Blake Crouch's best science fiction books of all time

Blake Crouch, the author of Recursion, Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines series, shares his top five sci-fi books and films.

Author Blake Crouch is no stranger to adaptations of his work, having had both his Good Behaviour novella series and his Wayward Pines trilogy adapted into TV series. Blake was closely involved with the adaptations of Wayward Pines and Good Behaviour, telling us that he ‘wrote scripts, was involved in casting, and spent a lot of time on set watching the actual creation of the shows.’

His new book, Recursion, is a mind-bending, breathtaking sci-fi thriller that explores memory and what it means to be human. Detective Barry Sutton investigates the suicide of a woman afflicted with ‘false memory syndrome’. There’s a media frenzy around this mysterious disease that is spreading across the country, but could something more malevolent be at work?  The novel is being adapted into a film and TV series for Netflix by Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. When asked about the upcoming adaptation of Recursion, Blake shared that ‘it’s still very early days, but the plan is to make a universe based on Recursion, including multiple movies and tv series that mirror the branching structure of the novel itself. I couldn’t be more excited.’

Encompassing both the films and books that have inspired him, here, Blake shares his all-time favourite works of science fiction.

Discover more great sci-fi books.

Book: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

‘Pitch-perfect sci-fi stories by the ultimate master of the form.’ – Blake


Book cover for Exhalation

Named in Barack Obama's 2019 summer reading list, this groundbreaking collection of science fiction short stories is the second from acclaimed author Ted Chiang. In these nine stunningly original and poignant stories, we encounter a portal through time in ancient Baghdad, a scientist who makes a shocking discovery that will affect all of humanity and a woman who cares for an AI ‘pet’ for over twenty years. Addressing, among others, essential questions around the nature of the universe and what it means to be human, this is science fiction writing at its most thoughtful.

Film: Ridley Scott’s Alien

‘I love the vision of the future put forward in this film. Dirty, brutal, banal. And the scariest story I’ve EVER experienced, still to this day. ‘ – Blake

This iconic sci-fi horror directed by Ridley Scott is a masterpiece of cinema and the film that launched Sigourney Weaver’s career. The spaceship Nostromo is on a return trip to earth when a distress signal is picked up from a nearby moon. Bound to investigate, the crew land on the moon, and encounter a horror none of them could have imagined. Alien is still just as terrifying today as it was on its release in 1979, and that chest-bursting scene has truly embedded itself in popular culture.

Book: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

‘Just read this again and was stunned, not just at the subtle world-building but the sadly timely statement on fascism.’ – Blake

Fahrenheit 451 

by Ray Bradbury

Book cover for Fahrenheit 451 

This dystopian novel is set in a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen, instead of putting out fires, start them, burning books wherever they are found. When Guy Montag encounters a woman who would rather die than see her precious books burned, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. In a world where social media and television continue to become even more prevalent, this tale of a society in thrall to mass media feels more relevant than ever.  


Book: Jurrasic Park by Michael Crichton

‘The ultimate “high concept” book that made me want to be a writer.’ – Blake

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

Book cover for Jurassic Park

Adapted into one of the most famous films of the ‘90s, Jurrasic Park follows palaeontologist Alan Grant and his student Ellie Sattler as they are whisked away to a strange island by the billionaire founder of International Genetic Technologies. There, they find a theme park with a deadly difference . . . A cautionary tale of genetic engineering gone wrong, everyone knows how this one ends.

Film: Christopher Nolan’s Inception

‘For its mind-blowing world-building and serpentine plot.’ – Blake

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception sees Leonardo DiCaprio playing a professional thief, Cobb,  who, rather than stealing material possessions, steals secrets from people’s dreams. When Ken Wanatabe’s Japanese businessman hires him for one last job, Cobb agrees on the understanding that the criminal charges preventing him from returning to his children in the US will be lifted. However, this job carries additional complexities, requiring the planting of an idea (inception) rather than the theft of one. Cobb and his partner accept the challenge and put together a crack team to assist with this labyrinthine journey into the subconscious.


by Blake Crouch

Book cover for Recursion

Barry Sutton is on a quest for the truth. Across the country people are waking up with memories of a life they have not lived. Are they victims of a mysterious, new disease affecting memory? Or is something terrible happening to the very fabric of reality? Recursion is the follow-up to the time twisting science fiction thriller Dark Matter.