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Quail Ridge Books' Best of 2019: Best of Horror & Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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Song for the Unraveling of the World By Brian Evenson
Amber Neva Brown
, Quail Ridge Books

With our list #4, the BEST OF HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY 2019, we're almost at the halfway point in our BEST OF 2019 series. For this category, Quail Ridge Books staff selected books which eloquently capture the beauty in the strange, the dark, and the magical.


Song for the Unraveling of the World By Brian Evenson
1. Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson [horror]

Jon says, “Evenson blurs the lines between “genre” and “literary” fiction. His stories are, at once, insightful and sensational. He's witty, dark and observant—one of my favorite authors, full-stop. This may be his most refined and accessible work to date. Highly, highly, highly recommended.”

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) By Tamsyn Muir
2. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir [science fantasy]
Amber says, “What if Crowley from Good Omens was a lesbian swordfighter causing mischief at Death's summer camp in space? Gideon the Ninth is a fantastic genre mash-up, complete with memorable characters, dark humor, a unique magic system, and a murder mystery to boot. It’s the Gothic space mystery you never knew you needed."
The Ten Thousand Doors of January By Alix E. Harrow
3. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow [fantasy]

Kaley says, “This is an atmospheric novel with a fascinating new take on the portal trope. Every character was written so thoughtfully, even (perhaps especially) its villain. Ultimately, a beautiful exploration of other worlds, the importance of words, and what happens when you challenge power.”

This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
4. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Motar & Max Gladstone [sci-fi]

Ginger says, “This book has everything: time travel shenanigans; enemies to lovers trope; technology vs nature; extremely beautiful language; and a title that sounds like a doctor who fanfic.”

Foundryside: A Novel (The Founders Trilogy #1) By Robert Jackson Bennett
5. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett [fantasy]
Kiwi says, “Foundryside is an amazing cyberpunk fantasy that explores themes of autonomy and rebellion under corporate monopoly. This book is a timely exploration of a world threatened by corporate greed and technological insecurity. Even with these significant themes and concepts, it is an epic, hilarious adventure with a unique magic system, and a cast of badass queer and POC characters.”
Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell y Nathan Ballingrud
6. Wounds : Six Stories from the Border of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud [horror]
Jon says, “If Ballingrud's debut collection of horror stories (North American Lake Monsters) was a slow, subtle burn, then Wounds turns up the Hell-fire! These six darkly fantastic stories showcase Ballingrud's skill with a variety of tones and styles while retaining his signature gravitas. They are somehow both stark and playful. Throughout all the stories, he also builds a unifying mythos that begs for an immediate re-read. Hell, yeah!”
Hollow Kingdom By Kira Jane Buxton
7. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton [post-apocalyptic]

Amber says, “There was no way to anticipate this unexpectedly amazing story about a domesticated crow and his bloodhound best friend navigating a zombie apocalypse in Seattle, but I was in no way disappointed. Buxton's debut novel is one that sticks with its reader in a way I didn't predict, and I found myself laughing, crying, and craving Cheetos along with this bird at every turn. It is at times scary, at times hilarious, and very often poignant. I know it seems like a niche read, but read it anyway!”

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