Every year I set reading goals for myself. One of those goals is to read as much as possible. I also try to get to a few older books I have been meaning to read. But trying to read the latest releases in literary fiction, nonfiction and science fiction and fantasy is an evergreen reading goal. Here are some of my favorite science fiction and fantasy released in 2017:
If you like compelling what if science fiction set in space , then Marina J. Lostetter’s Noumenon is for you. Narrated by different characters over a large span of time, the novel follows a mission to find a distant object in space and the generations of clones that engage in the space exploration mission. Akin to Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, Lostetter’s novel delves into the science as well as the psychological effects on a human community over time. A rich, thought-provoking debut.
While Foz Meadows’ A Tyranny of Queens is a sequel (An Accident of Stars) in a projected trilogy, it is another superb portal fantasy novel with complex world-building featuring strong women and POC characters.
City of Strife and City of Betrayal by Claudie Arseneault are the first two in a projected fantasy trilogy. Featuring superb world-building and political intrigue, these novels present a mostly LGBTQIA cast with a focus on friendships. The author is asexual and aromantic, so the found families theme is an important factor in the novels.
Local speculative writer’s workshop Clarion West hosts some of the best authors in the genre as instructors every year and their students are also becoming the next wave of writers to watch and follow. My two favorite novellas this year are from recent Clarion West alums and both explore gender and sexuality while telling marvelously compelling stories: Margaret Killjoy’s anarchist drifter tale The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion and JY Yang’s silkpunk The Black Tides of Heaven.
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. Daryl Gregory has written some of my favorite science fiction and fantasy novels in the past few years. His latest, Spoonbenders, is a more literary novel about a family of psychics. If you love quirky, character-driven novels, you will be sure to love it.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire is the sequel to the novella Every Heart a Doorway and is just as weird and wonderful as the first. If you could return to the fantasy world you found and had to leave, would you return, even if it was super creepy?
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado is a lush, sexual, eerie and weird short story collection that explore sexuality, gender and violence in turn. This collection is a finalist for the National Book Award and the Nebula award and would appeal to fans of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender. Come see Machado at her rescheduled event at the Central Library on Thursday, January 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Microsoft Auditorium.
Artemis by Andy Weir is nothing like his bestselling debut The Martian, but is just as page-turning and enjoyable. Jazz is a woman of color raised on the moon’s only colony and her penchant for making money on the side throws her into some dangerous situations. I can totally see a movie being made for this one, too, and incidentally actress Rosario Dawson narrates the audiobook.
What was your favorite science fiction and fantasy in 2017? What did I miss? I want to know!
~posted by Misha S.