Posted December 22, 2014 by in Book Lists

Best Books of 2014: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

All of us here at Bookkaholic love…well…books.  My genre of choice is speculative fiction: science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, graphic novels, basically anything that slightly smacks of “geek.” I enjoy experiencing the journey of an innocent farmboy destined to save the world, surviving zombie hordes, and flying through space on a mission to save fight the Empire. With 2014 coming to an end, we thought we would take a look back at some of our favorites.

Here is a list of the sci-fi and fantasy books of 2014, in no particular order.


Rachel’s picks

the_outbreakThe Outbreak by Colin M. Drysdale

While The Outbreak is a sequel to Colin M. Drysdale’s first post-apocalyptic novel, For Those in Peril on the Sea, he has given us a whole new group of characters to connect with, as well as a closer look at just how overpowering this virus has become. The story is told from the point-of-view of Ben, a seasoned sailor. We experience the virus raging through the city of Glasgow, beginning with a single infected person who flew in from Miami. Within the course of a few hours, the military is forced to take drastic measures to try and control the spread of the virus. A small band of survivors end up together on Ben’s boat, first battling just to sail out of the city, and then to find a safe place to harbor and survive.



Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty

I have been a huge Firefly fan for years, and finding this official installment in the ‘verse by Joss Whedon’s brother Zack was quite a thrill. This graphic novel takes place a few months after the cult favorite sci-fi movie Serenity. Wanted by The Alliance, Captain Malcom Renolds and his surviving crew are forced to come out of hiding to save a life, finding that there is an organized resistance against the Alliance also looking for him.


First-WaveFirst Wave by JT Sawyer

JT Sawyer currently has three books out in his First Wave series about a biogenetic virus that was released from a lab and quickly infected much of North America. Those lucky enough to survive the infection are completely unaware that this is only the first wave of the virus. Ex-military specialist Travis Combs is on a three-week river trip when the sh*t hits the fan and he must help his travel group figure out what is going on and show them how to survive in this new world. Sawyer has filled his books with fast-paced action scenes and educational survivalist skills.


TarkinCoverStar Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno

Grand Moff Tarkin is best known for giving the coldblooded order to destroy the defenseless and peaceful planet of Alderaan in the Star Wars movie A New Hope. He was also arrogant to the point of death, underestimating the Rebel Alliance’s ability to find a weakness within the Death Star. This book takes a closer look at this Imperial agent: where he came from, what made him tick, and how he became such an important Imperial agent.


AVisionOfFireA Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

Yes, it’s THAT Gillian Anderson, Dana Scully from The X-Files, and she has coauthored a sci-fi thriller. How utterly exciting! Child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is brought into an extreme emergency case involving a teenager suffering from violent visions and self-mutilation. When teenagers around the world begin to suffer similar events, it is obvious something is happening on a grander scale. This is the first in a series, and will leave you eager for answers.


Rebecca’s picks

TheBookOfStrangeNewThingsThe Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Peter Leigh, an English pastor, travels to the distant planet of Oasis to be a missionary to the alien inhabitants. Meanwhile, on a mid-apocalyptic Earth plagued with natural disasters, his wife Bea is growing desperate. Peter’s religious platitudes are increasingly useless as the distance between them becomes emotional as well as physical. Faber blends a believable dystopian vision of Earth, commentary on cultural and religious imperialism, and a poignant portrait of a marriage under impossible strain. As beautiful as it is unsettling, this is a novel that will remain with you.


TheFirstFifteenThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Harry August is a kalachakra – a figure who keeps coming back around in what looks to be an endless cycle of rebirths. Though born in the same manner each time, he becomes many people in his different lives: he fights in the Second World War (seven times); he tries the medical profession, God, and especially quantum physics; he is drugged in a mental institution, impersonates a Soviet propagandist in Beijing, and (my personal favorite incident, for sheer randomness) pays a visit to a clotted cream farmer in Devon. The humor and far-fetched plotting reminded me of Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker (for which, see Rebecca’s full review here).


Brad’s picks

StationElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven reminds me a lot of the TV show Lost. The story, for all its wonderful eccentricities, is second to the characters. The cast of Station Eleven might as well be my neighbors. They are that real to me. Their struggles become my own, and I want them to survive. Station Eleven is a phenomenal ride.



SecondsSeconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Seconds is a wickedly fun graphic novel. Katie, the young, pessimistic protagonist, can’t seem to catch a break. Her restaurant dreams aren’t working too well, so she goes home and whines—a lot. Suddenly, magical mushrooms appear, offering Katie the chance to get a second chance with her life decisions. Things get weird quickly. Time travel occurs, and visits from other kinds of life forms even pop up. Seconds is quirky, but there is something about it that’s also seemingly simple. Katie somehow becomes someone who we root for. To top it off, you’ll love getting lost in O’Malley’s wondrously drawn pages. You might be asking for thirds soon… (See Brad’s full review here.)


Molly’s pick

CemeteryGirlCemetery Girl: Book One: The Pretenders, Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden

This book is a graphic novel, but it actually has a pretty good plot. A homeless girl takes refuge in a large cemetery. She moves into a mausoleum, and the caretaker turns a blind eye. One night, she witnesses a murder in the cemetery, and the spirit of the dead person inhabits her body. The book becomes about setting things right. Not truly sci-fi, but as close I get to the sci-fi genre.


Rachel Storey

Software engineer by day, bookworm by night. I love reading. I love writing about reading. I love talking about writing about reading. I joined Bookkaholic to have great conversations about literature, so please feel free to leave comments and discussions.