The Best of 2013.
Posted December 29, 2013on:
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time. If you’ve been paying attention, nothing on this list will be a surprise to you. If you happened to stumble by because you like “year end” lists, these are my top ten speculative fiction books I read this year. Looking for a good read? go find one of these.
Some of them are old.
Some of them are new.
Some of them were borrowed.
None of them are blue.
I’ve linked the titles to my reviews. In no particular order:
Sky Coyote by Kage Baker (1999) – the second in The Company series, this novel is told from Joseph’s point of view (and yes, Mendoza is still really, really pissed off at him). Joseph gets to do one of his favorite things – pretend to be a God. But this time, he’s got to get even the skeptics to believe his act.
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (2013) – No surprise this one made it to my best of the year list, as this is one of my favorite fantasy series. It’s true, I ranted a little about a character who really annoyed me, but holy shit, that ending?? holy shit! Also, I do just happen to have a Cinnamon colored dress/jacket combo and a four cornered grey hat in the making.
The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White (2013 )- Secret societies, multiple personalities, sublime prose, metaphysics, unexpected romance, characters that rip each other to shreds. What more could you possibly want? I got meddled with, my switches got hit, and I never wanted it to end. Just go read it already. Everything about this book was spot-on perfection for me.
Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (1990) – only the best Culture novel of the best space opera series in existence. Not the easiest book in the world to read, but the subtlety, and the reveal at the end, and oh god I knew something was so horribly wrong as soon as he said he was going to cut his hair. . .
The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente (2013)- I’m a total cretin for not understanding the poetry, but the short stories in here are beyond gorgeous. Valente just doesn’t write, the woman paints with words, you just want to crawl under the blanket of them and breathe every single one in. Ink, Water, Milk will be going on my Hugo ballot.
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (1987) – It’s been said Bull wrote the book on Urban Fantasy. I say no one has yet come close to what she did with this novel. Bull spoiled me on UF the way Banks spoiled me on Space Opera. Nothing else even compares.
Firebrand by Gillian Philip (2013) – Pure fun. Snarky characters, vicious fae creatures, an ultra sexy main character, a plot that kept my turning pages and staying up way too late at night. Within just a few chapters of reading this first book in the Rebel Angels series, I found myself obsessed with the entire series.
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (2013) – This is the memoir of Lady Isabella Trent, naturalist, scientist, dragon expert. This is one of those books that I felt was written just for me, and I knew it would be on my best of list when I read it way back in March. Also going on my Hugo ballot.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (2010) – what? no review link? I haven’t even had the chance to review this one yet, I was involved with a read along for it that ended last week. After her mother’s death, Yeine becomes one of the heirs to the throne. Raised in the hinterland, she has no idea about the cruelty of the Arameri. This novel was flat out brilliant, filled with original magic, enslaved gods, and inhumane nobles.
Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck (2012) – an unassuming short story collection that blew me out of the water. On the surface, this seems like such a simple collection – not much in the way of fifty cent words, no obvious literary tricks. But this is one creepy wallflower that will stick with you.
Hey, I just noticed something. Want to pretty much guarantee I’m going to like your book? Make sure your last name starts with a “B”.