Faves from 2017, part 1: Books!

I suck at reading books in the year they come out, so although a couple of books on this list are award-eligible, this isn’t an award recommendation post. This is just a list of the speculative book-length works I read in 2017 and absolutely loved.

Lois McMaster Bujold, “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.” Some of my queer friends had problems with this book, so YMMV, but I was just like: ANOTHER CORDELIA BOOK THANK YOU! Older protagonists having a proper, Bujold-style romance! CANON POLYAMORY ASTFGHJKKL and bisexual characters getting to be bisexual (even if only in flashbacks, sigh). The whole thing was (to me) a delight.

Gemma Files, “Experimental Film.” Full review here.

N.K. Jemisin, “The Killing Moon.” Gorgeous, sensuous, and menacing, like everything I’ve seen N.K. Jemisin do. Has a very cool magic system that I want to see more of. Deals with some potentially uncomfortable topics (two of the POV characters are basically assassins who are taught that what they do is “merciful”) in a nuanced and multifaceted way that stays true to the characters above all. Fortunately, there is another one in the series after this one!

Yoon Ha Lee, “Ninefox Gambit.” I… might be doing a full review of this one later. Watch this space.

Rose Lemberg, “Marginalia to Stone Bird.” Full review here.

A. Merc Rustad, “So You Want to Be a Robot and Other Stories.” Full review here.

Catherynne M. Valente, “Radiance.” I wasn’t sure at first if the old-timey silent film themes would win me over, but I love the glamour, I love the metafiction and found-footage structure, I love the retro planets, I love the callowhales and their timey-wimey secrets, I just love everything about this.