Our Lists:

Everyone has an opinion, so here's ours!

These lists are not in order of preference and are subject to change if we find something better!  We’ve also added our annual reading list.


Highly Recommended:

Red Rising - Pierce Brown

The Three - Body Problem - Cixin Liu

The Books of Babel - Josiah Bancroft

The Vagrant - Peter Newman

The Grim Company - Luke Scull

The Kings of the Wyld - Nicholas Seames

The Unhewn Throne - Brian Staveley

The Half-Made World - Felix Gilman

The Milkweed Triptych - Ian Tregillis

The Murderbot Diaries - Martha Wells


Best Science Fiction:

The Night's Dawn series by Peter F. Hamilton

Space opera on a truly grand scale, comprised of five books:

          The Reality Dysfunction

          The Neutronium Alchemist

          The Naked God

          A Second Chance at Eden (novella)

          The Confederation Handbook (a guide to the confederation universe)

Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Cixin Liu. This remarkable, multi-award-winning trilogy stands as a high-water mark of Chinese science fiction, and it established its author as a major player on the international stage.

The Amtrak Wars by Patrick Tilley. A six book series set in a post apocalyptic earth. Loved the main character.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Simply brilliant!

The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick. Forget the novels, which we've tried and not really enjoyed (we know, sf sacrilege!), but no one compares to Dick for biting short SF. (check out 'Bait')

The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle. Reputed to be the best contact novel ever written, it is very good.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. The first book in the Hyperion cantos (four books), this is the standout.

The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. See the author pages on this but a classic four/five book series ( which I would only recommend to  readers who want some heavy subtext and complexity). One of the most studied series written. Well worth the effort.

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks. The first of Banks 'Culture' novels.

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks. Set in the 'Culture ' universe great stand alone novel.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. For us this is the best of Bradbury's work, which given his range including 'Fahrenheit 451' is saying something.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The first in the Ender series, original and thought provoking.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. A rebuke to Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers', this anti war novel is a must read.

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. SF with a hard edge, great!

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Alien Artefacts and Space Opera

Spiderworld: The Tower by Colin Wilson. Very readable but unfortunately uncompleted series, still, the first two volumes are worth the effort.

Dune by Frank Herbert. There's a good reason that this remains one of the most published SF novels to date.

Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. One of the most prolific authors in SF, Foundation is probably one of his best.

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi. Actually we could put a number of John's books up here, we like them all!, but this one was hilarious.

The Saga of the Pliocene Exile by Julian May. Tough call between SF and Fantasy and really slow to start but gets there in the end, very original concept copied repeatedly since publication.

Logan's Run by William F. Nolan. The first of the "Logan Trilogy' and a classic post apocalyptic novel.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. This book was everything good SF is meant to be, great story, insightful and thought provoking.

The Stand by Stephen King. Need we say anything more?


Best Fantasy:

Drenai Tales by David Gemmell. The world lost something special with the early passing of David Gemmell. Legend, The King Beyond the Gate, Waylander, all simple heartfelt novels that rightfully made Gemmell the master of heroic fantasy.

The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gaveriel Kay. Great trilogy based on norse legend initially before throwing in almost every legend known. Falls in the 'portal' type fantasy, where characters pass from one realm to another.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Without a doubt one of the greatest series, unfortunately taking too damn long to complete, more than ten years on the first five make this an extremely frustrating read. Two more to go yet, which will probably take another four years at least. Here's hoping we are still alive to read the complete set!

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Another massive loss to humanity with the passing of Terry Pratchett. How to choose a book from this series?, basically if you enjoy fantasy and have any sense of humour Pratchett is a gift. We really enjoyed 'Guards!Guards!' and 'Mort'.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Begun with 'Northern Lights' (the Golden Compass in the US) the tale of Lyra and the battle of man vs. god is an amazing page turner. We read all three books in a week.

The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart. Set in a China that never was, this alternative Sherlock and his faithful manservant explore crimes immersed in Chinese legend. This trilogy, begun with the classic 'Bridge of Birds', is simply a joy to read, the language, humour and detail are unsurpassed. Frankly there is nothing else like this, wish there was though.  

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. The founding novel of the 'steam punk' genre. a time travel novel with dark lore, Lord Byron, the 'spoon-sized boys' and the cannibal 'king of the beggars'. What's not to like?

