45 Recent Hits of Speculative Fiction

Posted by Cybil on July 13, 2020


Myths and mayhem, the fantastical and the scientifically plausible, these are readers’ most popular sci-fi and fantasy novels published in the past three years. If it’s been a minute since you’ve checked out these genres, here’s a great place to find your next read, whether it’s from longtime beloved authors Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman or newer writers such as R.F. KuangLing Ma, and Omar El Akkad.

We looked at our data to reveal the most reviewed speculative fiction novels on Goodreads since 2017. Then we eliminated any books that had less than a 3.5-star rating from your fellow readers.

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating


Have you discovered a fantastic newer sci-fi or fantasy novel? Be sure to share it with your fellow readers in the comments below.

 

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Catalina (new)

Catalina What genre is American War? Dystopia?


message 2: by Mystic (new)

Mystic Catalina wrote: "What genre is American War? Dystopia?"

Yeah what I got from the description is that it's set in a Post Second American Civil War. Looks interesting might have to check it out!


message 3: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones I see a Mark Lawrence fan made this list ... when you limit yourself to only 45 books in a list, doesn't it make sense to choose only one per author?


message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Catalina wrote: "What genre is American War? Dystopia?"

Alternate history. Also a dystopian one.


message 5: by Mackenzi (new)

Mackenzi Nadine wrote: "I see a Mark Lawrence fan made this list ... when you limit yourself to only 45 books in a list, doesn't it make sense to choose only one per author?"

"We looked at our data to reveal the most reviewed speculative fiction novels on Goodreads since 2017. Then we eliminated any books that had less than a 3.5-star rating from your fellow readers."

If this is to be believed, this isn't any one person's favorites, it's just the most popular speculative fiction on Goodreads.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls Only 3 read but I'm finishing up The Testaments and should be done in the next three weeks.


message 7: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Mackenzi wrote: "Nadine wrote: "I see a Mark Lawrence fan made this list ... when you limit yourself to only 45 books in a list, doesn't it make sense to choose only one per author?"

"We looked at our data to reve..."


Also his Book of the Ancestor trilogy, Impossible Times trilogy and the Girl and the Stars are actually amazing books.


message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc Jackson Plum Rains is an excellent read. So is the WOOL Omnibus.


message 9: by ash | novelly rooted (last edited Jul 15, 2020 08:57AM) (new)

ash | novelly rooted Marc wrote: "Plum Rains is an excellent read. So is the WOOL Omnibus."

I HIGHLY recommend the WOOL Omnibus to most people!


message 10: by AlwaysV (new)

AlwaysV 2/45 💖 Year One & House of Earth and Blood
I'm NOT NOT NOT a fan of SciFi & Fantasy ❣️
Glad to know where I don't belong 😝


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim Catalina wrote: "What genre is American War? Dystopia?"

dys-trope-ia.


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim Imajica by Clive Barker
Weaveworld by Clive Barker


message 13: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat And I thought I was making a dent in my TBR.... Just added almost all of these that I hadn't yet read.


Aimee (Book It Forward) These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love.


Aimee (Book It Forward) *Most of these books I should say don’t.* I had high hopes when I say Blake Crouch in the group.


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Haider I've read 7 of the 45. And a bunch of the others were already on my TBR.


message 17: by Christine (new)

Christine don't know much about this genre but I'm looking forward to reading some of these! :)


message 18: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Aimee (Book It Forward) wrote: "These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love."

Really? When I look up speculative fiction, it seems kind of like an umbrella term. I am curious to know what your definition is to further my understanding.

description


message 19: by TMR (new)

TMR These are interesting picks, I look forward to reading them all.


message 20: by Moe (new)

Moe Shalabi Catalina wrote: "What genre is American War? Dystopia?"
Yes, it is. I highly recommend it too.


message 21: by Kristen (last edited Jul 16, 2020 10:55PM) (new)

Kristen Aimee (Book It Forward) wrote: "These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love."

