• The Best Grimdark Fantasy - The Worm Ouroboros by Eric Rücker Eddison
  • The Best Grimdark Fantasy - Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  • The Best Grimdark Fantasy - The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
  • The Best Grimdark Fantasy - The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
  • The Best Grimdark Fantasy - Swarm and Steel by Michael R. Fletcher

The Best Grimdark Fantasy, recommended by Anna Smith Spark

Grimdark fantasy is cynical about the righteous and the good – but it brings fantasy into line with historical reality, says author Anna Smith Spark. She explores why we want to read about flawed people doing terrible things, and introduces her top five choices: stories that charge gleefully beyond the bounds of sanity, offer a shock treatment for anxiety, and above all provide an honest mirror to reality.

  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards - Babel: An Arcane History by R. F. Kuang

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2023: The Hugo Awards, recommended by Sylvia Bishop

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953, were originally known as the ‘Science Fiction Achievement Awards.’ But, in practice, their shortlists encompass speculative fiction as a whole, including fantasy—and is considered one of that genre’s most prestigious prizes. Here, Sylvia Bishop offers an overview of this year’s nominees in the ‘Best Novel’ category, which represent the most popular sci-fi and fantasy books of 2023.

  • The Best Dragon Fantasy Books - Ascendant: Songs of Chaos by Michael R. Miller
  • The Best Dragon Fantasy Books - Once There Were Heroes: A Time of Dragons by Philip C. Quaintrell
  • The Best Dragon Fantasy Books - Temeraire: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
  • The Best Dragon Fantasy Books - Eragon: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
  • The Best Dragon Fantasy Books - Dragonfall by L. R. Lam

The Best Dragon Fantasy Books, recommended by Taran Matharu

Dragons can be found in the mythology of almost every culture, and today they are enjoying a surge in popularity – but these days they are portrayed as companions, not the enemy, says the bestselling author Taran Matharu. He talks us through his top five ‘dragon fantasy’ books, from classic heroes’ journeys to emerging fantasy trends, and tells us how to spot if your dragon is actually a wyvern.

  • The Best Terry Pratchett Books - Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
  • The Best Terry Pratchett Books - Nation by Terry Pratchett
  • The Best Terry Pratchett Books - The Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers, Diggers, and Wings by Terry Pratchett
  • The Best Terry Pratchett Books - Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
  • The Best Terry Pratchett Books - Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

The Best Terry Pratchett Books, recommended by Marc Burrows

The beloved British author Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) sold millions of copies of his 41-book Discworld series. But he also wrote standalone novels, children’s stories, and shorter fantasy series—all works of comic genius that drew from his polymathic knowledge and omnivorous reading habits. Here, Pratchett biographer Marc Burrows highlights five of Terry Pratchett’s best books. Read more fiction recommendations on Five Books