Fans! Writers! Publicists! Tell me about the best sci-fi in 2016

I write a regular column on sci-fi & fantasy books for The Guardian. About this time every year I sit down and think what the year ahead in sci-fi publishing has to offer. And right now, I’d love you to help me with that. It’s a big field, and while I do keep a burning eye in a high tower that can peer into the hearts of men, even that can’t read everything!  But collectively you folks can and do.

  • What are the books you’re looking forward to in 2016? They can be genre sci-fi (by which I mean anything even slightly fantastical), or mainstream with a sci-fi flavour. They don’t have to be published only in 2016. For instance, I’m really excited to see readers discover Last Song Before Night by Ilana C Meyer, published late this year.
  • Who are the indie published authors I should be looking out for? The field is huge, the gems are rare. Feel free to tip your own book, I will find time to look.
  • Also, I want to know about sci-fi related projects. Kickstarters for RPGs. Small press ‘zines with Patreons in need of support. Anything you think I should know about. Sci-fi is a great community, I try and support it every way I can.

Please drop a comment below, and help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book.

21 thoughts on “Fans! Writers! Publicists! Tell me about the best sci-fi in 2016

  1. Semi-OT: I’m glad about your “they don’t have to be published in 2016,” partly because this is a funny time of year, ain’t it, with all these BEST FICTION OF 2015 lists already popping up everywhere, but BOOKS STILL COMING OUT AS WELL. Like e.g. Adam Roberts’s new one that isn’t quite out (it even has a Christmassy cover). Books are like babies, this is probably a slightly annoying time of year to have one come out.


  2. I’m looking forward to the next China Mieville particularly. My own fantasy novel, Snakewood, published by Orbit, is out in March; a ‘found footage’ style tale of the demise and murder of a now disbanded and once legendary mercenary crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Self-promo: our Patreon-backed Comedic Portal Fantasy Audiodrama THE ONCE AND FUTURE NERD (@_toafn) wrapped up its first ~12 hour Season in September and we’re in the very very primordial development stages for Season 2. Always looking to spread the word and maybe wrangle up some more fundage.


  4. In response to your invitation tweet: Don’t know if you look at Wattpad much, anyway my SF novel “Starship Walker” is free at :
    (Wattpad is great for free proofreading via its thousands of eyeballs). “Starship Walker” is approaching 65,000 reads there, ie about 2,200 readers. It’s also up on Smashwords and their distributors, eg Apple iBooks, for $s’.

    I published one SF story many years ago in an Australian Magazine called “Aurealis”. Then I went ‘mainstream’: I had about a dozen short stories published in an Aus magazine called “Quadrant”, but I abandoned it when they got too right-wing for me. A pity because they paid well (their literary editor is the Australian poet Les Murray, who my wife says “gets me”).

    I managed to publish one item several years ago in another Aus magazine called “Island”, before I stopped writing short stories. Now I’ve wandered back to SF again (and need to catch up on some reading).


  5. Damien, I nodded along with your recent essay when you wrote about point of view and reader hunger “to step into a reality created on the page” and I’ve wanted you to read my self-published RPG The Clay That Woke since you wrote this past summer about RPGs being left out of the popular discussion about books and reading.

    I wrote it to be a reading experience unlike any other RPG. It uses forward references with purpose, not with the usual awkward shame, and it has a spine of fiction that’s fundamental to creating its reality, not just garnishing.

    It is though more of a 2015 than 2016 title. Let me send it to you anyway?


  6. Hey,
    I am coming over to plug two authors:
    Brent LeVesseur for his Aoleon The Martian Girl Saga, it is a 5 part book and the photos give that WOW factor.
    Also, Michael Phillip Cash for his Darracia Trilogy. His self-made world is fantastic!

    Naila Moon


  7. I’m quite eager to have a look at the Ilana Meyer book, Damien! It would also be interesting to read your thoughts on newish works you were excited about in 2015, 2014, 2013 (etc)… how previous faves stand up to the (very small) test of time…!


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