In collaboration with the BooktubeSFF Awards, talk about your favorite science fiction and fantasy books of all time!
THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT.
Fantasy and Science Fiction are genres I practically live in and have done since I was little. All the books I’ve read aren’t even on Goodreads, because I have a terrible memory and Goodreads didn’t exist when I was growing up. Hell, the internet didn’t even exist for most of my childhood! (I KNOW! I’m that old!)
I am going to collectively ignore Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, because I think that’s a given in most people’s lists. Both were incredibly valuable to me during my first stint with depression as a teenager, so I will be forever thankful to them. But I wanted to take people out of that typical list, and go with something maybe a little different.
So without further ado, here follows a top 5 list of Sci Fi and Fantasy books – which may change in the next 4 years or so but we’ll see.
5. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet
This isn’t your typical sci-fi in that it’s not got a lot of swashbuckling action, or aliens being evil, or anything like Star Wars or Star Trek or anything Starry. It’s a much more intricate character study of the lives aboard the Wayfarer ship, where they create wormholes and portals and generally encounter this expansive Universe of glory. Do they get in trouble? Yeah, a fair amount. But it’s more about the intimate setting and the characters, and how they interact with each other.
I was extremely impressed at how well the alien races were devised, and portrayed. And through the small revelations of each character’s personal story arc, I found myself wanting to be around them. Kizzy ❤ My darling.
4. A Gathering of Shadows
The Second book in the Shades of Magic series in which I adore Holland (my green eyed lovely), fall deeper for Kell (you gorgeous soul) and absolutely ADORE Rhy.
This is also the book where I still liked Alucard (no spoilers, but my viewpoint of him changed as the series went on and I just thought he was a bit of a prick who didn’t deserve Rhy). Usually sequels are rough, hard to navigate places where things can trip you up, but having got to know the characters in Book 1, I found this book so easy to read I ploughed through it, it was exciting, I loved it, and yeah. I would read this over and over.
3. Six of Crows
I suspect there’ll be many lists with this book on it.
Kaz Brekker is, hands down, one of my favourite literary characters. I suspect I have a ‘thing’ for morally grey characters whose intentions are unknown and who have a dark, twisty past, and in any other story would be the villain 100% – Ronan Lynch, Snape, Holland, that sort of thing. But this book has real heart, a pulse beating through it so much I could see Ketterdam and smell it.
The fact it’s a heist in a fantasy world, with Grisha, and Jesper, and Wylan, and the fierce women Inej and Nina who I want to hang out with… I like cast books, clearly, with strong characters. And this had it all.
2. The Raven Cycle (ha! cheating)
Now, let me say I’m in the middle of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and unless the Raven King completely backtracks on everything and kind of goes “SYKE! IT WAS ALL A DREAM!” I have a feeling this is very much going to remain one of my favourite fantasy series. I can’t possibly separate any of the books because they all flow so neatly within this expansive story / narrative and are all intertwined so greatly with each other.
This one VERY NARROWLY outstrips Six of Crows as being my favourite because I absolutely fell in love with everyone. Blue Sargent is a brilliantly funny, ambitious girl, Gansey is someone I would have a million and one crushes on, Noah is an absolutely adorable person, Ronan is like a feral cat you still want to scritch behind the ears, and Adam has redeemed himself so much in my eyes that I actually like him again. 300 Fox Way is where I want to live, Calla is Life, and I’ve actually looked into how much money it is for a trip to Virginia.
I LOVE IT THAT MUCH.
1. American Gods
Neil Gaiman is a God of mine. This book also got me out of some very difficult times, I read it on the bus, I read it at work, it took me away from my shitty area and transported me to middle America. Yes, it’s quite long. Yes, some of the chapters and scenes are very slow paced. But above it all it’s got some great, intricate weaving storytelling and I loved Shadow as a character who didn’t give much away at all. Even though we were reading about his life, his past still wasn’t fully revealed so he still had this awesome mystery about him.
I read it when I was in the middle of my “OMG MYTHOLOGY” phase and I seriously enjoyed the side stories about the other gods and their travels to America etc, as uncomfortable as some were to read about.
I’m SO excited for it to become a series, I can’t wait until April – though, I’m a little disappointed, simply because the casting doesn’t 100% represent my own vision for it (Jared Harris as Wednesday, man! missed opportunity) – I trust Neil Gaiman. I mean he wrote THAT Doctor Who episode about the TARDIS, come on.
What did everyone else think? How hard was it to choose?