The Hotties: 2008 Year-End Awards



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

- Pyr

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!

- Honorable mentions: The first and second interviews I did with R. Scott Bakker

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!

22 commentaires:

Ben said...

Raise your hand if you knew that Gene Wolfe put out a book this year.

I didn't.

keele864 said...

I read it the week it came out. It's not his best, but it's good.

keele864 said...

As much as I love Wolfe, I don't think Pat would be a big fan of his work. He might like The Book of the New Sun though. Maybe Latro too.

Larry said...

Umm...Sedia's first book was published back in 2005, if memory serves, Pat. The Secret History of Moscow was her second novel ;)

And Ben,

I knew that, because I read An Evil Guest in galley/ARC format back in May. Not one of his best efforts. If anything, one of his lesser novels.

SQT said...

Reading Neuropath felt like getting my brain scrubbed and put back in my head. Thought provoking but not on my top ten list.

Larry said...

Much as I like Bakker personally and much as I've enjoyed his other work, Neuropath won't make my list either, SQT. Perhaps I'll blog about my reasons why later, if I feel well enough to complete the ones I need to write first!

daydream said...

Great awards. Awesome diversity through my point of view. I like the template, seriously, awesome taste [just like mine].

Anyways now I want to read the secret history of Moscow.

ediFanoB said...

Opinos about Ekaterina Sedia's books are two-minded.

A lot of people like THE SECRET HISTORY OF MOSCOW more than ALCHEMY OF STONE.
For me it is just the other way round.

But I agree 100% with your opinion about
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I read the book 2 years ago and it was boring.

Roland said...

I'm still finding it difficult to comprehend how people with the mental capacity for something more than Dragonlance, Salvatore or Goodkind, could not like Clarke... I would've thought native speakers would have bigger appreciation of their own language.

Martin said...

Erm, if Neuropath doesn't get the number 1 spot on your SFF list because it's not a speculative fiction title, why is it any more appropriate that it gets the number 2 spot?

Adam Whitehead said...

Neuropath is an SFF novel. I think Pat's claiming it isn't just to piss Scott off ;-)

Last time I checked we didn't actually have mind-control machines that can make people do stuff they don't want to. That makes it SF. Or arguably more genre than THE TEN THOUSAND, anyway (which is just the Anabasis on an alien planet with the names changed, which is fine because it is still awesome).

Anonymous said...

Even money says Larry will write a post to protest against Pat's Top 20 and his awards before the day is out. Then, VanderMeer and a few wankers will discuss everything at length while 99.9% of SFF fandom don't give a fuck!;)

I read the new Wolfe, by the way. Nothing special considering who wrote the book. I'll be surprised if it makes a few Top Books of 2008 lists. Other than Larry's, of course!

Great diversity, Pat.:) Love the blog!!

Kim

Larry said...

Kim,

You'd be totally wrong on both counts. I've read 9 out of the 21 books Pat's mentioned and I have no problems with any of them. I just have a few other preferences.

As for the Wolfe, you didn't read what I said above, did you? I considered it to be a rather poor effort by him and it is nowhere near any Top lists of mine. Speaking of which, my own lists are still in progress (completed the fourth out of at least 8 and maybe 10 essays) if you care to weigh in on those... ;)

David J. Williams said...

Woah. . I never made a top list for *anything* before (except elementary school troublemakers, but that was a while back). . thanks Pat, and happy holidays!

Dream Girlzzz said...

I'm looking forward to these awards every year. Keep up the good work, Pat!

Though you might want to bring them back to being the Terry Awards!!! That was just too funny!

Rodric, AKA Glueboy said...

Hey pat, can you set up a permalink for this post?

I want to submit the link to Reddit.com, maybe net you a few more readers while i'm at it.

Patrick said...

The permanent link is: http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2008/12/hotties-2008-year-end-awards.html

Damien G Walter said...

Boo! Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is a great book! And to be frank, its the Malazan series that scoops the prize for most overrated novel every time in my book. Other than that, a nice round-up of the year. Thnaks for your ongoing work on this blog from a semi-regular reader.

Damien G. Walter
http://damiengwalter.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Came to the blog via subterranean press. Overall disappointing. This blog is clearly an homage to the populists, rather than a honest broker of what is out there. Let us take a simple example. 'Wild Cards' This started many years back with some top notch authors GRRM et al writing what was clearly crap they could not publish elsewhere. It was lousy the first time around. If Pat is saying the new series is as good as the old, it does not say very much for it.

Then we have the weekly Weis-Hickman. This is like 'Lost in Space' same episode every week, just the names and bit players swap around. Then I looked at Pat's listing more closely, how many Canadian authors are listed? Then I realized reading down further - the blogger (Pat) is Canadian! Duuh!

If was more properly listed as the Canadian, and maybe North American top 20 SFF, with a token nod towards European fiction, that would have been far less misleading.

Pat finally gives the entire game away by attacking Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Hoew dare it win awards when it was not written by a Canadian - shame on those voters...BTW Many of which are the same people Pat lauds.

Yes, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was harder to read as it was clearly outside the (D&D) box. I am sorry that you had such difficulty working through a more challenging tomb Pat. Maybe we can get Susanna Clarke to simpler text with pictures in her next full scale enterprise into the SFF world.

Roland said...

As to the "name" Subterranean is making for itself, a friend of mine is still waiting for his Master Li Limited Edition for which he was charged more than two months ago. Go Subterranean!

Anonymous said...

summary of earlier quote by different anonymous:
"you didn't like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel? Then you must be a fucking dumbshit because anybody with any intelligence likes exactly what I do. Idiot."

Anonymous said...

Hey Pat, I'm new here and I'm glad to say I that we have almost the same taste in fantasy novels :p

Great blog and more power to you!