Popular SF/F/H Novels of 2014

In 2014, SF Signal noted the upcoming appearance of over 3400 titles: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.

To prepare the lists below, I looked each title up at Goodreads, eliminating those for which Goodreads had no data or a publication date prior to 2014. Then I ranked the remaining ~2100 books by the cube of their current score (expressed as a percentage) times the log of the number of voters. Finally I broke them up into somewhat arbitrary categories to yield the “top X” lists below, and as usual, I removed the actual Goodreads data, leaving only the ordering. Note that this procedure significantly favors books released earlier in the year.

Here’s a key to the abbreviations and terminology:

  • F = Fantasy
  • H = Horror
  • PR = Paranormal Romance
  • Sequels = Titles likely to draw on information arising in earlier, related books by the same author
  • SF = Science Fiction
  • UF = Urban Fantasy
  • YA = Young Adult

Top 25 SF/F/H (Non-Sequels, Non-YA, and Non-UF/PR)

  1. Brian Staveley, The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)
  2. Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
  3. Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs
  4. Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes: A Novel
  5. M.R. Carey, The Girl With All the Gifts
  6. Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor
  7. David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
  8. Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
  9. Josh Malerman, Bird Box: A Novel
  10. Sebastien de Castell, Traitor’s Blade
  11. William Gibson, The Peripheral
  12. Daniel Suarez, Influx
  13. Stephen King, Revival: A Novel
  14. John Scalzi, Lock In
  15. Daniel Price, The Flight of the Silvers
  16. Nick Harkaway, Tigerman
  17. Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation: A Novel (Southern Reach Trilogy)
  18. Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel
  19. George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, Rogues
  20. Dean Koontz, The City
  21. M. D. Waters, Archetype
  22. Peter Watts, Echopraxia
  23. Robin Spriggs, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom
  24. K. J. Parker, Academic Exercises
  25. John Joseph Adams (ed.), The End is Nigh

Top 25 SF/F/H Sequels (Non-YA and Non-UF/PR)

  1. Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, Book 2)
  2. Brent Weeks, The Broken Eye (Lightbringer)
  3. Brian McClellan, The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy)
  4. Robin Hobb, Fool’s Assassin: Book One of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
  5. Anthony Ryan, Tower Lord (A Raven’s Shadow Novel)
  6. Lev Grossman, The Magician’s Land: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
  7. R. A. Salvatore, Night of the Hunter: Companions Codex, I
  8. John Gwynne, Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen)
  9. R. A. Salvatore, Rise of the King: Companions Codex, II
  10. Scott Sigler, Pandemic: A Novel (Infected)
  11. James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn (The Expanse)
  12. Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  13. Charles Stross, The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files)
  14. H. Paul Honsinger, For Honor We Stand (Man of War)
  15. Patrick W. Carr, Draw of Kings, A (The Staff and the Sword)
  16. Douglas Hulick, Sworn in Steel: A Tale of the Kin
  17. Jonathan L. Howard, The Brothers Cabal
  18. Ann Leckie, Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch)
  19. Sam Sisavath, The Fires of Atlantis (Purge of Babylon, Book 4)
  20. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Causal Angel (Jean Le Flambeur)
  21. John Ringo, Islands of Rage and Hope (Black Tide Rising)
  22. Django Wexler, The Shadow Throne: Book Two of the Shadow Campaigns
  23. Marcus Sakey, A Better World (The Brilliance Saga, Book Two)
  24. Peter F. Hamilton, The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
  25. Evan Currie, Out of the Black (Odyssey One, Book 4)

Top 25 Young Adult SF/F/H/UF/PR (Non-Sequels)

  1. Pierce Brown, Red Rising
  2. Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
  3. Mary E. Pearson, The Kiss of Deception (Remnant Chronicles)
  4. Melissa Landers, Alienated
  5. Marie Lu, The Young Elites
  6. Rachel Hawkins, Rebel Belle
  7. Danielle Jensen, Stolen Songbird
  8. Joe Abercrombie, Half a King (Shattered Sea Series)
  9. Amy Engel, The Book of Ivy
  10. Maggie Stiefvater, Sinner (Shiver)
  11. Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die
  12. Katie Alender, Famous Last Words
  13. Victoria Scott, Fire & Flood
  14. Josephine Angelini, Trial by Fire
  15. Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird)
  16. Sally Green, Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy)
  17. Joseph Delaney, A New Darkness
  18. A.S. King, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
  19. Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories
  20. Alisa Krasnostein, Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
  21. R.C. Lewis, Stitching Snow
  22. Martina Boone, Compulsion (Heirs of Watson Island)
  23. Kiersten White, Illusions of Fate
  24. Julie Kagawa, Talon (The Talon Saga)
  25. Juliet Marillier, Dreamer’s Pool: A Blackthorn & Grim Novel

