Publishers Weekly has announced its list of the best books of 2022, divided into 13 categories. The best books in the SF/Fantasy/Horror category are:
The Golden Enclaves
Novik’s masterful final Scholomance fantasy functions simultaneously as a satisfying resolution to El and Orion’s story, a page-turning magical adventure in its own right, and a thoughtful homage to Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Engaging deeply with both genre convention and real-world moral quandaries, this brilliant finale elevates the entire series to dazzling heights.
With an ear for lyricism and an eye for historical detail, Cañas puts a fresh spin on the classic haunted house story. In the aftermath of Mexico’s War of Independence, the new wife of a mysterious widower teams up with a Mestizo priest to exorcize a ghost—leading to supernatural thrills, exhilarating romance, and a probing examination of the horrors of colonialism.
It’s the exquisitely realized narrative voice that makes Ennes’s mind-bending debut such a standout: through the eyes of a hive mind of parasitic worms, readers encounter a postapocalyptic mystery replete with inventive twists and squirming body horror. The resulting blend of gothic horror and science fiction is ambitious, atmospheric, and astounding.
In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies.
For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to cure and to cut, to cradle and protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed.
In the frozen north, the Institute's body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder. A parasite is spreading through the baron's castle, already a dark pit of secrets, lies, violence, and fear. The two will make war on the battlefield of the body. Whichever wins, humanity will lose again.
Lonely Castle in the Mirror
Lost, friendless middle school dropouts meet in a strange land straight out of a storybook in this breathtaking portal fantasy from Tsujimura. Hopeful and heartbreakingly sweet without ever being saccharine, this character-focused tale of finding unexpected community unfolds remarkably gently, eschewing a typical Western plot structure.
Moon Witch, Spider King
From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy, his African Game of Thrones.
Humankind discovers intelligent life in an octopus species with its own language and culture, and sets off a high-stakes global competition to dominate the future.
Rumors begin to spread of a species of hyperintelligent, dangerous octopus that may have developed its own language and culture. Marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen, who has spent her life researching cephalopod intelligence, will do anything for the chance to study them.
The transnational tech corporation DIANIMA has sealed the remote Con Dao Archipelago, where the octopuses were discovered, off from the world. Dr. Nguyen joins DIANIMA’s team on the islands: a battle-scarred security agent and the world’s first android.
The octopuses hold the key to unprecedented breakthroughs in extrahuman intelligence. The stakes are high: there are vast fortunes to be made by whoever can take advantage of the octopuses’ advancements, and as Dr. Nguyen struggles to communicate with the newly discovered species, forces larger than DIANIMA close in to seize the octopuses for themselves.
But no one has yet asked the octopuses what they think. And what they might do about it.
There’s a catchy hook to Maxwell’s powerful sophomore space opera: it’s a queer, sci-fi take on fake dating wherein two men must fake a neural link to survive within the brutal far future military. This alone would be enough for an enjoyable romp, but Maxwell’s goals are grander. She cleverly subverts and critiques military sci-fi tropes to create an incisive and emotional epic.