I say science fiction and fantasy novels are my guilty pleasure. But do I really have anything to feel guilty about? Of course not. Science fiction is a way more respected genre than it was a few decades ago, and I’m not ashamed to day I enjoyed the following SF books this past year:
By James S.A. Corey
The Expanse series is the big shot in science fiction publishing right now, and there’s a reason for that: great stories, television series, major marketing. I have enjoyed the eight books in this series so far–although I admit some kept my attention better than others–and am anticipating the final tome when it is released in 2021.
Children of Time
By Adrian Tchaikovsky
Although I lean toward space opera more than a hard science fiction novel, I had heard so much about this book I decided to give it a try. It’s about 30% space opera and the rest is hard science fiction, so I was satisfied. One of many expeditions from a dying planet Earth reaches an inhabitable planet but someone is already living there. Great read if you are into some of the more classic SF authors like Clarke or Asimov, but you might want to avoid if you don’t like sentient spiders.
By Blake Crouch
If you like a science fiction in a contemporary setting mixed with time travel and alternate realities, Recursion is for you. After enjoying Crouch’s Dark Matter so much, I didn’t hesitate to give this one a read. If you enjoy Michael Crichton books, I believe you’d enjoy what this author has to offer.
Light of Impossible Stars
By Gareth L. Powell
This is the third installment in Powell’s Embers of War series and it was a great conclusion. He introduced some interesting new characters and wrapped up the story arc in a satisfying way. Powell is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers of space opera.
By Pierce Brown
While I have throughly enjoyed Brown’s previous books in his Red Rising series, I found this one difficult to get through. It’s hard to keep track of all the many characters (hello, Game of Thrones) and it feels like he keeps trying to up the shock value with violence and gore. While I probably will read the next and final part in this series (coming out in 2021), I’m going to be approaching this author’s books with more caution for now on.
By Andrew M. Friday
Am I allowed to review my own book? This is the third episode in my Consortium series. While traveling through the WhereHow dimension, The Planned Happenstance encounters mysterious beings calls the xyce. The crew of the ship must fight them off and figure out what the creatures want. I could say it’s great, but you decide for yourself.
And now, here are some old favorites I reread in 2020:
By Dan Simmons
It’s hard to believe this is the 30th anniversary of this science fiction classic. I always describe Hyperion as Pilgrim’s Progress–but in space! This is my third time reading it.
A Fire Upon the Deep
By Vernor Vinge
After reading this for the third time, I think I’m going to just have to admit it’s my favorite space opera novel, if not favorite science fiction novel overall. It has all the swashbulkling fun of classic Star Wars and some crazy alien species. Also, lots of space ship chases and planets blowing up. Definitely a guilty pleasure.
I just realized, as far as reading science fiction this past year, I stuck to male authors. Okay, I my new year’s resolution will be to read more science fiction books by female authors in 2021.