Does this mean that Lethem's new book isn't science fiction, or that it wasn't very good?
Seconding/thirding both Dexter Palmer's and Charlie Jane Anders' books, and while there's tons on this list I haven't got to yet, one more I'd add this year so far for sure is Johanna Sinisalo's The Core of the Sun, a weird, awesome, Finnish sort of dystopia. With super, super hot peppers.
Fantastic review. Another "white author writes alternate history of the civil war" is Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain, which sees John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry succeeding, thanks to Harriet Tubman's involvement, followed by a complete diversion of our history and Bisson's.
(One typo nit-pick for the editors: "SFF is the perfect tool it" I think is meant "SFF is the perfect tool kit".)
A quick note that Kowal's "Forest Of Memory" is available in one of the METAtropolis anthologies, and is available standalone in audio as well, if you just can't wait. Really good story!
Looking forward to this book!
Okay, Jared, you're going to get me to read the Chambers book, I might as well give in now. But since you've opened the door to "published in the UK in 2014, but released in the US in 2015" I have to mention Sandra Newman's The Country of Ice Cream Star, which was another of my best reads of 2015.
Jemisin's The Fifth Season was great, Sorcerer to the Crown and Ancillary Mercy were fantastic, and missing from this "top" tier (and this article!) is Kim Stanley Robinson's remarkable "Aurora"; Liz Hand's Wylding Hall and Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps packed so very much into their just-beyond novella length but it's hard to pit them against their heavyweight competition. I'd put all of these a tier above Karen Memory and The House of Shattered Wings, along with Wake of Vultures, Half-Resurrection Blues, Shower of Stones, The Water Knife, Touch, Sevenves, The Galaxy Game, Darker Shade of Magic, Mort(e), The Grace of Kings, and Swanwick's Chasing the Phoenix. which I'd also easily recommend from this year for various reasons. I regret not getting to Signal to Noise or Luna yet, among so many others.
There is also a fine audiobook of The Old Gods Waken, read by Stefan Rudnicki; and 5 of his short story collections are in audio as well.
Ok. The Man Who Spoke Snakish sounds very interesting.
The Builders really can't come out soon enough at this point.
I'm looking forward to this one.
Very cool! Though the GIF doesn't load, unless you fix the URL, to:
(Some weird i0.wp.com thing is in front of the URL you've got here.)
Would be a pleasure to have this on my shelf, and to have available to see how things I only hear on the audiobook are actually spelled!
Looking forward to checking this one out in audio, but a print copy is always very handy to have to read along and check spelling, and, of course, to look lovely on the shelf.
Thanks for this wonderful walk down memory lane. And the soundtrack/score is wonderful, as you mention at the end. I've re-played a bit of Ultima III a few times, and some Wizardry and Zork and Enchanter, but haven't gone back to Ultima IV for some reason. This article certainly makes me want to finally give it another walkabout.
Well there's Jeff VanderMeer's "Ambergris" of course! And in more recent epic fantasy there's Francis Knight's "Fade to Black" series: "From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala. It's a city built upwards - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under."
(And of course, Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork. And...)
IIRC isn't this McGuire's story from METAtropolis: Green Space? Loved it then, nice to see it in text so I can see how the names are spelled!
Loved "A Pail of Air" -- first encountered it in Stefan Rudnicki's anthology Fantastic Imaginings.
"What kinds of monsters were hiding under your bed as a child? When I was five or six there was something under there with very long arms."
Oh yes. Very long arms. And one must not have any of one's limbs hanging over the edge of bed after dark. Nope nope nope.
This audiobook is finally out:
As part of a free collection of Drizzt stories:
In Back to the Future, Doc Brown is shot and killed (presumably, later revealed to be wearing a bullet proof vest) by Libyan terrorists just prior to Marty escaping to the past himself. Which, technically, means nobody is murdered, but audiences are led to believe he is violently killed twice (well, the same event seen twice).
Some other candidates for "no one is murdered" sf films though I don't remember every frame of them or anything:
* Safety Not Guaranteed
* Robot and Frank
* Hot Tub Time Machine
* Idiocracy (though if I remember, some of Beef Surpreme's "rehabilitations" are shown on a big screen in a highlight reel...)
* The Nutty Professor (1963 and 1996)
The juxtaposition of the first prologue ("Yomi") and this is seriously intriguing. Very, very angry ghosts on the one hand and space sf in the other.
Typo here, which also is in the currently live Kindle sample: "off them, let's them disengage" (should just be "lets" them).
