Meet the Rising Stars of Science Fiction & Fantasy

Posted by Hayley on August 12, 2019
Goodreads SFF Week 2019

You can't boldly go anywhere if you only stick with what's familiar. Imagine if Frodo Baggins had stayed home or if Ender had skipped Battle School. (Spoiler alert: The world probably would've ended in both scenarios.) So what are you waiting for? Find your next adventure with the newest voices in science fiction and fantasy.

We've rounded up the breakout stars of the genre. From R.F. Kuang, who instantly made a splash with her epic fantasy debut in 2018, to Josiah Bancroft, whose self-published Senlin Ascends sold just 250 copies in its first three years before finding an audience (and a deal with a major publishing house), these writers are the future of the genre.

For this list, we featured authors who have recently published at least two sci-fi and fantasy books. Take a look—maybe your next favorite author is waiting for you.


Tade Thompson
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R.F. Kuang
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Ada Palmer
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Nicholas Eames
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Katherine Arden
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Mary Robinette Kowal
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James Islington
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Seth Dickinson
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Josiah Bancroft
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Sarah Gailey
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Yoon Ha Lee
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Charlie Jane Anders
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Ramez Naam
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Rebecca Roanhorse
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Becky Chambers
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What new voices in these genres would you recommend? Let's talk in the comments!

Check out complete coverage of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week:
The New Frontier of Science Fiction
The Most Anticipated Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Top 50 Science Fiction Books on Goodreads

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon Auerbach Currently reading (and enjoying) Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft!


message 2: by N.E.C.C. (new)

N.E.C.C. I love The Band series by Nicholas Eames, it's amazing!! Can't wait for the third book.


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Perez Nicholas Eames is the viking hero we all deserve.


message 4: by Inkish (new)

Inkish Kingdoms Josiah's books are also steampunk??


message 5: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Anna Smith Spark. It's as if Jorge Luis Borges or Vladimir Nabokov wrote a series of depraved grimdark fantasy novels and it's so far up my alley that it's basically sexual harassment.


message 6: by Will (new)

Will SA Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy of which the first two books are out. Consistently left off these best new authors lists for some reason.


message 7: by Leeya (new)

Leeya Just finished D.M. Wozniak's literary speculative fiction The Indivisible and the Void.
If you want to read a brilliant author before he's a rising star, read Wozniak!!!


message 8: by 2bFrankk (last edited Aug 13, 2019 11:22AM) (new)

2bFrankk Definitely picking up Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft! >.< I cannot wait to read this!


message 9: by Peter (new)

Peter good list with some favorites in it. Will check out the others as well. I was expecting Kameron Hurley in this list though.


message 10: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Will wrote: "SA Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy of which the first two books are out. Consistently left off these best new authors lists for some reason."

Definitely!! I love that series and am anxiously awaiting the next one!


message 11: by Kate (new)

Kate Not included above, but a new author to the fantasy genre I'm enjoying is Christopher Husberg and his Chaos Queen quintet starting with Duskfall. The 4th book recently released is Fear the Stars.


message 12: by Katya (new)

Katya Mogilevsky Everyone needs to read my man Nicholas Eames right now and that's an order


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert M Leonard Robert M Leonard is a new author, with two published sci fi works and nine more sci fi and fantasy novels waiting in the wings.
Cheers!


message 14: by Ross (last edited Aug 14, 2019 11:56AM) (new)

Ross Eberle Hi there, folks!

I have only read the title of this article. And right now, I can only ask one question: How do I become one of the Rising Stars of Science Fiction & Fantasy? I have 6 novels published, but no one seems to know about my series yet. Or rather, only a few people do, but not very many. Can anyone assist me?

Thanks in advance! From Ross Eberle


message 15: by NC (new)

NC Nerd I love these comments! In addition to the books suggested by Goodreads, I now have about 2 months worth of books added to my TBR list!!!


message 16: by Thomas (new)

Thomas No Jonathan French? I'm disappointed


message 17: by Marylouise (new)

Marylouise Dreibelbis Will wrote: "SA Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy of which the first two books are out. Consistently left off these best new authors lists for some reason."

Agreed!


message 18: by Marylouise (new)

Marylouise Dreibelbis Just finished with The Dragon Republic. Both The Poppy War and its follow up are excellent reads. Souuldn't be missed.


message 19: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Violent books and I usually go together like oil and water, but Red Rising by Pierce Brown is the exception! It's an amazing book and series!


message 20: by MundiNova (new)

MundiNova Josiah Bancroft's Senlin Ascends is amazing! I love all the books in this series. The characters and setting are some of the best you'll read in fantasy.


message 21: by tobes (new)

tobes BARU CORMORAAAAAAAANT


message 22: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan's The Gutter Prayer is the only book out in his Black Iron Legacy but it is truly deserving for a spot on this list! Check it out now! I cannot wait for the next book!


message 23: by Judi S. (new)

Judi S. Karen Tomlinson
Karen has written 7 books now beginning in her Goddess and the Guardians series and continuing on to her Eight Kingdoms companion series. These books, from her first to her most recent, are a wonderful storyline that I have enjoyed and reviewed. She is an up and coming Fantasy author and is intending on branching out into other genres. Following her has been a joy for me.


message 24: by Judi S. (new)

