A World SF Reading List

5 Sep

I’ve been collecting recommendations from Twitter using the #worldsfbooks hashtag for this list.  Since this year’s theme is all about World SF, it makes sense that we’d celebrate that with a massive list of stuff you should read.  If you’d like to add anything to the list, leave a comment on this page OR use the #worldsfbooks hashtag on Twitter!

So, without further ado, here’s the list (below the fold):


  • Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Asia (for anthologies)

  • Eastern Heathens:  An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore edited by Amanda Lee Koe and Ng Yi-Sheng


  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  • Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham
  • Axiomatic by Greg Egan
  • Permutation City by Greg Egan
  • Diaspora by Greg Egan
  • Dagger of Dresnia by Satima Flavell
  • The Aurora Series by Amanda Bridgeman
  • Vixen by Hoa Pham (of Vietnamese descent)


  • Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
  • The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord


  • The Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
  • The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
  • Vn by Madeline Ashby
  • iD by Madeline Ashby
  • Major Karnage by Gord Zajac
  • Filaria by Brent Hayward
  • Rasputin’s Bastards by David Nickle
  • Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow
  • Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies by James Marshall
  • Elements by Suzzanne Church
  • Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer

The Caribbean (for anthologies)

  • Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root:  Caribbean Fabulist Fiction edited by Nalo Hopkinson


  • Distant Star by Robert Bolaño


  • The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin


  • The Assault by Reinaldo Arenas

Dominican Republic

  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz


  • The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
  • Not Before Sundown by Johanna Sinisalo
  • The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen


  • The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel
  • The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel
  • The Dragon Arcana by Pierre Pevel
  • The Path of Anger by Antoine Rouaud


  • The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • Momo by Michael Ende
  • The Mirror and the Mirror by Michael Ende
  • Jim Button and Luke the Train Engine Driver by Michael Ende
  • The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
  • The Alchemaster’s Apprentice by Walter Moers
  • The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
  • The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
  • The Cusanus Game by Wolgang Jeschke
  • The Last Days of Creation by Wolgang Jeschke
  • Land of Osiris by Wolgang Jeschke
  • The Swarm by Frank Schätzing
  • Limit by Frank Schätzing
  • Breaking News by Frank Schätzing
  • Dark Matter (Free Fall) by Juli Zeh
  • The Method by Juli Zeh
  • The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
  • Lord of the Thieves by Cornelia Funke
  • The Mirror World Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
  • Krabat by Ottfried Preußler
  • The Little Witch by Ottfried Preußler
  • The Little Vampire by Ottfried Preußler
  • The Little Ghost by Ottfried Preußler
  • The Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier
  • The Dwarves by Markus Heitz
  • Perry Rhodan (originally created by Clark Dalton)
  • Ghost Hunter John Sinclair by Jason Dark (Helmut Rellergerd)
  • Professor Zamorra by Jason Dark
  • Maddrex by Jason Dark
  • Atlan by Jason Dark
  • The Magical Amulet by Jason Dark
  • The Adventures of Jessica Bannister by Jason Dark
  • The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
  • Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass
  • The Rat by Günter Grass


  • Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell
  • Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell
  • Sly Mongoos by Tobias Buckell
  • Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell


  • The President by Miguel Ángel Asturias
  • Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias

Hong Kong

  • Atlas:  the Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Kai-cheung Dung


  • Osama by Lavie Tidhar
  • The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar


  • Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson (may also fit under Canada)
  • The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter
  • Myal by Erna Brodber


  • All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
  • Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
  • The Spice and Wolf Series by Isuna Hasekura
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya Series by Nagaru Tanigawa
  • Apparitions by Miyuki Miyabe
  • The Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe
  • Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe
  • ICO:  Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe
  • The Lord of he Sands of Time by Issui Ogawa
  • The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa
  • The Cage of Zeus by Sayuri Ueda
  • Asura Girl by Otaro Maijo
  • The Ouroboros Wave by Jyouji Hayashi
  • Loups-Garous by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
  • Mardock Scramble by Tow Ubukata
  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
  • Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa
  • Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara
  • Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince by Noriko Ogiwara
  • The Navidad Incident:  The Downfall of Matias Guili by Natsuki Ikezawa
  • MM9 by Hiroshi Yamamoto
  • The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto
  • Good Luck, Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi
  • Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi
  • Harmony by Project Itoh
  • Rocket Girls by Housuke Nojiri
  • Rocket Girls:  The Last Planet by Housuke Nojiri
  • Usurper of the Sun by Housuke Nojiri
  • Self-Reference ENGINE by Toh EnJoe
  • Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi
  • Zoo by Otsuichi
  • Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse
  • VIRUS by Sakyo Komatsu


  • Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Latin America (for anthologies)

  • Hammock Beneath the Mangoes:  Stories from Latin America (contains some sf/f works)


  • The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho

New Zealand

  • Genesis by Bernard Beckett
  • Hang Wire by Adam Christopher


  • Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
  • Other Bound by Corinne Duyvis


  • Songs of Enchantment by Ben Okri
  • The Famished Road by Ben Okri
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (Nigerian-American)
  • The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola

The Philippines

  • The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco


  • The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem
  • Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
  • The Last Witch by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Baptism by Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski


  • Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Metro 2033 by Dmitri Glukhovsky
  • The Bull’s Hour by Ivan Yefremov


  • Crown of Earth’s Desire by Terry Ho
  • Fish Eats Lion:  New Singaporean Speculative Fiction edited by Jason Erik Lundberg
  • Ayam Curtain edited by June Yang and Joyce Chng

South Africa

  • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  • July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
  • The Three by Sarah Lotz


  • Terra Nova edited by Mariana Villarreal
  • The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma


  • Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck

The Ukraine

  • The Scar by Sergei and Marina’s Dyachenko
  • Vita Nostra by Sergei and Marina’s Dyachenko


  • The Hangman’s Replacement by Taona Dumisani Chiveneko

10 Responses to “A World SF Reading List”

  1. Cora Buhlert September 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Nice list.

    However, here are some more examples of German SFF. “The Neverending Story” might be Michael Ende’s best known work, but he also wrote “Momo”, “The Mirror and the Mirror” and the delightful SFF children’s book “Jim Button and Luke the Train Engine Driver”. ”

    The City of Dreaming Books” by Walter Moers has two sequels, “The Alchemaster’s Apprentice” and “The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books”. He has also written “The thirteen and a half lives of Captain Bluebear”

    Andreas Eschbach has written a metric ton of SF, though I’m not sure how much of it has been translated.

    You’re completely missing Wolfgang Jeschke (The Cusanus Game, Land of Osiris, The Last Days of Creation, many others), Frank Schätzing (The Swarm, Limit, Breaking News), Juli Zeh (Dark Matter a.k.a. Free Fall, The Method), Cornelia Funke (the Inkheart trilogy, Lord of the Thieves, the Mirror World trilogy), Ottfried Preußler (Krabat as well as the children’s books The Little Witch, The Little Vampire and The Little Ghost), Kerstin Gier (The Ruby Red trilogy), Markus Heitz (The Dwarves)

    Finally, there is also Perry Rhodan, one of the longest running SF series in the world, published since 1961 as digest sized novellas sold at newsstands, though there are also omnibus editions. Perry Rhodan was originally credited to Clark Dalton, a faux American sounding housename, but nowadays the various authors use their own names.

    There are a lot more German SFF pulp novellas of a format similar to Perry Rhodan such as Ghost Hunter John Sinclair by Jason Dark a.k.a. Helmut Rellergerd, a proto urban fantasy series published since 1973, Professor Zamorra (more proto urban fantasy), Maddrax (time travel), Atlan (Perry Rhodan spin-off), The Magical Amulet (romantic fantasy), The Adventures of Jessica Bannister (romantic urban fantasy), etc… However, none of those have ever been translated to the best of my knowledge.

  2. Cora Buhlert September 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    I should probably also include Günter Grass. A lot of his works, e.g. “The Tin Drum”, are magical realist of sorts and “The Rat” is apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic SF. It’s also coincidentally Grass’ attempt to get rid of Oskar Matzerath, protagonist of The Tin Drum and supporting character in many other Grass novels, by nuking him.

  3. aliettedb September 7, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Are you looking for work available in English, or will anything do? If available in English: Zen Cho’s “The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo”, Kai-cheung Dung’s “Atlas: the Archaelogy of an Imaginary City, the entirety of Haikasoru’s catalog, Rin Chupeco’s “The Girl in the Well”, Pham Hoa’s “Vixen”…
    (Victor Ocampo has a master list of SEA writers over here http://victorfernandorocampo.wordpress.com/sea-writers/ )

    France: Pierre Pevel’s The Cardinal’s Blades and sequels, Antoine Rouaud’s The Path of Anger and sequels.

    Poland: Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Witch, Blood of Elves, Time of Contempt and Baptism by Fire (Gollancz is apparently continuing to publishing them, they released Baptism by Fire this spring).

    Ukraine: Sergei and Marina’s Dyachenko’s The Scar, and Vita Nostra

    And free fiction over at the World SF blog, of course 🙂 http://worldsf.wordpress.com

    Off the top of my head, I could think of more with more time…

    • shaunduke September 7, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Honestly, anything will do. Obviously, it’d be nice if works were available in English, since most of our listeners/readers probably only read in English, but maybe pointing out works that aren’t yet translated might help raise awareness about works that *should* be translated.

      Thanks for the recs! 🙂

  4. Sabrina Vourvoulias (@followthelede) September 7, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Where are all the Latin Americans?

    • shaunduke September 7, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      A good question. I’m going to add a few today, but I’ll admit to a pretty big gap in my reading of Latin American writers.

  5. Michael Healy (@MichaelHealy18) September 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm #


    Rider by Joyce Chng
    Wolf At The Door by J. Damask


    Wandering Earth by Cixin Liu


    Tesseracts Anthology series Edited by Various Canadian Authors
    Dead North: Canadian Zombie Fiction Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories Edited by Camille Alexa and Claude Lalumière
    Thunder Road by Chadwich Ginther
    Evil? by Timothy Carter
    The Claus Effect by Karl Schroeder and David Nickle
    A Girl Like Sugar by Emily Pohl-Weary
    This Strange Way of Dying by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (may go under Mexico)
    Half World by Hiromi Goto (may go under Japan)
    Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto (likewise)
    Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing anthology series Edited by Sandra Kasturi
    Above by Leah Bobet


    The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia


  1. Recent Guest Spots and Special Mentions for the Aurora Series | Amanda Bridgeman - September 11, 2014

    […] 4) Skiffy and Fanty (American SFF Podcasters) were putting together ‘A World SF Reading List’ and asked for recommendations to be added, and the Aurora Series was nominated (thanks to sci-fi author Patty Jansen). You can find the blog here. […]

  2. Sunday Links, September 21, 2014 | Like Fire - September 21, 2014

    […] of reading only those books written by Americans for Americans?  Want to expand your horizons?  This list will provide you with plenty of science fiction and fantasy to read from outside the States.  […]

  3. Top 10 Episodes and Posts for November 2014 | The Skiffy and Fanty Show - December 2, 2014

    […] A World SF Reading List (by Shaun Duke) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: