Hard to believe that 2014 is almost over! But the end is near, and major websites and publications are beginning to release their best of 2014 lists. Since Chaos Horizon is dedicated to predicting the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, these are good resources—most of the time. Publisher’s Weekly’s lists are actually very eccentric, and hardly ever include the eventual Hugo/Nebula nominees, much less the winner.
Publisher’s Weekly Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Novels of 2014:
A Darkling Sea, James L. Cambias
The Peripheral, William Gibson
Highfell Grimoires, Langley Hyde
Coldbrook, Tim Lebbon
The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane
Our Lady of the Islands, Shannon Page and Jay Lake
Young Woman in a Garden, Delia Sherman (short story collection)
Two other speculative novels show up on the “Fiction” list: Chang Rae-Lee’s On Such a Full Sea and Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird. In a lovely bit of insane categorization, Andy Weir’s The Martian shows up on the “Mystery/Thriller” list. I guess whether or not he’ll die on Mars is a kind of mystery . . .
An idiosyncratic list, to say the least, and lacking any of the more buzzed about 2015 contenders. Last year, Publisher’s Weekly didn’t pick a single one of the eventual Hugo or Nebula nominees, so they aren’t very useful indicator of future Hugo/Nebula success. If anything, showing up on the list dooms your chances (sorry Gibson!). Still, it’s interesting to see what various outlets, mainstream or otherwise, are thinking about speculative fiction in 2014.