Naturalists who love to read fiction?

Any other people out there who love to read fiction?
What are your favourite books about nature, naturalism, evolution,…?

I really enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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Make sure you don’t tell all the people over on the hard to love species thread what the story in Children of Time is :thinking: Is book 2 out yet ?

I enjoyed reading the satirical science-fiction: War with the Newts by Karel Capek and Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos. The German biologist Bernhard Kegel has also written a few science-fiction books on nature themes.

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For raunchy, goofy, whip-smart fictional fun (though based on the author’s personal experiences, political and environmental realities, and geography) try reading anything by Carl Hiaasen. An author, journalist, humorist. I think his books are classified as humorous “crime fiction.” The relevance here is that the villains are typically bad for the environment/conservation/other humans and the heroes are on a spectrum of full-on wilderness warrior hermit to down-on-their-luck. retired cop, unsung hero types. All of his works take place in the U.S. State of Florida where development and brutal capitalism have ravaged much of the natural landscape. This is the backdrop for his stories and there’s always some small victory for the natural world and some defeat for the ones who wrought destruction. Highly recommended for a good time.

Adult only or older teenagers! However, he ALSO writes children’s books. I haven’t read them but if he wrote them I’m sure they are fantastic…his website:


My guilty pleasure is the Sigma Force novels by James Rollins. The plots are far fetched but usually incorporate animals and biology.

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Relaxing reads :).

It’s out, but I haven’t read it yet.

When I was younger, I read the ‘Redwall’ series, a medieval tale but every character is a small European animal.


I hated the Signature of All Things!

I read a lot of science fiction and just a few random tidbits:

in one of the The Expanse books - Cibola Burn - a form of space inaturalist is used.
In the book Seveneves by Neil Stephenson a form of inaturalist is used to categorize species before a bunch of asteroids hit the earth. The boom declares it useless, one of several scientific oversights with this book, but oh well.
I think it was the book Earth by Steven Brin that had some iNaturalist-esque stuff.
I like Kim Stanley Robinson and while he doesn’t exactly talk about iNaturalist related stuff the writing in general seems relevant to mention here.

Carl Hiaasen. I have read a number of his books, all of them great!


I came here to add Vonnegut’s Galapagos. I read it in college shortly after an introductory course on evolution, which made the novel more enjoyable (terms like bottlenecks and founder effects became more apparent).

I don’t read nearly enough fiction (science or otherwise) but years ago I read The Dechronization of Sam Magruder, a time-travel novella by the eminent paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, with amusement. It’s interesting but not a great work of fiction, and seems to have been written partly as a way to bolster Simpson’s own personal notions: he seemed opposed to the growing view that dinosaurs were agile, intelligent warm-blooded creatures (the “dinosaur renaissance”), and in one scene his time-traveling hero directly observes and outwits slow, dumb dinosaurs, apparently “proving wrong” those upstart 20th century paleontologists!

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“My Family and Other Animals” and anything else by Gerald Durrell. So funny, entertaining, and interesting. He also has non-fiction books like “The Amateur Naturalist”


Galapagos was pretty great!

I haven’t read him for a long time. The last one I read involved a pockmarked guy who had a weed whipper attached to one of his arms.

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Me too! Coincidentally, I started reading the first book to my kids this week. They are about to find out why I say my favorite animals are otters ;)

hahahahaha i have totally read that book


Irving Stone’s biographical novel THE ORIGIN, about Charles Darwin.

Michael Crichton has some good books with a naturalists bend to them. Of course the species list is quite unusual in the Xanth series, though it can be punishing to read them all!

Books by Gene-Stratton Porter, old but still great for nature lovers. If you have young children or grandchildren to read to, we enjoyed the Thornton Burgess stories.