Best of 2016: Amazon’s Top 20 SFF Books

Amazon has their annual list upThe Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, a post-apocalyptic novel with what seems to be Western overtones, was their pick as the top SFF book of the year. Amazon always pushes in a more mainstream direction, given their massive audience Here are the books that made their top 20, in no particular order:

Death’s End, Cixin Liu
The Diabolic, S.J. Kincaid
The Hike, Drew Magary
The Wolf Road, Beth Lewis
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin
The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman
Morning Star, Pierce Brown
All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders
Age of Myth, Michael J. Sullivan
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
The Summer Dragon, Todd Lockwood
The Burning Isle, Will Panzo
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Meg Elison\
City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett
Company Town, Madeline Ashby
The Dark Side, Anthony O’Neill
Skinner Lyce, Patricia Ward
Star Nomad, Lindsay Buroker
Machinations, Hayley Stone

That chalks up another list for Jemisin, Yoon Ha Lee, Charlie Jane Anders, and Robert Jackson Bennett. No Lois McMaster Bujold or Connie Willis. Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville also hasn’t done well so far on year end lists—maybe too weird, both in genre and content?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won as overall fiction book of the year. That has enough magic realist elements to be eligible in the Hugo and Nebula, so it’ll be intersting to see if it pulls a The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and has an impact in the SFF awards, or whether it just dominates the literary fiction scene.

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5 responses to “Best of 2016: Amazon’s Top 20 SFF Books”

  1. Ron Buckmire (@madprofessah) says :

    I have read Jemisin, Bennett and Sullivan. I definitely intend to read the books by Liu and Lee and have no intention of reading the books by McGuire, Anders or Brown. I haven’t heard of a LOT of the books on this list….

    I don’t understand why Ben Winters’ Underground Airlines is not getting more laudatory love.Maybe because it shares a title word and subject-matter with Colson Whitehead’s blockbuster?It’s DEFINITELY science fiction (alternate history).

    • chaoshorizon says :

      Yes, just bad timing for Winters: seemingly too similar to Whitehead, whose book is probably going to be the biggest literary book of 2016 and dominate those awards. I’ll freely admit that I’m one of those readers who read the Whitehead but am waiting for the Winters to come out in paperback for exactly this reason.

  2. debyfredericks says :

    To clarify, were these books all 2016 releases?

    • chaoshorizon says :

      Amazon isn’t that careful. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife was definitely 2015. Amazon isn’t concerned with the same eligibility rules as the Hugo or Nebula. They basically do whatever they want.

      • admiral.ironbombs says :

        Unnamed Midwife was re-released by Amazon’s 47North imprint this year, and as much as I liked the novel, seeing it on this list strikes me as a rather self-serving pick.

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