Just because a novel is on a bestseller list—or sells tens of thousands of copies—doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. In fact, some of my all-time favorite science fiction and fantasy novels have been books that most mainstream readers may have never even heard of before. As a book reviewer, I run across this all the time: truly extraordinary novels that, for whatever reason—bad cover art, inadequate promotion, distribution issues, etc.—don't get noticed by the masses and eventually sink into oblivion. So, in an effort to unearth some outstanding science fiction and fantasy novels and bring them back into the bibliophilic consciousness, here is a short list of five novels that could have been, should have been—and in my mind, are—towering, genre masterworks. (Yes, only five—I could’ve included dozens more but I didn’t want to overwhelm you!)


1. Grey by Jon Armstrong (2007)




2. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (2002)




3. The Troika   by Stepan Chapman (1998)




4. Enemy Glory by Karen Michalson (2001)


5. Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup (2009)


Hey, if you guys want me to do more of these "Best Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels That No One Has Read" lists, just let me know!




Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for almost the last two decades and has written more than 6,000 reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.



by on ‎05-24-2010 01:08 PM

The list is a great idea. I hope you continue doing these. There are so many books to choose from and it helps to have someone review them for me. My TBR list just got bigger and lists like this help me to fill it. Paul, great article.

by on ‎05-24-2010 01:38 PM



Please keep making the lists because with so many books published I know that I miss some and it gives me a chance to check the library for them.



by BrandieC on ‎05-24-2010 02:23 PM

Thanks for the reading suggestions.  Right now, Grey is available as a bargain book from www.bn.com for only $3.58!

by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎05-24-2010 02:29 PM

BrandieC – that will be the best $3.58 you ever spent!  :smileyhappy:

by on ‎05-24-2010 03:59 PM

I see that Open Your Eyes eBook is $1.42.

Very interesting amount for an eBook.

by Moderator paulgoatallen ‎05-24-2010 04:01 PM - edited ‎05-24-2010 04:02 PM

Pen, I just bought a jumbo Snickers bar that cost more than the price of that eBook! But, well, Open Your Eyes really satisfies!   :smileywink:

by on ‎05-24-2010 05:33 PM

It a great subject and the thread is not bad either.


Nowadays it's impossible to keep track and read though most releases, much less everything. Always on the look out for anything above average. And I'll second the vote for Troika, picked it up after a suggestion of yours somewhere on here last year, very good.


by B&N Bookseller melissas on ‎06-01-2010 02:05 AM

Pen, thanks for the tip about Open Your Eyes. I went ahead and got this for my NOOK™ because if it's likened to Dalí and recommended by Paul, it's bound to be a great read!

by Clever_Pen_Name on ‎06-03-2010 03:28 PM

Two thumbs up on the Grey recommendation Paul (I'd give you three... but alas that's not possible)...


I ordered it, and let you know what I think...





by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎06-03-2010 03:54 PM

Just downloaded Open Your Eyes to the nook for only $1.42 - wow! (there's a $1 version, too, but for $.42 more I could lend it once, so...)


It sounds like such an interesting book...now I just have to find the time to read it.  I have too many books to read!  Boo for having to work.

by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎06-29-2010 12:28 AM

I just finished Open Your Eyes - fantastic!!  Thanks Paul :smileyhappy:

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