Last week we asked readers on Twitter what their favorite sci-fi/fantasy book of 2016 has been so far, and found an excellent mix between high fantasy, space opera, sci-fi, character dramas, and urban adventure. Check out the responses below and add your own in the comments!
Alliance of Equals by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Beset by the angry remnants of the Department of the Interior, challenged at every turn by opportunists on their new homeworld of Surebleak, and somewhat low on funds, Clan Korval desperately needs to reestablish its position as one of the top trading clans in known space. To this end, Master Trader Shan yos’Galan, aboard Korval’s premier trade ship, Dutiful Passage, is on a mission to establish new business associations and to build a strong primary route that links well with existing Loops and secondary routes. Traveling with Dutiful Passage on this unsettling journey is Padi yos’Galan, the master trader’s heir and his apprentice, who has a secret so intense that her coming of age, and perhaps her very life, is threatened by it.
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead are both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s every-growing ailments. Read the first 4 chapters here.
An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war. Pursued by Emperor Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, can she—an accidental worldwalker—really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?
Breath of Earth by Beth Cato
In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world.In San Francisco, headstrong secretary Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her own talent.When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid is forced on the run. In the process of which, she discovers that her already considerable magic has grown even more fearsome… and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.
Dark Run by Mike Brooks
The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune, and adventurers traveling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And they never talk about their past—until now. Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth, and no one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run…And it may be their last. Read an excerpt here!
The Devourers by Indra Das
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins. From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. With every passing chapter Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent. Read an excerpt here!
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, and now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. Read an excerpt and check out a series of illustrated scenes from Rovina Cai!
In the Labyrinth of Drakes (Memoirs of Lady Trent #4) by Marie Brennan
In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
Read an excerpt here, and check out Todd Lockwood’s cover art for the fifth book in the Lady Trent series!
The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3) by Brian Staveley
The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own. Read an excerpt here!
Double Down (Lois Lane #2) by Gwenda Bond
Lois Lane has settled in to her new school. She has friends, for maybe the first time in her life. She has a job that challenges her. And her friendship is growing with SmallvilleGuy, her online maybe-more-than-a-friend. But when her friend Maddy’s twin collapses in a part of town she never should’ve been in, Lois finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mystery that brings her closer to the dirty underbelly of Metropolis.
Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja
The two hundred years’ (and counting) peace is a time of tranquility that hasn’t been seen since…well, never. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That’s the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler. When he gets caught and forced back into military service again, this time, they’re preparing for war.
Midnight Taxi Tango (Bone Street Rumba #2) by Daniel José Older
Carlos Delacruz straddles the line between the living and the not-so alive. As an agent for the Council of the Dead, he eliminates New York’s ghostlier problems. This time it’s a string of gruesome paranormal accidents in Brooklyn’s Von King Park that has already taken the lives of several locals—and is bound to take more. Read an excerpt here!
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks. Read our review here.
Morning Star (Red Rising Series #3) by Pierce Brown
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. Word gets out of a generation ship, but everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay.
Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley
When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers—and the bureaucratic finesse—to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries. But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.
United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. No one believes that Japan’s conduct in war was anything but exemplary, except for a group of rebel freedom fighters called the George Washingtons. Their latest tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But the George Washingtons case is more complicated than it seems. Read an excerpt here, and check out Tieryas’ take on 5 other books with deadly games.
Version Control by Dexter Palmer
Rebecca Wright has reclaimed her life, finding her way out of her grief and depression following a personal tragedy years ago. But she has a strange, persistent sense that everything around her is somewhat off-kilter. Meanwhile, her husband’s decade-long dedication to his invention, the causality violation device (time-machine) has effectively stalled his career and made him a laughingstock in the physics community. But he may be closer to success than either of them knows or can possibly imagine.