In 2017, I read 125 books.
This list was inspired by Mark Bould, who wrote his own about his reading practices in 2016 (published in January 2017).
I combed through all that I read to create three lists of “bests”: recent fiction (past two years), older fiction, and comics. “Best” is subjective and my reasoning for any given “best” changes; sometimes it’s because I absolutely loved something at the level of pure enjoyment and emotional fulfillment, other times it’s because I think a work offered something undeniably important to the field and therefore should not be ignored, sometimes it’s because a work was painful or challenging—often my selections represent some intersection of the three. From all the lists I compiled what I would, at the most subjective level, call my “top five.”
All of the lists except the “top five” are organized alphabetically by author.
I also read a ton of comic books not listed here, since I didn’t read them as standalone TPBs.
And I published this book: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling, co-edited with Dan Hassler-Forest.
BEST FICTION: RECENT
- Hendrix, My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2016)
- Jemisin, The Stone Sky (2017)
- Jones, Mapping the Interior (2017)
- Klages, Passing Strange (2017)
- La Farge, The Night Ocean (2017)
- Leckie, Provenance (2017)
- Liu, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017)
- Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (2017)
- Shawl, Everfair (2016)
- Ziemska, Mandelbrot the Magnificent (2017)
BEST FICTION: OLDER
- Bisson, Fire on the Mountain (1988)
- Butler, Bloodchild (1996)
- De Camp, Lest Darkness Fall (1941)
- Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
- Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1845)
- García, Dreaming in Cuban (1992)
- King, Needful Things (1991)
- Le Guin, Tehanu (1990)
- Swanwick, Bones of the Earth (2002)
- Van Vogt, Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950)
- Alekseyeva, Soviet Daughter (2017)
- Andersson, Astrid (2016)
- Cooke, DC: The New Frontier (2004)
- Cloonan, By Chance or Providence (2017)
- Hendricks, The Stone Heart (2017)
- Ito, Tomie (2016)
- Lemire, Nguyen, et al., Descender, vol. 3-4 (2016-2017)
- Mézières and Pierre, The City of Shifting Waters (1970)
- Passmore, Your Black Friend (2016)
- Wiebe, Fowler, Gieni, et al., Rat Queens, vols. 3-4 (2016-2017)
TOP FIVE OVERALL
- Le Guin, Tehanu
- Shawl, Everfair
- Jemisin, The Stone Sky
- Passmore, Your Black Friend
- La Farge, The Night Ocean
THE FULL LIST
Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert, Francesco Francavilla, et al. Afterlife with Archie Volume 1: Escape from Riverdale. Archie Comics, 2015.
Alderman, Naomi. The Power. Little, Brown, 2017.
Alekseyeva, Julia. Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution. Microcosm Publishing, 2017.
Andersson, Kim W. Astrid: Cult of the Volcanic Moon. Dark Horse Comics, 2016.
Ashley, Mike. The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines to 1950. Liverpool UP, 2001.
Asimov, Isaac. Foundation. 1951.
—. The Early Asimov. 1938-1949. Doubleday, 1972.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. 1985. Anchor, 1998.
Bear, Elizabeth. Karen Memory. Tor, 2016.
Bellamy, Edward. Looking Backward, 2000-1887. 1888. Oxford UP, 2009.
Berger, Maurice. The Crisis of Criticism. The New Press, 1998.
Bisson, Terry. Fire on the Mountain. 1988. PM Press, 2009.
Boletsi, Maria. Barbarism and Its Discontents. Stanford UP, 2013.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 1990. Routledge, 2006.
Butler, Octavia. Bloodchild and Other Stories. 1996. Seven Stories, 2005.
Byrne, John, et al. Jurassic Park: The Devils in the Desert. IDW, 2011.
Carter, Paul A. The Creation of Tomorrow: Fifty Years of Magazine Science Fiction. Columbia UP, 1977.
Clarke, Arthur C. Rendezvous with Rama. 1973. Gollancz, 2006.
Cloonan, Becky. By Chance or Providence. Image, 2017.
Cloonan, Becky, et al. Southern Cross Volume 1. Image Comics, 2016.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi, Chris Sprouse, et al. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Volume 1. Marvel Comics, 2016.
Cooke, Darwyn. DC: The New Frontier. 2004. Deluxe edition, DC Comics, 2016.
Corben, Richard. Shadows on the Grave. Dark Horse Comics, 2017.
