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Science Fiction/Fantasy

A Celebration of Series: The Best SFF Series of 2021

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Always books. Never boring.

The Best SFF Series of 2021 was originally published in our science fiction and fantasy newsletter, Swords & Spaceships. Sign up for it here to receive news and recommendations from the world of science fiction and fantasy.

In December, I like to take some time to look back over the year and spotlight some books that will make great presents. Or in this case, some completed series where you can hook someone in with the promise that yes, it is finished. Please, in general don’t wait to start reading until they’re finished because then they’ll never be finished, but… finishing a series is a major accomplishment to celebrate! For these, I will highlight the first book of the series and then list the others in the description.

cover of Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Followed by Jade War and Jade Legacy to make up the completed Green Bone Saga!

This is an epic trilogy that features lots of kung fu action scenes in a fantasy metropolis where rival clans battle it out. Green Bone warriors use jade to fuel their magic in adherence with ancient tradition, but times are changing–and foreigners would like to get their hands on that jade.

leviathan wakes

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Followed by Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate, Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games, Babylon’s Ashes, Persepolis Rising, Tiamat’s Wrath, and Leviathan Falls to make the completed Expanse series.

What is there to say? This is a nine-book space opera behemoth that takes humanity from squabbling in the Sol system to across the galaxy–and it’s the basis for one of the most beloved sci-fi series on TV today, which is also finishing up this year.

the gilded wolves roshani choksi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Followed by The Silvered Serpents and The Bronzed Beasts to complete the series.

An alternate history fantasy that starts out at the close of the nineteenth century, where a Parisian treasure hunter assembles a strange team to help him steal an ancient and powerful artifact so that he can earn his rightful inheritance.

Cover of The Snow Chanter by Linda Nagata

The Snow Chanter by Linda Nagata

Followed by The Long War and Days of Storm to complete the Wild Trilogy. It’s one of those strange ones that was all published this year!

Disaster has forced humanity to make its home on a wild continent inhabited by cruel and hostile spirits of nature that want them all dead. To survive, humans need to seek new alliances–and new magic.

Cover of Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Too Like Lightning by Ada Palmer

Followed by Seven Surrenders, The Will to Battle, and Perhaps the Stars to finish the Terra Ignota series.

Set about 430 years in the future, this series starts in a world where the nation state hasn’t existed for 300 years and humanity is made up of seven remaining “hives.” The four books follow the events that lead this strange Earth to war for the first time since the 22nd century.

For more great SF/F reads, check out the rest of our science fiction and fantasy archives here.