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What Recent Genre Books Would You Recommend to Others?

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a to-be-read pile — if having such a thing can be considered lucky, that is. Some folks still rely on good ol’ word-of-mouth to learn about good books to read. This post is meant to collect some recent book recommendations from our readers.

So tell us:

Q: What recent genre books would recommend to others?

Leave your suggestions below the sound of the beep….[Beep!]

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

21 Comments on What Recent Genre Books Would You Recommend to Others?

  1. If they were more into the literary side of fiction, I would probably recommend Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow.” If they were more action oriented, maybe “Ender’s Game.”

  2. One of the books that surprised me recently is Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht. It’s an intriguing Urban Fantasy set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The novel has a very interesting main character and doesn’t lean to heavily on the supernatural element of the story. Personally I thought she makes use of the histrorical context of the novel very well (but I’d be interested to hear what someone from Belfast might make of it). I might be biassed though, someone who listens to Rory Gallagher’s music can’t possibly do anything wrong 😉

  3. Right now I am a walking billboard for “Flood” and “Ark” by Stephen Baxter.  Amazing novels with plenty of action and suspense, along with both frightening and inspirational views into how humanity reacts in a crisis.  Horrifyingly believable. I cannot recommend them enough!

  4. Makers by Cory Doctorow is an extrodinary culmination of the author’s talents and philosophy.

    Richard Power’s Generosity is a superbly written example of a modern novel on the verge of SF – it is the point all those post-human novels begin.

  5. Mike Resnick’s Kirinyaga.

  6. 1) Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space books: I just finished the third one, Redemption Ark, and it was incredible!  (You can start with Revelation Space and Chasm City)


    2) Homeland by R.A. Salvatore: A fun novel for those who enjoy D&D’s Forgotten Realms.

  7. Three recent releases: the last is a few months old.


    Leviathan Wakes


    The Spirit Thief


    All excellent.


  8. Dan Geiser // May 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm //

    The collaborative novel Draculas (2010) by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand and F. Paul Wilson was very well put together and very cinematic.

    I’m 2/3’s of the way through The Hunger Games trilogy and very pleased as well.

    In April I finished Dan Wells’ John Wayne Cleaver trilogy (I Am Not A Serial Killer, Mr. Monster and I Don’t Want To Kill You) and again it was very well done.

    The Breach (2009) by Patrick Lee is nice mix of science fiction and thriller.  I can’t speak as highly for the sequel but the first book was great.

    I have a cornucopia of main stream science fiction scheduled to read this year but I’ve been pushing myself to read stuff a little off the beaten path.



  9. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corvey

    Embassytown by China Mieville (or any other Mieville book.  The guy is cracking good)

    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

  10. Aside from books I’ve reviewed here and at the Functional Nerds, I was very impressed by Kameron Hurley’s God’s War.

  11. For sword-and-sorcery readers, Sam Sykes’ Black Halo is worth a look.

    For something more subtle, I recommend Ekaterina Sedia’s House of Discarded Dreams.




  12. John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation really is a top-notch, respectful and exciting update of H. Beam Piper’s original concepts. SF isn’t known for cracking courtroom scenes, but this one’s got a humdinger.

    Ditto to Stina Leicht’s Of Blood and Honey as mentioned above. A brutal, bare-knuckled punch of a debut, gritty and raw, expertly interweaving actual recent history with mythical concepts.

    Dan Abnett’s Embedded is a stunningly successful, white-knuckle milSF actioner that comments in its way on our present-day military presence in the Middle East, particularly in the notion of how the military is sometimes used to protect corporate interests as much as nationalistic ones. Big reveal at the end is a little disappointing in being so conventionally SFnal, but the book as a whole is a live wire.

