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Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself.
A luckless barbarian, a conceited rake and a torture victim-turned-torturer are caught up in a wizard’s agenda.
First Law trilogy: Before They Are Hanged; Last Argument of Kings
John Birmingham, Without Warning.
On the eve of the Iraq War, an inexplicable energy wave wipes out 99 percent of the U.S. population, and the survivors struggle to cope with unimaginable challenges.
Sequels: After America; Angels of Vengeance
Anne Bishop, Sebastian.
To protect it from the Eater of the World, Ephemera was broken into lands connected only by bridges that may lead to unexpected destinations, but now the evil has returned and must be stopped.
Ephemera: Belladonna; Bridge of Dreams
Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come.
In Elizabethan England, the Queen’s court is mirrored by an underground realm ruled by the Queen of the Faeries.
Onyx Court: In Ashes Lie; A Star Shall Fall; With Fate Conspire
David Brin, Startide Rising.
A Terran exploration vessel carrying a vital secret crashes on an uncharted water world, where her human and dolphin crew battle rebellion and a hostile environment.
Sequels: The Uplift War; Brightness Reef; Infinity’s Shore; Heaven’s Reach
Terry Brooks, Armageddon’s Children.
In a future Earth devastated by pollution, plagues, and war, the Knights of the Word battle the demons of the Void.
Genesis of Shannara trilogy: The Elves of Cintra; The Gypsy Morph
Robert Buettner, Orphanage.
When Earth comes under attack by aliens on Ganymede, Jason Wander and a band of other orphans are sent on humankind’s first interplanetary voyage to stop them.
Sequels: Orphan’s Destiny; Orphan’s Journey; Orphan’s Alliance; Orphan’s Triumph
Jack Campbell, The Lost Fleet: Dauntless.
‘Black Jack’ Geary is awoken from an escape pod 100 years after leading his fleet to victory and finds he has been immortalized as a hero in a war that has dragged on for a century.
Lost Fleet: Fearless; Courageous; Valiant; Relentless; Victorious
Trudi Canavan, The Magicians’ Guild.
A girl with an uncontrolled talent for magic is hunted by the Magicians’ Guild when she reveals her power in an impulsive attack against them.
Black Magician trilogy: The Novice; The High Lord
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.
A girl volunteers to take her sister’s place in a televised battle to the death which is used by the government to control the populace.
Sequels: Catching Fire; Mockingjay
James S.A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes.
After Captain Jim Holden discovers an abandoned spaceship, he unearths a secret that threatens to throw the entire solar system into war.
Expanse series: Caliban’s War
Steven Erikson, Gardens of the Moon.
After years of interminable war, the Empress of the Malazan Empire sends her troops to take the last remaining Free City.
Malazan Book of the Fallen: Deadhouse Gates; Memories of Ice; House of Chains; Midnight Tides; The Bonehunters; Reaper's Gale; Toll the Hounds; Dust of Dreams; The Crippled God
Julie Czerneda, Reap the Wild Wind.
On the planet Cersi, a telepathic race is subjugated by two technologically advanced races until the arrival of aliens to their world.
Stratification: Riders of the Storm; Rift in the Sky
Laura Anne Gilman, Hard Magic.
A woman joins a paranormal investigations team that uses forensic magic to investigate crimes.
Paranormal Scene Investigations: Pack of Lies; Tricks of the Trade; Dragon Justice
Simon Green, Something from the Nightside.
John Taylor is hired to find a runaway and must enter the Nightside—a hidden realm in London where fantasy and reality intersect.
Nightside: Agents of Light and Darkness; Nightingale's Lament; Hex and the City ; Paths Not Taken; Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth; Hell to Pay; The Unnatural Inquirer; Just Another Judgement Day; The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny; A Hard Day's Knight; The Bride Wore Black Leather
Celine Kiernan, The Poison Throne.
Wynter Moorehawke returns home and finds that the king has become a violent despot and his son and heir has fled into exile.
Moorehawke trilogy: The Crowded Shadows; The Rebel Prince
Stephen King, The Gunslinger.
Roland the Gunslinger pursues the Man in Black in order to find the fabled Dark Tower that is said to be the nexus of all universes.
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three; The Waste Lands; Wizard and Glass; Wolves of the Calla; Song of Susannah; The Dark Tower
George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones.
In a land where seasons last for decades, winter is returning as sinister forces amass north of the Wall and factions vie for control of the Seven Kingdoms.
Song of Ice and Fire: Clash of Kings; Storm of Swords; Feast for Crows; Dance with Dragons
Chloe Neill, Some Girls Bite.
A Chicago grad student is bitten by a rogue vampire, and after she turns into one herself she is taken in by a group of others living in a Hyde Park mansion.
Chicagoland Vampires: Friday Night Bites; Twice Bitten; Hard Bitten; Drink Deep; Biting Cold
Cherie Priest, Boneshaker.
In the gold rush era, an inventor’s son wants to clear his father’s name after a drill he made for mining unleashed an underground gas that turns people into zombies and caused Seattle to be quarantined.
Clockwork Century: Clementine, Dreadnought; Ganymede; The Inexplicables
Robert Redick, The Red Wolf Conspiracy.
A floating city-ship embarks on a mission to bring an unwilling bride to an enemy prince in a bid for peace between two realms, but a conspiracy is afoot.
Chathrand Voyage: The Ruling Sea; The River of Shadows; Night of the Swarm (coming Feb. 2013)
Kat Richardson, Greywalker.
After an attack that leaves her dead for two minutes, small-time private eye Harper Blaine is able to enter the Grey—the zone between our world and the next.
Sequels: Poltergeist; Underground; Vanished; Labyrinth; Downpour; Seawitch
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives.
Bob, a low-level computer tech for the Laundry—a secret British agency that defends the world from occult happenings—finds himself promoted to fieldwork after he saves the day during a routine demonstration gone awry.
Laundry Files: The Jennifer Morgue; The Fuller Memorandum; The Apocalypse Codex
Michael Sullivan, Theft of Swords.
Two thieves become unwitting scapegoats in a plot to murder the king.
Riyria Revelations: Rise of Empire; Heir of Novron
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit.
A sedentary Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is selected by the Wizard Gandalf to join a company of Dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a dragon.
Prequel to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows.
Determined to escape the Warrens, Azoth seeks out Durzo Blint, the city's most ruthless assassin, to persuade him to take him on as an apprentice and to teach him the deadly Way of Shadows.
Night Angel trilogy: Shadow’s Edge; Beyond the Shadows
Gene Wolfe, The Shadow of the Torturer.
Severian, an apprentice torturer, is exiled for showing mercy to one of his “clients” and begins an adventure-filled journey across a wintry Urth circling a dying sun.
Book of the New Sun: The Claw of the Conciliator; The Sword of the Lictor; The Citadel of the Autarch; Urth of the New Sun
Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber.
A man who awakens in an Earth hospital with no memory discovers that he has been exiled to the Shadows from the real world of Amber, where he is heir to the throne.
Chronicles of Amber: The Guns of Avalon; Sign of the Unicorn; The Hand of Oberon; The Courts of Chaos