Here we are at Volume 2 of SFF books That You May Have Heard of But Should Read. Again with how many amazing books coming out, some get missed. That is why Janny Wurts and myself have put together a series of recommendations of older novels just waiting to be discovered by you. These seven books run the gamut of space science fiction to fantasy, but they all have one thing in common, it has been 5 years or more since they have come out. So strap on your jet packs, jump on your magical flying horses, these books are going to take you for a ride.
If you wish to see previous recommendations, go here:
1. (published 2005)
by R.M. Meluch
About The Myriad
R. M. Meluch’s first novel in more than a decade, The Myriad,begins a series that is an amalgam of subgenres: military science fiction, space opera, time paradox, and alternate history.
On an Earth where the Roman Empire never fell (but instead existed in secret societies for millennia, finally reestablishing itself on the planet Palatine) and is now embroiled in a war against the League of Earth Nations, a much more deadly foe emerges from the darkness of deep space — the Hive. The governments of Palatine and Earth enter into an uneasy alliance to fight the alien invaders, nondescript antagonists that exist only to consume. While the unified forces try to keep the Hive from destroying human-populated planets, one U.S. battleship, the Merrimack, sets off on a quest to find the Hive’s homeworld and take the battle to its source.
During the ship’s desperate search, the crew of the Merrimackdiscovers a strange star cluster with three worlds inhabited by sentient beings. After first contact with the amazingly humanoid populace, Captain John Farragut discovers a series of wormholes that could unlock the secrets that could defeat the Hive — or destroy humankind forever.
Vaguely reminiscent of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (specifically, the relentless alien antagonists and the over-the-top, gung-ho characters), Meluch’s The Myriad is lighthearted, fast-paced fun. While obviously not as intense or controversial as Heinlein’s Hugo Award winning classic, this novel will prove thoroughly enjoyable to fans of military science fiction authors like David Weber and David Drake. Paul Goat Allen
2. (published 1975)
The Female Man
by Joanna Russ
“As my mother once said: The boys throw stones at the frogs in jest.
But the frogs die in earnest.”
About The Female Man
It has influenced William Gibson and been listed as one of the ten essential works of science fiction. Most importantly, Joanna Russ’s THE FEMALE MAN is a suspenseful, surprising and darkly witty chronicle of what happens when Jeannine, Janet, Joanna, and Jael—four alternative selves from drastically different realities—meet.
Nebula Award Nominee for Novel (1975)
James Tiptree Jr. Award for Retrospective (1995)
Tähtivaeltaja Award (1987)
Code of Conduct
by Kristine Smith
About Code of Conduct
Captain Jani Kilian’s life should have ended in front of a firing squad. Instead, she evaded battlefield justice by dying in a transport crash. End of story, according to official Commonwealth Service records.
But doctors repaired her in secret, using the most advanced Service Medical technologies available, or so they assured her. In the last days of the idomeni civil war, she escaped their homeworld of Shèrá, and spent the next 18 years on the run.
But someone like Jani leaves a trail no matter how hard they try to hide it, and she soon learns the Service hunt for her never ended. When Interior Minister Evan van Reuter, her former lover, tracks her down and begs her help in finding his wife’s killer, she has no choice but to agree.
The search takes her to the Commonwealth capital of Chicago, a hotbed of political intrigue as dangerous as any warzone. As the danger mounts, so do Jani’s struggles. Her rebuilt body is breaking down, and memories long suppressed are flooding back. Of one horrible night 18 years ago, and the gut-wrenching decision that changed her life forever.
4. (published 2017)
by Paige L. Christie
About Dragon weather
The brutal, drought-bringing heat that arises from the colossal, near-mythical Draigon, is a fell portent, heralding the doom of a striving woman.
When Leiel’s mother is Sacrificed to the Draigon to relieve the terrible drought, Leiel is marked by the shame brought to her family. She must leave school, relegated to a new life of servitude.
Cleod, the woodcutter’s son, is Leiel’s closest friend. To avenge Leiel’s mother, he vows to rise above his station and join the Ehlewer Enclave, an elite society famed for training men to kill Draigon.
The friends’ lives take different paths. Cleod struggles with divided loyalties as he learns he cannot be a Draigon hunter while remaining a friend to a tainted woman. Leiel seeks forbidden knowledge and old secrets, placing herself in danger of sharing her mother’s fate.
When Draigon Weather returns to the land, Cleod has the chance to fulfill all his promises—both to Leiel and to his new masters, the Ehlewer. But as the rivers choke on their own silt and heat cracks the ground, the choices the two friends have made begin to catch up with them—for what plagues Arnan is more than just a monster.
5. (published 2012)
Scourge of the Betrayer
by Jeff Salyards
“You haven’t lived until you’ve grieved. Death, life, together, the same. And if you’ve only experienced life you’re only half-alive.”
About Scourge of the Betrayer
Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies–or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself.
Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe … and Arki might be next.
Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!
A gripping military fantasy explores the brutal politics of Empire–and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul.
6. (published 2010)
The Gaslight Dogs
by Karin Lowachee
About The Gaslight Dogs
At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent — one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations — and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.
7. (published 2002)
by David Drake, Karl Edward Wagner
Bestselling author David Drake and World Fantasy Award-winning author Karl Edward Wagner now join forces to tell the epic tale of Lycon, the greatest beast hunter that ancient Rome had ever seen, pitted against a murderous alien in a battle for survival…with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance!