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SF/F Book Recommendations > Favorite Group Reads of 2017

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message 1: by Andrea (last edited Dec 28, 2017 08:16AM) (new)

Andrea | 2663 comments We have a thread for favorite books published in 2017 but I'm interested in knowing what were your favorite reads from our group selections from this year (even if you didn't read them this year)

As a reminder of what we read this year we have:

Classic
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Dying Earth - Jack Vance
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov
Shadow & Claw - Gene Wolfe
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin
Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
Shards of Honor - Lois McMaster Bujold
The Wanderer - Fritz Leiber

Contemporary
The Fox Woman - Kij Johnson
The Passage - Justin Cronin
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
Range of Ghosts - Elizabeth Bear
The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
The Speed of Dark - Elizabeth Moon
Guns of the Dawn - Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Uprooted - Naomi Novik

Anthology/Short Story
Epic: Legends of Fantasy - John Joseph Adams
The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories By Philip K. Dick - Philip K. Dick
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian - Robert E. Howard
Drowned Worlds - Jonathan Strahan
The Jewel and Her Lapidary - Fran Wilde

Other
City of Miracles - Robert Jackson Bennett


Classics were all SF (or SF/F for Dying Earth and Shadow and Claw where it's hard to put it into one or the other category though I personally put the former in fantasy and the latter in SF) except for Watership Down. There were 3 female authors, all SF. So far I've noted this classic SF trend continues in both Jan and Feb of next year.

Contemporary had 7 fantasy, and 5 female authors of which 2 were SF.

Anthologies were more fantasy leaning, but I'm not digging into their contents to figure out how many of the stories were written by women :)


message 2: by Roger (new)

Roger I have two from the list that I really like and they are Ready Player One and The Lies of Locke Lamora


message 3: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Classic
I had read 8 of them prior to this year already.
The new ones I read for this group: The Handmaid's Tale, Lord of Light, Shards of Honor, The Wanderer. Loved Lord of Light and The Wanderer was yikes.

Contemporary
Read:The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Stars Are Legion, The Speed of Dark, Guns of the Dawn, Ready Player One. Of these, I liked Stars are Legion best while Ready Player One was one of the worst books I've ever read. I quote passages to my friend and he cannot believe they come from an actual published book. The Speed of Dark was also excellent.

The Library at Mount Char I've read twice this year since it's one of my absolute favourite books.

Will start Uprooted tomorrow.

Anthology
Read Epic: Legends of Fantasy, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, Drowned Worlds, The Jewel and Her Lapidary. All of these were mediocre.


message 4: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments Classic - Watership Down (for sheer nostalgia)
Contemporary - Ready Player One (nostalgic in a different way!)
Anthology - The Jewel and her Larpidary


message 5: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments It is interesting that Classics tended so strongly towards sci-fi and Contemporary to fantasy because I feel like generally in the nominations there was a more even spread.


message 6: by Andrea (last edited Dec 28, 2017 02:09PM) (new)

Andrea | 2663 comments I read all of them except for 8.

For the classics my favorites were Watership Down, A Fire Upon the Deep, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. I did not read Caves of Steel and the worst was The Wanderer.

For the contemporary my favorites were The Lies of Locke Lamora, Anansi Boys, The Speed of Dark, Ready Player One, Uprooted and also enjoyed Guns of the Dawn. I did not read The Stars Are Legion nor The Collapsing Empire. The worst was The Passage (no surprise as it's similar style to The Wanderer)

I only read two anthologies (Conan and Drowned Worlds) but neither would I call a "favorite". I did however acquire The Minority Report from a used bookstore, so just based on expectations I'm assuming this would have been my fav if I had read it...or maybe Trigger Warnings. I don't see one that jumps out as a potential worst :)

I did not read the one-off City of Miracles as I hadn't read the earlier books in the series yet.

Cat wrote: "It is interesting that Classics tended so strongly towards sci-fi and Contemporary to fantasy because I feel like generally in the nominations there was a more even spread."

Was wondering that one too. Is there more classic SF than fantasy in general? Was the SF better quality and the fantasy more pulpy back then (movies were definitely like that, physical models made for good SF like Star Trek/Wars but magic really needed the advent of quality CGI to be believable)? Or is the group more SF leaning in general? I'm definitely more a fantasy person but I know I voted for a fair number of those SF classics too!


message 7: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I am drawn into classic SF more than fantasy because I found their premise to be more interesting and can be new to me.

My classic favorite (read 9 out of 12):
Watership Down
A Fire Upon the Deep

The worst:
Shadow and Claw

My fave contemporary (read 6 out of 12):
The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Stars are Legion
None of them are five stars though.

The worst:
none (the rest I read are three star books, meaning they have issues but overall I am glad I read them)


message 8: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I only read two anthologies with the group and my favorite is The Minority Report and other classic storiee by PKD. Quite a nice collection with most cool stuff and very few duds.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Classics:
- The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
- Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
- Watership Down - Richard Adams
- Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
- The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin

Contemporary:
- The Speed of Dark - Elizabeth Moon
- Uprooted - Naomi Novik
- The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

I wasn't in love with any of the anthologies we discussed this past year. I guess my favorite was PKD, Minority Report etc., because I'd been overdue to reading more of his stuff.

And I did like City of Miracles.


message 10: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) We may need to do more side reads.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Classics:
4 stars - Handmaid's Tale and Do Androids Dream
3 stars - The Dying Earth, A Fire Upon the Deep and Lord of Light
2 stars - Shards of Honor
1 star - The Wanderer

Contemporary:
5 stars - The Library at Mount Char
4 stars - Anansi Boys, Ready Player One, The Speed of Dark
1 star - The Stars Are Legion
Unfinished - Uprooted

Anthologies:
4 stars - Minority Report and Other Stories, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
3 stars - Trigger Warning


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