Top 25 Young Adult SF/F/H/UF/PR Sequels & Related Works

  1. Marissa Meyer, Cress (Lunar Chronicles)
  2. Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me (Shatter Me)
  3. Sarah J. Maas, The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass novellas
  4. Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
  5. Richelle Mead, Silver Shadows: A Bloodlines Novel
  6. Alexandra Bracken, In the Afterlight: A Darkest Minds Novel
  7. Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
  8. Neal Shusterman, UnDivided (Unwind Dystology)
  9. Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Cycle #3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
  10. Veronica Rossi, Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky)
  11. Pittacus Lore, The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies)
  12. Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising
  13. Victoria Schwab, The Unbound (An Archived Novel) (The Archived)
  14. Gena Showalter, The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles)
  15. Cassandra Clare, The Course of True Love (and First Dates) (The Bane Chronicles)
  16. Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song (Blood of Eden)
  17. Ransom Riggs, Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Children)
  18. Cecilia Bernard, Inside Divergent: The Initiate’s World
  19. Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea (5th Wave)
  20. Kasie West, Split Second (Pivot Point)
  21. Erin Hunter & Dan Jolley, Warriors Super Edition: Bramblestar’s Storm
  22. S. J. Kincaid, Catalyst (Insignia)
  23. Jennifer Estep, Killer Frost (Mythos Academy Novels)
  24. Scott Sigler, THE CHAMPION
  25. Robin LaFevers, Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Trilogy)

Top 5 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance (Non-YA and Non-Sequels)

  1. J. D. Horn, The Line (Witching Savannah, Book One)
  2. Christopher Buehlman, The Lesser Dead
  3. Simone St. James, Silence for the Dead
  4. Seanan McGuire, Sparrow Hill Road
  5. C. J. Burright, Wonderfully Wicked

Note: This category has only 5 entries, because nothing else that fit the category appeared above the 25th item on any other list. I have to look each title up manually to make a decision about how to categorize them, and I’m sorry, but I suspect it would be quite a lot of work to find 20 more given the available data. In fact, including some of these entries stretches the definitions of urban fantasy and non-sequel. Even taking the “sequel bump” into account (scores tend to go up for sequels as readers bounce off earlier books), the dearth of high-scoring titles in this category is a surprising result because urban fantasy sequels simply dominate the top 200 results. Perhaps SF Signal has overlooked some series starters this year. Or maybe it’s a very difficult field to get noticed in at first.

Top 25 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Sequels (Non-YA)

  1. Jim Butcher, Skin Game (Dresden Files)
  2. Ilona Andrews, Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels)
  3. Diana Gabaldon, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander)
  4. Kim Harrison, The Undead Pool
  5. Patricia Briggs, Night Broken (Mercy Thompson)
  6. Kim Harrison, The Witch with No Name (Hollows)
  7. Darynda Jones, Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson)
  8. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Illusion: Chronicles of Nick
  9. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Fury (League Novel)
  10. Anne Bishop, Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others
  11. Darynda Jones, Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson Series)
  12. Nalini Singh, Shield of Winter (Psy/Changelings)
  13. Jeaniene Frost, Up from the Grave (Night Huntress)
  14. Deborah Harkness, The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy)
  15. Seanan McGuire, The Winter Long (October Daye)
  16. Faith Hunter, Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock)
  17. Kevin Hearne, Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles
  18. Christine Feehan, Dark Wolf (Carpathian)
  19. Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Nemesis
  20. Patricia Briggs, Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
  21. Faith Hunter, Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock)
  22. Chloe Neill, Wild Things (Chicagoland Vampires)
  23. Jonathan Maberry, Code Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel
  24. Larissa Ione, Revenant (Lords of Deliverance)
  25. Chloe Neill, Blood Games (Chicagoland Vampires)

Top 25 Miscellaneous Works (Comics, Etc.)

  1. Joe Hill, Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega
  2. Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan 14
  3. Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan, Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
  4. Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare Trilogy)
  5. Wizards RPG Team, Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons)
  6. Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seconds
  7. Zack Whedon, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
  8. Tom Taylor, Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 2
  9. Ben Hatke, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures
  10. Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell, The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1
  11. Kieron Gillen, The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
  12. Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell, The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2
  13. Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return
  14. Gene Luen Yang, The Shadow Hero
  15. Gene Luen Yang & Michael Dante DiMartino, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift Part 2
  16. Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto 68: A Shinobi’s Dream!
  17. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale
  18. Tom Taylor, Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 2 Vol. 1
  19. Wizards RPG Team, Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook)
  20. Tim Minchin, Storm
  21. Marvel Comics, Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread
  22. Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn, Alex + Ada Volume 1
  23. Hayao Miyazaki, Art of Princess Mononoke
  24. Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction
  25. Bill Willingham, Fables Vol. 20: Camelot