… I had no plans of reading the shortlist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award until Jonathan Strahan pointed it out to me this morning.

Here are the finalists:

  • The Race by Nina Allan
  • A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias
  • The Peripheral by William Gibson
  • Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
  • Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
  • Wolves by Simon Ings
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Defenders by Will McIntosh
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  • The Bees by Laline Paull
  • Bête by Adam Roberts
  • Lock In by John Scalzi
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Echopraxia by Peter Watts

First off, yes this is the biggest single shortlist published by a genre award (that isn’t a longlist that’s going to be whittled down later).  And while it does look a tad intimidating, at least for award lovers like me, of the 16 books nominated I’ve:

  • reviewed five;
  • read eight (and a third if you include Annihilation); and
  • have another 5 and two-thirds lined up to read.

This means there’s only three books on this list that I wasn’t already planning to read and review.  And given they include a Gregory and a Roberts how could I say no to this list.  Frankly, if you want a summary of high quality Science Fiction published in 2014, sans Sad Puppy mishigas, this is the recommended reading list for you.  (Except for maybe The Martian which I really didn’t like at all).