Some traditional and not-so-traditional categories (all based on content, not construction or presentation) for books/stories published and read in 2006:
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Best First Novel
Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell
The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford
The Bible Repairman by Tim Powers
Best Story (this was a tough one)
The American Dead by Jay Lake
Best Book Published Only in the Small Press
Alabaster by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Plumage from Pegasus by Paul Di Filippo
“Where Are You?” Award
The Third Alternative/Black Static
All in all, I had a lot of good books and stories to chose from this year. Despite reading more Fantasy than Science Fiction, I found the majority of my favorites to be Science Fiction. For example, John Scalzi and Charles Stross would take the remaining top three places for best novel if I extended these lists. Tim Powers would likely be the highest fantasy author on the list and Jeff Vandermeer a little further down. I think I’m just becoming jaded with the current state of fantasy, with a heavy reliance on sequels and stories that don’t end. Perhaps this is another reason I’m finding myself more drawn to short fiction over the last few years.
So, that’s my meaningless list. How about you?
Meaningless or not, my thanks, sir.
You’re quite welcome!
Not so meaningless, and I’d have to agree with much of it. I also wonder of the fate of Black Static, since TTA was such an excellent magazine (and published my first pro-level story).
TTA was required reading for me, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing Black Static. They’ve done a great job revitalizing Interzone, but it’s TTA that I miss.
You’re welcome! Looking forward to Ragamuffin.
The good news is that I came across a lot of good books this year. The bad news, for your list, is that they’re all nonfiction. I tried several new novels this year, and all of them were so discouraging that I gave up and went back to nonfiction. At least, on the bright side, my books didn’t come out, either: the world really didn’t need “The Last Riddell Visions” now or at any time, did it?