When I was a kid, this wasn't really even a debate? On the playground, we hung upside down from the monkey bars as Luke, trying to get the lightsaber handle (otherwise known as a "stick") to levitate that last inch out of reach and into our hands. We had lightsaber battles, not "let's pretend to be frozen in carbonite!" sit-ins. (I really liked Obi-Wan, too, fitting into a bit of my "old mentor" archetype fascination along with Mr. Miyagi and Gandalf, but we pretended to learn from them, not *be* them.)
It's only as more jaded and sarcastic adults (and young adults) that we come to appreciate Han's humor and reject Luke's (in the first movie, to be clear!) painfully youthful earnestness.
It would be pretty darned fantastic to get another copy of Jay Posey's Three, and all the Lavie Tidhar I haven't read, and on and on!
Really liked Hild quite a lot, and Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria, and Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monsters, and Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, and, and... but KSR's Shaman was my favorite read this year. I loved the voice of the novel, "the third wind", and the memorable characters: Loon, Thorn, Heather, Elga. And dear, faithful Click. Roop, roop.
Fantastic write-up, Nick -- looking forward to the new third book. (One nit-pick is that I don't think the title of the third book is correct in the author bio here, instead of "The Road" (which is of course some source material and point of reference) it is "The Road is a River".)
I've been looking forward to this book for a good while now, thanks for the chance at a free signed copy!
Been thinking about this story all afternoon now, not just the story and Tom and Charlie, but the language and feel of its words.
"The rigid line of his shoulders bespoke his tears, but she did nothing to comfort himcould think of nothing to do and did not anyway wish to comfort him."
It's not just the "bespoke" which I really, really like in this sentence. It's the placement of "anyway" where it is. Just perfect.
As someone who grew up on a flat Indiana farm that my dad worked, and his dad worked, on and on back, and had plenty of relatives in Kansas doing the same thing during this time period: a fantastic story. (One nit pick in the intro write-up: "A teenage boy walks away from his father wasted farm to follow the other travelers heading west where there is a rumor of angels." I'm guessing this should be "father's wasted farm" and not just "father wasted farm".)
And if you get the $2.99 Kindle edition, you can add the Audible audiobook for $7.99. For 80 hours or whatever it is of audio. (Maybe it's more like 50, anyway, it's a month, easily, of listening.)
Very glad to see "The Drowning Girl" start appearing on some of these year-end lists, it's head and shoulders (or at least a head) my favorite new novel of 2012. Though if I could only grab one novel from this year as a message in a bottle to the future, it would be KSR's "2312".
I also loved the Rankin-Bass version. Ah, the spiraling freeze-frame of the spiders when Bilbo offed them...
Anyway, here's another animated film based on The Hobbit, by Gene Deitch and Adolf Born:
Ah, "Slag the Terrible"...
Here's another few for August:
Anthology: Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology
by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
(Tachyon, Aug 1, 2012)
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)
by Jim C. Hines (August 7, DAW Hardcover) "Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach
into books and draw forth objects."
by Nick Mamatas (ChiZine, August 14)
Collection: At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories
by Kij Johnson (Small Beer, August 14)
Crackpot Palace: Stories
by Jeffrey Ford (William Morrow, August 14)
Anthology: Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
edited by Jonathan Strahan (Aug 28, 2012)
Yay Tina! I'll be buying in audio, would love a book to read along.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. (Though I suppose it's arguable that it doesn't cross over into genre enough?)
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Definitely sf thriller aspects to it.
Hm. I didn't much care for the Lethem story; I did very much like "Monstro" by Junot Diaz. The Burgess essay (not a reprint actually, though written some time ago this was its first publication) was completely engrossing and fascinating.
Wouldn't Lisa Tuttle, born 1952 and winning the Campbell in 1974, be the youngest winner?
DrakBibilophile: Baen sells electronic Advanced Reader Copies for $15 but the final editions are for $6.
alSeen: Baen sells their ARCs at $15. You are paying more to read it early. Their regular books are $6. Many of them are also legally free[.]
I am well aware of the editions and free libraries. It is my simple proposal that people paying $15 for e-books of new Tor hardcovers are also paying more to read it early, just for a slightly different definition of early -- ahead of the mass market release, instead of the hardcover. Asking for $6 e-books on hardcover release day is pretty much the same (to me) as asking for $8 mmpb on hardcover release day. You can have a format preference, and a time preference, each independent from the other. None of those preferences makes it make any more sense for a publisher or author to leave money on the table from eager early adopters.
I am disappointed after seeing the GI Joe 2 trailer, and going over to IMDB, to learn that Bruce Willis's character isn't, actually, named John McClane.
Couple of formatting nits in the prologue:
"fi re his pulse gun"
And chapter one:
"All right, fi ne," Dahl said.
And chapter two:
"get into the fi eld"
"an in de pen dent project"
Also: ready for chapter 3. And ready for the audiobook narrator's take on the third Forshan dialect, because that is going to be fun.