Most of these that I've read I wouldn't classify as speculative fiction. Maybe urban fantasy or even just plain sci-fi. The problem is they get their data from user tags most likely, which are user generated, and sometimes user awful.

I like Margaret Atwood's definition of it: "She defines [speculative fiction] as stories set on Earth and employing elements that already exist in some form, like genetic engineering, as opposed to more wildly hypothetical science fiction ideas like time travel, faster-than-light drives, and transporters."

So anything with magic on this list automatically gets crossed off for me.


message 22: by Heather (new)

Heather Perkins Kristen wrote: "Aimee (Book It Forward) wrote: "These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love."

Most of these that I've read I wouldn't classify as speculative fiction. Maybe ..."


That is just her's and your preferred definition of the word then. The definition of it that is used for publishers and thus this list is fiction that contains elements that do not exist in the real world, often including elements of supernatural, futuristic or other imagined themes. It can include the horror, dystopia, Science Fiction, Fantasy, alternate history, and superhero genres. Just because you might not like books with magic doesn't mean it's not speculative fiction, it just means you don't like reading them, and that's fine. But that in no way means that're not Spec Fic.


message 23: by Kristen (new)

Kristen I definitely love books with magic. But those are reserved for the genre of fantasy, magical realism, among other labels for me. When it comes down to it, genres created in the past few decades will continue to morph and change. I think eventually we’ll see a siphoning and specifying of this genre specifically. Check out this article for more on this bizarre, undefinable genre: https://oxfordre.com/literature/view/...


message 24: by Heather (new)

Heather Perkins The term speculative fiction was first used by Heinlein. That's not exactly the last few decades, and it also wouldn't fall under Atwood's definition of "set on Earth" and no teleports and the like. Things are always going to be adapting. Horror was long thought to be a genre far apart from SF/F, but through the years has grown closer and that is the reason they are grouped together under speculative fiction. Not everyone reads across the genres as a whole but there is cross genre bleed among the genres in the speculative fiction genre which is why they are grouped together. Fantasy is within Speculative Fiction like History is within Nonfiction. It's not like calling a History book Nonfiction means it's no longer History.


message 25: by Nuvolachecorre (new)

Nuvolachecorre I strongly recommend The House in the Cerulean Sea: let yourself be surprised and moved by TJ Klune!


message 26: by Tamanna (new)

Tamanna Crescent City!? Meh.


message 27: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Fredrickson Catalina wrote: "What genre is American War? Dystopia?"

Yeah, I'd call it a near-future dystopia.


message 28: by Ketutar (last edited Aug 16, 2020 08:36AM) (new)

Ketutar Jensen Aimee (Book It Forward) wrote: "These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love."

Oh...

"The term “speculative fiction” has three historically located meanings: a subgenre of science fiction that deals with human rather than technological problems, a genre distinct from and opposite to science fiction in its exclusive focus on possible futures, and a super category for all genres that deliberately depart from imitating “consensus reality” of everyday experience. In this latter sense, speculative fiction includes fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but also their derivatives, hybrids, and cognate genres like the gothic, dystopia, weird fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, ghost stories, superhero tales, alternate history, steampunk, slipstream, magic realism, fractured fairy tales, and more."

Which of these you feel don't fit the genre?


message 29: by Coco (new)

Coco Vanessa wrote: "Aimee (Book It Forward) wrote: "These books don’t really scream speculative fiction to me, which is a genre I love."

Really? When I look up speculative fiction, it seems kind of like an umbrella t..."


That diagram does not make any sense to me, to be honest. Why is nearly every other genre placed within Mimetic fiction?
The term "Mimetic Fiction" is used in contrast with anything Speculative and Fantastic. It is used to make a distinction between guote-unquote "normal" fiction, which imitates, or mimics, reality, and anything that falls outside of that, i.e. fantasy and scifi.
So, for this to make sense, there should be the orb "Fiction" and within that would be one orb called Speculative Fiction, and one called Mimetic Fiction, and perhaps the Magical Realism can overlap both


back to top