Locus Magazine has made its 2011 Recommended Reading List available. This annual list is the most comprehensive best books and short fiction list in the science fiction community. Locus offers only the list online, for the commentary that goes with it, pick up the magazine itself. If you’re serious about understanding the science fiction field, you already subscribe. If you’re on the fence about subscribing, this annual year in review issue is the most essential issue of the year.
Other lists include the Strange Horizons' roundup of the year’s best from a roll call of editors and contributors, a varied and fascinating compilation. I direct your attention to the entries by L. Timmel Duchamp, Niall Harrison, Paul Kincaid, Farah Mendlesohn, and Adam Roberts.
Over at Ambling Along the Aqueduct, the blog of the excellent small publisher Aqueduct Press, there have been a series of best of the year posts. Rachel Swirsky has written about the best novellas, best novelettes, and best short stories of 2011. In addition, Ambling Along the Aqueduct presented a series of “best reading” posts from a diverse community of contributors. The whole series is interesting. Especially pertinent to best SF books of 2011 are: Cheryl Morgan, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Carrie Devall, Lynne M. Thomas, Jeffrey Ford, Cat Rambo, and Liz Henry.
Other best books of the year lists: Michael Berry of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lev Grossman, and George R.R. Martin.