Our Favorite Science Fiction Reads from 2012

It’s easy to find a list of the bestselling books from the biggest names, but here at TwistedSciFi.com we work hard to seek out authors who are independent or working with small publishers. Our goal is to identify quality Science Fiction reading that you may never have known about otherwise. It’s with this in mind that we present our favorite reads from 2012.

Terminal Point by John Jason Lee was one of my absolute favorite books of the year. This dark, action story set in a dystopian future infuses strong character development, mystery and a healthy dose of suspense. Click here to see the full TwistedSciFi.com review.



Do you enjoy Space Opera? If so,  Michael Cooper’s Outsystem is a must-read. Filled with incredible world-building, this book includes some of the most imaginative uses of nanobots that I’ve ever encountered in Science Fiction. Chock full of action and suspense, this book is a quick read. See our review for more details.



If you enjoyed the movie Inception, then you’ll almost certainly want to read Perchance to Dream by Peter Lukes. This story introduces a future world where police officers can infiltrate the subconscious of criminals, and then use this access to prevent and solve crimes. As an added twist, it turns out the police are not the only ones with access to the subconscious world. You’ll have to bring your thinking cap along for this one, but it’s well worth the effort. Our review provides more details.



Another absolute surprise favorite for me was Nathan Lowell’s Quarter Share which is part of the Trader’s Tales from The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series. This story profiles life on a deep space commercial freighter, which sounds incredibly boring, but because of Lowell’s exceptional story-telling and strong character development, is actually very enjoyable.

This book is available as a free audiobook; this is the option that I selected. Click here for details on how to access the audio book and for our full review. You can also purchase an ebook version from Amazon if you prefer to read it.



Contributor, Ol Wilson, highly recommends Osama by Lavie Tidhar. He describes it as one of the most atmospheric, entertaining and intriguing novels he’s read in a very long time, certainly one of the books of the year. It delves into a fascinating alternate universe and provokes thoughts on both sides of the terrorism debate as our protagonist suffers an existential crisis on his search for the author of the fictional hero, Osama Bin Laden. A serious novel, exquisitely told. This comes highly recommended.


Ol also identified The Islanders by Christopher Priest as a stand out book. Take a look at his review for more details.



Published author and contributor, Tammy Salyer recommends two speculative fiction classics, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.  She describes The Sparrow as an intensely well written story while the The Windup Girl is simply one of her all-time favorite reads.




We review published short stores here as well, typically those appearing in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Ken Liu’s The Waves from the December 2012 edition of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine is an exceptional short story and may well earn Ken another spate of awards, including another Hugo Award, in 2013. Here’s our full review.


We’ve also uncovered some extremely entertaining podcasts over the course of the year. My favorite among them are the Clarkesworld podcasts narrated by Kate Baker. Some of my favorites from 2012 include The Wisdom of Ants by Thoraiya Dyer, Astrophilia by Carrie Vaughn, and my absolute favorite The Womb Factory by Peter M. Ferenczi.

Here are links to some other high quality Science Fiction podcasts. Did I mention that these podcasts, including Clarkesworld, are free?


We appreciate that reviewing and rating is a subjective process, and we encourage you to please use the comments section below to add your feedback about our selections above as well as your own favorites.

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  • http://twitter.com/Loopy_Librarian The Loopy Librarian

    The Wind-Up Girl sounds fascinating. The fact that it won the 2010 Nebula Award makes me want to read it all the more. Thanks for the great list!

    • http://www.twistedscifi.com/ Blase Ciabaton

      Great point about the Nebula! I saw The Wind-Up Girl on another “best of” list so I know that I really need to read it too. Thanks for your comment!

  • http://isaachooke.com/ Isaac Hooke

    This is a great list of SF reads.. I’m a big fan of the new space opera, so Quarter Share and Outsystem are right up my alley! Terminal Point and Perchance to Dream sound interesting too

    • http://www.twistedscifi.com/ Blase Ciabaton

      Isaac, thanks for stopping by! Glad to connect with another Space Opera fan.