2016’s Six Best Debuting and Breakout Spec-Fiction

2016 was a fun and fulfilling year for fans of speculative fiction!

It saw us through to conclusions of great trilogies like Red Rising and The Passage, the beginnings of promising new series like The Machineries of Empire, and releases of eagerly anticipated books like Babylon’s Ashes and Dark Matter. Great books from genre fiction staples came out and Brandon Sanderson did Brandon Sanderson things throughout the year.

For those readers who are always on the hunt for new writers to follow, there were also great debut fiction releases and breakout novels from several authors. There were six books in this category that caught my eye through 2016:



Malka Older

Infomocracy is a dystopian sci-fi story with a premise especially chilling in today’s age of rapidly-disappearing online privacy.

Amazon Goodreads 

The Oddfits

Tiffany Tsao

Tiffany Tsao’s The Oddfits is a wonderful urban fantasy debut that brought me back to the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Amazon Goodreads

The Facefaker’s Game

Chandler J. Birch

The Facefaker’s Game is a solid fantasy book from debuting writer Chandler J. Birch. SwordsAndSpaceships review here.

Good Morning, Midnight

Lily Brooks-Dalton

Lily Brooks-Dalton created a cerebal, haunting post-apocalyptic book in Good Morning, Midnight. SwordsAndSpaceships review here.
Amazon Goodreads

All the Birds in the Sky

Charlie Jane Anders
Author Charlie Jane Anders isn’t a stranger to spec-fiction, with many short story and editing credits, but apocalyptic genre mash-up All the Birds in the Sky is definitely her breakout work.
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Too Like the Lightning

Ada Palmer

Ada Palmer’s breakout sci-fi dystopian fantasy Too Like the Lightning has a sequel in the works for a 2017 release.
Amazon Goodreads