What I read in 2018: Books


2018 was a year of … a lot of reading. If you follow me on Twitter / Facebook / The Verge / Wordplay, this likely isn’t news. I write a lot about the genre, and I like the community. But in the last couple of years, I’ve found that I’ve been reading less and less — put off by things like work or Twitter or television, and it’s been frustrating, because there’s been a ton of things that I’ve wanted to get to, but haven’t been able to.

2018 was the year that I made the effort to carve out a lot more reading time, and … I read a lot. 74 books in all — plus a bunch that I started and tossed aside. I don’t know that I have any particular lessons that I’ve drawn out of this year’s crop of books, other than that a) there’s a shitload of good stuff out there right now, b) making it a point to read more diversely gives you a lot of really good stuff that I might not have otherwise picked up, and c) I still have stacks of things that I just didn’t get to this year. I’ve got piles kicking around that I really would like to get to, and hopefully, I’ll knock some of that down in the coming year.

Here’s the complete list of books that I read this year (reviews linked where I wrote them):

  1. The Red Threads of Fortune by J.Y. Yang

  2. Dark Deeds, by Mike Brooks

  3. The Forever War (Graphic Novel), by Joe Haldeman

  4. Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci

  5. Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn

  6. Buffalo Solider by Maurice Broaddus

  7. Fields of Fire by Marko Kloos

  8. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander

  9. Points of Impact by Marko Kloos

  10. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

  11. Semiosis by Sue Burke

  12. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

  13. The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

  14. Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira

  15. Breach of Containment by Elizabeth Bonesteel

  16. The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz

  17. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson

  18. The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud 

  19. Head On by John Scalzi

  20. Time Was by Ian McDonald

  21. The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

  22. The Barrow Will Send What it May by Margaret Killjoy

  23. Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

  24. Star Wars: Last Shot by Daniel José Older

  25. Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan

  26. The Power by Naomi Alderman

  27. Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

  28. Crooked by Austin Grossman

  29. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

  30. The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt

  31. Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

  32. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte (Author Q&A)

  33. The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History by Josh Dean

  34. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

  35. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

  36. The Book of Extraordinary Deaths: True Accounts of Ill-Fated Lives by Cecilia Ruiz

  37. Generation Robot: A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation by Terri Favro 

  38. The Old Iron Dream by David Forbes

  39. Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson

  40. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang 

  41. The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel by Jeffrey Lewis (Author Q&A)

  42. The Future of War: A History by Lawrence Freedman

  43. Side Life by Steve Toutonghi

  44. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

  45. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

  46. The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

  47. War Cry by Brian McClellan 

  48. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

  49. Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

  50. The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts

  51. Solo: A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty

  52. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

  53. The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

  54. Ball Lightning by Liu Cixin (translated by Joel Martinsen)

  55. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu)

  56. The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin (translated by Joel Martinsen)

  57. The Queen of Crows by Myke Cole

  58. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

  59. Death’s End by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu)

  60. Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded by Jason Heller

  61. LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media by P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking

  62. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

  63. Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee

  64. Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

  65. It's All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan by Tristan Donovan 

  66. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

  67. Jack London's To Build a Fire by Christophe Chabouté

  68. Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder / James Lovegrove

  69. Mutiny at Vesta by R.E. Stearns

  70. How Great Science Fiction Works by Gary K. Wolfe

  71. Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

  72. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

  73. The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai

  74. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

What’s to come in 2019? Well, there’s a ton of really excellent-looking books hitting shelves next year that I can’t wait to dig into. I’m hoping to read a bit more widely than just SF/F though — there are some histories that I want to get to (this year marks a bunch of Apollo histories hitting bookshelves), as well as some other things, but at the very least, I want to try and hit a comparable number. My minimum is 52, so anything over that is just a bonus.