Last week I posted a big ole list of my favorite short stories and novelettes of 2017. This week, it’s time for my favorite novels and novellas of the year, because you can never have too much recommended reading, right?
The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller – a lovely and painful story about a young man dealing with an eating disorder, a budding relationship, surviving high school, and unlocking superpowers.
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – a brilliant ending to a brilliant trilogy. All three books are breathtaking in their worldbuilding, character building, and their scope. They’re the type of books that punch you in the gut and grab you by the throat all at once, and refuse to let go.
The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden – another stunning debut novel about emergent gods, designer drugs, friendships, family, following your dreams, and of course, dik diks. (Reviewed in more detail here.)
Horizon by Fran Wilde – another brilliant ending to a brilliant trilogy. All three books are full of stunning visuals, tense action, intricate worldbuilding, and wonderful characters. On top of that, Wilde pulls off the incredible trick of expanding the world and upping the stakes with each book, revealing her universe to be much darker, weirder, and more wonderful than ever imagined.
A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw – a dark mash-up of Lovecraftian horror, noir, and music, full of loneliness and gorgeous poetic language.
The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy – a novella with a post-apocalyptic punk feel, laced with weird, dark magic, and mythology come to life.
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – a near-future SF novella about Mars, movie magic, appearances versus reality, and longing for something that seems out of reach.
Pretty Marys All in a Row – urban legends, nursery rhymes, and old myths come to life (or afterlife) in a story about five ghosts trapped in a house, hunted by something dark and dangerous.
And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker – a murder mystery set in a world of parallel realities where multiple versions of the author converge on lonely and inaccessible island to ponder the variations on their lives and try to discover who would want to end one of them. (Reviewed in more detail here.)
A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power by Rose Lemberg – a gorgeous and poetic novella of fallen stars and magic, exploring power, consent, desire, and pain.
(Being the novels and novellas I read this year and loved, but were published before 2017, but which I still really want to recommend.)
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson – a gorgeous novella moving fluidly through time and possible realities.
Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley – a brilliant follow up to Magonia, which further complicates Aza Ray’s life as she’s caught between two worlds and coping with the fact that most people think she’s dead.
The Devourers by Indra Das – an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous novel about shifting forms and identities, desire, hunger, and power, which feels epic in scope while still being compact and tightly-woven. (Seriously, just drop whatever you’re doing and read it.)
The Fisherman by John Langan – an unsettling novel full of cosmic horror and deeply woven mythology.
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – another deeply unsettling novel with a mythology that feels embedded and real, concerning a witch haunting a particularly town, words that must never be listened to, and stitches that must never be undone.
Lexicon by Max Barry – a novel where words have incredible power, a secret society built around their use and protection, and an entire neighborhood quarantined and brought to its knees.
Waypoint Kangaroo by Curtis C. Chen – spies in space, a private pocket dimension, and one vacation on a interstellar cruise ship gone very, very wrong.
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez – a unique vampire novel spanning decades and lifetimes, touching on found family, race, queerness, love, and women making space for themselves in the world.