2017 was a tough, stressful year. Lucky for us, it was a great year for gritty science fiction and fantasy books! After all the events of the year, escaping to some grimdark dystopian world was almost a relief.

Here are some of my favorites of the year, in order of U.S. publication:

Starfall: A Durga System Novella by Jessie Kwak
May 17, 2016

Okay, so this technically isn’t a 2017 book. However, I read it in 2017, and 2016 is close enough.

Gangsters in space. ‘Nuff said.

Lucifer’s Star (Lucifer’s Star #1) by C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus
October, 2016

Okay, okay, okay… It’s another 2016 book. I promise it’s the last one.

Grimdark space opera—and space battles.

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1) by Nicholas Eames
February 21, 2017

Gritty and funny fantasy. In this world, adventurers tour like rock bands.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence
April 4, 2017

The start of another great series from Mark Lawrence.

Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #4) by Brian Staveley
April 25, 2017

This is a prequel of sorts to the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne and a tremendous standalone novel.

City of Miracles (The Divine Cities #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett
May 2, 2017

A wonderful conclusion to a great series.

Negative Return: A Durga System Novella by Jessie Kwak
June 11, 2017

This is another Durga System story from Jessie Kwak. It’s a great gangster heist story set in her sci-fi crime noir world.

The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust #1) by Anna Smith Spark
June 29, 2017

A tremendous debut grimdark fantasy novel.

Soultaker (The Knights Eternal #1) by Robert J. Duperre
July 11, 2017

A great science-fantasy with my favorite action scene of the year.

Blackwing (Raven’s Mark #1) by Ed McDonald
October 3, 2017

Another great grimdark fantasy debut.

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee
November 7, 2017

Gritty Epic Fantasy meets The Godfather meets Martial Arts Epic. Yup.

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse #7) by James S.A. Corey
December 5, 2017

The seventh installment of the gritty sci-fi series changes things up for the crew of the Rocinante and sets up the final two books in the series.

There are many other great books released in 2017 that I wish I had the time to read.

What are your favorites of the past year?