16 Best Science Fiction Books to Read in 2017
For those who can’t go on a long time without reading a new and fantastic sci-fi novel, don’t worry: There’s a terrific lineup of books coming out in 2017 to get you through the year.
From Star Wars prequels and universe expanding novels, to witty, funny and quirky space travel stories, and some of your more classic space operas that blend in with a more rigid sci-fi approach, 2017 is going to be an incredible year for science fiction novels.
Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig
The book that closes the trilogy that kicks off the cinematic Star Wars universe, filling in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, including how a massive star destroyer ended up on Jakku. Star Wars isn’t Science Fiction exactly, but we included Space Operas on our list.
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
Autonomous, going by the preview summary, is going to be one wild ride: An agent and robot from the military who just happen to be in love are on the trail of an anti-patent pirate named Jack, bringing pharmaceuticals to the poor, leaving them addicted to work. Sounds like another home run by Annalee Newitz.
Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele
Allen Steele won himself a lot of fans with Arkwright, and is going in another interesting direction with Avengers of the Moon, resurrecting an old pulp fiction character for what should be a very interesting experience. The cover alone looks retro and fun, and I believe the writing and story will be too. Refreshing to have in 2017.
Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns
The debut novel by R.E. Stearns will tell the story of a pair of engineers who turn to space piracy, only to find out that the ship they hijacked is controlled by one bonkers A.I., which sounds like one fun space opera to read, especially if you don’t mind writers twisting the principles of genres from time to time. Not that rare in 2017 to break tropes.
Dark Sky by Mike Brooks
Dark Sky is the sequel to the terrific Dark Run, telling the story of the Keiko crew. This time Mike Brooks takes the group on a data retrieval job that becomes a lot more, as they get involved in a revolution on a mining planet. The book is already out in the UK, and will be coming out in the US in August.
Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
The second novel in Ian McDonald’s Luna series, depicting the vicious family struggle over control of the moon. Luna: Wolf Moon picks up with the remaining children trying to regain control they lost in the first book. McDonald rarely disappoints, and Wolf Moon should be part of that equation going by the first book.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
One of the best hard sci-fi novelists alive brings us New York 2140, a story about how the residents of New York cope with rising sea levels and living in a semi-submerged metropolis. Turns out living in a time of melting ice caps might not be that bad, at least in a fictional universe.
Radiate by C.A. Huggins
The closing chapter of the Lightless trilogy, Radiate puts the awoken A.I. spaceship on a path to find the person who created it, who is also on a journey, one of his own. The first two books were mind opening to say the least, and this one should give us that kind of experience as well. Like Robinson, Higgins is a master of bringing across thought provoking hard sci-fi stories.
Raven Strategem by Yoon Ha Lee
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
John Scalzi of Old Man’s War fame comes out with ‘The Collapsing Empire‘, a story about a future where humanity has discovered interstellar travel, colonized thousands of new stars, and battles to avoid a mega disaster in the making. There’s a bit of Mass Effect to it, especially the beginning, but it changes very quickly into something different.
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
After two terrific trilogies, Kameron Hurley is coming out with the massive looking ‘Stars Are Legion‘, a story about a battle for control over a fleet of Worldships travelling the galaxy, fought over for centuries.
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
Meg Howrey presents a story about the a private company sending the first astronauts to Mars and the trials they go through in order to get there, faced with a 17-month mission that challenges their perception of reality.
Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn, him of the Thrawn trilogy fame, returns with the character that is wreaking havoc in Star Wars Rebels, telling his initial story and how he came to be the Empire’s Grand Admiral. Does this make the Grand Admiral canon? Rebels does, and it might be a way for Disney and Lucasfilm to build up his character for an upcoming movie. Their slate is full, but as fans constantly show, you can never have enough Star Wars material on movie screens, and good books are a great way to set the next one up.
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Two more very interesting books worth mentioning: An untitled Ancillary novel by Ann Leckie, which should come out in October. It’ll be the next in the intriguing world we were introduced to in Ancillary Justice. She did promise another book in the Ancillary world in 2017.
Another book worth waiting for is Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey, which is actually Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham. The 7th book of the Expanse series, beginning the closing trilogy (or story arc) of the massive story. They do put out on novel per year, and 2017 should be no different, with the previous one coming out on December 2016.