Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sci Fi - Top 20 of the Decade

Fimoculous linked to this list of the top 20 sci fi books of the decade, over at io9. They're on crack. There's no Scalzi. There's no Reynolds. There's a pile of fantasy mixed into the sci fi. There's no Gaiman. And the choices below...I haven't read all of them, but most of the ones I have read I have arguments with as to their place on a list of great books between 2000 and 2010.

The Execution Channel was thoroughly unmemorable and somewhat boring. I had to go back and look, but discovered I referred to it as "so-so". Glasshouse might be good, I don't know, but nothing I've read by Stross qualifies him as a writer of the decade, so I suspect this entry is no different. I do credit him with getting me to count binary on my fingers in his sexy fembot book. Iain Banks definitely writes memorable books, but I'd argue Look to Windward isn't his best work. I didn't finish Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I got bored. Perdido Street Station I might agree with (I read it while at my sister's wedding in Australia), although I liked The Scar better. Vernor is a good writer, and I intend to read Rainbow's End. I don't believe the hype around The Time Traveler's Wife. Primarily because I wrote a similar story back in 2001 and if I can write it, it can't be that good. Pattern Recognition by Gibson was in no way ground breaking and common sense says there are better books. And World War Z. Really? I understand there's some sort of I want to have Brooks' zombie baby mania underway, and that he's personally responsible for the zombie renaissance, or so he'd have us believe, but there are plenty of short stories about zombies that are better written than World War Z.

• Acacia: the War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham
• Air, or Have Not Have by Geoff Ryman
• The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia
• The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson
• Confessions of Max Tivoli, by Andrew Sean Greer
• Down And Out In the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow
• The Execution Channel, by Ken MacLeod
• Glasshouse, by Charles Stross (Ace)
• Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling (Bloomsbury)
• Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
• Look to Windward, by Iain M. Banks (Orbit)
• The Mount, by Carol Emshwiller
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
• Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
Perdido Street Station, by China MiƩville
• Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge
• Stories of Your Life And Others, by Ted Chiang (Orb)
• Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
• Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton
• World War Z, by Max Brooks

1 comment:

Left Alone said...

At the age of 41 you ve read so many books! that's great! I am a literature student and I vent read anything other than the Harry Potter series from your list.