Well, the end of the year has, as ever, brought with it a whole host of posts announcing the best science fiction novels of the year. Here’s a fairly representative selection:
At i09 Andrew Liptak lists “The Very Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015“.
SciFi Now lists “20 Books you should have read in 2015“.
BuzzFeed gives us “The 24 Best Science Fiction Books of 2015“.
And at Kirkus, John DeNardo scoured the different lists to provide a cumulative “The Best of the Best of 2015’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Books“.
They’re not bad lists, though I notice several books that were actually published before 2015, and there’s an awful lot of fantasy even on the lists that are supposed to be all science fiction.
But the one thing I do notice is how American they all are. In a year when work from Africa and Asia is gaining more and more attention, it seems you have to be published by an American publisher before you’ll be noticed on any of these lists. (I would love to see a Best SF from Africa list, and if anyone can point me towards one I’d be very grateful, but I really don’t know enough to be able to fill this gap.) Even other anglophone countries with a great sf tradition, like Australia and Britain, don’t seem to be getting any attention in the best of the year lists.
So, as a slight corrective, here are some books that are also worthy of attention. I haven’t read them all yet, but they’ve been picking up enough favourable comments to make me want to seek them out.
Clade by James Bradley
Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley
Luna by Ian McDonald
Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville
Slade House by David Mitchell
Touch by Claire North
Tamaruq by E.J. Swift
There’ that’s a start towards a very different Best of the Year list.
From Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated Carolyn Ives Gilman comes Dark Orbit, a compelling novel featuring alien contact, mystery, and murder.
Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate.