Science Fiction Fridays: Top twelve of 2012 Part 3 of 3

Part III in the countdown of the best genre fiction of the year. Part I can be found here and part II can be found here, and don’t forget to leave your favorites in the comments!

Broken by Susan Jane Bigelowbroken susan jane bigelow

A gorgeous, melancholy book about a shattered superhuman and a young man with a secret power that band together to save an infant from ominous forces. The dystopian world Bigelow constructs is full of such atmospheric dread it’s impossible not to feel the tension crawling up your spine while reading. This book takes the familiar tropes of superheroes and turns into something fresh, surprising and emotionally staggering.

after the fall nancy kressAfter the Fall before the Fall during the Fall by Nancy Kress

Pete, sterile and deformed from radiation poisoning, is part of small group of humans held captive in the Shell by the alien Tesslies after Earth is decimated by ecological and nuclear disasters. The only means of saving the human race is by using the Tesslies’ time traveling equipment to steal children from the past. A taut and mind-bending book that features Kress’ usual hallmarks: great storytelling, strong characterization and cool science. My contender for science fiction novel of the year.

between two fires christopher buehlmanBetween Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

A gay priest, a disgraced knight and a young girl travel the countryside trying to avoid not only The Plague, but also demonic presences that have been unleashed during the ensuing bedlam. A dark historical fantasy rich in details and atmosphere which fans of emotionally resonate storytelling will find especially rewarding. While Buehlman only has two books to his name, he is easily shaping up to be a new favorite.

the coldest war ian tregillisThe Coldest War by Ian Tregillis

In this sequel to Bitter Seeds, in an alternate history Great Britain, a team of warlocks work with ancient entities from another dimension to keep the USSR from overtaking all of Europe. Meanwhile, the superpowered Nazis that survived Germany’s defeat once again find themselves pawns in a global game of life and death. I promise you this much: if you read the first book in the trilogy and this one, your jaw will literally hit the floor at the end of this book and you will give almost anything to read the finale, which comes out in 2013. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before, Tregillis’ masterpiece will be a blessing to fans of Sanderson, Jordan, Turtledove and King. I will be shocked if this book is not nominated for a Hugo and Nebula. Shocked, I tell you!

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