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
3. Red Country
Author: Joe Abercrombie
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
4. The Great North Road
Author: Peter F Hamilton
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
Author: Ken MacLeod
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