First Novels

The covers above are all from First Novels that I like – published since 2011

Stephan Martiniere – John Harris – Chris Moore – Angela Wang

Will Staehle – David Palumbo – Tommy Arnold – Justin Adams

Jungshan – Sam Weber – Akyut Aydogdu – Jesse Tarbox Beals (photo)


You have to accept, that it is impossible for a single person to read all the new books coming out in the field of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Your challenge then becomes to find and read as many good books as possible. What is a good book? For me a good book is one I like or even love – that’s it. How to find those is kind of difficult, though.

Having read a book you liked, you may want to read more by the same author, books on the same subject or a book recommended by friends, your local bookshop or other authors you like. Any of these choices will probably help you avoid a lot of books that you wouldn’t like.

However, you’re reading F&SF, you want to read new stuff, new ideas and not just authors you know – no matter how good those are.

That means you’ll want to read new authors, debut authors and authors you’ve never heard of before. There are a lot of those, though. Not to worry – help is here:


Locus magazine has been published since 1968. Go to and take a look at the online version to get an idea of how essential this magazine is.

Every year the February issue of the magazine brings a list of recommended reading. In this context the most important part is First Novels.

The list of recommended First Novels gives you the opportunity to learn about books in this category that the reviewers of Locus likes. You can then look up these books on the web, read more about them – and then decide which ones to try.

Reading First Novels is one of the best ways not to grow stale in your reading habits – and hopefully this will help you to buy books that you’ll probably like – without buying a lot, that you probably won’t.

…and when you buy a First Novel you support an emerging author. An emerging author getting support has a much better chance of making a living, becoming an important addition to F&SF and providing you with entertainment, new thoughts and ideas.