My best Scifi & Fantasy novels of 2010 to 2019

I read a LOT of SF/F this decade for The Guardian, SFX, BBC etc. These were the books that made the decade for me.

The Electric State

2010 – The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang.

This is how AI will really happen, and it’s terribly sad

2011 – Embassytown by China Mieville.

Like all of China’s novels, this is a book that breaks under its huge concepts but it’s still a wild ride.

2012 – The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks.

Still sad that Iain didn’t get to finish the Culture sequence, but this is one of the best.

2013 – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Perhaps the least remembered book on the list, but perhaps also my favourite.

2014 – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Claire North filled the entire decade with amazing novels and stories. A truly phenomenal writer.

2015 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R R Martin

A masterclass in novella writing from GRRM, better I think than the later GoT novels.

2016 – Infomocracy by Malka Older

The most prophetic SF novel of the decade, we’re all living it now.

2017 – You Should Come With Me Now by M John Harrison

The greatest collection of weird stories ever written. Go read it!

2018 – The Electric State by Simon Stahlenhag

No words to describe this novel in pictures. Stahlenhag defined a whole new aesthetic for scifi in the 21st century.

2019 was a rough year for me in many ways, with health problems that made reading much harder. I’ve also been in an existential conflict with scifi. I’ve read too much, and grown impatient with many books and their writers. So a lot of books got thrown at the wall. But not…

2019 – The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey.

Kadrey trades in his hardboiled gothic style for a New Weird epic that I really savoured.

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.

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