Top Sci-Fi & Fantasy Genres to Watch in 2021

As we look forward to the books that we will all be reading and writing in 2021, it can be helpful to take a look at the books that best sold in 2020. On Amazon, you can search for the top sold books and you can look at it by genre.

Most writers of science fiction are also readers and I think it’s helpful to try to read all as many of the top books as you can, to get an idea of what these top sellers are doing right. If you’re writing to market, you can look at these genres and maybe discover a niche that was previously unknown to you. 

Here are the Best Books of the Month in Science Fiction & Fantasy for December 2020

Ready Player Two

ready player two book cover

Author: Ernest Cline

Genres: Science Fiction TV, Movie & Game Tie-In; Science Fiction Adventure; Dystopian Science Fiction

Rhythm of War

Rhythm of War cover

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genres: Military Fantasy; Sword & Sorcery Fantasy eBooks; Action & Adventure Fantasy

The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library cover

Author: Matt Haig

Genres: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction; Time Travel Science Fiction; Dystopian Science Fiction

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible life of addie larue cover

Author: V.E. Schwab

Genres: Historical Fantasy; Action & Adventure Literary Fiction

Mexican Gothic

Mexican gothic cover

Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genres: Gothic Fiction; Historical Fantasy

Battle Ground

battle ground cover

Author: Jim Butcher

Genres: Supernatural Mysteries; Private Investigator Mysteries; Action & Adventure Fantasy

Children of Blood and Bone

children of blood and bone cover

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Genres: Teen & Young Adult about Prejudice and Racism; Teen & Young Adult Myth & Legends; Teen & Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

to sleep in a sea of stars cover

Author: Christopher Paolini

Genres: Colonization Science Fiction; Space Exploration Science Fiction

A Deadly Education

a deadly education cover

Author: Naomi Novik

Genres: Teen & Young Adult Fantasy; Coming of Age Fantasy


Oathbringer cover

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genres: Military Fantasy; Fantasy Action & Adventure; Epic Fantasy

The only genres that showed up on the top 10 more than once were:

  • Historical Fantasy (2)
  • Action & Adventure Fantasy (2)
  • Teen and Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy (2)

Unique Niches:

The beautiful thing about buying books online is that the genres within the genre can get so specific. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, you can find it out there.

There are a couple of genres in this list that are really interesting to me. I haven’t seen Gothic Fiction or Teen & Young Adult Myths & Legends before. I like to pay attention to these highly specific niches when they come up. I would love to see more Gothic Fiction out there in the world. I write about science fiction about a man that investigates myths and legends, so it makes me happy to see more books about myths & legends out there!

More Science Fiction, Please!

I will say that I’d like to see more science fiction best sellers in 2021. We always see a few big hits, but it would be nice to see more variety this year. This list is mostly fantasy, but the sci-fi books that did make it to the top ten sold a ton. 

I think that this list tells us that science fiction and fantasy readers do want a variety of topics. It’s not only aliens or robots anymore. We can do a deep dive into time travel and space colonization. Perhaps as our world seems to be crumbling around us, we want to sink into a good book. Into a story that brings us into a wary future, full of what-ifs and hows.

What will the world look like once climate change happens and what will remain? I recently interviewed an author, A.W. Davidson, that talked about writing climate change fiction. This might be a growing genre and I hope to read some more great novels inside of it! 

Books like The Martian and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars tackle Space Colonization, usually because of climate change or nuclear meltdown. As a reader, I want the writer to design that world for me and immerse me in it. 

Here’s to 2021 and the wonderful books that await us.

If you’re interested in what books are coming out in 2021, this list from Tor gives us 30 reasons to be hopeful in this new year:

You can buy The Leslie Kim Serials Omnibus here.

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