Judi S. Carly Marino
Carly Marino, author of the Inflexaen series and the Disgraced series. Another newer author that has swept me away. The imagination on this woman is something special. Inflexaen is geared more for the YA crowd where Disgraced is moving into the Upper YA group and both are engaging, exciting and wonderful reads. Following her will give you the edge on her newest works. Check my reviews to see what I thought of her books.


message 25: by Judi S. (new)

Judi S. Megan Haskell
I think Megan has become more of a household word of late. Her Sanyare series is a deep dive into Fantasy on the edge of Urban Fantasy and it's one fantastic series. You would be doing yourself a disservice to pass this one up. If you follow her you can get into watching her weekly blog which catches you up on what she's working on next. I am so in love with the Sanyare series! Again, check my reviews to see what I thought of each of her books. What a creative woman this is!


message 26: by Judi S. (new)

Judi S. Brittni Chenelle
Brittni is a particular favorite of mine because I am literally watching her grow. It is a fascinating process, one I could never emulate. Her Kingdom Cold series is a twist on the King Arthur and Camelot story, and it's an inventive twist at that. I've come to love and hate her characters, which to me means she has fleshed them out enough to give them memorable personalities that have me totally engaged. Her last book in the series, Kingdom Untold is due out this month and it really wraps up the series, touching on every aspect necessary to bring a true conclusion. My reviews will tell the story of how far she's come. Following her has been a real treat.


message 27: by Fred (new)

Fred Anderson Olan Thorensen is another good one to check out. His Destinys Crucible series is outstanding!


message 28: by Morbid3500 (new)

Morbid3500 Heath Pfaff Heath Pfaff has put out a few series now in the epic/dark fantasy genre that are really good.


message 29: by Gail (new)

Gail Lovely list but you left out one of the new authors who was mentioned in a previous email that led me to their book. I highly recommend "Oathbreaker Chronicles" Book 1 of the series by new author DM Rudderham. Rudderham has created a world I want to live in and cannot wait for book 2 due out in August 2020.


message 30: by Camille (new)

Camille Penyak LOVE seeing Josiah Bancroft and Books of Babel featured here! Very very much deserved. The Licanius Trilogy is also one of my recent favorites. Really good selection!


message 31: by Lana (new)

Lana Audible listening to "Trail of Lightening" scary as all get out. LOVE IT!!!


message 32: by Mjk (new)

Mjk J.E. Kennedy-the Azazel Syndrome, great book! Book 2 of the series, The Adrestia Maneuver, just released.


message 33: by Mystic (new)

Mystic Wolf At the moment I am reading Lord of the Rings Series & I just finished The Harry Potter Series! I loved The Harry Potter Series! But I also like a lot of Sci Fi Series & single books as well!


message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Judi S. wrote: "Brittni Chenelle
Brittni is a particular favorite of mine because I am literally watching her grow. It is a fascinating process, one I could never emulate. Her Kingdom Cold series ..."


Thank you for all the female author suggestions!! This is exactly what I was looking for!


message 35: by Egle (new)

Egle The Centenal Cycle series (Infomocracy, Null States, State Tectonics) by Malka Older is great!


message 36: by George D (new)

George D MacKinnon Rebecca Roanhorse and Ada Palmer are two of the one that I will be looking to read in the future


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary O'Sullivan J.E. Kennedy- Azazel Syndrome- Book 1 of the Azazel Series. Fabulous new writer. I love a good story and that’s exactly what “The Azazel Syndrome” is! As I said in my 5-star review, , "Loved It! An intriguing story wrapped around characters you connect with." I think book 2 in the series is about to come out.....Can’t wait to curl up with it. Great story, great characters, lots of twists and turns...fabulous read.


message 38: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Finished Palmer Pickering’s Moon Deeds and it’s not to be overlooked. Great story with strong character development; must read for fans of this genre


message 39: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Thomas wrote: "No Jonathan French? I'm disappointed"


No Christine Dalcher either . I am equally disappointed .


message 40: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Thomas wrote: "No Jonathan French? I'm disappointed"

THE LOT LANDS , parts 1 and 2 .
No Christine Dalcher either ( author of VOX ) . Equally disappointed


message 41: by Ziggy (new)

Ziggy Nixon Sci-Fi -> Although not a new author, I have enjoyed the absolute heck out of Jim C. Hines first two books in the "Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse" stories! Think Scalzi's "Old Man's War" with more humor, more zombies, and a more believable cast of aliens!
Fantasy -> this time from a new talent, the first two books of the 'Greta Helsing' series by Vivian Shaw are so much fun! Imho, no one has shown the 'humanity' behind monsters as well as Shaw since the days of Pratchett's best work!


message 42: by Emperor (new)

Emperor Amelia wrote: "Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan's The Gutter Prayer is the only book out in his Black Iron Legacy but it is truly deserving for a spot on this list! Check it out now! I cannot wait for the ne..."

That is my main recommendation too. I'm sold on the series and am in it for the long haul. I wouldn't be surprised to see it on a future version of this list when there is another couple of books in the series.


message 43: by Beth (new)

Beth Ada Palmer is phenomenal--one of our great new original voices, and a welcome addition to literary sf. Also if I could add one more name it would be Sarah Pinsker for her first amazing short story collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea.I especially recommend that Ursula K. LeGuin fans especially retry Pinsky as she's not the same but has LeGuins phenomenal brilliant at minimal words for maximum richness, inclusivity, anthropological and psychological depth, and deep humanity.


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