2020 Sci-fi / Fantasy Reading

February 4, 2021

This year for me was overall lighter on sci-fi and fantasy books, and heavier on sequels and continuations.

  • Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. 2020 Hugo award winner / Best Novel

    Enjoyed this quite a bit. A good story with some barbarians visiting Rome vibes, and multiple layered threads and characters reflecting on the nature of identity.

  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. 2020 Hugo award nominee / Best Novel

    Necromancy in space, a murder mystery / puzzle box, and sisterhood. I found the setting and relationship delightful and original.

  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. 2019 Hugo award nominee.

    Diné-themed urban fantasy. Damaged heroine recovering from loss. Trail is fresh. The sequel Storm of Locusts is also good.

  • Battleground and Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

    These are books 16 and 17 in Butcher’s “The Dresden Files” series. Pure entertainment but also pure sequels.

  • Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

    Book 3 of this series. Empire, politics, deep nature vs. nurture debates playing against eugenics vs. empire, weird cancer whales. Enjoyable, but not quite at the level of its preceding novels.

  • The Last Emperox & The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

    Popcorn space opera in a disintegrating empire (reminiscent of Hyperion). Enjoyable and fun, though there was a touch of deus ex machina I didn’t love.

  • The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

    Light-hearted lovecraftian horror-fantasy in The Laundry Files set in the present day.