It's that time of year again!
With 2008 coming to a close, it's time to unveil my year-end SFF awards!;-) The categories are more or less what you have come to expect over the years! In addition to my SFF Top 10 of the year, you also get the ten runner-up titles as a bonus!
As always, feel free to disagree with my selections. I've never taken myself too seriously, so it's all in good fun!
By the way, the Index of Reviews and Interviews in the top right corner of your screen has been updated.
2009 sure looks like it's going to be a heck of a year for speculative fiction fans, so here's to hoping that it will be the case!
SFF TOP 10 OF 2008
1- Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson (Bantam Press/Tor Books)
*- Neuropath by Scott Bakker (Penguin Books/Orion/Tor Books) This novel would have been number 1 on my list, but it's not a speculative fiction title.
2- The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia (Prime Books)
3- Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Cameron Esslemont (PS Publishing/Bantam Press)
4- MultiReal by David Louis Edelman (Pyr)
5- Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz/Pyr)
6- Bloodheir by Brian Ruckley (Orbit)
7- Inside Straight edited by George R. R. Martin (Tor Books)
8- The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney (Solaris)
9- The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford (William Morrow and co.)
10- The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass (Tor Books)
11- A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon (Pyr)
12- Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik (Del Rey Books/Voyager)
13- The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers (Orbit)
14- The Company by K. J. Parker (Orbit)
15- Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn (Grand Central Publishing)
16- The Six Directions of Space by Alastair Reynolds (Subterranean Press)
17- The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Gollancz/Del Rey Books)
18- Busted Flush edited by George R. R. Martin (Tor Books)
19- A Magic of Twilight by S. L. Farrell (Daw Books)
20- The Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams (Bantam Dell)
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The market is no level playing field, and yet year in and year out Pyr titles manage to stand out from the competition. Kudos to Lou Anders and his team. The guy deserves a Hugo Award and a raise!;-)
- Honorable mention: Subterranean Press
This not-so-small-anymore press is making quite a name for itself. And with a stellar year in 2008, the sky appears to be the limit for Bill and his crew.
MOST IMPROVED AUTHOR AWARD
- David Louis Edelman
Infoquake was a smashing scifi debut, but Edelman came up with a tighter novel with its sequel, MultiReal. Can't wait to read the final volume of this trilogy!
BEST COVER ART AWARD
- Michael Komarck's cover for the Subterranean Press limited edition of Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon. This is one of the best-looking fantasy covers of all time!
MOST AMBITIOUS PROJECT AWARD
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont
In terms of depth and scope, nothing even comes close to this series.
MOST ACCESSIBLE AUTHOR AWARD
- Joe Abercrombie
BEST SFF MESSAGE BOARD
Ran's Westeros remains my favorite hang-out spot. Never a dull moment on these forums!
- Honorable mention: http://www.sffworld.com/
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD
- The Wild Cards
With two highly entertaining Wild Cards books in 2008 (Inside Straight and Busted Flush), the franchise is in good hands!
MOST OVERRATED NOVEL AWARD
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This sleep-inducing novel could be the most overrated SFF work ever!
SHAME ON YOU AWARD
- Tor Books
For putting the Busted Flush blurb on the mass market paperback edition of Inside Straight. Come on, man. . .
MOST UNDERRATED NOVEL AWARD
- A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon
- Honorable mention: The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass
INTERVIEW OF THE YEAR
- The first 9-way interview I ever did with the Wild Cards contributors.
This one was something special!
UNEXPECTED SURPRISE AWARD
- The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass
- Honorable mentions: A Magic of Twilight by S. L. Farrell and The Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams
MOST DISAPPOINTING NOVEL AWARD
- The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
- Honorable mention: The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
MOST PROMISING NEW VOICE AWARD
- Ekaterina Sedia
Although I did not enjoy The Alchemy of Stone as much as The Secret History of Moscow, it's obvious that Sedia is a talented writer with a long career ahead of her.
DUMBASS OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Yours Truly
For letting novels/series such as Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Jim Butcher's Storm Front, and many others lie there on my shelves while I read books that are only good for the crapper. I'm not telling you what I have on my "Books to Read" piles!
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BEST DEBUT
- The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
Came out too late in the year in 2007 for most people to have heard about it, so it's my pick for SFF debut of the year!
MVP AWARD: SFF AUTHOR OF THE YEAR
- Joe Abercrombie
For demonstrating that in this age of doorstopper fantasy series that seem endless, you can still tell a compelling story without a back story which goes back 300,000 years into the past, without hundreds of characters, without dozens of convoluted storylines. Abercrombie showed that, if you play your cards right, you can still do it with an honest-to-god trilogy. He brought this series to a close with a bang in Last Argument of Kings, and I'm eager to get my hands on Best Served Cold.
In addition, Joe just might be the Ricky Hatton of fantasy. The guy got clocked with a bannister, and carried on with blood leaking out of his head like a real trooper. Say one thing about Joe Abercrombie, say he's one tough cookie! If ever in a fist fight with him, go for the body. If a bannister won't put him down for the count, no punch will!
No but seriously, long live.:-)
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Happy Holidays, everyone!