| | | | |

10 Books Like Dark Matter

Books Like Dark Matter

Think about it: the life you live, the choices you’ve made, the path you’re on. Now, imagine everything changing in an instant. One decision, one twist of fate, and suddenly you’re hurtling down a completely different reality. 

That’s the mind-bending world of Blake Crouch’s “Dark Matter,” a sci-fi thriller that leaves you questioning everything you know.

If you, like countless others, were captivated by “Dark Matter” and are craving a similar thrill ride, buckle up! 

We’re diving into a world of books that will warp your perceptions, keep you guessing until the very end, and leave you pondering the infinite possibilities of the universe.

Books Like Dark Matter

1. Recursion by Blake Crouch

“Recursion” delves into the fascinating realms of memory and time, presenting a gripping narrative that challenges the very nature of reality. When a mysterious affliction starts giving people false memories of lives they never lived, New York City cop Barry Sutton and neuroscientist Helena Smith embark on a journey that spans time and space to confront a force that could alter the past and the future. 

As they race against time, they uncover a devastating technology that threatens not just their lives but the very fabric of the universe.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Dark Matter,” “Recursion” is authored by Blake Crouch and shares a penchant for fast-paced, science-fiction storytelling that seamlessly blends elements of thriller and speculative fiction. Both novels explore profound scientific concepts—quantum mechanics in “Dark Matter” and memory and time in “Recursion”—through the lens of deeply personal and emotional human experiences.

The narrative drive in both books is powered by the protagonists’ desperate quests to reclaim or understand their altered realities, making them compelling reads for fans of thought-provoking, high-stakes science fiction.

2. The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

“The Gone World” follows NCIS special agent Shannon Moss as she investigates a gruesome murder of a Navy SEAL’s family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter. 

Moss, part of a secretive division that investigates crimes involving deep space and alternate realities, discovers that the key to solving the case may lie in her ability to navigate through different versions of the present and future. 

As she delves deeper, she uncovers a terrifying truth about a future end-of-the-world scenario that she must prevent.

Major Similarities: 

“The Gone World” shares with “Dark Matter” a deep dive into the concept of alternate realities and the implications of meddling with the fabric of time and space. 

Both novels feature protagonists who are thrust into complex investigations that blur the lines between science fiction and thriller, with their personal stakes deeply intertwined with their missions. 

The exploration of theoretical physics, the nature of reality, and the moral quandaries that arise from accessing alternate timelines are central themes that fans of “Dark Matter” will appreciate in “The Gone World.”

3. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

In “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August,” the protagonist is born, dies, and is reborn into the same life repeatedly, retaining the memories of his past lives. 

With each iteration, Harry explores different paths, accumulating knowledge and skills in a quest to navigate the complexities of his existence. 

When he learns that the world is ending sooner with each cycle, Harry must use his unique knowledge to uncover the cause and prevent it from happening, embarking on a journey that challenges the very foundations of time and existence.

Major Similarities: 

This novel shares with “Dark Matter” an innovative exploration of time, existence, and the infinite possibilities that lie within a single life. Both books question what it means to lead a meaningful life and the impact of choices across different realities. 

The narrative complexity and the philosophical underpinnings of “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” resonate well with the themes of identity, reality, and the consequences of scientific discovery found in “Dark Matter,” making it a compelling read for those interested in the intricacies of time and the human condition.

4. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

“11/22/63” is a thrilling narrative that combines elements of historical fiction, science fiction, and romance. Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, discovers a portal to 1958 and embarks on a mission to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 

As Jake navigates the complexities of the past, he encounters love, danger, and the moral dilemmas of changing history. King meticulously blends factual historical details with a compelling fictional story, exploring the ramifications of time travel on personal identity and the fabric of reality.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Dark Matter,” “11/22/63” explores the consequences of altering timelines and the profound effects such actions have on personal identity and the world at large. 

Both novels are rooted in a deep exploration of speculative science fiction while maintaining a strong emotional core through their characters’ personal journeys and relationships. 

The themes of love, loss, and the ethical implications of scientific exploration in altering reality are central to both stories, offering a rich narrative experience for readers fascinated by the possibilities of ‘what if.’

5. Version Control by Dexter Palmer

“Version Control” is a thought-provoking novel set in a near-future where a physicist is working on what he believes is a causality violation device, essentially a time machine. 

The story delves into the lives of the scientist, his wife, and their circle of friends, exploring themes of technology, reality, and the effects of social media and online dating on relationships. 

As the narrative unfolds, the subtle alterations in the fabric of reality hint at the profound and often unnoticed impact of technology on personal and collective experiences.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Version Control” and “Dark Matter” blend science fiction with a keen observation of the human condition, exploring how cutting-edge scientific concepts can influence individual lives and relationships. The exploration of alternate realities and the questioning of what constitutes true reality are central to both novels. 

