Welcome readers to 2017 and to an overview of all the speculative fiction that was reviewed as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2016. We received 202 reviews of 134 books by 97 authors throughout the year. Good job, everyone! You can see the full list of spec fic reviews for 2016 at this link.
In looking back over 2016, I want to highlight the books and authors that have been most popular, but also not overlook books that maybe haven’t been as widely read but are still worthy of notice (as all books are). As such, here is a list of all the authors that garnered at least three submitted reviews for the 2016 challenge. I have included a link to a review for each.
- Tansy Rayner Roberts, 9 reviews of 7 books. Here’s a review of Love and Romanpunk from Ju Transcendancing.
- Lian Hearn, 8 reviews of 6 books. Here is a review of Emperor of the Eight Islands from Jennifer Cameron-Smith.
- Amie Kaufman, 8 reviews of 4 books. Here is a review of Illuminae from Shaheen @ Speculating on Spec Fic.
- CS Pacat, 8 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Captive Prince from A Keyboard and an Open Mind.
- Angela Slatter, 8 reviews of 3 books. Here is a review of Vigil from Folly Gleeson.
- Melanie Casey, 7 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Hindsight from Bree @ 1girl2manybooks.
- Juliet Marillier, 7 reviews of 3 books. Here is a review of Dreamer’s Pool from Mark Webb.
- Maria Lewis, 6 reviews of 1 book. Here is a review of Who’s Afraid? from Giraffe Days.
- Amanda Pillar, 6 reviews of 3 books. Here is a review of Captive from me.
- Keri Arthur, 5 reviews of 5 books. Here is a review of Darkness Unbound from Cassandra Page.
- Jennifer Fallon, 5 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of The Lyre Thief from Carolyn.
- Deborah Biancotti, 4 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Bad Power from Stephanie Gunn.
- Rinelle Grey, 4 reviews of 4 books. Here is a review of Reckless Remedy from Brenda.
- Margo Lanagan, 4 reviews of 4 books. Here is a review of Sea Hearts from Jonathan Shaw.
- Cassandra Page, 4 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Lucid Dreaming from A Keyboard and an Open Mind.
- Kate Forsyth, 3 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of The Beast’s Garden from Sarah Nicholson.
- Alison Goodman, 3 reviews of 1 book. Here is a review of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club from Sheree Christoffersen 26 Letters.
- Megan Jacobon, 3 reviews of 1 book. Here is a review of Yellow from Jess @ The Never Ending Bookshelf.
- Ambelin Kwaymullina, 3 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf from Heather Ewings.
- Lynne Stringer, 3 reviews of 3 books. Here is a review of The Heir from Brenda.
- Kaaron Warren, 3 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Through Splintered Walls from Stephanie Gunn.
And because popularity isn’t everything, here are some authors you might want to consider adding to your 2017 challenge, but which didn’t get as many reviews in 2016:
- Amanda Bridgeman, author of the Aurora science fiction series. Here’s a review of Aurora: Decima from Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
- Isobelle Carmody, author of many fantasy classics including the Obernewtyn series. Here’s a review of Obernewtyn from Mark Webb.
- Marianne de Pierres, author of a variety of science fiction (ish) series. Here’s a review of Mythmaker from me.
- Lisa L Hannett, author of a variety of fiction, including a lot of short stories. Here’s a review of her novel Lament for the Afterlife from Kristian T.
- Narrelle M Harris, author of contemporary fantasy. Here’s a review of Showtime from Ju Transcendancing.
- Patty Jansen, fantasy and science fiction author with a growing backlist. Here’s a review of Innocence Lost from Brenda.
- Thalia Kalkipsakis, author of mostly YA and younger books (for now). Here’s a review of Lifespan of Starlight from me.
- Justine Larbalestier, author of many books, mostly YA. Here’s a review of Razorhurst from Jennifer Cameron-Smith.
- Rebecca Lim, author of YA spec fic. Here’s a review of Afterlight from Shaheen @ Speculating on Spec Fic.
- Foz Meadows, feminist critic and fantasy author. Here’s a review of An Accident of Stars from Ju Transcendancing.
- DK Mok, author of all sorts of spec fic subgenres. Here’s a review of Squid’s Grief from Stephanie Gunn.
- Gillian Polack, author of increasingly many novels. Here’s a review of The Wizardry of Jewish Women from Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
And that’s probably enough for you to be getting on with. Don’t forget, our Books Reviewed page (with search by categories) can be a practically limitless source of recommendations, too.
What were your favourite AWW reads of 2016? Did they make either of the lists above? Tell us in the comments!
Tsana Dolichva is a Ditmar Award-nominated book blogger who has been reading and enjoying Australian speculative fiction for as long as she can remember. She blogs her book reviews over at the creatively titled Tsana’s Reads. Along with Holly Kench, she edited Defying Doomsday, an anthology showing that people with disabilities and chronic illnesses also have stories to tell, even when the world is ending. In her spare time she is an astrophysicist.
Thanks for an excellent overview, Tsana. Good to highlight the authors who didn’t receive so much attention, too. I’ll be doing that for the General Fiction roundup on Friday. Thanks for all you’ve done for the challenge over the past five years. Here’s to another year of great reading!
I have the Obernewtyn books on my 2017 list! Most people I know loved reading Isobelle Carmody’s books when they were younger, but somehow I skipped right over them!
I have yet to read the last few of the Obernewtyn series. I was very annoyed at the long gaps between books as a teen and the fact that I have the next one waiting as a giant paperback is also putting me off (if only I’d bought it as an ebook!)