Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2016: My Top SF Novels of 2016

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2016, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or with the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

With what has become something of a tradition amongst my Sci-Fi Month posts, here are my top science fiction novels of the year, in no particular order! This includes novels read this year, regardless of year published.

Revenger Calamity Vicious by Victoria Schwab

I received a copy of Revenger by Alastair Reynolds for review at the end of September, and had read it within a few weeks. I just absolutely love the whole premise of following a spaceship crew, and Revenger tells the story through the eyes of one of the new recruits, plus it has space scavengers, robots and space battles. Calamity (Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson is the final book in the series, and was an excellent conclusion. The whole trilogy has just been hugely fun from the very beginning, and I honestly have never not enjoyed a Sanderson book. A previous book group read, Vicious by V.E. Schwab was one that I devoured in a couple of days. I loved reading a villain origin story!

The Lives of Tao Long Way Morningstar

The Lives of Tao (Tao #1) by Wesley Chu was a book I picked up by chance from the library, and I’m so glad I did. It is so clever and unique, and confirmed my belief that Chu is an excellent writer, after reading another of his books last year. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers was, quite honestly, one of my absolute favourite books this year in ANY genre. It felt like it was written just for me, and was exactly what I needed to read. Like I mentioned above, I love stories that follow spaceship crews, and this does nothing but. It’s more about the relationships between the characters and their backstories than any action. In fact, I almost want to re-read it again this year. Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown was the conclusion I sorely needed for the entire Red Rising trilogy. I fell in love with the first two books the instant I read them (almost back to back) and waiting for the final book to come out was utter agony. Another series I want to re-read already!

Unwind The Forever War New Pompeii

I thought a little while about adding Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Shusterman to this list, and then decided I would. I was expecting it to be a rather typical dystopian YA, with a horrendous cover that quite honestly reminds me of The Human Centipede, but actually… well, it was terrifying. And really very disturbing. I wasn’t expecting it to affect me in the way that it did, which is why I ended up giving it a higher rating. I’m not normally a fan of military science fiction, but The Forever War (The Forever War #1) by Joe Haldeman was an excellent book. It’s less about the military action, and more about the impact. If these soldiers have to travel through time and space to fight their wars, what happens when they finally return home and hundreds of years have passed back on Earth? How do they adjust to life without families and friends, and in an unfamiliar world? I immediately bought the next two books after reading this. New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey was a book I first saw mentioned in the back of A Darker Shade of Magic, and one that I just KNEW I had to read, as it sounded a bit like Jurassic Park meets the Roman Empire. It’s such a clever story, and that cover is genius!

What were the best science fiction books you read in 2016? Have you read any of the ones on my list?

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35 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Month 2016: My Top SF Novels of 2016”

  1. I’ve read (and loved) three titles on your list, which means I still have plenty to get to! I’m seeing a lot of buzz for Revenger at the moment, so I might give that one a try.

  2. I’m SO glad you loved Vicious! It’s my second favorite book ever right after The Dream Thieves. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out which has a release date of 2018. Gaaah, longest wait ever.

    I haven’t decided if I want to read The Lives of Tao yet but I think I just might.

    Morning Star was such a great conclusion! Aaand I should probably read New Pompeii seeing as how I’d been waiting so long for it to come out and haven’t come around to reading it now that it’s been released.

    1. I still need to read Dream Thieves, have only read The Raven Boys! Got a lot of catching up to do…

      Have you heard about Chu’s newest book, The Rise of Io? That one sounds great too πŸ˜€

  3. I just bought A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet after someone on Twitter pointed out it was on sale, so that worked out good for SciFi Month! I can’t wait to read it, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

  4. TLW is just one of my favourite books ever now. It was so beautiful ❀
    I also read calamity, which I also enjoyed.
    I read a lot of fantastic sci fi this year:
    The Three Body Problem,
    Red Rising
    The Martian
    Leviathan Wakes
    Armada
    The Martian Chronicles

    They've all increased my love and appreciation for sci fi, I've just embarked on Seveneves, and so far thats looking good too!

    1. I still need to read The Three Body Problem! I did get it on my Kindle in time for our group read, but found other things to read first and before I knew it the month had passed πŸ˜›

  5. I can’t tell you HOW MUCH I adore the fact that I FINALLY FOUND a female blogger who is into scifi, and not cheap scifi, but GOOD SCIFI. So much love here, Rinn, you have absolutely no clue.

    Do you happen to know other bloggers who blog scifi? Would you share? I would be ever so thankful.

    I’ve just finished reading A Long Way, and oh my god, was that a gem. In fact, I’ve finished it days ago, and I’ve already posted other book reviews, but hell, I just can’t post this one yet. I just.. Have to get it together. Do you know what I mean? The book was so good that I don’t want to do it disservice and write a bland review. What I want is to analyze the characters even, hell, I want to draw FANART. It has never before happened to me. But hopefully, soon I’ll have a blog post of value, so that I can face myself in the mirror later, when I post about a book as delightful as that one.
    Spoilers though. If anyone is reading my comment and has not read A Long Way yet, skip this paragraph please. Rinn, what do you think about the ending? Do you think Lovey will come back? I’ve got a strong vibe of her coming back. The end was still somehow satisfying, even though that horrible thing happened and I had feels all over the place. At least they fixed Ohan. I’m so damn glad about that. And Corbin’s not SUCH an ass anymore. God, I love them all. So do you think Lovey will come back? ;_; please say yes πŸ˜€

    I’m trying really hard not to put all the books in your post in my TBR. Cause it is already too long.

