Science fiction and fantasy                                            



A List Of Highly Acclaimed SFF Books





   

Lists

Who Reviews What In 2013
A chart of the sub-genre preferences of prominent speculative fiction book bloggers reviewing in 2013.

The Best Books Of 2012
A list of some of the outstanding releases of 2012.

Who Reviews What In 2012
A chart of the sub-genre preferences of a number of prominent SFF book bloggers writing reviews in 2012.

The Best Books Of 2011
My choice of the best genre reading of 2011.

10 Years of Warpcore SF
Celebrating 10 years of blogging with a look at the best of the best from the past.

Top 10 Cheerful, Bleak, Highbrow and Accessible YA Books
The best books, listed according to various qualities.

Top 10 Lists: Books
Top rated authors and books by genre and date.

A Short List of Under-Appreciated Books
A list of some of some books that have slipped under the radar.


I don't always have time to review every book I come across, but I like making lists.This page is dedicated to those works that I haven't had time for, for whatever reason. Sometimes that's because I didn't have anything to say that hadn't been said by a million other people first, although there are a lot of reasons I don't get round to sharing my opinions. And, for want of a better system, I'm presenting them in rough order of acclaim, as judged by how many shiny awards their creators collected for them.

awards icon Works with an awards icon have won at least one major award (for example a Hugo, Nebula, Carnegie, Tiptree, Gemmell, Clarke, BFS, Whitbread, Orange, Smarties, Booker or something similar). "Major" meaning, in this case, "something I have heard of". I know that's fairly arbitrary, but so are awards, which often boil down to the personal taste of whoever is doing the judging.

awards icon Works with this icon have been shortlisted for at least one major award (and may also have won minor ones).

awards icon This icon means the work has won at least one minor award.
  1. Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware The Kitten Holy cover    
    Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware The Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen (2015)
    a group of girls discover their summer camp is a hotbed of mystery, supernatural monsters, and dodgy puns. A graphic novel.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  2. The Drowning Girl cover    
    The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (2012)
    A woman with madness in her family is haunted by a painting, and by a woman who may not exist.
    award winner  
    Genre: horror  



  3. The Walking Dead: The Heart    
    The Walking Dead: The Heart's Desire by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn (2005)
    The fourth volume in the Walking Dead series sees the survivors fight heartbreak and fears that they are becoming increasingly savage.
    award winner  
    Genre: horror  



  4. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell cover    
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004)
    Most of the magic has left England, until two magicians appear in the nineteenth century. But they become rivals.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire cover    
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (2000)
    As Harry experiences his fourth year at Hogwarts a prestigious international wizarding tournament comes to the school. The fourth novel in the Harry Potter series.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy   YA  



  6. The Amber Spyglass cover    
    The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (1999)
    The third novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy   YA  



  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban cover    
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (1999)
    A convicted murderer has broken out of the prison of Azkaban and the wizarding school of Hogwarts is being patrolled by dementors. The third novel in the Harry Potter series.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy   YA  



  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cover    
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (1998)
    A young wizard returns to Hogwarts, only to find other pupils are being turned to stone. The second novel in the Harry Potter series.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone cover    
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1997)
    A young orphan boy discovers he is actually a wizard. The first novel in the Harry Potter series.
    award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  10. Blue Mars cover    
    Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1996)
    Mars is fully terraformed, whilst Earth is threatened with overpopulation and ecological catastrophe. The third novel in the Mars trilogy.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  11. Green Mars cover    
    Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1993)
    The colonisation of Mars continues. The second novel in the Mars trilogy.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  12. Red Mars cover    
    Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1992)
    Mankind begins to colonise Mars. But can a new frontier escape old tensions? The first novel in the Mars trilogy.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  13. Born With The Dead/The Saliva Tree cover    
    Born With The Dead/The Saliva Tree by Robert Silverberg and Brian W. Aldiss (1988)
    Two novellas. After a meteor shower, a farm becomes unnaturally fertile. And the dead walk in the world, but one widower is unable to contact his late wife.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  14. The Handmaid    
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
    In the repressive state of Gilead, Offred is a Handmaid. She has few rights and many restrictions, and society values her only for her ability to breed.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  15. Neuromancer cover    
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)
    Case is a hacker who has been crippled and shut out of virtual reality in this cyberpunk novel.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  16. The Left Hand Of Darkness cover    
    The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1969)
    An envoy comes to the planet Winter, where people are able to change from male to female and back, to persuade the locals to join an interstellar alliance.
    award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  17. Bitch Planet Volume One: Extraordinary Machine cover    
    Bitch Planet Volume One: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (2015)
    In a harsh future difficult women are consigned to a prison planet and forced to fight in a brutal game. A graphic novel.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  18. Eyepennies cover    
    Eyepennies by Mike O'Driscoll (2012)
    A musician experiences haunted dreams in this novella.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  19. The Respectable Face Of Tyranny cover    
    The Respectable Face Of Tyranny by Gary Fry (2012)
    An indebted man living in a caravan starts to glimpse monsters in this novella.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  20. The Kind Folk cover    
    The Kind Folk by Ramsey Campbell (2012)
    An impressionist begins to suspect that he is only playing at being human, and that he is being followed by malevolent fairies who want him back.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  21. Where Furnaces Burn cover    
    Where Furnaces Burn by Joel Lane (2012)
    A West Midlands police officer deals with a series of increasingly weird cases in this collection of linked stories.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  22. From Hell To Eternity cover    
    From Hell To Eternity by Thana Niveau (2012)
    A collection of short tales of supernatural horror.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  23. The Woman Who Married A Cloud cover    
    The Woman Who Married A Cloud by Jonathan Carroll (2012)
    A collection of short stories. It features stories about God and linked souls, the magic of money, and houses that remember.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  24. Throne Of The Crescent Moon cover    
    Throne Of The Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (2012)
    An elderly ghoul-hunter who would like nothing better than to retire is forced to confront an ancient sorcerer threatening to seize the Throne of the Crescent Moon.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  25. Mockingjay cover    
    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2010)
    As the rebellion against the Capitol gains momentum, Katniss is asked to become the face of the Resistance. But what will such open defiance cost her and those she cares about? The third book in The Hunger Games trilogy.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction   YA  



