The OF Blog: Comparing my Best of 2009 list with several award finalist announced recently

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comparing my Best of 2009 list with several award finalist announced recently

Now that several of the more interesting awards (with several more to follow in the next couple of months) have announced their shortlists I thought I'd compare the books I chose for my overall Best of 2009 with a few of the more prominent awards out there:

1.  Jeff VanderMeer, Finch (Nebula finalist)

2.   A.S. Byatt, The Children's Book (finalist last year for the Man Booker Prize)

3.Terrence Holt, In the Valley of the Kings

4. Caitlín Kiernan, The Red Tree

5. Brian Evenson, Last Days (American Library Association RUSA 2010 award for best horror)

Books 6-25, in no particular order

Shaun Tan, Tales from Outer Suburbia

Dan Simmons, Drood

Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones

Zoran Zivković, The Bridge

Joe Kelly and JM Ken Nimura, I Kill Giants

Ildefonso Falcones, La mano de Fátima

Lev Grossman, The Magicians

Jeff Lemire, Essex County

Michael Ajvaz, The Other City

Robert Holdstock, Avilion

Daniel Abraham, The Price of Spring

Dave Eggers, Zeitoun (Entertainment Weekly Best of Decade list)

David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Eisner Award; 4 nominations; LA Times Book Prize nominee for graphic novel)

Dave Eggers, The Wild Things

Cherie Priest, Boneshaker (Hugo finalist; Nebula finalist)

Jesse Bullington, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart (Gemmell finalist for newcomer)

Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City (NY Times 10 Best Books of 2009)

Paul Auster, Invisible

Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin (2009 National Book Award winner)

Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (2009 Man Booker Prize Winner)

I suspect I'm overlooking a few, as I'm only doing the most cursory of searches right now, but I suspect books like the Holt and Kiernan will garner some award nominations in the very near future and I know the French original of Littell's work won a major award in France in 2006. 

I wonder how this list did compared to others developed by fellow bloggers.


Jonathan M said...

Interesting list. I remember Cheryl Morgan talking up The Red Tree but had otherwise not picked up on any buzz about it.

Joe Sherry said...

I wasn't quite in the mood to read The Red Tree when I first picked it up, but I've seen the occasional buzz on it and I wouldn't be surprised to see World Fantasy come calling for it later this year.

Larry said...

That or the Shirley Jackson or Poe Awards. It's her best novel so far. Her short stories are awesome, by the way.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

Wha. No mention of The Spinetingler Awards. I'm hurt Larry, really hurt. You can't sleep on the awards that your only crime fiction reader is on the committee for.

But jokes aside I do find it interesting that I can put the VanderMeer and the Evenson up for a mystery/crime fiction award at the same time they are up for SF/F awards. Evenson is secretly a rime writer but most of the rest of the world just hasn't caught on to that yet :)

Anyway ball busting aside I should also mention to you why I'm here that I posted my article on Asian Crime fiction over at ST.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

crime writer that is (don't know what a rime writer is -- a poet maybe).

Larry said...

I almost added it, Brian, but I was uncertain how long those had been in existence. Same reason I almost didn't post the Gemmell mention. But I did notice and I did vote, by the way, so does that count a little bit? :P

Will read that article shortly - thanks for making me aware of it! :D

Oh, and I agree with your assessment of Evenson. He's also one of the more underappreciated writers out there today in a wide variety of genres - but then again, what he writes isn't going to be anything near Mass Extruded Product, though.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

This is the third year for the awards.

Larry said...

Ah, perhaps I'll add that in a bit, once I remember who else other than VanderMeer and Evenson are involved.

Terry Weyna said...

I named The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan and Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente as the two best books I read last year, and both have been tagged for awards. Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero, which was also on my list, was nominated for a Stoker; Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is on the Hugo ballot; Ken Scholes's Lamentation is up for a Gemmell; Felix Gilman, whose Gears of the City I said was one of the best of the year, is up for the Campbell; Ellen Datlow's original anthology, Poe, was nominated for a Stoker, and Datlow is up for best editor on the Hugo ballot.

So I guess I'm doing okay at having my taste confirmed by the cognoscenti. Does that mean I've become part of the cognoscenti?

Larry said...

Yes, Terry, you've joined our august ranks :P Didn't know that the Stoker ballots were out; will have to read that shortly.

Terry Weyna said...

I might be behind the times on the Stoker -- the prizes were already awarded for this year (Audrey's Door by Sarah Langan won, so I just purchased it -- I'm so predictable!).

So happy to hear that I'm cognosensible.

Jonathan M said...

Poe had three great stories in it.

It also had some 'okay... sure... why not' ones and a load of 'why would anyone publish this let alone include it in a collection?' ones.

But it was more successful than her Lovecraft collection largely, I suspect, because Lovecraft pastiches are a genre unto themselves and so it was a lot harder to find stories that were related to Lovecraft without actually being pastiches.

Datlow's tastes are not mine really but she does give good collection. Better certainly than Clute suggested in his recent Strange Horizons column.

Larry said...

I think I'm supposed to be receiving a copy of Poe in the near future for BAF consideration. Have read the Lovecraft one and agree on there being some good and some WTF? stories, which actually is slightly above par for these sorts of things, I'm discovering. Haven't read Clute's review. Might later.

Terry Weyna said...

Jonathan, I'm wondering whether you would consider John Langan's story in Poe to be one of the great ones? I thought it was terrific.

Jonathan M said...

Terry -- I think that Langan's "Technicolor" is one of the finest short stories I have ever read. He does not quite stick the landing but its formal innovation and control of mood make it a really brilliant read.

I loved it in Poe and I loved it when I re-read it in Datlow's Year's Best Horror 2 anthology.

Larry said...

Langan is a very good short fiction writer. That's all I'll say for now ;)

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