Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2021

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Since I’m too tired from family to write a long, comprehensive post of the 50 billion books I read and loved in 2021, I’m just going to do my top 10 favorite science fiction books.

Science fiction had an amazing publication year (as did fantasy), and yet I am still remarkably disappointed that the book about the human golden retriever doing science?! won the Goodreads Choice Award in this category(don’t even get me started on the shit that went down in fantasy when literally any of the Sapphic Trifecta was right there). So, without further ado, my best of science fiction is split into three sections: the 2021 publications I thought *should* have won, the backlist titles I loved, and the miscellaneous stuff.

Deserved It Better

I mean, any of these. Literally, any of them.

Granted, Fugitive Telemetry and A Psalm for the Wild-Built are both novellas and not novels, but in the Goodreads Choice Awards that doesn’t fucking matter. A Desolation Called Peace was utterly brilliant, and Light From Uncommon Stars has my heart, my soul and my life.

Winter’s Orbit had a lot of buzz, and I loved the writing style and energy (it reminded me so much of my favorite science fiction series, the Vorkosigan saga). I also loved these other two, which were not hyped at all but are both so worth it. I loved the found family aspect of Activation Degradation in addition to all the twists and turns (seriously, going into this knowing as little as possible), and while Dead Space had my stomach twisting with its claustrophobia-inducing mystery and murderous AIs.

Backlist Babies

After literal years in between books two and three, I finally finished two trilogies (and ended my droughtlander by picking up The Fiery Cross), so I am giving myself a huge pat on the back for reading these.

Unsurprisingly, they were five stars, and also unsurprisingly, they absolutely wrecked me…which might be why I put them off for so long. Both incredibly amazing, both well deserving all the hype.

I didn’t read First Sister last year when it came out because I was a little saturated with nuns in space, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! It was fast-paced, exciting and filled with twists and turns and political machinations. I loved it!

Parable of the Sower was another book I have been putting off for years, and one that I had checked out a hundred times, bought the ebook, still checked out the physical book more times, bought the audiobook, never listened to it, put the audiobook on hold from the library and delayed the hold for two years, and then finally listened to it in November. It’s not *quite* as good as Kindred, but it is still amazing, and in typical Butler fashion, does not shy away from real life horrors.

Miscellaneous Books I Loved

I read a lot of plague-type books this year despite very much not wanting to read any books relating to the current world state, and yet…I still read them? Maybe it was to cope with the situation through fiction, maybe it was to see how others were coping and digesting and moving forward, but lemme tell you all that How High We Go in the Dark is absolutely and utterly stunning. This book is incredible, and incorporates elements that should have had me rolling my eyes in skepticism but instead had me bawling and curled up in a little corner of despair. Underneath that despair and loss, however, is hope. Hope underpins this entire book, and I loved it.

It’s not a backlist beauty because while it was published in 1990, I have read it at least five or six times. I love The Vor Game, I love the Vorkosigan saga, and in January I was determined to reread the entire series this year, several of which I had not read since high school (I tend to pick and choose my favorite). I read up to Brothers in Arms and then stalled out in April, but I will restart with Mirror Dance (the reason I stalled out—this is a heavy one) in January I think.

And that’s it!

I’ll probably do a bigger wrap-up with all the genres and all the books (okay, not all of them since I read a fuckton this year) later this week after getting a bit of an emotional breather after family visitations, but right now this is all my brain can really handle.

And maybe next year I’ll write more book reviews, since this was another thing I stalled out on this year…along with any real excitement for my blog.

Happy Almost New Year from the littlest monster

What were your favorite science fiction reads of 2021?

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2021

  1. Such a wonderful list.. almost full of my favorites 😍😍😍
    And I’m glad to see your thoughts about How High we go in the dark… it’s high up on my new releases tbr of 2022 and nice to know it was great 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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