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Saladin Ahmed is the Arab-American author of the fantasy novel and Gemmell awards, he won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and he. Here are 50* of the greatest debut science fiction and fantasy novels ever written: It's amazing to consider that H.G. Wells was still alive during World War II . human beings we've met and—terrifyingly—maybe ridden the bus with. . in the s and early s (much of it collected in Burning Chrome). K.J. said: Cracking collection of shorts, some fantasy, some SF, some both, Eye is a collection of short fiction by Saladin Ahmed, who is probably best known to .. Ahmed made familiar through 'Throne of the Crescent Moon', to a meeting of.
The first volume in The Dandelion Dynasty series, Grace of Kings follows the diminutive Kuni Garu, a charming bandit, and the towering Mata Zyndu, the resolute son of a deposed family lineage, as they suffer under—and eventually help topple—a tyrannical ruler.
Liu, who also translated the first volume of the wildly popular Chinese sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem, draws from Asian inspirations but creates a fantasy world that feels wholly original, not like an amalgamation of existing cultures. From the music to the balls to the swoon-filled romances, this is a gorgeous series the YA community is sad to see go.
A Dance with Dragons by George R. It took 11 years for Martin to publish the pair of books that span a single timeline. Book Two avoids the sophomore slump, prioritizing character development and increasingly insane stakes to keep your adrenaline pumping. And Tahir continues to tackle serious topics like slavery and government corruption with strength, proving that compelling fantasy stories exploring real-world issues are not only entertaining but essential when done right.
The harrowing climax is frustratingly predictable, but the beautiful, strange journey here is what matters. The Obelisk Gate by N. Jemisin The Hugo Award-winning second book in N. The Obelisk Gate boasts everything that made The Fifth Season phenomenal—a brilliant magic system, three-dimensional female characters, world-ending stakes—and ratchets it up to Jemisin consistently pairs fascinating character development with intense action, continuing a fantasy epic that demands your undivided attention.
Jonathan Strange serves as apprentice to Mr. The page novel includes copious footnotes following one rabbit hole after the next. Though Rosie grows up in the shadow of a curse, she proves to be a fierce, courageous and spirited woman who seeks to save herself and her kingdom. This captivating tale delivers a refreshing adventure, revealing that female friendships and high-stakes action belong together in fantasy.
Drawing heavily from Middle Eastern mythology, Throne of the Crescent Moon follows Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, a paunchy, past-his-prime ghul hunter drawn away from his impending retirement by a wicked plot brewing in the royal palace.
Studios, surrounds the Doctor with a varied cast, including a resourceful older married couple, a shape-shifting tribeswoman with nothing to lose and an honor-bound Dervish warrior. This modern day Alice In Wonderland starts out quite charming, with the precocious Coraline Jones and her parents moving into a mansion full of quirky flat-mates and a talking cat. And somehow all three books were published between October and December of —just a little factoid to depress fans of Patrick Rothfuss and George R.
It is kind of an epistolary story, except most of the story is written in prose. A Memory of Light gave us a satisfying ending to the epic high fantasy saga. Our heroes from the quiet village of Two Rivers and their motley cast of allies all get their moments to shine.
Set in a post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, the novel follows a child of rape destined to become a powerful sorcerer. Trust us, Who Fears Death is necessary reading for the fantasy canon. The novel takes you back to her fantasy realm of Ketterdam, featuring a ragtag crew of outcasts who must pull off a major heist. The result is a fast-paced story that will keep you turning the beautifully designed pages for hours. Six of Crows stands on its own.
Rowling In the s, the Harry Potter novels became the rare series read by fantasy fans and non-fantasy fans, book lovers and non-book lovers, basically everyone on planet Earth.
Harry, Hermione and Ron captured our collective hearts even as they bickered and lost trust in each other. Harry comes to believe his dual nemeses at Hogwarts—Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape—are in direct league with Lord Voldemort, something he gets only partly right. The books grew up along with their characters and their readers, raising the stakes and emotions in the best-selling book series in history. A Storm of Swords by George R. Martin No author does Machiavellian political intrigue quite like George R.
When one of our favorite characters dies, we fear for the next one. These names will remain iconic figures in fantasy literature long after many books on this list go out of print.
With several narratives weaving in and out of the magical romance, Morgenstern expertly weaves a beautiful tapestry of a novel, that soars as high as the tents in the fictional circus. The City of Brass by S. Set in the 18th century, readers meet Nahri, a skilled con woman who swindles her way through life… until she makes a mistake of magical consequences.
