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The Best Indie Sci-Fi & Horror We Read In 2017

We’ve been waiting to roll this post out! While we’re going to be doing a “Best of 2017” in early January, we wanted to devote one list solely to small press and self-published authors that we’ve read this year. Now, unlike the Best of 2017 list, which has the qualification of must be published in 2017, because it is so much harder for self pubs and small press work to get attention, we relaxed that rule a bit. These are the best indie sci-fi and horror we read in 2017. Publication date does not matter.

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Note: We’ve listed these in alphabetical order by title, not in order of preference. 

Best Indie Sci-Fi of 2017

Book cover for Chimera Catalyst

Chimera Catalyst by Susan Kuchinskas

Dark and Stars book cover

Dark & Stars by J.B. Rockwell

Book cover for Kings of This World

Kings of this World by Peter Bailey

The Killbug Eulogies

The Killbug Eulogies  by Will Madden

Book cover The Slant Six

The Slant Six by Christopher Cobb

Lilyn’s Notes: This was a hard list to settle on. I knew I had to stick to five, so naturally there was some weeding going on. These are the ones that stood out in the end, though. Chimera Catalyst had one of the most believable near-future settings I’ve seen. Dark & Stars had the rare distinction of being better than the first book (how often does that happen?) and I loved the first book!, Kings of This World was everything a post-apocalyptic novel should be but rarely is, and The Slant Six.. well, that was just downright funny, and it’s hard to make me laugh in a book. I won’t say more because the titles link to the reviews, and those say it best.

Best Indie Horror of 2017

Book cover for Crow Shine

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

Book cover for The Darklights

The Darklights by MichaelBrent Collings

The Ghost Club by William Meikle

Book cover for Rites of Azathoth

Rites of Azathoth by Frank Cavallo

Book cover for Wicked Witches

Wicked Witches Anthology edited by Scott T. Goudsward, David Price and Daniel G. Keohane

GracieKat’s Notes: It’s probably pretty easy to tell from my list that I love short story collections and anthologies. Crow Shine impressed me because of its consistently good stories throughout. It’s true that a single author collection is much easier to sustain the goodness level than a multi-author one but really, Crow Shine had awesome stories throughout. The Darklights really surprised me because it seemed to be more science fiction but after reading a few chapters it really didn’t matter. I was hooked. And it is definitely horror. The Ghost Club was a late entry and I’m so glad it was. I knew William Meikle could write well in period language from his Carnacki books but I was still very surprised at how well he was able to write in the style of other, varied authors. To the Manor Born was certainly my favorite in that collection. Rites of Azathoth was a very good book. I can’t say I enjoyed the main character much, but the rest was great Lovecraftian gooey-ness. It’s also a testament to just how good the rest of the book was for me to overlook a few issues and put it in one of my top spots for the year. Remember what I said about multi-author anthologies? Wicked Witches was one of the few that I honestly can’t think of a story that didn’t blend well. And that’s no mean feat considering it was not only multiple authors but themed as well.


Published inTop Ten Tuesday

One Comment

  1. All of these look good and many are already on my reading list. I’m especially curious about the collections. I sure enjoy reading them, whether by one author or many.

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