The OF Blog: 25 Books that Failed to Make My Top 25 Fictions List

Friday, December 25, 2009

25 Books that Failed to Make My Top 25 Fictions List

Scanning through my written down list of books read for this year, I began taking notes of which books would comprise my 25 Favorite 2009 Fictions and which would fall just short.  Below is a list of 25 books (most, but not all are novels, just as some of those that made my list were not novels) that for the most part will not appear in any of my other lists (with the exception of a few). There is no "ranking" involved in these books; I wrote based on when I read them this year:

R. Scott Bakker, The Judging Eye

James Morrow, Shambling Toward Hiroshima

Richard Morgan, The Steel Remains

Will Eliott, The Pilo Family Circus

Felix Gilman, Gears of the City

Kay Kenyon, City Without End

China Miéville, The City & The City

Catherynne M. Valente, Palimpsest

Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker

C.C. Finlay, The Patriot Witch

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

Steven Erikson, Dust of Dreams

Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan, The Gathering Storm

David Anthony Durham, The Other Lands

Monica Ali, In the Kitchen

Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice

Sarah Monette, Corambis

Kristin Cashore, Fire

Paul McAuley, The Quiet War

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Diving into the Wreck

Eoin Colfer, And Another Thing...

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl

David Moody, Hater

Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

Vladimir Nabokov, Original of Laura

As you might imagine, several of the books that failed to make my shortlist are excellent books. Some on here were just merely decent. Most, however, would not dishonor a year-end list...depending on what one is covering in their list(s). For me, I'm focusing not just on speculative works here, but also on some of the finer mimetic/"literary" fictions released in 2009. Some books that didn't appear in either list will appear in discussions involving anthologies, collections, debut novels, translated fictions, fictions not read in English, graphic novels, and so forth. Aren't you curious to know what will appear on those lists?

Sometime Saturday, if not late tonight, I'm going to post a list of books I won't get to this year that are 2009 releases (most of these I just ordered via Christmas gift cards). Then, time permitting, either then or Sunday, I'm going to post a long list of pre-2009 releases that I read for the first time this year that would have been stronger contenders for Best of ____ awards if I had read them during those publication years.

And after that will be the usual categoeis noted above, including a new one for non-speculative fiction. Should be 1-2 posts a day for these lists from now until Thursday evening, with other posts and a review or two interspersed. So yeah, after all that, feel free to weigh in on this "almost shortlisted" list and its qualities/deficiencies.

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