Top 10 SF, Fantasy, and Horror: 2014.
Hooper, Brad (author).
FEATURE. First published May 15, 2014 (Booklist).
Creativity knows no bounds in today’s sf, fantasy, and horror worlds, as attested to in our latest roundup of top 10 novels in those categories, all of which were reviewed in Booklist between May 15, 2013, and May 1, 2014.
Blood of Tyrants. By Naomi Novik. Del Rey, $26 (9780345522894).
Novik’s re-creation of much of world history based on the existence of intelligent dragons has been so well crafted that all eight books in the series are highly recommended.
The Bone Season. By Samantha Shannon. Bloomsbury, $24 (9781620401392).
The first in a series of seven novels, in which we find ourselves in a totalitarian state in England around 2059, is a dazzlingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of courage and freedom.
Dark Eden. By Chris Beckett. Broadway, paper, $15 (9780804138680).
In British writer Beckett’s superb novel of speculative fiction, a world called Eden is populated by a mere 532 inhabitants, all descended from two common ancestors who came to the planet 163 years earlier.
The Humans. By Matt Haig. Simon & Schuster, $25 (9781476727912).
In a thought-provoking, compulsively readable delight, an alien comes to Earth from Vonnadoria, an almost incomprehensibly advanced world, both to destroy and collect information.
The Kraken Project. By Douglas Preston, Forge, $26.99 (9780765317698).
The Kraken Project is a NASA initiative to send a probe to Titan, a large moon of Saturn; the author sells his premise by sheer force of will and with compelling characters and persuasive storytelling.
A Man Came out of a Door in the Mountain. By Adrianne Harun. Penguin, paper, $16 (9780670786107).
Teenage Leo and his friends live in an angry, desolate logging town in British Columbia; in mesmerizing prose, the author spins a chilling tale shot through with both aching realism and age-old folktales.
On the Razor’s Edge. By Michael Flynn. Tor, $25.99 (9780765334800).
This magnificent and satisfyingly open-ended conclusion to the tale of the civil war between the Shadows of the Names is a beautifully told story with colorful characters out of the epic tradition.
The Returned. By Jason Mott. Harlequin/MIRA, $24.99 (9780778315339).
All over the globe, the dead are returning to their families, causing massive confusion and a pervasive anxiety that countries will run out of room and the resources to care for the enlarging population; ultimately, this is a beautiful meditation on what it means to be human. The ABC television series Resurrection is based on the novel.
Shaman. By Kim Stanley Robinson. Orbit, $27 (9780316098076).
This novel, featuring spectacular world building, follows the character of Loon from his experience on a late-winter shaman’s journey of skill and endurance to his true manhood.
The Shambling Guide to New York City. By Mur Lafferty. Orbit, paper, $14.99 (9780316221177).
When Zoe takes a job editing a new travel-book series for Underground Publications, she needs to decide whether to get paid in hell notes, blood tokens, occult favors, or regular dollars; obviously, an entertaining urban fantasy.