an enormous profit as the only interstellar freighters between the Station’s orbiting Earth. But then a new habitable planet changed the balance of power. A new station was built, and then another, and then another. As the importance of Earth faded, a new civilization grew—one that was far different than the one Earth has known for centuries. Tension between the two societies grew until Pell was the last station between Earth and the rebel Union beyond.

military sci fi books

Old Man’s War

By John Scalzi

Things aren’t exactly better now that humanity has achieved interstellar travel. Liveable planets are few and far between, and there are more aliens willing to fight for those resources than humans. To counter the on-going war, the Colonial Defense Force recruits anyone over retirement age to fight. They don’t want young, inexperienced soldiers, they want people with decades of lived experience. But there’s a catch. You leave the planet and never come back. After two years, if you survive, you’re given a homestead to live the rest of your days. John Perry is 72 and he’s ready to sign up. He thinks he knows what to expect. But the war is light years away. And what he’ll become to fight that war is far stranger than he could ever imagine.

Time Future

Time Future

By Maxine MacArthur

Commander Halley has been surrounded by aliens and living in forced isolation for months. Things are getting desperate when a ship finally breaks through the blockade. Halley hopes they’ll bring supplies to ease the growing tension on the space station. But the ship isn’t there to end the blockade and instead sets off a chain of events that spiral out of control. Running out of time, Halley has to figure out why this strange ship from Earth’s past arrived and what it means before her station falls apart completely.