Readers who appreciate the melding of theoretical physics with the exploration of emotional and societal impacts in “Dark Matter” will find “Version Control” to be a compelling narrative that similarly challenges perceptions of technology, time, and reality.

6. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

“Seveneves” begins with a catastrophic event: the moon suddenly explodes, leaving humanity to face the inevitability of extinction as the earth becomes uninhabitable. 

The world unites to create a vast space habitat in orbit, where select individuals and their descendants will live for thousands of years, awaiting the chance to return and repopulate the Earth. 

The novel spans from the immediate aftermath of the disaster through the re-emergence of humanity into a vastly changed world, exploring themes of survival, genetic engineering, and the resilience of human society.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Dark Matter,” “Seveneves” is a science fiction novel that delves into speculative science and the potential futures of humanity. 

Both novels are grounded in current scientific understanding while projecting forward into the realms of what might be possible, blending the exploration of complex scientific ideas with the human elements of drama, survival, and the will to persevere in the face of insurmountable odds. 

Readers who enjoy the blend of hard science fiction with deeply human stories in “Dark Matter” will find “Seveneves” to be an engaging and thought-provoking read.

7. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

In “The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle,” the protagonist awakens in a forest with no memory of who he is, only to discover that he is trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day from the perspectives of different guests at a manor house until he can solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. 

This inventive narrative combines elements of a classic murder mystery with a unique science fiction twist, offering a complex puzzle that the protagonist—and the reader—must piece together to break the cycle and uncover the truth.

Major Similarities: 

Although not a traditional science fiction novel like “Dark Matter,” “The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” shares the theme of exploring alternate realities and the concept of reliving lives to achieve a different outcome. Both novels challenge the reader to think about identity, morality, and the consequences of choices within a framework that defies the normal flow of time. 

Readers fascinated by “Dark Matter’s” innovative narrative structure and its examination of how different choices can lead to vastly different outcomes will appreciate the intricate plot and the philosophical questions posed by Turton’s novel.

8. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

“Life After Life” follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the 20th century again and again, dying in various ways and being reborn into the same life, each time with the opportunity to make different decisions that lead to different paths. 

This narrative explores themes of history, war, and the impact of the smallest decisions on the course of a life, as well as the broader currents of history. Atkinson’s novel is a profound meditation on the nature of existence, the possibility of changing our fates, and the interplay between choice and destiny.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Dark Matter,” “Life After Life” explores the fascinating concept of multiple realities and the impact of choices on one’s life trajectory. 

Both novels invite readers to ponder the existential questions of what it means to live a good life and how different circumstances can lead to completely different outcomes. 

While “Dark Matter” leans more into the science fiction genre with its focus on quantum physics, “Life After Life” provides a more historical and literary perspective on the idea of living multiple lives, making it a compelling read for those interested in the exploration of alternative histories and personal destinies.

9. An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

“An Ocean of Minutes” is a poignant tale of love and survival set against the backdrop of a devastating flu pandemic. 

In an effort to save her infected boyfriend, Polly agrees to travel forward in time to a future where the virus can be cured, but when she arrives, she finds herself years off from the agreed-upon meeting time and her boyfriend nowhere to be found. 

The novel explores themes of time travel, the endurance of love across different timelines, and the challenges of adapting to a new world while holding onto the past.

Major Similarities: 

“An Ocean of Minutes” shares with “Dark Matter” the theme of love transcending the boundaries of time and the personal sacrifices made in the pursuit of a second chance. 

Both novels delve into the emotional and psychological effects of navigating through altered realities and the quest to reunite with loved ones against all odds. Readers drawn to “Dark Matter’s” blend of speculative science fiction with deep emotional resonance will find “An Ocean of Minutes” a moving exploration of the lengths to which people will go to save those they love.

10. The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

“The Space Between Worlds” introduces a universe where multiverse travel is possible, but with a catch: you can only visit a world where your counterpart is already dead. 

The protagonist, Cara, is a traverser who exploits her unique position of being dead in most universes to spy for a powerful corporation. As she navigates the complexities of identity, privilege, and survival in various versions of her world, Cara uncovers a conspiracy that threatens not just her existence but the fabric of the universe itself.

Major Similarities: 

This novel and “Dark Matter” both explore the concept of multiverse travel and the existential implications of encountering alternate versions of oneself. They delve into themes of identity, the self, and the nature of reality, all while weaving in elements of corporate intrigue and the ethical dilemmas posed by advanced technology. 

“The Space Between Worlds” offers a unique perspective on the multiverse concept, focusing on the social and personal dynamics of traversing worlds, making it an intriguing read for fans of “Dark Matter” who are fascinated by the philosophical and emotional depths of science fiction.

Similar Posts