Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2014: Top SF Novels Of The Year


This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2014, an event hosted by myself and Oh, the Books!. You can keep up to date by following @SciFiMonth on Twitter, or the official hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

Today I want to share with you my top SF novels of the year – by this I mean read this year, not necessarily published this year.

1. The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #4) by Dan Simmons

The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons

It took me a while, but I FINALLY finished The Hyperion Cantos! Dan Simmons’ epic series ends with The Rise of Endymion, and what a finish it was. The series is huge, complex and very much timey wimey but a DEFINITE recommendation to all science fiction fans out there.

2. Lexicon by Max Barry

Lexicon by Max Barry

Lexicon by Max Barry proved to be one of my surprise hits of the year. I was sent a copy of the book by Hodder & Stoughton, and I’d not actually heard of it beforehand. I’m so glad I made the time to read it before going off to university, because it’s so damn clever and unique and I cannot emphasise how much you should read this if you’re looking for something a little bit different in your sci-fi. You can also read my review of Lexicon.

3. Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay #1) by Chris Wooding

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

Fan of Firefly? Distraught by the fact that it only got one season? (IT’S NOT FAIR OKAY THERE ARE SO MANY SHOWS THAT SHOULD BE CANCELLED BUT NO THEY CARRY ON) Then give Retribution Falls a try, I can guarantee it has everything you miss from Mal and co.

4. Insignia (Insignia #1) by S.J. Kincaid

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Insignia reminded me of a mix of Ender’s Game and Ready Player One, for young teens. Considering that these are two books I love, of course I was going to fall in love with this one! I really need to get my hands on the rest of the series. Any book involving gaming and online communities is pretty much going to grab my attention.

5. & 6. Behemoth & Goliath (Leviathan #2 & #3) by Scott Westerfeld

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Behemoth and Goliath, wow WOW. Actually, the whole series, but I read the first book last year. One of my absolute favourite young adult series, this steampunk retelling of the First World War is just SENSATIONAL. Perfect story, amazing steampunk inventions, wonderful characters – plus it’s beautifully illustrated. Yes, yes and yes. You can also read my review of Behemoth.

7. Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes is the first book in a new ‘epic’ sci-fi series that shows a LOT of potential. I’m so glad this one was chosen by my book group because it meant I got round to it sooner. I recommended it to my dad, who is a big sci-fi fan, and he took it on holiday with him earlier this year. He texted me whilst he was away to ask if I had the second book – definitely a hit with him too! You can also read my review of Leviathan Wakes.

8. Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

Lockstep was a wonderful Netgalley find, and is one of the few standalone books on this list. For a relatively short science fiction novel (350 pages or so) it packs a lot in, and it felt huge. Definitely worth a look if you don’t want to delve into another new series at the moment and don’t know where to start!

What are your top science fiction reads of the year? Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think?


22 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Month 2014: Top SF Novels Of The Year”

  1. “Lexicon” looks like a fascinating and intriguing book, and I’ve already added it to my TBR list. “Retribution Falls” sounds its own siren call, so to speak, because any mention of Firefly is bound to make me stand up and pay more attention πŸ™‚

    As for the Expanse series, having read all four books published until now, I can only add my own recommendation: this series gives space opera a good name, to mis-quote the old song…

    1. Lexicon was sooooo good, a wonderful surprise πŸ˜€ Really unique elements. And the same with Retribution Falls, it totally satisfied the Firefly need in me πŸ˜‰

      Haha, that’s good to hear – I will definitely be continuing that one πŸ™‚

  2. I really want to read Lexicon, I came across it on Oh The Books as well and it just sounds so good! I hand’t heard of the other books mentioned here. I think my boyfriend owns a copy of Leviathan Wakes.

  3. I recommended Insignia to my little brother and he loved it (and he is *not* a reader) so I’m glad you liked it too!
    I’m really excited for Lexicon and the Hyperion Cantos. I hadn’t heard of either but they sound awesome.

    1. It’s definitely for a younger audience but I still devoured it because online games ahhhhh

      I’m kind of surprised you haven’t heard of Hyperion – I talk about it a lot πŸ˜›

  4. Hmm, Insignia, eh? I actually just got a copy of this, so I’m really excited to see it makes the list.

    And yes, Dan Simmons! I’ve only read Hyperion though in that series of his, and it seriously blew my mind.

    1. Yep, Nara featured it last SFM and I was sort of interested, then I found it in the library this year and am so glad I picked it up. Plus, as a fellow MMO fan I’m sure you’ll appreciate it πŸ˜€

      Oooh read the others! I want to read his Ilium/Olympos duology as well.

  5. Omg, I love these cover versions of Behemoth and Goliath. I’ve only read the first book in the series, but I loved it! I just heard about Insignia and I thought it looks awesome.

  6. As a Firefly fan I’ll definitely check out Retribution Falls. Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite writers, I love the Uglies series as well as the Leviathan series. A few of my favorites this year were Wool, The Girl in the Road, Parasite, and Love Minus Eighty.

    1. I read the Uglies series when I was about 15 and enjoyed that one too, but nowhere near as much as Leviathan.

      I’ve not read any of those yet, but I have The Girl in the Road and would like to read Wool and Parasite πŸ™‚

  7. I’m ashamed to say, but I’m a total movie nerd. I stretch as far as games and TV-shows, but I could probably count the Sci-Fi books I’ve read in my life on one hand…
    This blog event is really challenging me though, and I’m totally thinking about picking up something from the library!

    1. That’s what it’s here for – to introduce you to new things, especially if you wouldn’t have given them a shot before πŸ˜€

      I definitely found a load of new amazing reads due to last year’s event.

  8. Good list!

    Of what I’ve read thus far, I’d say my favorites have been:

    Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
    Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
    Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey
    Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

    and the book I just finished last nightzz;

    A Call to Duty by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

      1. I haven’t read any of those, but I want to read Fortune’s Pawn (it was my book group’s pick a few months ago but I didn’t have a copy) and I’ve read the first of the Expanse series and enjoyed it. No worries about the typo, haha πŸ˜‰

    1. I have the first book at home, and I’m hoping to read it when I’m back for Christmas, and if not then bring it back with me πŸ™‚

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