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John DeNardo on the Best of the Best: The Definitive List of 2016’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy

Thursday, January 12th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

all-the-birds-in-the-sky-small Ninefox Gambit-small Central-Station-Lavie-Tidhar-small

We wrap up our look at the best books of 2016 with one final stop: John DeNardo’s annual end-of-the-year project, in which he assembles the most prestigious Best of the Year lists and distills them down into one mega-list of the very best of 2016. He drew from seven Best of the Year lists, produced by:

Barnes and Noble
Publishers Weekly
Washington Post
The Guardian
Kirkus Reviews

The result is a list of the six most acclaimed SF & Fantasy books of the year (plus thirteen honorable mentions). John’s ultra-list contains no less than three debut novels — including Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, and Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit — and a linked collection of stories from Lavie Tidhar, Central Station.

Here’s John on All the Birds in the Sky, which garnered 5 mentions.

In this notable debut novel, Anders combines science and magic via its two protagonists. Laurence possesses a two-second time machine. Patricia knows magic. They were teenage friends who drifted apart. As adults, they are reunited, but separately work their own skills to heal a dying Earth. Laurence believes humanity’s only hope is to abandon Mother Earth and escape through a wormhole to another world. Meanwhile, Patricia and her witch friends want to hocus-pocus their way to a healed Earth.

And Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (3 Mentions)

In the space-based nail-biter Ninefox Gambit, Kel Cheris, a captain disgraced for her unconventional methods in the galactic fight against heretics, is given a chance to redeem herself. Her mission is to regain control of the Fortress of Scattered Needles which has been captured by heretics. Her best hope? A resurrected tactician named Shuos Jedao whose brilliance at military strategy is offset by the fact that, during his first life, he went dangerously insane. What could go wrong?

And finally Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station (3 mentions)

When you read fiction books about space travel – specifically mankind’s migration to the stars – the stories typically revolve around the drama unfolding on spaceships and new planets. But what about the people left behind on the old planet? What becomes of them when most of humanity has moved off-world? That’s the focus of an impressive array of stories from Lavie Tidhar in his collection Central Station. Set in a culturally diverse Earth after the human diaspora, these optimistic stories examine the importance of family and togetherness among the people who live around the base of a massive space station.

Check out John DeNardo’s Definitive List of 2016’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books at Kirkus Reviews… and see his 2015 list here.

We previously covered one title on John’s list.

New Treasures: Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

Still curious about the best books of 2016? Black Gate has you covered. Here’s our picks for the top lists so far.

Amazon Selects the Best Books of 2016
GeekDad Selects the Best Tabletop Games of 2016
Kirkus Selects the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Novels of 2016
Andrew Liptak Selects the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Horror Books of 2016
Publishers Weekly Selects the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Collections and Anthologies of 2016

See all our coverage of the best New Treasures here.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks again for the link love, John!

    Comment by John D. - January 12, 2017 12:36 pm

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