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INTERVIEWS

Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded

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My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

RECOMMENDATIONS | Best Books of 2009 (That I've read)

Year end wrap ups are the most difficult, but with Christmas around the corner and people getting their wishlists all set I thought it was time to put up my favorite releases of the year.  All titles link to my reviews and if I didn't review it I included a short line.  I'm sure I've left out a couple books, but these are the new releases that are sticking out in my mind as things have flip-flopped a bit upon reflection.  Either way I'm sure there is plenty below to debate about.


Best Graphic Novel

Winner - Thor: Ages of Thunder by Matt Fraction (Marvel) - Hands down the best treatment of Thor and it has amazing art.
Runner-up - 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man by Matt Kindt (Dark Horse)
Honorable Mention - The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius by Judd Winick (Oni Press)- Think of an edgier Dexter's Laboratory with swearing and time travel.  This is an omnibus of the whole series.


Best Fantasy Series Debut

WinnerLamentation/Canticle by Ken Scholes (TOR) -  The first two books in the Psalms of Isaak series both appeared in 2009, which is a feat in and of itself, but the fact they are getting better is astounding.  This series could be up there with A Wheel of Time someday.  The characterization is impeccable and back-story supremely deep.
Runner-up - The Patriot Witch (Traitor to the Crown) by C.C. Finlay (Del Rey)-  Books two and three have been released as well.
Honorable Mentions - Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo (Night Shade) and Soulless by Gail Carriger (Orbit)


Best Fantasy

WinnerBest Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit)
Runner-up - The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Viking)
Honorable Mentions - Fall of Thanes by Brian Ruckley (Orbit) / The Prodigal Mage by Karen Miller (Orbit)


Best Urban Fantasy

Winner Tie - Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor 3) by Mike Carey (Grand Central) and Turn Coat (Dresden Files 11) by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Runner-up - Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (EOS)
Honorable Mention - The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe (TOR)

Funniest Book

Winner - Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Delecorte)
Runner-up Tie - Fool by Christopher Moore- Moore left his comfort zone and it has paid off in this bawdy riff of King Lear.  The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers (Overlook)
Honorable Mentions - Monster by A. Lee Martinez (Orbit) and Soulless by Gail Carriger (Orbit)


Best Science Fiction Release

Winner - The Quiet War by Paul McAuley (Pyr)
Runner-up - Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Pyr)
Honorable Mention - The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

Now I'll admit I didn't read as much Science Fiction this year as I would have liked but these titles would standout in any year. There were quite a few older Sci-Fi titles I read that didn't qualify.


Anthology of the Year

WinnerPaper Cities Edited by Ekaterina Sedia (Sense Five Press)
Runner-up - Mean Streets with novellas by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kat Richardson, and Thomas E. Sniegoski (Roc)- Each take a crack at shorter stories placed in their popular Urban Fantasy Detective worlds with great results.  The Butcher story is a must for fans of the series and Sniegoski's tale will make you want to check out his Remy Chandler series.

Truthfully, I wish I'd read more short story collections this year.  I still have John Joseph Adam's two most recent reprint collections By Blood We Live and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes sitting on my shelves, which I'm sure will be good.  Look for an article on anthologies coming out next year shortly.


Most Original Debut

Winner - The Sad Tale of the Brother Grossbart by Jesse Bullington (Orbit)
Runner-up - The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade) - Bacigalupi is writing some very important work that is destined to effect the Science Fiction genre for years to come


Publisher of the Year

I'll have to give this to Pyr and Lou Anders for rekindling my love of Science Fiction along with some quality Fantasy and continually publishing series over consecutive months which all Fantasy fans adore.  Plus they have some of the best covers in this or any genre. Runner-up would be Roc for all the great Urban Fantasy they are continually doing.  Honorable mentions to Orbit and Night Shade for pushing the envelope of what the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres can be.


Best Book of the Year

Winner - The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Doubleday)
Runner-up - The City & The City by China Mieville (Del Rey)
Honorable Mention - Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (TOR)

The Angel's Game and The City & The City are nearly unclassifiable other that to say they are amazing works of literature.  Boneshaker is another I felt was hard to put in other categories, but its very memorable and is the best treatment of Steampunk I've seen to date.


Book Most Destined to Be Re-Read:

Winner - Couch by Benjamin Parzybok (Small Beer)- This came out last year so it was out of the running for most of the other categories.
Runner-up The Angel's Game by Carols Ruiz Zafon (Doubleday)

Even with all I've read this year I still have loads of books sitting around I'm sure I'll think highly of including Morgan's The Steel Remains, Redick's The Red Wolf Conspiracy, and Westerfeld's Leviathan.  Plus Jasper Fforde's new series debut Shades of Grey comes out two days before New Years, which just has to be good.

You Might Also Like:
Best Books of 2010 (That I've Read)
Best Genre Books of the Year - 2010 Long List Edition
LOOKING FORWARD | Fantasy & Cross Genre Books to Watch for in 2011

5 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've been meaning to read The Quiet War. Thanks for the recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Well now I know what to tell the rents to get me for Christmas. I like how you broke it into categories.

ThRiNiDiR said...

Great list mate, still need to read a lot of those. Thanks.

Thrin

Ken Scholes said...

Thank you for your kind words -- I'm delighted that you're enjoying The Psalms of Isaak!

Carl V. said...

I consider myself a fan of Matt Kindt's work...not sure how I let that one slip by. Definitely need to remedy that.

Great to see Alex Bledsoe on the list. I loved Sword Edged Blonde and enjoyed Burn Me Deadly just as much. Bring on Eddie LaCrosse's next case!

I'm seeing Ken Scholes on tons of lists, guess that's a sign that this series needs to be bumped up the list. Heck, I wanted them anyway just because of the cool covers.

I'm also very interested in checking out The Windup Girl. And Boneshaker was fantastic!