  26. Vellum cover    
    Vellum by Hal Duncan (2005)
    A young man steals an ancient book that transports him to a different version of reality. But a supernatural war is brewing, and nothing is as it seems in this complex narrative. The first volume in The Book Of All Hours series.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  27. Temeraire cover    
    Temeraire by Naomi Novik (2005)
    At the time of the Napleonic wars, British sailors capture a French ship carrying a dragon egg. When it hatches the dragon must choose a rider, a close bond that will utterly change the rider's life. The first book in the Temeraire series.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: steampunk  



  28. Coalescent cover    
    Coalescent by Stephen Baxter (2003)
    A man searches for a sister he never knew. In the distant past, a woman tries to survive as the Roman Empire crumbles. The first novel in the Destiny's Children series.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  29. The Years Of Rice And Salt cover    
    The Years Of Rice And Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (2002)
    In the middle ages plague wiped out most of the people in western Europe. This is the story of history as it might have been if oriental civilisations had shaped it.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: steampunk  



  30. Gardens Of The Moon cover    
    Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson (1999)
    The Malazan Empire is locked in perpetual warfare as mages, soldiers, and the Empress engage in a battle for supremacy. The first book in the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  31. Snow Crash cover    
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)
    In a world where armed corporations have taken over from governments and pizza delivery is life or death, a new drug comes on the market.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  32. Queen Of Angels cover    
    Queen Of Angels by Greg Bear (1990)
    A public defender is tasked with bringing in a poet and mass murderer. Meanwhile, computers at Alpha Centauri and on Earth look for life and contemplate self-awareness and the soul. The first novel in the Queen Of Angels series.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  33. Weaveworld cover    
    Weaveworld by Clive Barker (1987)
    When an odd old lady is taken ill, workmen enter her house and clear a carpet that seems to contain a world.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: fantasy  



  34. The Memory Of Whiteness cover    
    The Memory Of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson (1985)
    A junkie musician tours the solar system, performing on a one-man instrument known as The Orchestra.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  35. The Vampire Lestat cover    
    The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (1985)
    The story of a French aristocrat who becomes undead. The second novel in The Vampire Chronicles.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  36. Firestarter cover    
    Firestarter by Stephen King (1980)
    A child is born with extraordinary psychic powers.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: horror  



  37. 1984 cover    
    1984 by George Orwell (1949)
    Winston Smith lives in a society dominated by the Party, where his every move and thought is monitored by Big Brother, and dissent is not tolerated.
    award shortlisted  
    Genre: science fiction  



  38. Rat Queens Volume Three: Demons cover    
    Rat Queens Volume Three: Demons by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tess Fowler (2016)
    In the third episode of the Rat Queens series the Queens travel to a mage university in search of answers. A graphic novel.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  39. Elysian Fields cover    
    Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson (2013)
    Wizard Drusilla Jaco faces an undead serial killer mimicking the Axeman of New Orleans turns up in the city. The third in the Sentinels of New Orleans series.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  40. Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us cover    
    Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss (2013)
    An examination of the methods processed food manufacturers use to sell more food, and the effect on public health.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: science  



  41. The Finder Library: Volume One cover    
    The Finder Library: Volume One by Carla Speed McNeil (2011)
    A troubled young man with special powers tries to protect his adoptive family in a far future world where our civilisation is merely an echo.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  42. Dead In The Family cover    
    Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris (2010)
    Sookie faces intense family problems when her awkward supernatural relatives turn up. The tenth Sookie Stackhouse novel.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  43. Catching Fire cover    
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (2009)
    The Capitol did not expect Katniss Everdeen to survive the Hunger Games the way she did. So, whilst there are rumblings of rebellion in the districts, the 75th Games will be more brutal than ever. The second book in The Hunger Games.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: science fiction   YA  



  44. Dead And Gone cover    
    Dead And Gone by Charlaine Harris (2009)
    Werewolves and shifters announce their presence to the world, whilst Sookie learns more about her distant relatives. The ninth Sookie Stackhouse novel.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  45. A Darkling Plain cover    
    A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve (2006)
    The fourth book in the Hungry City Chronicles.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: steampunk   YA  



  46. Stolen cover    
    Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (2003)
    A shady group kidnaps supernatural beings. The second book in the Women Of The Otherworld series.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: horror  



  47. The Subtle Knife cover    
    The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (1997)
    Will steps through a portal into another world in the second novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy   YA  



  48. Darkman cover    
    Darkman by Sam Raimi (1990)
    A scientist is attacked and left for dead, but his discovery of short-lived synthetic skin allows him to take on disguises as he searches for revenge.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: science fiction  



  49. The Wandering Fire cover    
    The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay (1986)
    Five companions must band together and summon a cursed warrior from his resting placein order to protect the land of Fionavar from evil. Book two of The Fionavar Tapestry.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy  



  50. The Crystal Cave cover    
    The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (1970)
    An illegitimate prince discovers he has the Sight. The first novel in the Merlin series.
    minor award winner  
    Genre: fantasy   YA