  13. Joe Parrsh // May 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm //

    I have been trying to get my friends to read what I have been being called by some the Blue Ant trilogy, William Gibson’s last three books; Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History.  Though not liked by all and not straight Science fiction or Fantasy with him being know for that most they are a great gateway into them.  Being set now with some of the sci-fi overtones to them they will not have those who are not into these genres maybe taking a look. With that in mind it would be good to look to Walter Jon Williams new books, China Mielville’s City and the City and for urban Fantasy Ben Aaronvitch.  All books set in a real world with  just a little bit taste of what we like best and maybe just maybe we can bring so over who would not read these fine authors.  And for the adventurous I can not say enough about the Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, I have read it three times already and can not wait until the Fractal Prince, I know you did not get to finish it here and I did not like that you reviewed it unfinished but maybe you will get to read it all the way though and then if you still give it a lackluster review, though I will not agree with it I will feel better about it because you finished it.  Still love the signal, it is where I get some of my better news about what I love.  And as a PS I now really am looking forwar to Neal Stephenson’s new book when it comes out REAMDE, another author that writes at times in the here and now that is still in are Genre too.


  14. C.S.E. Cooney // May 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm //

    I’ve recently read two anthologies: Welcome to Bordertown, urban fantasy in a shared world that’s been around since the early nineties, and Teeth, which is for those vampire lovers out there who are tired of the Sparkly Ones. I mean the Hawt Ones. I mean the Cold Ones… Both are stuffed to the binding glue with awesome authors — both beloved favorites and people I’ve never heard of — and feature song and poem as well as short stories. Very fine!

  15. I’ve only just started it, but Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House is shaping up to be just as excellent as all of its award nominations suggest.

    For something a little less obvious (and slightly older), I really liked Elizabeth Bear’s Dust. It’s a story about a generation ship gone wrong. It’s very gothic, featuring an ancient feud in a decaying starship between the Houses of Rule and Engine, but there’s also warring AIs and super-advanced nanotechnology and cold, cold space. It’s the first of the Jacob’s Ladder trilogy, but if trilogies aren’t your thing I think it stands very well on its own.

    Oh yeah, and The Quantam Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. Joe Parrsh is dead right about that one.

  16. Steve Oerkfitz // May 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm //

    Dancing with Bears by Michael Swanwick

    Dervish House Ian McDonald

    Embassytown China Mieville

  17. Mike Kabongo // May 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm //

    The Wolf’s Age – James Enge

    Dragon’s Ring – Dave Freer

    Harmony – CF Bentley

  18. Equations of Life – Simon Morden

    Theories of Flight – Simon Morden

    Degrees of Freedom – Simon Morden

  19. The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

    Life As We Knew It (and the novels that follow) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

    Serial Killers Inc. by Andy Remic

    Last Days by Brian Evenson


    There you go 🙂

  20. Catherynne Valente’s Deathless–an urgent, passionate retelling of the Russian folktale of Koschei the Deathless. It’s about the impact of narratives and the struggle to control them, in personal relationships and in nations; about the reason that some stories never die, but just keep evolving.

  21. Tim Standish // May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm //

    Well the Monster Hunter International Series by Larry Correia, just for those readers who like a little military type organizations to go along with thier creature killers. These books have got action, guns, werewolves, red-neck elves, larger guns, vampires, good looking women, orcs, really really large guns, doomsday cults and an occasional nuke.  So much fun you want the next ride right after you get off the rollercoaster you were just on.

    In the same vein there is Marcus Pelegrimas and his wonderfully wicked Skinners series which really puts a new spin on where werewolves stand in the food chain. As before this books have some great pacing and fast action to make your head spin.

    my last choice is the Nightside fantasy novels by author Simon R. Green. Sam Spade like private investigator John Taylor takes place in a fictional section of london that most mortals never see if they are lucky called the Nightside. Filled with demon, zombies, ghosts, gods, elder gods, myths, time travel and whatever else you can think of. The action, violence, snarky humor and a growing cast of characters propells you through the books at a breakneck speed. Each one is as entertaining as the first.

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