NPR: 50 Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Past Decade (2011-2021)

I was more than charmed when NPR did a repeat (but not quite) of their reader poll about the 100 Best SFF Novels. Being well aware that The Lord of the Rings will probably win every time, and not seeing much merit in having a poll just to prove that yet again, NPR changed things up a bit for their follow-up. First of all, only 50 books were chosen, secondly, they had to be published in the past decade, and thirdly, a panel of judges took the reader nominations into account and then curated the final 50 books chosen.

I am delighted with this list and will add it to my long-term projects (as if I don’t have enough of those already). The books printed bold are ones I’ve already read, if I wrote a review, I’ll link to it, and the rest is all books I’ll still have to tackle. 🙂

  1. Ann Leckie – The Imperial Raadch Trilogy
    1. Ancillary Justice
    2. Ancillary Sword
    3. Ancillary Mercy
  2. P. Djèlí Clark – The Dead Djinn Universe
    1. A Dead Djinn in Cairo
    2. The Haunting of Tram Car 015
    3. A Master of Djinn
  3. Joe Abercrombie – The Age of Madness Trilogy
    1. A Little Hatred
    2. The Trouble With Peace
    3. The Wisdom of Crowds
  4. Fonda Lee – The Green Bone Saga
    1. Jade City
    2. Jade War
    3. Jade Legacy
  5. James S. A. Corey – The Expanse
    1. Leviathan Wakes
    2. Caliban’s War
    3. Abaddon’s Gate
    4. Cibola Burn
    5. Nemesis Games
    6. Babylon’s Ashes
    7. Persepolis Rising
    8. Tiamat’s Wrath
    9. Leviathan Falls
  6. S. A. Chakraborty – The Daevabad Trilogy
    1. City of Brass
    2. Kingdom of Copper
    3. Empire of Gold
  7. Arkady Martine – Teixcalaan
    1. A Memory Called Empire
    2. A Desolation Called Peace
  8. Jo Walton – The Thessaly Trilogy
    1. The Just City
    2. The Philosopher Kings
    3. Necessity
  9. V. E. Schwab – The Shades of Magic Trilogy
    1. A Darker Shade of Magic
    2. A Gathering of Shadows
    3. A Conjuring of Light
  10. Robert Jackson Bennett – The Divine Cities Trilogy
    1. City of Stairs
    2. City of Blades
    3. City of Miracles
  11. Tade Thompson – The Wormwood Trilogy
    1. Rosewater
    2. The Rosewater Insurrection
    3. The Rosewater Redemption
  12. Rebecca Roanhorse – Between Earth and Sky
    1. Black Sun
    2. Fevered Star
  13. Susanna Clarke – Piranesi
  14. Madeline Miller – Circe
  15. Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican Gothic
  16. Ken Liu – The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
  17. Naomi Novik – Spinning Silver
  18. Ted Chiang – Exhalation: Stories
  19. Sofia Samatar – Olondria
    1. A Stranger in Olondria
    2. The Winged Histories
  20. Carmen Maria Machado – Her Body and Other Parties
  21. Kazuo Ishiguro – The Buried Giant
  22. Catherynne M. Valente – Radiance
  23. Victor LaValle – The Changeling
  24. Becky Chambers – Wayfarers
    1. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
    2. A Closed and Common Orbit
    3. Record of a Spaceborn Few
    4. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within
  25. Nnedi Okorafor – Binti
    1. Binti
    2. Binti: Home
    3. Binti: The Night Masquerade
  26. Mary Robinette Kowal – The Lady Astronaut
    1. The Calculating Stars
    2. The Fated Sky
    3. The Relentless Moon
    4. The Martian Contingency
  27. Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Children of Time Duology
    1. Children of Time
    2. Children of Ruin
  28. Seanan McGuire – Wayward Children
    1. Every Heart a Doorway
    2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
    3. Beneath the Sugar Sky
    4. In an Absent Dream
    5. Come Tumbling Down
    6. Across the Green Grass Fields
    7. Where the Drowned Girls Go
  29. Micaiah Johnson – The Space Between Worlds
  30. Marlon James – Black Leopard, Red Wolf
  31. Jeff Vandermeer – The Southern Reach Trilogy
    1. Annihilation
    2. Authority
    3. Acceptance
  32. Sarah Gailey – The Echo Wife
  33. Tamsyn Muir – The Locked Tomb Series
    1. Gideon the Ninth
    2. Harrow the Ninth
    3. Nona the Ninth
    4. Alecto the Ninth
  34. Liu Cixin – Remembrance of Earth’s Past
    1. The Three-Body Problem
    2. The Dark Forest
    3. Death’s End
  35. Yoon Ha Lee – The Machineries of Empire
    1. Ninefox Gambit
    2. Raven Stratagem
    3. Revenant Gun
  36. N. K. Jemisin – The Broken Earth Trilogy
    1. The Fifth Season
    2. The Obelisk Gate
    3. The Stone Sky
  37. Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven
  38. Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone – This is How You Lose the Time War
  39. R. F. Kuang – The Poppy War Trilogy
    1. The Poppy War
    2. The Dragon Republic
    3. The Burning God
  40. Seth Dickinson – The Masquerade
    1. The Traitor Baru Cormorant
    2. The Monster Baru Cormorant
    3. The Tyrang Baru Cormorant
  41. Rivers Solomon – An Unkindness of Ghosts
  42. G. Willow Wilson – The Bird King
  43. Omar El Akkad – The American War
  44. Tochi Onyebuchi – Riot Baby
  45. E. Lily Yu – On Fragile Waves
  46. Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor
  47. Martha Wells – The Murderbot Diaries
    1. All Systems Red
    2. Artificial Condition
    3. Rogue Protocol
    4. Exit Strategy
    5. Network Effect
    6. Fugitive Telemetry
  48. John Scalzi – The Interdependency
    1. The Collapsing Empire
    2. The Consuming Fire
    3. The Last Emperox
  49. Andy Weir – The Martian
  50. Zen Cho – Sorcerer Royal
    1. Sorcerer to the Crown
    2. The True Queen