For previous posts and future FFF topics check out my Friday Favorite Five page here.
Favorite Five Award Winning SFF Novels
Writing this one I’ve realized that I haven’t read as many award-winning novels as I had thought! But this was a fun list to put together and gave me an opportunity to talk about a few books I haven’t brought up before (and one that I have a lot because I love it that much).
- Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
Thomas the Rhymer won both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1991. This book is based on the ballad of the same name. There are many things I love about this story–the haunting trip to Elfland, the kindly older couple back in the real world, the beautiful prose…it’s just a lovely book with a bittersweet ending and I highly recommend it.
- The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld was the winner of the first ever World Fantasy Award back in 1975. I read this book for the first time in 2017 and it still felt fresh and new. I love this story so much, it made my Top Reads of 2017 list, so you can read a more full review there. This is a classic of the genre and well worth the time. I love McKillip’s prose most of all, and I’ve slowly been working my way through her works, but this may be my favorite so far.
- Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death won the World Fantasy Award in 2010. I hesitated picking up this book at first because for some reason I thought it would be too literary for me, but I’m so glad I read it in the end. It’s such a powerful story that deals with many topics, some of which will make you uncomfortable at times. But it’s so infused with magic and wonder, even in such a harsh world.
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Fifth Season won the Hugo award in 2016 and was nominated for so many other SFF awards that year, and boy is it an amazing book. Jemisin does things with this novel, uses writing techniques, that you don’t see a lot of inside of genre fiction and I think that’s something to admire. Aside from the technical aspects, it’s a really engrossing read with engaging characters and fantastic world-building. I still need to finish this series–why haven’t I done that?!!
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted won the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Mythopoeic Award in 2016 and was nominated for the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award. Basically–a lot of people loved this book. This is a story that takes those classic fairy tale tropes and then does a bit of the unexpected with them in the end. I loved this story and I think the praise was well deserved. Now if only I could find time to read Spinning Silver…
So that’s my five for this week! What are some of your favorite award-winners? Thoughts on mine? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
23 thoughts on “Friday Favorite Five: Award Winning SFF Novels”
These all sound great. I ended up buying The Forgotten Beasts of Eld when they released the new cover. I’ve always wanted to read it and it’s coming up now that I’m not on a schedule. Great post! I see more to add to the TBR. 😉💜
Thanks! I hope you enjoy that one, it’s a classic!
I’ve always wanted to read Who Fears Death. Thanks for reminding me!😁
It’s a very powerful read, definitely glad I read it. 🙂
My thoughts are I haven’t read any of these XD I do remember when Uprooted came out, after reading everyone reviews, that there was no way that book wasn’t going to be at least nominated for a Hugo.
Side note, do you use WorldsWithoutEnd.com at all?
I have looked on their site now and then but not extensively. Mostly for subgenre definitions. 🙂
Highly recommend Uprooted if you’re into Fairytale retellings at all. Even though it’s not a retelling it feels similar to stories like that.
Uprooted has been on my TBR list for what feels like FOREVER. I seriously need to get a jumpstart on it!
It’s one I stayed up all night reading. Hope you enjoy when you get to it!
That sounds promising! Thank you so much😄
Ooh The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is one I’m planning to read really soon! Glad to hear even more good things about it. 🙂
It’s such a lovely book. Hope you enjoy it!
Uprooted is one of my favorite books ❤ Good choice! I didn't realize it had won so many awards ❤
Thanks! Yeah, I knew it had been nominated for some things but I didn’t realize how many it won and was nominated for overall. Kind of crazy!
I feel like a failure of a fantasy fan – I’m not sure I’ve heard of any of these. Naturally that will now be rectified and I’m going to check them all out. Great post!
Thank you! Hope you enjoy those you check out!
Great list – you’ve made me want to read Who Fears Death.
I felt like it was an impressive work. 🙂
I have so many award winning SFF books on my tbr, and I haven’t read any of these (yet) but own Uprooted and The fifth Season!
The Fifth Season is such an outstanding novel for many reasons, the technical writing alone is something to admire imo. 🙂
Great list! I really need to read uprooted- I don’t know why I haven’t got to it yet. I’m curious about the fifth season too.
Uprooted is also nice because it’s a stand alone so no series commitment lol!