I’m going to start putting up posts on 2015 books as Hugo Awards nomination season gears up, so here is a separate post on the best speculative fiction books I read this year that weren’t published in 2015. Unsurprisingly, they are heavy on books published in 2014 that I read for Hugo Awards voting. Here are my top 5 in no particular order.
The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
Reviewing tends to mean reading a lot of new releases, which is nice until I read something like this and realize what I’m missing. This is exactly what speculative fiction needs more of these days—The Dying Earth is beautifully written and utterly bizarre.
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
What a wonderful dark and gothic fantasy. Reviewing over the years has led me to read all sorts of books that I otherwise would not have. Other than The Dying Earth, that is probably true of all four other books covered in this post. Unlike the next three, which I read for the Hugo Awards, I was sent an unsolicited copy of Krampus to review. This would be a good time to give a shout-out to my most reliable source of free books—Harper Voyager. Review here.
Skin Game by Jim Butcher
Skin Game finishing below no award should settle any debates over whether the no-award voters actually bothered to read and evaluate the Puppy nominations. Butcher writes his books these days on a giant pile of money for a reason. Skin Game was also the very first book I reviewed for Every Day Should Be Tuesday. Review here.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
The Three-Body Problem was my pick for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and ended up as a well deserved winner. Speculative fiction should be a little weird and The Three-Body Problem is certainly that. Now I just need to find the time to read The Dark Forest. Review here.
Ms. Marvel vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson
As with The Three-Body Problem, I voted for Ms. Marvel vol. 1 to win a Hugo, and as with The Three-Body Problem, it very deservedly did. Three more volumes are out so I better get reading. Review here.