2024 Recommended SFF List

 



A new list for the new year--except that it's an election year, which is going to be crappy. We will need good books, good moves and good television more this year than ever. 

Short Stories

The Sunday Morning Transport is publishing some free stories online this year. This one, "Agni" by Nibedita Sen, is the first of them, and it's tight, powerful and gorgeous. 

"Why Don't We Just Kill the Kid in the Omelas Hole,"  Isabel J. Kim, Clarkesworld Magazine February 2024.

Isabel J. Kim is one of our best short story writers, and she outdoes herself here, in this answer to the Le Guin original that vibrates with fury. She takes apart the original premise and applies it to the world today, with devastating effect. Wow. 

Novella

The Tusks of Extinction, Ray Nayler (4 of 5 stars, full review here). (This novella, with its fascinating ideas of cloned mammoths and the uploaded human tasked to lead them, should have been a full length book. But it's still worth reading, even if it is a bit overstuffed.)















The Apple TV series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is unexpectedly excellent. The series finale, "Beyond Logic," ties together everything that happened this season and sets the stage for the second season I fervently hope this show gets. Its success is due to the fact it firmly centers the story on its human characters instead of the monsters. The Kurt/Wyatt Russell dual character portrayal (same person, different ages) doesn't sound like it would work, but it absolutely does. 

Also on Apple TV (which is fast becoming my go-to streaming service for good SF series) the series finale of the fourth season of For All Mankind, "Perestroika," while rather long (an hour and 20 minutes, more of a mini-movie) was very suspenseful regarding what was coming to a head both on Mars and on Earth. The only nitpick about this is, if there is a fifth season, I think they will be forced to get rid of Joel Kinneman's Ed Baldwin, as that season would be set in (an alternate history) 2012 and he would be in his late 80's by then.






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