Top 10 Speculative Fiction Novels of 2009


Some of you have been asking for it, so here it is!=)

Although it may change if the last two books I'm likely to read before the year is out warrant it, I get the feeling that the Top 10 is pretty much set. As I did in years past, this Top 10 will be posted with my year-end awards (look for the Hotties to return before New Year's), and the 10 runner-up titles will also be unveiled.

As you can see, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl squeezed itself in at number 10. Expect my review of this excellent book to come your way at some point next week. Heed my advice: Read it!

And now, without further ado, here are my top reads of the year!

TOP 10 SPECULATIVE FICTION TITLES OF 2009

1- Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson (Canada, USA, Europe)
2- The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker (Canada, USA, Europe)
3- The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Canada, USA, Europe)
4- Wings of Wrath by C. S. Friedman (Canada, USA, Europe)
5- Fall of Thanes by Brian Ruckley (Canada, USA, Europe)
6- Twelve by Jasper Kent (Canada, USA, Europe)
7- Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (Canada, USA, Europe)
8- Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald (Canada, USA, Europe)
9- A Magic of Nightfall by S. L. Farrell (Canada, USA, Europe)
10- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Canada, USA, Europe)

Feel free to agree or disagree. . .;-) Though many big names were pushed back to 2010, all in all I'd say that 2009 was a good year for the genre. Not the best in recent memory, mind you, but nevertheless good overall if I take a glimpse at my Top 10 and the runner-up titles.

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15 commentaires:

Greg said...

Surprised Erikson topped your list. He is my favourite author, but at the moment it is my least favourite of his, as it so grim, and quite obviously is only half a novel. Will probably like it more when Crippled God comes out. A reread will probably help aswell, with TOTH my enjoyment pretty much doubled on the reread. My number one for this year is probably Best Served Cold, although really enjoyed Chasm City aswell even if it is a bit old.

Aidan Moher said...

Glad to see The Angel's Game on there!

James said...

Best Served Cold was a fantastic novel, and I'm happy to see it makes your top 10 for the year. It is certainly very high on the list for my top 10. Can't wait for his next one; unfortunately, I was reading Abercrombie's blog, and he mentioned that he doesn't expect his next novel to make it out until very early 2011, which is sad news indeed.

Thought it was funny, reading your review, that you gave Best Served Cold the exact same score (8.5) that I did in my review.

--jmt

Andrew said...

The only book on the list I read was Bakker's The Judging Eye and it was amazing. I can't wait for the next book.

Nathan said...

I find it odd that "The Judging Eye", widely viewed as a disappointment, is on this list when others aren't. That said, it was still really good, just not that great compared to its predecessors.

"Canticle" should be on this list. Very nice follow-up. Also, "The Other Lands", by David Anthony Durham.

Also, I think Brandon Sanderson deserves it for The Gathering Storm, which is far better than anything Jordan has produced after the first six books of the series. A huge undertaking, and a major leap forward both for his writing and the series.

Greg said...

I enjoyed the Gathering Storm, but it wasnt as good as the last few books. Mainly due to his failure in handling a large cast of characters. He did move the story on but it wasnt that amazing, the last book was constructed much better. But then I guess I go against the norm in enjoying the politics etc of the last few books over the earlier adventuring nature. I think people enjoyed the Sanderson's effort mainly as it was near the quality of Jaordan and they just hadnt had any WOT for a while.

Patrick said...

Greg: I'm a Malazan fanatic, so that's that!

Aidan: Impossible not to rank Zafón right up there!

James: I've received confirmation from Abercrombie's editor. THE HEROES is now a 2011 release.

Andrew: Roll on THE WHITE-LUCK WARRIOR!!!

Nathan and Greg: THE GATHERING STORM is a runner-up. But there is no way it deserves to be considered on of the very best SFF offerings of 2009.

Roland said...

Not if you ask most of the people who read it...

Btw, the comment about it being worse than the previous *things* in the series is the most ridiculous thing I've read on the Internet the last couple of months. Just thought I'd mention that.

Anyway, I too think that the "Judging Eye" was lacking compared to its predecessors, but it was still utterly awesome.

And I can't imagine why anyone would be surprised by Erikson's topping any list that Pat ever makes ^_^

alabrava said...

typical Bakker and Erikson answering some questions we've been waiting for but leaving more than double the amount of new questions. That said, I'd rank TJE above Dust, And hard to argue with Zafon, his books are so alive.

Adam Whitehead said...

For me, THE GATHERING STORM would have DoD beat. Maybe TJE as well, although possibly more because TJE was so low-key compared to the first three books. Best books of the year for me would probably be between BEST SERVED COLD and THE CITY AND THE CITY (despite not being Mieville's best), the latter of which has grown on me a lot. RETRIBUTION FALLS, which was tremendous fun, would also be up there.

Leo said...

I think there are a couple of missed beats here, notably Multireal not being on the list (it was 2009 right? Or have I completely lost track of time). That said, the list seems pretty solid otherwise

Dream Girlzzz said...

No, MultiReal was published in 2008. It was on Pat's last year's Top 10.

I enjoyed Sanderson's The Gathering Storm, but I don't feel it deserves a top 10 spot. Don't know but The Judging Eye wasn't low key compared to The Prince of Nothing. Maybe not as good as The Thousandthfold Thought, but better than the first two IMO.

I haven't read every title on the list, but this top 10 seems pretty solid to me.

Marie said...

I really enjoyed Dust of Dream and the Angel's Game, so I'm glad that they're at the top of your list. I guess it's time for me to read the rest before the year ends.

Nathan said...

Nothing like a top ten list to bring the knives out. Though it's great, because I'm always looking for new things to read.

Have to say, I don't see the appeal of Best Served Cold. I realize I'm the outlier here as EVERYONE loved it. I like Abercrombie's other stuff, and character-driven fantasy in general, just didn't care too much about the characters in this one. Or maybe I was pissed when my favorite cranky old bald lying wizard never appeared.

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