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 Fantasy Series Debut
Honorable Mentions - Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo (Night Shade) and Soulless by Gail Carriger (Orbit)
Winner - Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit)
Runner-up - The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Viking)
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)
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
Winner - Paper 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.
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