Top 5 best science fiction and fantasy books of 2012

Peter F Hamilton, Ken MacLeod and Joe Abercrombie in the best SF and fantasy of 2012

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Empire State book of 2012

1. Empire State
Author: Adam Christopher
Publisher: Angry Robot

The smoky bars and ceiling fan intrigue of Raymond Chandler meets the neurotic, beer-gut superheroics of Alan Moore at his height (as opposed to his post-From Hell esotericism), Adam Christopher’s genre-merging debut swept skyward seemingly from nowhere, its cape trailing in the wind, and brought with it an incredible sense of wonder.

Buy Empire State for £5.99 from Amazon.co.uk

2. The Game Is Altered
Author: Mez Packer
Publisher: Tindal Street

The Game Is Altered is a beautiful, energetically written collection of fiercely contemporary ideas, neatly packaged like an MTV indent into a post-cyberpunk soap opera of a boy looking for love and escape in a vast, immersive MMO.

Buy The Game Is Altered for £8.44 from Amazon.co.uk

Red Country book of 2012

3. Red Country
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Publisher: Gollancz

Our favourite writer of gritty fantasy (and last year’s winner) finds a vicious commonality between the spaghetti western and the bloody-knuckled fantasy he does so well. While others build on cliché, Abercrombie applies genuine love.

Buy Red Country for £9.85 from Amazon.co.uk

The Great North Road book of 2012

4. The Great North Road
Author: Peter F Hamilton
Publisher: Macmillan

Just one of the many triumphant returns from undisputed powerhouses of progressive science fiction, Great North Road was the prolific space opera pioneer at his standalone, blockbuster best.

Buy The Great North Road for £10.80 from Amazon.co.uk

Intrusion book of 2012

5. Intrusion
Author: Ken MacLeod
Publisher: Orbit

Like the mischievous leftie he is, MacLeod’s Intrusion was a convincing right wing paranoid fantasy of compassionate tyranny and social justice gone sour. Without doubt
one of the most politically relevant SF books of 2012.

Buy Intrusion for £7.69 from Amazon.co.uk

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