Corey, James S.A. (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Leviathan Wakes. Orbit, 2011. Expanse 1.
Cornell, Paul, Ryan Kelly, et al. Saucer Country Volume 1: Run. Vertigo, 2012.
Czerneda, Julie E. Nebula Awards Showcase 2017. Pyr, 2017.
Datlow, Ellen, and Lisa Morton, editors. Haunted Nights: A Horror Writers Association Anthology. Blumhouse / Anchor Books, 2017.
De Camp, L. Sprague. Lest Darkness Fall. 1941.
DeLillo, Don. White Noise. Viking, 1985.
De Saussure, Ferdinand. Course in General Linguistics. Edited by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, translated by Wade Baskin, Philosophical Library, 1959.
Dick, Philip K. The Man in the High Castle. 1962. Mariner Books, 2011.
Du Bois, W.E.B. The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Edited by Nahum Dimitri Chandler, Fordham UP, 2015.
Duncan, Andy, and Ellen Klages. Wakulla Springs. 2014. Tor, 2015.
Eisner, Will. Life on Another Planet. 1978-1980 (1983). DC Comics, 2000.
Farmer, Philip José. Strange Relations. 1960.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925.
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. 1856. Translated by Lydia Davis, Penguin, 2015.
Foster, Sesshu. Atomik Aztex. City Lights, 2005.
Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction. 1976/1978. Vintage, 1990.
Gailey, Sarah. River of Teeth. Tor, 2017.
Gammell, Stephen. Twigboy. Silver Whistle, 2000.
García, Cristina. Dreaming in Cuban. 1992.
Gauld, Tom. Mooncop. Drawn & Quarterly, 2016.
Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 1984.
Hantke, Steffen. Monsters in the Machine: Science Fiction Film and the Militarization of America after World War II. UP of Mississippi, 2016.
Hearn, Lian. Across the Nightingale Floor. Riverhead Books, 2002. Tales of the Otori 1.
Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Translated by William Lovitt, Harper Torchbooks, 1977.
Heinlein, Robert. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. 1966.
Hellekson, Karen. The Alternate History: Refiguring Historical Time. Kent State UP, 2001.
Hendricks, Faith Erin. The Stone Heart. First Second, 2017. Nameless City 2.
Hendrix, Grady. Horrorstör. Quirk Books, 2014.
—. My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Quirk Books, 2016.
Hergé. The Crab with the Golden Claws. 1953. Little, Brown, 1974. Adventures of Tintin 9.
Hernandez, Gilbert. The Adventures of Venus. Fantagraphics, 2012.
Ito, Junji. Dissolving Classroom. Translated by Melissa Tanaka, Vertical Comics, 2017.
—. Fragments of Horror. Translated by Jocelyne Allen, Viz Media, 2014.
—. Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. 2009. Kodansha Comics, 2015.
—. Tomie. Deluxe Edition, Viz Media, 2016.
Jameson, Fredric. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. Verso, 2005.
Jemisin, N.K. The Stone Sky. Orbit, 2017. Broken Earth 3.
Jones, Leroi (Amiri Baraka). Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays. Dover, 1971.
Jones, Stephen Graham. Mapping the Interior. Tor, 2017.
Kadare, Ismail. A Girl in Exile: Requiem for Linda B. Translated by John Hodgson, Counterpoint, 2018.
Kindt, Matt, and Sharlene Kindt. Dept. H Volume 1: Murder Six Miles Deep. Dark Horse Comics, 2017.
King, Stephen. Needful Things. 1991.
Klages, Ellen. Passing Strange. Tor, 2017.
—. Passing Strange. Tor, 2017. (second time)
Knight, Damon. The Futurians. 1977. ReAnimus Press, 2015.
Kushner, David, and Koren Shadmi. Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D. Nation Books, 2017.
La Farge, Paul. The Night Ocean. Penguin, 2017.
Leckie, Ann. Provenance. Orbit, 2017.
Le Guin, Ursula. Tehanu. 1990. Earthsea 4.
Lemire, Jeff, Dustin Nguyen, et al. Descender Volume 3: Singularities. Image Comics, 2016.
—. Descender Volume 4: Orbital Mechanics. Image Comics, 2017.
Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March Book One. Top Shelf, 2013.
Libicki, Miriam. Toward a Hot Jew. Fantagraphics, 2016.