She summons a djinn warrior, and finds herself thrown into the magical, mythical world she never believed existed. And at the heart of that world, is the City of Brass, a place called Daevabad. Multi-POV narratives can be challenging to sustain even when all the characters are in the same story—doing it with six separate, barely-connected narratives is almost a magic trick.
The Fifth Season by N. Jemisin The first book in N. The Fifth Season also boasts a complex protagonist who is a mother, gifting us with one of the most formidable and fascinating characters of the 21st century.
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson In exploring a shocking question—What happens if the hero fails and the villain reigns? It boasts all of the best fantasy elements: But Sanderson weaves those predictable elements into a breathtaking saga that promises twists every step of the way. In the yearwith the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England-until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London.
Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. But when one employee switches sides, troubling facts about the lottery system come to light, and it just might not be possible for anyone to win. They suit each other: The compelling plot holds readers in suspense until the final, profound moment of resolution.
England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost literally in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense.
All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. The cheela culturally evolve from savagery to the discovery of science, and for a brief time, men are their diligent teachers.
But even as the stories grew in the telling, Druss himself grew older. He turned his back on his own legend and retreated to a mountain lair to await his old enemy, death. Meanwhile, barbarian hordes were on the march. Nothing could stand in their way. Druss reluctantly agreed to come out of retirement.
But could even Druss live up to his own legends? But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction. Fairy tales, oral histories and political commentaries are all woven tapestry-style into Kalpa Imperial: These are the only options available on the planet Jeep.
Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep—and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. They grew up together, they studied kung-fu together, they rebelled in college together, and they fought in the Go Away War together.
Now, with the world in shambles and dark, nightmarish clouds billowing over the wastelands, they have been tapped for an incredibly perilous mission. But they quickly realize that this assignment is more complex than it seems, and before it is over they will have encountered everything from mimes, ninjas, and pirates to one ultra-sinister mastermind, whose only goal is world domination. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak.
Must-Read Science Fiction And Fantasy Debuts
She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts. After all, she was a normal American herself once.
That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.
Meet author Saladin Ahmed
The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.
A desperate American military has created a power vacuum that needs to be filled. Religious fanatics, mercenaries, occultists, and soldiers are all vying for power. So how do regular folks try to get by?
When an ex calls for help, he risks the wrath of his enigmatic master to try and save her daughter.Adam Savage Meets Sci-Fi Ray Gun Replicas!
But when Taggert realizes the daughter has more power than even he can imagine, he has to wrestle with the very nature of his skills, not to mention unmanned and uncreated gods, in order keep the girl safe.
In the end, Taggert will have to use more than his power, he has to delve into his heart and soul to survive. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. Lana, a teenaged girl on a nameless backwater island, finds an ominous blood-red jewel that marks her as someone with power, setting in motion events that drive her away from her family and into an apprenticeship with a mysterious one-armed witch.
Her potent imagination and considerable verbal skill result in a tale that continues to haunt long after the story is told. The book contains two interwoven stories. But when the technologically primitive planet is suddenly invaded by a fleet of ships from the stars, rebels against the League of All Worlds, Rocannon is the only survey member left alive. Marooned among alien peoples, he leads the battle to free this newly discovered world and finds that legends grow around him as he fights.
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren — a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. She was just seven years old, wandering lost and hungry in the wilderness, when the solitary hunter took her in.
But the man Elka thought she knew has been harboring a terrible secret. And now that Elka knows the truth, she may be his next victim. Stories by Kelly Link: They all have happy endings. They were all especially written for you.
A Best of the Year pick from Salon. Includes Nebula, World Fantasy, and Tiptree award-winning stories. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.
Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.
Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. He is soon coerced into becoming a spy against the human race. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Torn from Earth by a bizarre and nameless black force, Sara had no idea where she was or why she was in a beautiful new body. Controlled by brutal guards and tamed by terror, she could not comprehend her role as a nurse for a man who appeared to be an idiot.
But once she discovered that the planet she had been brought to was Lothar and that the man she was caring for was its regent, Sara knew the restorees had to escape—and fast. And when they did, they became fugitives on a world of multiple evils—bound together on a daring adventure that would either join them for all time. Its inhabitants ranged from Dr. A noted psychologist and lifelong religious skeptic is scolded by tiny statues of the Virgin Mary.
Remedios, a recent college graduate, explores the Afro-Puerto Rican spirituality of her grandparents and discovers a history book that is writing itself.