    Where do you get your ARCs, by the way? NetGalley, Edelweiss? Just curious. I often get denied because I’m out of region 😦 or at least, that’s one of the reasons.

    And since this is this year’s book list, I am missing Liu Cixin on it. Have you heard about him? Remembrance of Earth’s past? Three body problem? If you haven’t then I swear I’ll be weirded out, cause you do know your way around scifi, it seems. If you haven’t, check the series out. I’m too lazy to give you a link, but do check out my post about the last book in the series (no spoilers), it will include all the links to all the books, so you can easily find them. For me, the third part of the series (Death’s End) was one of the best scifi books this year. I mean the hard scifi, not like Becky Chambers’. It’s a really strong classical type of scifi and if you haven’t read it yet, just trust me on this. I’m including the link below

    Can’t wait for your next scifi post!

    Oh.. Commentluv doesn’t work for me on your page somehow 😦 I’ll just leave the link here then, I hope you don’t mind:
    http://avalinahsbooks.space/liu-cixins-deaths-end/

    1. Hello Avalinah! Sorry for the slow reply, November has been mad…

      I would take a look at anyone taking part in Sci-Fi Month (there’s a link to the SFM hub which has a participant list either at the top of every page or in the right-hand sidebar), or my blogroll in the right-hand sidebar.

      I know what you mean about wanting to draw fanart! Sometimes when I love a book I just obsess over it so much that I don’t want to let go, and that feels like a good way to keep ‘in touch’ – but I can’t draw very well, or at least I’m never pleased with anything I do!

      Spoilers for A Long Way: Yes, because the sequel is about her πŸ˜‰ A Closed and Common Orbit, it’s just come out.

      I don’t request from Netgalley any more, I lost control and it literally took me four years of blogging to get my ratio to 80% (only just the other month). I get most of them from publishers, I’ve been added to lists over the years – but if there’s any you really love, there’s no harm in emailing them, right?

      I have heard of Liu Cixin. The Three Body Problem was one of my book group’s group reads, and I have it on my Kindle but haven’t gotten round to it yet. Eventually… story of my life. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the visit/comment! I hope to return the favour when things are a little less crazy – as you can see it has taken me about 2 weeks to reply to comments on my own blog 😦

      1. The sequel is about her!! Figures. I am going to have to buy it soon πŸ™‚

        Haha, well, that makes me feel better about NetGalley πŸ˜€ I thought it was only me who can never seem to make it up to 80% πŸ˜€ it’s very nice that they’ve added you to the list – I guess it takes time? So far I’m comfortable with NetGalley, hopefully, I will get on their lists eventually too πŸ™‚

        Oh, do read Liu Cixin as soon as you can! You will not regret it πŸ™‚

        I do understand about the busy November. It’s been crazy for me as well πŸ™‚

      2. Yep! I am waiting for the paperback until I buy it though, which sadly isn’t until April – not a fan of hardbacks.

        I think there’s plenty of us, we’re all lured in by the idea of ‘free’ books and don’t really think about the consequences. And yes, it took a little while of blogging and building up followers before I was added to any physical ARC lists. I guess publishers find bloggers more easily through NG though, so keep using that! πŸ™‚

      3. Oh, I don’t think I’ll ever be added to any physical list, although that would be fun. But I’m way too far out of region for them to send to me, probably. Not in any of the big players, like US, UK or Aus. Don’t think anyone would care to send actual physical copies to a small Eastern European country πŸ™‚

        Btw, I made a last minute addition to #RRScifiMonth πŸ™‚ so sad it’s almost over!! Could be all year long, really πŸ˜€ thanks for hosting something so cool.

      4. I don’t know, when I lived in the Netherlands I still got copies from some publishers. They were happy to occasionally send books to me out there.

        Thanks for joining in πŸ˜€

      5. Netherlands is still a country, I live in Lithuania πŸ˜€ but we will see! Maybe you are right πŸ™‚ I would be ever so excited. Here’s to hoping πŸ™‚

  6. Vicious is still on my TBR pile! I don’t think I’m going to be getting around to it this year (again) but glad to hear you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ I never got around to reviewing The Forever War on my blog when I read it years ago but I remember liking it; I should revisit it one of these days…Great list! πŸ˜€

    1. Love love love Brandon Sanderson! I have basically a whole shelf of his books above my bed and sometimes I find myself just staring at it, they all look so pretty together πŸ˜‰

  7. YAY! I’m so happy to see The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet on your list Rinn, because it’s on the docket for my Sci-Fi Month reads. Hopefully I’ll love it as much as everyone else seems to! My favourite sci-fi read of 2016 so far is Bitch Planet Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, which is a comic about women living on a prison planet. It’s soooooo good!

  8. I’m not going to be able to get around to The Reckoners and the Red Rising series this year (hopefully next year!) and you’re the second person I’ve come across this month who’s raved about A Small Angry Planet so I’m definitely going to have to look into that book some more as well. It sounds like 2016 has been a wonderful year for you in terms of SF reads! πŸ™‚

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