Welcome to Smugglivus 2017! Throughout this month, we will have guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2017, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2018, and more.
Today’s Smugglivus guest is Martha Wells – prolific author of Fantasy novels like the excellent Books of the Raksura series. Her most recent work is THE AWESOME Science Fiction novella All Systems Red
Please give it up to Martha!
For Smugglivus, I thought I’d do a list of recommendations for some of the favorite books I’ve read this year, or am reading this year, or am about to read this year
Substrate Phantoms by Jessica Reisman
An SF novel about love, loss, and contact with a truly alien intelligence too strange for humans to understand. If you love thoughtful far future SF with brilliant worldbuilding, this is for you.
The Red Tides of Fortune and The Black Threads of Heaven by JY Yang
These are two linked fantasy novellas, each one featuring one half of a pair of twin siblings and their complicated family and political relationships in a complex and unique world.
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
An intense read about a young Victorian woman traveling to Fairyland to find her brother, who has gone there as a Christian missionary. She finds that the fae use painful lies and even more painful truth as a weapon.
Paper Girls by Bryan k. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
I think of this comic series as Stranger Things with all girls, but the story is actually much more awesome than that, with aliens and time travel. Ongoing but a large chunk of the series is available in three graphic novels.
Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn with art by Molly Knox Ostertag
A gripping graphic novel SF adventure about a planet conquered by aliens, and how one woman rebuilds her life and finds a family as part of the resistance.
The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
An intense and horrific novella about a woman who unintentionally creates murderous clones of herself whenever she bleeds.
The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu
This is a mystery set in 1920s Singapore, about a young Chinese woman fresh out of school who finds her calling as a detective. The first of a new series by a great mystery writer.
Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This three volume graphic novel makes a great introduction to Wakanda and the Black Panther and also works as an fascinating political SF story.
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott
The final book of a YA fantasy trilogy begun with Court of Fives, this story about a young woman trying to save her family and survive during a revolution against a colonial regime is intense and gripping.
Jade City by Fonda Lee
This is an original and engaging epic fantasy family saga, with warriors who draw power from jade clashing over control of their capitol city, set in a modern version of a secondary world.
Los Nefilim by T. Frohock
Set during the Spanish Civil War, Diago has to protect his lover Miguel and his young son from the war between angels and demons raging alongside the human conflict.
House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
The sequel to The House of Shattered Wings, set in a post-magical-apocalypse Paris of fallen angels and hidden dragons.
The Stone Sky N.K. Jemisin
The final volume in the Broken Earth trilogy, these books take epic fantasy into a whole new original direction.