Even More Best of 2014 Lists: Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek
Entertainment Weekly, another high profile mainstream outlet read by huge numbers, has posted their “10 Best Fiction Books of 2014.” Three speculative novels make the cut:
1. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
6. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell
10. Southern Reach trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer
Interesting to see Mandel “win” the Best Book of 2014. I still have no sense of how much Station Eleven is crossing over with the SFF audience, but it sure is popular with the literary mainstream.
Newsweek also provides a “Favorite Books of 2014” list. No speculative fiction makes the cut. While that’s a pretty typical response from a mainstream outlet to SFF, it’s surprising this year, given the large number of strong literary SFF novels out there.
This should remind us that, in a “standard” year, these mainstream lists might only promote one or two speculative works total. This year, we’ve had at least 5-6 speculative works pushed by the mainstream, which is unusual. Does this signal a new trend and acceptance of speculative fiction, or is this a one year exception?
The Wall Street Journal has also put up their own version of a compiled meta-list, using many of the same sources Chaos Horizon uses (although they’re less comprehensive). Their list includes literary fiction and speculative fiction, so we can see how the year’s best literary SFF novels stack up against more mainstream fiction. The Bone Clocks and Station Eleven place on this list, indicating that they’re more than just contenders for the Hugo and Nebula: they’ll make some noise when literary awards season rolls around. Station Eleven might have an outside shot at something like the Pulitzer. I don’t know the British awards scene very well, but I imagine Mitchell would be competitive.