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The Best Books of 2022: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror

Posted on 14th September 2022 by Mark Skinner

Whether it's braving the magical intrigues of the Alexandrian Society with Olivie Blake, finding portals to fairy tale worlds with Stephen King or surviving a future plague with Sequoia Nagamatsu, science fiction, fantasy and horror publishing has been truly out of this world in 2022. Explore our list of the best speculative fiction to lift you out of the humdrum and everyday.    

 

 

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One of the leading lights in the visceral grimdark fantasy genre, Kuang's stunningly wrought novel is a compulsive dystopia about the power of language and the evils of authoritarianism, represented by the looming titular tower of translation.
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Following hot on the heels of the mega-selling fantasy debut The Atlas Six, the second part of Olivie Blake's spectacular magical saga ups the ante on excitement and adventure.
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Novik's superlative Scholomance trilogy concludes in spectacular style as the dark school of magic begins its final assault against its terrified yet resourceful students.

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The fourth shimmering instalment in Kennedy’s TikTok fantasy sensation finds the protagonist of the Plated Prisoner series navigating her precarious new life after taking a stand against King Midas.

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The author of The House in the Cerulean Sea delivers another pitch-perfect slice of beautifully wrought queer fantasy, as violence tears apart the shapeshifting wolf pack Ox calls family and a face from his past reawakens powerful emotions.

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Ablaze with secrets, betrayal and romance, the seductive closing part of the bestselling Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy presents Maniscalco’s fearless heroine with the final, dark mystery – and one that might end up costing Emilia her heart.
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Following up House of Earth and Blood with another smouldering instalment of the Crescent City series, Maas throws Bryce and Hunt into a rebel war from which they will be lucky to escape alive.
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Another sumptuous adventure full of passion, intrigue and forbidden magic awaits Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts in the sequel to Stephanie Garber’s bestselling Once Upon A Broken Heart.

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Filled with secrets, conspiracy and romance, this evocative slice of historical fiction from the author of These Violent Delights sees a young assassin fight for the greater good in 1930s Shanghai.
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A hunting party gone awry, dangerous ambitions and rumours of conspiracy set the stage for a spellbinding tale of loyalty and revenge in Rowland’s mesmerising new fantasy romance.

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Perfect reading for all fans of Chloe Gong and Leigh Bardugo, Mix's stellar debut sees a bloodwitch fall for a human princess as a deadly magical plague rages all around them.
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The master storyteller returns with a spellbinding story of mysterious houses, parallel worlds and reluctant heroes as an ordinary high school kid discovers a portal to a universe populated by classic fairy tale archetypes.
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The first in a supernatural new series from the author of Wonderland, Her Majesty's Royal Coven follows a top secret government department of witches and the deadly threat to the nation that they must confront.
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The author of bestselling phenomenon The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue serves up a gloriously gothic extravaganza centred on a girl summoned to a mysterious estate - and the dangerously seductive lure of the world beyond its boundaries.
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Beginning the Celestial Kingdom duology, Tan's evocative fantasy is a sweeping story of magic, romance and mythology that takes the legend of the Chinese moon goddess as its jumping off point.
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Perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern and Leigh Bardugo, the adult fantasy debut from the YA titan pitches reckless Charlie into a world of gloamists, backstabbers and doppelgangers with a potentially world-changing secret up for grabs.

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The opening instalment of a scintillating new fantasy series set in a kingdom where a set of trials to determine the land's new rulers threatens to unleash bloody revolution.
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The author of the bestselling Six Crimson Cranes returns with the magical new saga of a cursed pearl and true love truly tested, set in an evocative land full of dragons and political intrigue.

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Concluding the pulsating story begun with The Alloy of Law, The Lost Metal finds Waxillium Ladrian on the trail of corruption and kidnapping as the tendrils of the evil Set stretch ever further.
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Things get interesting very quickly, as a retired orc barbarian sets up a coffee shop in Baldree’s wonderfully warmhearted slice of fantasy about fresh starts, ancient magic and excellent pastries.

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The breathtaking follow up to Marske's dark academia bestseller A Marvellous Light, A Restless Truth combines period novel, classic murder mystery and magical shenanigans in a page-turning romp set aboard an ocean liner.
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Aveyard's pulsating follow-up to Realm Breaker finds Corayne forced to raise an army to defeat the evil machinations of Queen Erida and her lethal campaign of opening nightmarish portals.

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Collecting J.R.R. Tolkien's writings on the Second Age of Middle-earth into one volume for the first time, The Fall of Númenor is an immersive dive into the boundless imagination of one of fantasy fiction's pioneering spirits.
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The opening instalment of a thrilling new fantasy series inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief sees a merchant, a prince and a bodyguard undertake an enchanted quest to find a magic lamp.

