2017 Staff Picks: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Our readers advisory staff recommend some of their favorite sci-fi, fantasy, and horror titles that they've read in the past year. You'll find them on the first floor, separate from the general fiction, on the specially-labeled shelves for their genre.
2017 by Mark LawrenceGet this item
"As I wrote in the starred review I gave it in Booklist 'Nona Grey is sent to Sweet Mercy Convent. Sweet Mercy instructs girls in the ways of the Ancestor and prepares them to take their holy orders. Lawrence, in this first volume in a new trilogy, creates a fierce, vulnerable, and dangerous hero in Nona.The Convent itself is a mix of Hogwarts, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and the Princess Academy. Great characters, strong world building combined with bloody action scenes.' I am eagerly awaiting book 2 in the series."
Recommended by Lynnanne.
2017 by Jeff VanderMeerGet this item
"Jeff Vandermeer’s imagination is insane. The dystopian world he’s built, and the characters that live in it, are so richly realized and so…weird…that I stopped reading a few times just to wonder, 'what kind of brain comes up with this stuff?!?’ If you liked his Southern Reach Trilogy, you won’t be disappointed here. If you're scared of bears, this won't help. If you’ve never read him before, get on it!"
Recommended by Meredith.
2017 by Katherine ArdenGet this item
"Set in the Russian wilderness among magic and deep mysteries, a young girl named Vasya must call upon dangerous gifts to save her loved ones. Atmospheric and haunting, the creative use of folklore and fairytales is entrancing. This is the first installment, and I cannot wait to find out what is next for the brave, intuitive Vasya."
Recommended by Sharon.
2017 by Brandon SandersonGet this item
"Volume 3 of The Stormlight Archive has arrived and with 1,248 pages it is the longest book yet. The story picks up right where things left off, and mysteries that have been building through the first two books come to the forefront, with new stories arising."
Recommended by Dan.
2017 by Jaroslav KalfarGet this item
"If you like your science fiction literary, introspective, weird, and featuring a giant alien spider: this is the book for you. It is a real joy to read and gets you to deeply engage with your thoughts on life and the universe."
Recommended by Becky.
2017 by Daniel KehlmannGet this item
"I love the tropes of horror movies and fiction and so apparently does Daniel Kehlmann judging from this potent novella. A screenwriter heads off with his family to an isolated mountain retreat on a working vacation. Needless to say, it isn’t long before a series of unsettling occurrences makes him regret he didn’t take the wise advice offered in the book’s title."
Recommended by Steven.
2017 by Martha WellsGet this item
"I enjoyed this first novella in an upcoming series thoroughly. It was short, quick-moving, unpredictable, and well-crafted. But mostly, I liked the main character, Murderbot. Unlike many recent AI books and movies, this sentient machine/cyborg isn't seeking selfhood and independence for some grand ambitions, but rather out of a surly anti-authoritarianism and boredom. Mostly, Murderbot wants to be left alone to watch its store of entertainment media, and when it has to interact with humans, it's with the greatest sarcasm. There are some exciting plot points as Murderbot's humans are exploring a distant planet, but mostly you just wanted to spend more time with Murderbot."
Recommended by Matt
2017 by Ruthanna EmrysGet this item
"This unique novel takes H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythology and sets it in a post-WWII era. It's a brooding book in which not a lot happens beyond subtle magic and archival research in a library, but the characters are intriguing (including two characters who inhabit one body sequentially during the novel!), the perspective on life and humanity is profound, and the Cthulhu mythology is a rich backdrop. This book is like a well: not a lot of waves, but rather deep."
Recommended by Matt.
2017 by Paul LaFargeGet this item
"Twists, turns, and surprises abound when a writer embarks on a quest for horror-meister H.P. Lovecraft’s missing Erotonomicon, a scandalous chronicle of his sexual exploits with a teenage male fan. Le Farge mixes real people and actual events into his fiction, producing a novel that is as playful as it is smart. This is a dizzying as well as dazzling achievement."
Recommended by Steven.
2017 by Jac JemcGet this item
"This book reminded me of the classic horror novel The House Next Door. Hoping to escape the husband's gambling problem, a couple move out of the city into a house in the country. Weird noises, mysterious drawings, and a presence that can't be explained soon follow. I loved the creepy vibe of the book and how the author builds suspense. As a reader, you are never sure if the horror is real or in the couple's heads. I loved the symbolism of the haunted house for their haunted relationship and the secrets they kept from each other. "
Recommended by Lynnanne.