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Bookworm 2013: Winners

Posted on | January 1, 2014 | No Comments

Novels:

David Benioff: City of ThievesDavid Benioff – City of Thieves

Pro: gorgeous, gripping almost-true story of the adventures of two unlucky boys as they search for a carton of eggs during the siege of Stalingrad.

Contra: no spaceships. Every book could use a spaceship or two.

 

Lucius Sheperd - Life During WartimeLucius Shepard – Life During Wartime

Pro: beautiful prose recounting of an odd war that gets weirder as the pages go by, yet manages to remain ever so very human.

Contra: the style may be too florid for some, slows down seriously during the middle bit.

Honorable Mention:

Neil Gaiman - The Ocean at the End of the LaneNeil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pro: lovely bit of Gaimanian fantasy reminiscence about childhood, supposed to be an adult novel, but works equally well as a YA book.

Contra: it’s very Gaiman. Some people don’t like that.

Mammoth Series Worth the Effort:

Joe Abercrombie - The Blade ItselfJoe Abercrombie – First Law

Pro: cinematic, poetic, and gritty set of adventures about a fully fleshed out world full of vivid characters that seem real even when they dip into stereotypishness.

Contra: a lot, and I do mean a lot of pages to go through, and once you start, you can’t stop. Oh, and the first book has a few minor technical issues, until Abercrombie hits his full stride.

Precious Collections:

Kelly Link - Stranger Things HappenKelly Link – Stranger Things Happen

Pro: collection of beautiful, haunting tales full of otherworldly weirdness, exquisitely crafted tales brimming with emotion.

Contra: may not be everyone’s cup of tea, really. The stories are weird, some of them have no clear narrative structure. 

Anne C Perry - The Lowest HeavenAnne C. Perry – The Lowest Heaven

Pro: a lovely collection of surprisingly top-notch solar-system themed short stories from a variety of authors.

Contra: a few of the stories are not up to par with the competition.

 

Peter Watts - Beyond the RiftPeter Watts – Beyond the Rift

Pro: a collection of stories by the hands-down best hard SF writer currently active (and if you ask me, best overall SF writer currently active).

Contra: I’m a fanboy. Ask someone else. Oh, well, yeah, it’s dark stuff. Some people don’t dig that kind of thing.

Classic Standing Strong:

Samuel R Delany - DhalgrenSamuel R. Delany – Dhalgren

Pro: gorgeously written chaotic deconstruction of the very nature of novel-like narratives and the process of creation packaged in a slow-moving adventure across a weird city.

Contra: the fact that it was written during the sixties really shows through in quite a few spots.

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  • Goodreads

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
    Pilgermann
    The Ophiuchi Hotline
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Green Eyes
    Crackpot Palace: Stories
    Acceptance
    Echopraxia
    Jagannath
    The Fractal Prince
    The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter


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