My Five Top Reads of 2012
2012 was a fruitful year for me reading in genre. While I didn’t have the sheer volume of first novelists and new voices that I had in 2011 (when they took up half of my reading volume), I did get to see some of those 1st novelists turn into 2nd novel novelists, of varying strengths. In addition, some old friends and favorites helped make this a memorable and winning year for books. I particularly appreciated my own efforts to read as much of the Hugo nominees, in novel and novella, as practical.
My favorite books that I read this year are as follows:
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed. (My SF Signal review: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/02/review-throne-of-the-crescent-moon-by-saladin-ahmed/) A wondrous city of adventure in a secondary fantasy world more in common with the Middle East than Western Europe, and one of the most unusual protagonists I’ve seen in Doctor Adoulla Makhslood
vN, Madeline Ashby (Functional Nerds review: http://functionalnerds.com/2012/09/book-review-vn-by-madeline-ashby-2/) A debut novel from Ashby, that has overtones and intimations of the movie A.I., and some cutting edge speculation on what artificial intelligent lifeforms would really be like.
The Desert of Souls, Howard Andrew Jones (SF Signal review http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/01/review-the-desert-of-souls-by-howard-andrew-jones/): Arabian Days and Arabian Nights, a marriage of historical fiction and fantasy that brings the 8th Century Middle East to gorgeous life, and the beginning of the relationship of two characters that I want *lots* of novels to read about.
Edge of Infinity, anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan (SF Signal review: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/10/book-review-edge-of-infinity-edited-by-jonathan-strahan/ ) . Far and away the best stories I read published this year were between the covers of Strahan’s anthology of Solar System Science Fiction. He also lays down a marker for what he thinks the next generation of SF is going to be about. Essential reading for anyone interested in the SF field.
Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear. (SF Signal review: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/03/book-review-range-of-ghosts-by-elizabeth-bear/) My favorite book of the year, and my favorite novel that Bear has done. This is the author hitting on all cylinders, creating and depicting a universe and characters I want more of, yesterday. This is the book that helped me coin my neologism “Silk Road Fantasy”
I am not going to bother naming runners up, for I would make this list easily twice as long over again. Suffice it to say a lot of books clamor for sixth place in my lights.
My Five Top Reads of 2012