Liu, Ken. Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker. Lucasfilm Press, 2017.
Liu, Marjorie, Mark Brooks, et al. Star Wars: Han Solo. Marvel Comics, 2017.
Liu, Marjorie, Sana Takeda, et al. Monstress Volume 1: Awakening. Image Comics, 2016.
Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2017.
—. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2017. (second time)
McGuire, Richard. Sequential Drawings: The New Yorker Series. Pantheon Books, 2016.
Mézières, Jean-Claude, and Christin Pierre. The City of Shifting Waters. 1970. Cinebook, 2010. Valérian and Laureline 1.
—. The Empire of a Thousand Planets. 1971. Cinebook, 2011. Valérian and Laureline 2.
—. The Land without Stars. 1972. Cinebook, 2012. Valérian and Laureline 3.
Michaels, Walter Benn, and Donald Pease, editors. The American Renaissance Reconsidered. Johns Hopkins UP, 1985.
Mignola, Mike, and Chris Roberson. The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed. Dark Horse Comics, 2017.
Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. Vintage, 1993.
Morton, Timothy. The Ecological Thought. Harvard UP, 2010.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. 1955. 50th anniversary ed., Vintage, 2005.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 1883. Translated by Walter Kaufmann, The Modern Library, 1995.
Orwell, George. 1984. 1949. Plume, 1983.
Passmore, Ben. Your Black Friend. Silver Sprocket, 2016.
Richardson, Mike, Ben Stenbeck, et al. Living with the Dead: A Zombie Bromance. Dark Horse Comics, 2007.
Ricoeur, Paul. Memory, History, Forgetting. Translated by Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer, U of Chicago P, 2004.
Russell, Mark, Steve Pugh, et al. The Flintstones Volume 1. DC Comics, 2017.
Salter, Mark. Barbarians and Civilization in International Relations. Pluto Press, 2002.
Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. 2000-2003. Translated by Anjali Singh, Pantheon, 2004.
Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political. 1932. Expanded ed., translated by George Schwab, U of Chicago P, 2007.
Schreck, Bob, Nate Van Dyke, et al. Jurassic Park: Redemption. IDW, 2011.
Shawl, Nisi. Everfair. Tor, 2016.
—. Everfair. Tor, 2016. (second time)
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. Del Rey, 2017.
Swanwick, Michael. Bones of the Earth. Harper Voyager, 2002.
Szabla, Anne. Bird Boy Volume II: The Liminal Wood. Dark Horse, 2016.
Tieryas, Peter. United States of Japan. Angry Robot Press, 2016.
Tolkien, JRR. The Fellowship of the Ring. 1954. Lord of the Rings 1.
Tommaso, Rich. She Wolf Volume 1. Image Comics, 2016.
Tsiang, H.T. The Hanging on Union Square: An American Epic. 1931, 1935. Kaya Press, 2013.
Tucker, Robert C., editor. The Marx-Engels Reader. 2nd ed., W.W. Norton, 1978.
Uris, Leon. Exodus. 1958.
Van Vogt, A.E. The Empire of Isher. 1947, 1951. Orb, 2000.
—. The Voyage of the Space Beagle. 1950. Orb, 2008.
—. The World of Null-A. 1945. Orb, 2002.
Waid, Mark, and Chris Samnee. Black Widow Volume 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted. Marvel Comics, 2016.
—. Black Widow Volume 2: No More Secrets. Marvel Comics, 2017.
Ward, Dayton, and Kevin Dilmore. Star Trek: Purgatory’s Key. Pocket Books, 2016. Legacies 3.
Wein, Len, Dennis O’Neil, et al. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar: At the Earth’s Core. Dark Horse, 2017.
Wendig, Chuck. Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End. Del Rey, 2017.
White, Kiersten. And I Darken. Ember, 2016. Claim the Throne 1.
Wiebe, Kurtis, Tess Fowler, et al. Rat Queens Volume 3: Demons. Image Comics, 2016.
Wiebe, Kurtis, Owen Gieni, et al. Rat Queens Volume 4: High Fantasies. Image Comics, 2017.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. 1890. Oxford UP, 2008.
Willingham, Bill, Matthew Sturges, et al. Fables Deluxe Edition Volume 10. Vertigo / DC Comics, 2015. Reprints comics originally published in 2009.
Ziemska, Liz. Mandelbrot the Magnificent. Tor, 2017.