A couple of weeks ago, we talked about iconic killer cars and how these types of books are perfect reads for road trips (if you’re into horror, that is).

Summer, however, also means that it is time for movies—big ol’ blockbusters that cost millions to create, that you’ll see plugged on every commercial, news spot, billboard and other assorted awesome PR stunts.

If you’re a SFF geek—as we Smugglers are—you’ll probably watch a whole bunch of these movies this summer. You also might find yourself disappointed with a film, or maybe hungry for more. However you feel about summer blockbusters, here are the books that either inspired the film itself, or the books you can devour if you’re looking for more of the same.

Watch: World War Z (poster; trailer)

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Read: World War Z by Max Brooks 

No brainer for this one—the movie isn’t bad, but the book is fantastic. And very different. If you’re in the mood for other good reads in the zombie vein of the film, we recommend Feed by Mira Grant, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen.

Leviathan Wakes

Watch: Man of Steel (poster; trailer)

Read: Superman: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns

David S. Goyer has said that Johns’ origin story—the official canon version following the 52 reboot—is the one that inspired the script for Man of Steel. But if you’re not a fan of this particular origin story, you can also try Superman: Earth One (2010), Man of Steel (1986), or my actual favorite, Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid (2003). If you want something a little less literal, but a superhero origin story, give Perry Moore’s Hero a try. 

Watch: Star Trek: Into Darkness (poster; trailer)

Read: The Expanse series (Leviathan Wakes / Caliban’s War / Abbadon’s Gate) by James S.A. Corey

Of course, you could read a literal Star Trek novelization, but if you’re looking for big budget space opera on a grand scale—with a ragtag group of heroes, no less—you can’t go wrong with Corey’s Expanse series.

Watch: Iron Man 3 (poster; trailer)

Read: Rescue by Kelly Sue Deconnick

Ok, we could have gone with Warren Ellis’ Extremis because...well...that’s the thrust of the movie. But in our mind, one of the coolesPacific Rimt things about Iron Man 3 is Pepper Potts—and in Rescue, a one-shot you can find collected in Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel, Pepper dons the suit just as she does in the film. 

 Watch: Pacific Rim (poster; trailer)

Read: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Pacific Rim could be a soulless, big budget nightmare of a film...or it could be unexpectedly wonderful, like the many manga, anime, cartoons and SF books that inspired the film. If you’re looking for a killer fight scene in a virtual environment, Ready Player One is your ticket. (Token?)

Watch: Elysium (poster; trailer)

Read: Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling / vN by Madeline Ashby

Elysium could be fantastic, a la District 9, or it could be a Matt Damon disappointment (there have been a few of those lately). The premise of the film is undeniably solid, so we have high hopes. If you need to read a book that deals with the future of humanity, human-robot hybrids, and the concept of power you cannot go wrong with Sterling’s collection of Shaper/Mechanist stories or Madeline Ashby’s intelligent vN which dissects questions of race, gender, class and what it means to be human.

And that’s it from us! What movies are you excited for this summer, and what books would you pair with them?

Thea James and Ana Grilo are The Book Smugglers, a website for speculative fiction and YA. You can also find them on Twitter.