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Readercon, Friday, July 18

The Year in Novels: Charles Brown, Paul Di Filippo, Graham Sleight, Gary K. Wolfe

This is Charles Brown's "Locus Preliminary Recommended Reading List 2008".

Note that a number of them haven't even been published yet, and are apparently known only to those who have read the ARCs. (This list was OCRed from the list distributed a the panel, and although I proofread it lightly, it almost certainly contains errors. My OCR program wanted to read 'Gollancz' as 'Gollum'. Really.)

Science Fiction Novels:

Matter, Iain M. Banks (Orbit)
Flood, Stephen Baxter (Gollancz, Ace ’09)
Weaver, Stephen Baxter (Gollancz, Ace)
Dust, Elizabeth Bear (Bantam Spectra)
City at the End of Time, Greg Bear (Gollancz, Del Rey)
Sly Mongoose, Tobias Buckell (Tor 8/08)
Incandescence, Greg Egan (Gollancz, Night Shade 7/08)
The January Dancer, Michael Flynn (Tor 10/08)
Marsbound, Joe Haldeman (Ace 8/08)
Daughters of the North, Sarah Hall (HarperPerennial)
AKA The Carhullan Army, Sarah Hall (Faber & Faber 2007)
Spirit, Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz 12/08)
Mind Over Ship, David Marusek (Tor 1/09)
The Quiet War, Paul McAuley (Gollancz 10/08)
Song of Time, Ian R. McLeod (PS 7/08)
The Night Sessions, Ken McLeod (Orbit 8/08)
House of Suns, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz, Ace)
The Dragon’s Nine Sons, Chris Roberson (Solaris)
Pirate Sun, Karl Schroeder (Tor 8/08)
Galaxy Blues, Allen Steele (Ace)
The Caryatids, Bruce Sterling (Del Rey 1/09)
Saturn’s Children, Charles Stross (Ace)
Anathem, Neal Stephenson (Morrow 9/08, Atlantic UK)
Rolling Thunder, John Varley (Ace)
Half a Crown, Jo Walton (Tor 10/08)
Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams (Night Shade)
The Stone Gods, Jeanette Winterson (Harcourt, Hamish Hamilton 2007)

Fantasy Novels:

An Autumn War, Daniel Abraham (Tor)
The Love We Share Without Knowing, Christopher Barzak (Bantam 12/08)
Midnight Never Comes, Marie Brennan (Orbit)
The Knight ol the Cornerstone, James Blaylock (Ace 12/08)
The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)
Shadowbridge/Lord Tophet, Gregory Frost (Del Rey)
Varanger, Cecelia Holland (Forge)
How to Make Friends with Demons, Graham Joyce (Night Shade 11/08)
AKA Memoirs of a Master Forger, William Heaney (Gollancz 10/08)
Escapement, Jay Lake (Tor 6/08)
Lavinia, Ursula K. LeGuin (Harcourt)
A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin (Bantam 10/08)
The Hidden World, Paul Park (Tor)
Poison Sleep, T. A. Pratt (Bantam Spectra)
The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia (Prime 7/08)
The Dragons of Babel, Michael Swanwick (Tor)
An Evil Guest, Gene Wolfe (Tor 9/08)

First Novels:

The Ninth Circle, Alex Bell (Gollancz)
Thunderer, Felix Gilman (Bantam Spectra)
Black Ships, Jo Graham (Orbit)
Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory (Del Rey 9/08)
Singularity’s Ring, Paul Melko (Tor)
The Red Wolf Conspiracy, Robert V S. Redick (Gollancz)
Immortal, Traci L. Slatton (Delta)
The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams (Bantam Spectra)

Young Adult Novels:

City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare (McElderry)
Lamplighter, D.M. Cornish (Putnam)
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (Tor)
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
House of Many Ways, Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow)
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Knopf)
How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalesner (Bloomsbury)
Ink Exchange, Melissa Marr (HamerTeen)
Chalice, Robin McKinley (Putnam)
Nation, Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins)
Flora’s Dare, Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt)

Comments by the panel:

Gary K. Wolfe (when asked to name his five favorite novels): Neal Stephenson's Anathem IS five novels.
Charles Brown loved Memoirs of a Master Forger.
Several panelists recommended Ursula LeGuin's Lavinia.

Graham Sleight said that Cory Doctorow's Little Brother was a 'strong contender' for one of the five best.
Sleight liked Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains (not listed above). He thought it explored the nature of masculinity.
Sleight thought that Tom Disch's forthcoming novel, The Word of God was notable.
Wolfe liked Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels.


1. Heinlein-type novels. American pioneers in spaaaaace.
2. Merging of SF and fantasy.
3. Lots of concerns that too many sf in-jokes and easter eggs will put off new readers who aren't familiar with the genre. [Yes, we've heard this concern before. Why don't we just stop doing it? Maybe the problem is that editors don't edit any more, which is another trend we've heard before.]
4. You can no longer distinguish YA from the rest of sff, and you need to read it if you want to understand what is going on in contemporary sff. This is due in part to Viking editor sdn going after Big Name Authors and getting them to write YA.
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