The Chronicles of Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard. Actually almost any of Howard's fantasy characters including 'Kull' and 'Soloman Kane' are a great read. Straight heroic action with truly evil villains. Fun!

The Belgariad by David Eddings. This five book series, followed by another five book set 'the Malloreon' is probably within the YA category now but still, classic fantasy, great characters, humour, action it's all there. Very enjoyable.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson. One of the first fantasy series to hit mainstream back in the seventies. Donaldson created the ultimate 'anti-hero' in Covenant, who must be the most frustrating character in fantasy. Covenant aside, the series now into the third trilogy (which we havn't started yet) is another 'portal' tale. The first chronicles are a study in detail and 'The Land' is brilliantly conceived. If you can get past Covenant himself you'll be rewarded.

The Majipoor Cycle by Robert Silverberg. Begun with 'Lord Valentine's Castle', this other world series blends SF and fantasy on the planet of Majipoor. This is Silverberg's best work, particularly the original trilogy.

The Rift War Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist. 'Magician',' Silverthorn' and 'A Darkness at Sethanon' , Feist's brillant fantasy trilogy is a must read. Feist has gone on and written umpteen novels in the same world but the original trilogy is where its' at.

The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Heroic fantasy with a very sharp edge!. This trilogy was so rewarding to read, Abercrombie has become one of our favourite authors.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Part of the 'new weird' genre Mieville creates a disturbing sense of dread with his tale set in the city of  'New Crobuzon' . Followed by two stand alone novels set in the same reality ' The Scar' and 'The Iron Council'. 'The Scar' is also worthy of note.

The Chronicles of the Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock. Moorcock's massive collage of multiple heroes embodying  'the eternal champion' includes such characters (classics in their own right) as 'Elric', 'Dorian Hawkmoon', 'Kane of Mars' and 'Von Bek'. However some of the characters such as 'Jerry Cornelius' we didn't enjoy.

Duncton Wood by William Horwood. Horwood creates magic with this, the first in the Duncton series, about moles. The best of all the animal fantasies we've come across. Proof that a good story can be set in any context, even the kingdom of moles!

The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. Camelot and Arthur are repeated fantasy subjects and the stuff of myth, Stewart's trilogy is the best of the 'Arthurian' legend sets/series to date.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King. A bit torn here, the first of 'the dark tower series' is a great read, unfortunately we were disappointed in the series overall.

The Raven’s Shadow Trilogy by Anthony Ryan. Debut heroic fantasy that's gritty, dark and a pleasure to read.

The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. This ten book series is a cornerstone of modern fantasy.


                                                       Our Annual Reading Lists:

2022

          The Wisdom of Crowds - Joe Abercrombie

   •      The Pariah - Anthony Ryan

   •      City of Songs - Anthony Ryan

2021

          The Trouble with Peace - Joe Abercrombie

          The Kraken’s Tooth - Anthony Ryan

          The Boundless - Peter Newman

          Salvation Lost - Peter F. Hamilton

          The Saints of Salvation - Peter F. Hamilton

          The Murderbot Dairies 1- 4 - Martha Wells

          A History of What Comes Next - Sylvian Neuvel

   •     Ashes of the Sun -  Django Wexler

   •     Network Effect - Martha Wells

   •     Fugitive Telemetry - Martha Wells

   •     The Shadow of the Gods - John Gwynne

          The Fall of Babel - Josiah Bancroft

     •     Best Published Book - The ERB Artist edition of 'Tarzan of the Apes'

2020

          The Ruthless - Peter Newman

          Salvation - Peter F. Hamilton

          Gideon the Ninth - Tamsyn Muir

          The Black Hawks - David Wragg

          Blackwing - Ed McDonald

          The Consuming Fire - John Scalzi

          The Last Emperox - John Scalzi

          Many are the Dead( Novella) - Anthony Ryan

          The Black Song  -  Anthony Ryan - Best Read 2020

          Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

          Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

          King of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

          Emperor of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

          Rynosseros - Terry Dowling

          Best Published Book - The Centipede Press edition of 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' by Ray Bradbury

2019

          The Deathless - Peter Newman

          The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg

          Poison City - Paul Crilley

          Clockwork City - Paul Crilley

          Hazards - Mike Resnick

          Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

          Moon over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

          The Hod King - Josiah Bancroft

          Kings of the Wyld - Nicholas Eames

          Bloody Rose - Nicholas Eames

          Rotherweird - Andrew Caldecott

           A Pilgrimage of Swords - Anthony Ryan

          The Wolf’s Call - Anthony Ryan

          A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie - Best Read 2019

          Best Published Book - The Centipede Press editions of Michael Moorcock’s Elric, the first three books  'Elric of Melniboné', 'The Fortress of the   Pearl', and 'The Sailor on the Seas of Fate’.

