Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Locus’ Year in Review

Locus has published its 2009 Recommended Reading List, which it has to be said, is unmanageably large, especially the novelettes and short stories. It took a team of people to compile; it would take a team of people to read. Niall Harrison provides some interesting push back against the Locus reading list.

In addition to the list, Locus’ regular panel of reviewers and editors contribute year in review essays. Some list their top books of the year, some don’t. A few name what for them is the single standout book of the year.

Jonathan Strahan says of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: “Easily the most important first novel of the year and the best science fiction novel of the year.”

Paul Witcover: “If I had to pick a single standout to top the list, under duress I would point to China Mieville’s extraordinary The City & The City.”

Graham Sleight: “Near the top of anyone’s list would have to be Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl ... it was certainly the most challengingly radical book I read last year.”

Gary K. Wolfe calls China Mieville’s The City & The City, “One of the best and most important novels of last year.”

Jonathan Strahan’s Top Five Books of the Year:

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Lifelode by Jo Walton
  • Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The City & The City by China Mieville
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Russel Letson’s Particularly Recommended:

  • Conspirator by C.J. Cherryh
  • Crystal Nights and Other Stories by Greg Egan
  • Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley
  • House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
  • The Sunless Countries by Karl Schroeder
  • Wireless by Charles Stross
  • Wild Thyme, Green Magic: Stories by Jack Vance, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Terry Dowling

Graham Sleight’s Best Books List:

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Cloud & Ashes by Greer Gilman
  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  • Cheek by Jowl by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley
  • The City & The City by China Mieville
  • Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
  • In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
  • The Best of Gene Wolfe selected by Gene Wolfe

There is a lot to like in each of these lists and reason to get back to the “to be read” stack.

SF Strangelove’s review of The Windup Girl and The Windup Girl on the Rewind

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