Top 5 Reads of 2012

Incredibly, this is the fifth annual Top 5 Reads of the Year list we’ve done here at Speculative Fiction Junkie. I never thought that this site would be around for half a decade! Without further ado, here are our Top 5 reads of 2012:

#1 – Dark Eden (review here)Review - Dark Eden
Chris Beckett

Everyone should read this book. A tale of a few hundred people descended from a handful of survivors of a crash five generations previously on a planet billions of miles from Earth, this book is the perfect statement of humans’ strengths and weaknesses.

#2 – This Hermetic Legislature (review here)Review - This Hermetic Legislature
D.T. Ghetu & D.P. Watt (Editors)

If you’re going to splurge on one expensive book from 2012, it ought to be this homage to Bruno Schulz from Ex Occidente Press. It contains some of the most beautiful short stories ever written.

#3 РStrange Epiphanies (review here)Review - Strange Epiphanies
Peter Bell

This debut collection from Peter Bell is a powerful collection of stories that contain heavy measures of both melancholy and mystical insight. His stories will stay with the properly attuned reader long after the book has been finished.

#4 РCity of Bohane (review here)Review - City of Bohane
Kevin Barry

You have never read a book quite like City of Bohane before. A dystopia written in prose that is practically musical, City of Bohane is also unbearably hilarious in places. Please, somebody–but not Tarantino!–make a film out of this book.

#5 – At Fear’s Altar (review here)Review - At Fear's Altar
Richard Gavin

Richard Gavin’s latest collection, At Fear’s Altar, is predominantly a collection of tales of cosmic horror, several of which are unforgettable. If you’ve never read Mr. Gavin’s work before, this collection is as good a collection as any to start with.

Close Contender: The Ten Dictates of Alfred Tesseller (review here).

There have been a number of other really stellar developments this year. Chief among them is probably the publication of the VanderMeers’ massive anthology, The Weird. The only reason you haven’t seen a review of this massive collection here yet is because I am only about 20% of the way through it. During the coming weeks, I hope to make some serious progress with it, with an eye towards a possible review in 2013.

Another stellar development is the advent of the new biannual journal from Hieroglyphic Press Sacrum Regnum, “a sort of contemporary Symbolist review, intended to rediscover those hidden essences which have been obscured by the greyness and mechanism of the modern life.” The first issue contains a lot of good things, but chief among them is some amazing fiction from some of the best authors writing today. I will be devouring every issue of this journal as it is released.


  1. nathan

    Thanks for the reminder! I picked up Dark Eden when you reviewed it close to a year ago, and promptly forgot to read it. Just moved it back to the top of the pile!

  2. Pingback: Review – Blood Song « Speculative Fiction Junkie
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