2018

          Clash by Night - Henry Kuttner

          The Best of Leigh Brackett - Leigh Brackett

          The Ginger Star - Leigh Brackett

          The Hounds of Skaith - Leigh Brackett

          The Reavers of Skaith - Leigh Brackett

          The Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook

          Head On - John Scalzi

          The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

          Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel

          Senlin Ascends - Josiah Bancroft - Best Read 2018

          Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve

          Arm of the Sphinx - Josiah Bancroft

          Empire of Ashes - Anthony Ryan

          Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

          The Fifth Season - N.K Jemisin

          Thin Air - Richard K. Morgan

          Best Published Book - The deluxe ‘Swords and Deviltry’ from Centipede Press.

2017

          The Last Mortal Bond - Brian Staveley

          The Liberation - Ian Tregillis

          Miniatures - John Scalzi

          Slab City Blues - Anthony Ryan

          Dead Man’s Steel - Luke Scull

          The Grace of Kings - Ken Liu

          The Human Division  - John Scalzi

          The End of All Things - John Scalzi

          Master of the Dark Gate -John Jakes

          Witch of the Dark Gate - John Jakes

          The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

          The Dispatcher - John Scalzi

          Waking Gods - Sylvian Neuvel

          Skullsworn - Brian Staveley

          Bring the Jubilee - Ward Moore

          The Circus of Dr.Lao - Charles G. Finney

          The Seven - Peter Newman

          Rhyming Rings - David Gemmell

          GodBlind - Anna Stephens

          Legion of Flame - Anthony Ryan

          Infernal Machines - John Hornor Jacobs

          Too like the Lightning - Ada Palmer

          White Knight, Black Swan - David Gemmell - Best Read 2017

          Best Published Book - The deluxe 'The War of the Worlds' from Easton Press

2016: - What a year!

          The Rising - Ian Tregillis

          Foreign Devils - John Hornor Jacobs

          The Shepherd’s Crown - Terry Pratchett

          The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

          The Wise Man’s Fear - Patrick Rothfuss

          Snakewood - Adrian Selby

          Sharp End’s - Joe Abercrombie

          Saint’s Blood - Sebastien De Castell

          Night of the Triffids - Simon Clark

          Sleeping Giants - Sylvian Neuvel

          Ready Player One - Ernest Clime

          The Malice - Peter Newman

          Genius Loci - Clark Ashton Smith

          The Waking Fire - Anthony Ryan  - Best new book 2016

          Infernal - Mark De Jager

          The Three - Body Problem - Cixin Liu

          The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

          Death’s End - Cixin Liu

          The Emperor’s Blades - Brian Staveley

          Red Rising - Pierce Brown - Best Read 2016

          Golden Son - Pierce Brown

          Morning Star - Pierce Brown

          The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

          The Providence of Fire - Brian Staveley

          Best Published Book - 'Salem’s Lot' by PS Publishing

2015:

          Sleeping Late on Judgement Day - Tad Williams

          The Mechanical - Ian Tregillis

          The Incorruptibles - John Hornor Jacobs

          Queen of Fire - Anthony Ryan

          Half the World - Joe Abercrombie

          Half a War - Joe Abercrombie

          The Vagrant - Peter Newman

          The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi

          The Casual Angel - Hannu Rajaniemi

          The Fractal Prince - Hannu Rajaniemi

          The Traitor’s Blade - Sebastien De Castell

          Knight’s Shadow - Sebastien De Castell

          The Grim Company - Luke Scull - Best Read 2015

          The Sword of the North  - Luke Scull

          The Left Hand of God - Paul Hoffman

          The Beating of His Wings - Paul Hoffman

          The Last Four Things - Paul Hoffman

          The Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff Vandermeer


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