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From the author of the Witcher series, the Hussite trilogy reaches its page-turning conclusion in truly epic style, as the charismatic scoundrel Reynevan and his richly drawn companions search Bohemia for Jutta of Apolda.
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A bold and compelling magical take on the rise and fall of Marie Antoinette and the coming of the French Revolution, Heartfield spins a tale of devoted sisters, sinister spells and the struggle to survive in a ruthless and malevolent society.

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The sequel to Pheby's universally acclaimed and monumental fantasy epic Mordew delves even deeper into the vividly realised world inhabited by assassins, demi-gods, occult weapons and the sinister Master and Mistress.
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Gloriously entertaining and drenched in magic and illicit passions, this spellbinding fantasy debut novel follows a young woman in the wake of the First World War as she becomes sucked into the glittering but deadly world of an infamous society hostess.
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Bringing Raymond E. Feist's gripping The Firemane Saga trilogy to an unforgettable conclusion, Master of Furies finds Declan Smith in the aftermath of a savage war, vowing revenge on the raiders who murdered his wife.

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The trailblazing YA author of real-world drama turns to the fantastical in this beautifully wrought reimagining of Norse myth and the timeless tale of Asgard's trickster god.
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From the world of Thomas' spellbinding fantasy bestseller Threadneedle comes an enchanting novella suffused with all of its author's accomplished storytelling gifts.
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Seeking to save her sister's life, Ning travels to the imperial city to compete in a highly dangerous tournament in this evocative and imaginative fantasy steeped in Chinese mythology and courtly intrigue.
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A prescient warning of an all-too-plausible future and a spellbinding mosaic of characters who stand as a testament to human inventiveness in the face of catastrophe, Nagamatsu’s ambitious, haunting debut announces the arrival of an astonishing new voice in science fiction.

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From the author of the bestselling Mexican Gothic comes a masterful reimagining of H.G. Wells' classic SF novel, as an unexpected visitor spells danger for the sinister Doctor Moreau - and his questioning daughter Carlota.
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Another tour de force of imagination and dazzling construction from the author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, Mandel's audacious time travel novel intertwines the stories of an Edwardian exile in British Columbia and an Earth-hopping writer two centuries later.

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The sequel to Shards of Earth finds Idris forced back into the hell of unspace in a desperate bid to halt the Architect's remorseless advance, as Tchaikovsky's pulsating space opera gathers pace.

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Following on from the bestselling The City We Became, the concluding part of N.K. Jemisin’s Great Cities Duology finds New York City on the edge of peril, as a new candidate for mayor, wielding the populist rhetoric of gentrification and xenophobia, gains ground.
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Suffused with African folklore and exquisite, lyrical prose, the incandescent sequel to Marlon James' Black Leopard, Red Wolf revolves around the formidable witch Sogolon and the riddle of a lost child.

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An absolute must-own for any fan of Frank Herbert's seminal science fiction series, Sands of Dune collects the Dune novellas into one volume for the first time, providing immersive context and background to the original novels as well as proving thrilling stories in their own right.
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Breathlessly original and charged with Moore’s distinctive brand of urbane mysticism, the stories collected in Illuminations range from the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the Big Bang and are guaranteed to astound and intrigue.

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The exciting, kaleidoscopic debut fiction collection from the beloved singer, rapper and actress Janelle Monáe, The Memory Librarian explores identity, technology, time and love through mesmeric tales set in the futuristic universe of her bestselling album Dirty Computer.
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The bestselling author of Chosen Ones and the Divergent series returns with a chilling, utterly unputdownable slice of speculative fiction that paints an eerie and alarming vision of a surveillance society taken to extremes.
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A poignant, richly imagined tale about family, betrayal and the price of loyalty, Dean’s spellbinding debut about six old families subsisting on a diet of stories and legends is an irresistible slice of dark fantasy.
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The mercurial horror maestro and star of Darkplace delivers a trio of blood curdling tales from his long-lost opus in this side-splittingly spot-on parody of grisly supernatural blockbusters.
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An addictively dark, insidious story of demonic communion and macabre ritual set during Argentina's military dictatorship, Our Share of Night confirms Enriquez's position as one of contemporary fiction's most fearlessly imaginative authors.

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Featuring three dark, utterly unforgettable tales of body horror, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes blends heavy themes with striking imagery and masterful language.
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A house with a disturbing past haunts Kelda and her young son in this bravura piece of ghostly brilliance which wears its gothic trappings with disquieting style.
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From Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier to Arthur Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr, Ghosts from the Library gathers together forgotten vignettes of the supernatural and the uncanny from some of the finest mystery writers of the Golden Age.

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Comments

Joe McLean

This list is almost entirely devoid of science fiction. Admittedly, this year has seen an increase in the release of fantasy novels, but where are the sci-fi novels? They’re out there…just not here. View more

Joe McLean
2nd December 2022
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