Top 10 SF/Fantasy: 2013

The creative imagination displayed by science-fiction and fantasy writers continues to impress us, and the 10 titles listed below, reviewed in Booklist between May 15, 2012, and May 1, 2013, only confirm the ingenuity found in these two genres.

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance. By Lois Master Bujold. Baen, $25 (9781451638455).

Set a few years before the most recent Miles Vorkosigan story (Cryoburn, 2011), this was one of the most anticipated and long-awaited entries in Bujold’s acclaimed Vorkosigan saga.

The Cassandra Project. By Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick. Ace, $25.95 (9781937008710).

Two sf powerhouses team up for this near-future thriller that touches on one of the great conspiracy theories of our time: that NASA is keeping secrets about the Apollo program.

Cold Days. By Jim Butcher. Roc, $27.95 (9780451464408).

The latest episode in the Dresden Files novels proves once again that Butcher remains the gold standard for urban fantasy.

Domino Falls. By Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due. Atria, paper, $15 (9781451617023).

A standout in the superhot zombie subgenre, the second entry in Barnes and Due’s series keeps readers turning the pages fast and furiously.

Earth Unaware. By Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. Tor, $24.99 (9780765329042).

In the 35 years since the original novella “Ender’s Game” appeared, the universe of Ender Wiggin has continuously expanded in size without ceasing to display its creator’s virtues—notably, literate prose and superlative characterization.

Farside. By Ben Bova. Tor, $24.99 (9780765323873).

Bova’s latest novel, one of his best, is a classic example of the old sf theme of humanity reaching out for immortality among the stars.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane. By Neil Gaiman. Morrow, $25.99 (9780062255655).

In Gaiman’s first novel for adults since Anansi Boys (2005), the never-named fiftyish narrator is back in his childhood homeland, rural Sussex, England; he remembers how he became the vector for a malign force attempting to invade and waste our world.

The Rapture of the Nerds. By Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. Tor, $24.99 (9780765329103).

Doctorow and Stross, two of sf’s more exciting voices, team up to produce a story that is mind-bendingly entertaining and wildly imaginative.

Shadow of Freedom. By David Weber. Baen, $25 (9781451638691).

Weber’s Mission of Honor (2012) ended with several significant revelations in the Honor Harrington series; eager fans will see that this installment doesn’t immediately pick up on those developments but, instead, backs up several months to retell events.

Silver. By Rhiannon Held. Tor, paper, $14.99 (9780765330376).

Held’s impressive debut, a combination of mystery and urban fantasy, delves deeply into werewolf society (there is one human character), exploring a culture parallel to and yet hidden from ours.


First published May 15, 2013 (Booklist).

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