I don’t know about you, but given the choice between reading the best books of 2017 and the ones everyone’s talking about…. I think I’d go with the latter. Because books that aren’t talked about are soon forgotten, and forgotten books are irrelevant books. And who wants to waste their time on irrelevant books?
Fortunately, we’re here to talk about the 2017 books that are already generating a lot of buzz. Today’s arbiter of excellence is Andrew Liptak who, in an article for The Verge, has compiled a list of 33 SF & fantasy titles that will dominate the conversation over the next year. His list includes novels by Mur Lafferty, Nnedi Okorafor, Kameron Hurley, Chuck Wendig, V. E. Schwab, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ada Palmer, Allen Steele, Timothy Zahn, Cory Doctorow, Brian Staveley, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, Yoon Ha Lee, Max Gladstone, Peter V. Brett, N.K. Jemisin, Ann Leckie, and many others.
Here’s a look at some of the most interesting titles on Andrew’s list, starting with The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi.
[Click on the images for bigger versions.]
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi — March 21st
Humanity has discovered a means of interstellar travel called The Flow, and has established a vast new civilization across thousands of new worlds. When scientists discover that The Flow is shifting and could cut off every human world from one another, a team sets out to see if they can save human civilization. Scalzi is best known for his Old Man’s War series, and a new space opera novel from him is a very welcome thing indeed.
The Collapsing Empire will be published by Tor Books on March 21, 2017. It is 336 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Sparth.
Read the complete prologue over at Tor.com.
Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald — March 28th
Ian McDonald has written some of my favorite science fiction novels. Seriously, go, and read Luna: New Moon, which depicted a brutal family struggle over control of the moon. Now, its sequel picks up with the family in shambles, and the remaining children looking to take back control.
Luna: Wolf Moon will be published by Tor Books on March 28, 2017. It is 400 pages, priced at $27.99 in hardcover and $14.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Victor Mosquera.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss — June 20th
Theodora Goss has written some of my favorite short stories. (Read Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology over on Lightspeed Magazine.) She’s an imaginative author with fantastic prose, and her new novel draws on some of the genre’s classic characters, and reimagines them in a whole bunch of new ways.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is based on “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter,” which originally appeared in two parts in Strange Horizons in 2010 (Part II is here — trust me, that link will be handy, since the one at the bottom of Part I is busted.) The novel revisits Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Saga editor Navah Wolfe calls it “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with awesome ladies.”
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter will be published by Saga Press on June 20, 2017. It is 416 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover and $7.99 for the digital edition. The cover was designed by Kate Forrester.
Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer — January 31st
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty — January 31st
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley — February 7th
A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab — February 21st
Read Andrew’s complete list of 33 science fiction and fantasy books that everyone will be talking about in 2017 here.
Some of Andrew’s more interesting recent articles include:
Kirkus Looks at Astounding Science Fiction
Kirkus Looks at Galaxy Science Fiction
Kirkus Looks at Donald A. Wollheim and the Ace Double
Kirkus Looks at The Meteoric Rise and Fall of Gnome Press
Kirkus Looks at Andre Norton’s Young Adult Novels
Kirkus Looks at The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volumes I – IV
Andrew Liptak on All the Best SF and Fantasy You Missed in August
Andrew Liptak Selects the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016
Andrew Liptak on 16 SF and Fantasy Novels You Don’t Want to Miss in January
See all our coverage of the best upcoming books here.