Award Thoughts – Novel

I’m having trouble picking my favorite novel of 2016, just like I’m having trouble picking a short story.  I don’t have as many novels to choose from, so I’ve expanded my candidates to include books that aren’t the first in a series.


Joel Shepherd’s Drysine Legacy was in the lead, until I realized that although the audiobook I listened to came out in 2016, the ebook was first released in December 2015.  The next book in the series, Kantovan Vault, came out in 2016, but I didn’t like it quite as much as Drysine Legacy.  It was still a good book, so I’ll continue reading the series as soon as the next one comes out.


Piers Platt’s Rath’s Deception was my favorite novel of 2015, and four books in the series were released in 2016.  My favorite was Rath’s Reckoning, but I don’t think I’ll nominate it.  It relies heavily on the previous books, so if someone checked it out cold based on my nomination, they might not enjoy it.


Larry Correia’s Into the Wild is the sequel to Into the Storm.  I’m a fan of the author’s Monster Hunter International series and his Grimnoir series, so when I saw these “Into” (malcontents) books coming out, I said “Aw, man.  Why is he wasting his time writing these?”  After reading the two books, I now say “Write more of this!”

A couple of wild cards in the running:


I’ve previously reviewed SC Flynn’s Children of the Different.


I call Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades “Grimdark Light”.  The writing style is page-turning, and I cared about the fates of the hero characters.  Most of the other characters are sociopaths, however, and I felt kind of worn down after reading about so many of them.

Here are a couple that might have been award-worthy, but I haven’t read them yet:


I read Steven Campbell’s Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy when I was having a tough time at work, and it gave me some much-needed laughs.  It’s a 2014 book, though, and I haven’t yet read any of the 2016 sequels, like the one pictured above.


Karl Gallagher’s Torchship won the Planetary Award for best novel last year. I’ve put off reading the sequel, Torchship Pilot, hoping that an audiobook version would come out.

Over the last couple of months, I put aside my non-fiction books to search out and read self-published 2016 books (and a couple of traditionally-published) that might be award-worthy.  As with my 2015 effort, I’ve had mixed results, and in a couple of days, I’ll briefly share them in another post.

Leave a comment if you have any thoughts on my options.


  1. Drysine Legacy and Rath’s Reckoning both sound pretty good – I’ll have to give them a look at some point!

    1. I’d definitely start with the first book in each series. The first of Joel Shepherd’s ‘Spiral Wars’ books is called “Renegade”. I plan to do a series review some time.

      The first of the ‘Janus Group’ books is called “Rath’s Deception”.

  2. Thanks for including CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT!

  3. Maybe you can sneak in Drysine by just using the audio date 😉

    1. …but the department of highly-inflexible rules nitpicking (me) has declared it ineligible!

      1. Fire that guy!

  4. I love your methods and standards.

    1. Still having trouble picking a favorite…

      1. Wish I could help but Sci Fi is beyond me.

  5. The Torchship Pilot audiobook is in work. Alas, the narrator had another book which took longer than expected.

    1. Glad to hear it. I’ll pick up a copy as soon as it’s available.

  6. “I’ve put off reading the sequel, Torchship Pilot, hoping that an audiobook version would come out.”
    Yes, I’m recording it right now. Good, fast, cheap, pick 2 – fast is not me. But we’re getting there.

    1. I read Torchship on my kindle before the audio version came out, but I’m looking forward to listening to Torchship pilot. I prefer audiobooks when I can get them, because the voices can add to the story, and because they make my commuting hours slip away.

  7. I have a copy of Piers Platt’s “Rath’s Deception” in my Kindle, as well as two others by him. Unfortunately, with all the other works I have in there and trying to do my own writing, I have been neglectful in getting to it. (I’m kind of slow, what can I say?) I do have hopes of getting to it. I’ve been forcing myself to be a little better at not only reading, but writing and increasing my Social Media presence. It’s a tough road.

    I do have a sci-fi story I have tendered to a small publisher, and if they think it’s worthy, I’ll continue it, or make some changes if that’s their recommendation. I must gear my stories toward what others tell me would be acceptable, as I don’t get any feedback from anywhere else.

    Keep doing what you’re doing! The world needs more who share their recommendations!

    1. Yes, I understand time limitations. Most of the novels I “read” these days are actually audiobooks, with my reading time devoted to short stories, so I listened to the audio version of “Rath’s Deception”.

      Good luck with your submissions. I’ve submitted a couple of short stories to some magazines, and I post the results of those efforts after I get an answer.

      I’ll make a post later this month detailing my 2017 plans for the blog.

  8. […] I’ve already posted my award thoughts concerning short stories, and the better novels I read last year. […]

  9. […] posted my thoughts about 2016 short stories, 2016 novels, and 2016 indie reading.  Many of the stories I mentioned could have been #1, but it’s time […]

  10. Nathan · · Reply

    For Hard Luck Hank, I’d look at Stank Delicious before Robot Farts. The sports storyline, kind of a Blood Bowl of the future, is livelier than Robot Farts

    1. Thanks for the advice. I’ve listened to the first 3 already, each of which gave me some laughs, so I’ll eventually tackle every book in the series.

  11. Thanks for discussing Torchship. Added to me ports for plunder list.
    x The Captain

    1. I’ll be giving Torchship II a try soon.

  12. […] reminds me that I need to put together a series review some time), and I’ve nominated and considered nominating his stories before.  This isn’t my favorite of the Monster Hunter books, although the […]

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