Fantastic idea. I'm looking forward to the rest of the stories.
A text copy would always be nice to check spelling against when I listen to the audiobook. (Well, I hope there's an audiobook.)
Is the cover for Jay Lake's Green still eligible? It was one of the best covers of 2009, certainly!
Really excited about ConTemporal: GOHs Cherie Priest and Studio Foglio, with a really big list of other authors (David Drake, Clay and Susan Griffith, Natania Barron, ...).
Hillary Jordan's "When She Woke" would certainly fit in here quite nicely. David Halperin's "Journal of a UFO Investigator" (Viking) is more expressly mainstream, with the sfnal elements being journal entries, though the lines blur a little. (It is a wonderful book.) Lasly, "Mr. Fox" by Helen Oyeyemi.
Hm. I already voted, but apparently I can vote for even more things, so I'm going to add to that and vote for even more things.
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin
More Short Stories:
Absinthe Fish by M. David Blake (shameless self promotion, I published this!)
Selling Home by Tina Connolly (shameless self promotion, I published this!)
The Migratory Pattern of Dancers
by Katherine Sparrow (Giganotosaurus)
Chris McGrath cover for The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith (Pyr)
I'm glad to see Roadside Picnic coming back into print, but it was out (in English, in the US) decades ago.
Another book I've had on pre-order since last October (its first planned release date...) is Samuel Delany's Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, coming (crossing fingers) from Magnus Press in February. It's "kind of" sf, as it projects forward several decades starting with a contemporary world. But it's primarily literary fiction.
A few more for this series, from my 2012 list:
The Rook: A Novel
by Daniel O'Malley
(Little, Brown and Company, Jan 11, 2012)
Mr g: A Novel About the Creation
by Alan Lightman
(Pantheon, Jan 24, 2012)
The Mirage: A Novel
by Matt Ruff
(Harper, Feb 7, 2012) -- "11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers. The United Arab States declares a War on Terror."
by László Krasznahorkai
and translated by George Szirtes (Feb 21, 2012)
The Vanishers: A Novel
by Heidi Julavits (Doubleday in print, Dreamscape Media in audio, Mar 13, 2012)
by Nick Harkaway
(Knopf, Mar 20, 2012) -- though maybe this one's "too genre" for mainstream?
by Ahmed Khaled Towfik (May 8, 2012)
by Alma Katsu (Jun 19, 2012) -- sequel to The Taker
by Glen Duncan
(Jun 26, 2012) --
sequel to The Last Werewolf
The Twelve: A Novel
by Justin Cronin (Random House/Ballantine, Aug 28, 2012) -- sequel to 2010's The Passage
Maybe the last few don't qualify, either, being "too genre" for mainstream?
Embassytown by China Mieville
Sensation by Nick Mamatas
Osama by Lavie Tidhar
Best Short Fiction:
(An aside: The Excel list here doesn't include F&SF, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Daily Science Fiction, Redstone, Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, IGMS, Writers of the Future, Electric Velocipede, Expanded Horizons, Crossed Genres, Bull Spec, etc. and a large number of excellent anthologies, including those published by Tor. Some anthologies to remember for other voters: Naked City and Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow, Eclipse 4 and Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Rising, trsf, Welcome to the Greenhouse edited by Gordon van Gelder, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Down These Strange Streets edited by Martin and Dozois, Panverse 3 edited by Dario Ciriello, Steam-Powered, ...)
Votes: Novellas for which I don't know the word count, guessing under 40k: "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" by Ken Liu (Panverse 3), "The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" by Cory Doctorow (PM Press), "Silenty and Very Fast" by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA Press, Clarkesworld), and "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson (Asimov's).
Votes: Definitely under 40k: "The Harrowers" by Eric Gregory (Lightspeed), "The Winter Triptych" by Nicole Horner-Stace (Papaveria), "What We Found" by Geoff Ryman (F&SF), "Clean" by John Kessel (Asimov's), "A Box of Thunder" by Lewis Shiner (Strange Horizons), "Dreamer of the Day" by Nick Mamatas (Supernatural Noir), "House on the Hill" by Kelly Link (Tin House), "Nadirah Sends Her Love" by Ada Milenkovic Brown (Crossed Genres), "Thirty Seconds From Now" by John Chu (Boston Review), "Perfect Lies" by Gwendolyn Clare (Clarkesworld), and a long list of Ken Liu stories: "Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer" and "The Paper Menagerie" (F&SF), "Tying Knots" and "Staying Behind" (Clarkesworld).
TURF, story by Jonathan Ross and art by Tommy Lee Edwards.
The Order of Dagonet, story by Jeremy Whitley and art by Jason Strutz.
