Saturday, April 9, 2016

Don't tell me I have nothing to read: a compendium of 2015 SF/fantasy recommendations

One of the benefits of being in the peanut gallery and following the Hugo Awards is that you pay attention to which stories are being talked about as potential contenders for the Best Novel. 

Then it escalates - you start looking at other SF/fantasy awards and cross-reference what books make each shortlist. Bingo - what you get is a reading list of cool stuff from the last year to watch out for. And given my default tendency to delve into the past for my reading choices, this is a useful corrective.

So, while we're waiting for the Hugo nominees to be announced around the end of the month, here's what's been added to my mental to-be-read pile.

Right up my street
The House of Shattered Wings - Aliette de Boliard
Radiance - Catherynne M Valente 
The Traitor - Seth Dickinson
The Library At Mount Char - Scott Hawkins
The Just City - Jo Walton 
Sorceror To The Crown - Zen Cho 
Lagoon - Nnedi Okorafor 
Archivist Wasp - Nicole Kornher-Stace

Curious but cautious

Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald
The Thing Itself - Adam Roberts (I love Roberts as a critic but my reaction to his novels has varied)
The Night Clock - Paul Meloy
Lament For the Afterlife - Lisa L Hannett
The Glorious Angels - Justina Roberts
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
Updraft - Fran Wilde
Karen Memory - Elizabeth Bear  
Gentleman Jole And The Red Queen - Lois McMaster Bujold
Planetfall - Emma Newman

Would need to read the previous book(s) in the series first

Dark Eden / Mother Of Eden - Chris Beckett
Europe In Autumn / Europe At Midnight - Dave Hutchinson
Nexus/Crux/Apex - Ramez Naam
The March North/A Succession Of Bad Days - Grayson Saunders

Possibly a little too dark for my taste, but I won't know unless I try

The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood (I kind of feel I should try classic-period Atwood first? Is that wrong?)
The Reflection - Hugo Wilcken 
The Shore - Sara Taylor
The Gracekeepers - Kirsty Logan
Wild cards

Making Wolf - Tade Thompson
Barsk - The Elephants Graveyard - Lawrence M Schoen
Bryony And Roses - T Kingfisher
The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro  
Sources and thanks to:

Ansible - the Grand Heirophant of all e-zines and a great link library to various awards and their shortlists.
Nicholas Whyte's summary of a discussion about Hugo nominations on File 770.

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