Apr 21, 2013

20 Best Young SF Novelists: An Infographic

Here is an infographic I put together (rather badly, I might add) of Damien Walter's list of 20 best young (apparently defined as 40 or younger) SFF novelists. The list appears to be a little UK-centric and has some curious omissions (a debut novelist over Sanderson, Rothfuss, or Tregillis, really?) but it's hard to argue with many of these names.

For those of you who like simple lists, copying and pasting, or hate pictures - here is the list in a more digestible format.

Lauren Beukes
WtS: Moxyland (or Zoo City)
WN?: The Shining Girls

James Smythe
WtS: The Explorer
WN?: The Machine

Hannu Rajaniemi
WtS: The Quantum Thief
WN?: The Causal Angel

Madeline Ashby
WtS: vN: The First Machine Dynasty
WN?: iD: The Second Machine Dynasty

Aliette De Boddard
WtS: Obsidian and Blood
WN?: On A Red Station, Drifting

Hugh Howey
WtS: Wool (Independently Published)
WN?: Wool (Simon & Schuster Edition)

Joe Abercrombie
WtS: The Blade Itself
WN?: Red Country (with a new First Law trilogy forthcoming)

NK Jemsin
WtS: The Killing Moon (or The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms)
WN?: Untilted Magic Seismology Project (USMP)

Saladin Ahmed
WtS: Throne of the Crescent Moon
WN?: Book II of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms

China Mieville
WtS: Perdido Street Station (or The City & the City)

Joe Hill
WtS: Horns

Chuck Wendig
WtS: Blackbirds
WN?: The Blue Blazes

Seanan McGuire
WtS: Feed [as Mira Grant] (or Rosemary and Rue [October Daye #1] )
WN?: Chimes at Midnight [October Daye #7]

Robert Jackson Bennet
WtS: Mr. Shivers
WN?: American Elsewhere / City of Stairs

Carlton Mellick
WtS: Satan Burger
WN?: Village of the Mermaids

Catherynne Valente
WtS: The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden
WN?: The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

Tom Pollock
WtS: The City's Son
WN?: The Glass Republic

Elizabeth May
WtS: The Falconer (Debut)
WN?: The Falconer

Francis Hardinge
WtS: Fly By Night
WN?: A Face Like Glass

Nnedi Okorafor
WtS: Who Fears Death?
WN?: Lagoon


  1. Where is Brandon Sanderson, Pat Rothfuss, Scot Lynch and Ian Tregillis? I know a list like this is highly subjective but not putting in at least one of them makes me doubt the opinion of the list creator/s.

  2. Hey I like the site! New sci-fi recommendations are always welcome!

    I must say I loathe infographics though. Sorry.

  3. I forgot to include that I don't like infographics because they make things harder to read instead of easier, to wit, I can't read a few of the author's names.

  4. This is a cool infograph and pretty accurate too going by the quality of the authors on the list the I've already read. I've heard of most of them and a lot of those are on my list of authors to read.

  5. Well, I think I now have a few more novels that I want to read! Thanks for the recommendations! (And I, personally, like the infographic. Though admittedly some of the names are a little hard to read.)

  6. It isn't obvious (though there is a link in tiny writing at the bottom) that the list itself comes from Damien Walter's piece in the Guardian:


    The "Where to start"/"What's now/next" bits have been added, and add useful information.

  7. Thanks for adding that clarification Celyn. I'm trying to fix the resolution but Blogger is being problematic.

    As Celyn notes, the list wasn't proposed by me - it was from a list proposed by Damien Walter in the Guardian. I think it is only authors under 40 but that still doesn't explain why notables like Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Tregillis (!!!) didn't make the cut.

    My only explanation is possibly recent activity (Rothfuss and Lynch haven't exactly been prolific) or the fact that Tregillis is criminally under-read. Sanderson's absence is a strange one but it's possible that Walter doesn't think much of him. I think Sanderson is more well-read than critically praised, at least among the "elite" critics.

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