Best Book Cover
The Clockwork Rocket (book by Greg Egan, Night Shade) -- though the cover had nothing to do as far as I could tell with the book!
Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk art by Michael Komarck (Pyr)
The two-layer cover/design/thing for 1Q84 (book by Haruki Murakami)
Osama (book by Lavie Tidhar, published by PM Press)
The Weird edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
The artwork here is very striking; reminds me of the character River Tam in Firefly.
I've been hoping an audiobook for this would show up -- any news on that front? (It took a bit for The Hum and the Shiver to get to audio, so sometimes such patience is rewarded.)
I'm much more excited about the new Utlimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales) than anything DC is launching.
This poem has received a very good and detailed review:
"This is a tour-de-force, an epic poem in Anglo-Saxon style, with Icelandic saga subject matter, set in a postapocalyptic future Iceland. It's brilliant; it's breathtaking; I wish my old Anglo-Saxon professor were alive to read it."
Congrats to all the nominees, wow, what a great list of lists.
I would love to listen to this read well. Any chance, Tor.com?
I can't decide if the generic title works better for a tongue-in-cheek parody, or a more earnest, honest-to-goodness epic fantasy. I think I'm leaning toward the parody.
I haven't read four of the ten, and would have happy homes for the other six...
(Nit pick: "Gaiman understand the shape". Gaiman are not a plural. Though that would explain some things.)
This is a fun celebration of what readers have liked. I'd overlooked Kushiel's Dart and forgotten Blindsight along the way, and the voting lists have been very useful as a source for wishlist books -- not so much the final tallies (fun from a numbers junkie perspective) but the original lists, where I could match up tastes. "Hey, they liked these 4 books I liked, and also these other 3. I should probably check out those other 3." From a "if you liked X, you might like Y" perspective the voting lists seemed to overlap a lot, with a little cross-pollination by the big vote-getters, particularly American Gods.
I'm definitely looking forward to the "appreciations" but Nick's comment begs me to ask: can we get a "roast" as well? :)
It's the December-January-February issue, but Bull Spec #4 has fiction from Nick Mamatas, David Tallerman, Andrew Magowan, Erin Hoffman, Don Norum, and (reprint) James Maxey. (Print/PDF.)
2000-2010: 11 years, 11 books, but not necessarily one book from each year...
Finch - Jeff VanderMeer
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
American Gods - Gaiman
The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
The Darkness That Comes Before - R. Scott Bakker
Anathem - Neal Stephenson
Spook Country - William Gibson
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel - Susanne Clark
Accelerando - Charles Stross
Building Harlequin's Moon - Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper
(Another typo note: Whata train it was.) Lovely, magical, uncomfortable, dark. Something to re-read a little closer to xmas, at night, too.
I've had long reading slumps in the past; it's not that there isn't good stuff to read, it's almost that's there's too much, and it causes a sort of choice paralysis. I get out of it by picking up a book I know with absolute certainly needs to be one of the books I read before I die. (Morbid, perhaps.) A Nebula or Hugo winner I've skipped over the years; a friend's novel I keep quiet about lest it is discovered I haven't read it yet; etc. For my worst reading slump, I stopped focusing on genres or critics and just dove into the local author section of the bookstore.
It's one of my favorite books, and one I still re-read from time to time. I was lucky to have it as assigned reading in high school literature.
Also: you really should pick up Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman. It fills in a depth of detail to the interstitial space between parts 1 and 2 of Canticle, and it contains so much of Miller's marvelous prose. Things like 100+ word sentences which nonetheless are beautiful and, somehow, dryly compact.
Kept meaning to read this, never found the online time, and so I just printed it out and read it over Thanksgiving flights. Very enjoyable, and I have to agree with Druif, though Flood would have been an acceptable (or perhaps even preferable?) tie-over character as well. Since no reviews have mentioned either, I'm guessing this story is its own. It definitely helps move The Half-Made World to the top of the wish list.
Sometimes, the world actually gives you not just one pony, but ponies. Very much
enjoyed this, -Sam.
Thanks very much for mentioning Bull Spec! And to answer JamesB on that one, it's US based.
For me, I am currently interested in zombie stories which let us explore our ethics. How should a zombie be treated? Is there a parallel here for how posthumans should treat us, "mere" humans? I haven't had a chance to read this entire article yet, but the first few answers were certainly interesting. I like the idea that zombie stories can -- and in fact might be supposed to -- end badly.
Great coverage and article, but you didn't mention a fun thing: the host from Quail Ridge introduced not Brandon Sanderson, but instead she "introduced the introducer" -- Tor author and new Raleigh resident Kij Johnson. Kij gave a great introduction for Mr. Sanderson, parts funny, parts interesting, and parts heartfelt ribbing on waiting for the next books.