A Decent year for the YA market, an awful one for everything else. I could barely come up with 10 for this list, and two of the books I haven’t actually finished yet (although both of those I strongly feel will prove to deserve their slots by the time I’m done with them).
A labor of love from Terry Pratchett, the world’s greatest commentator on human behavior.
2) Little Brother
Cory Doctorow takes on the Department of Homeland Security and the culture of fear created by the Bush administration. If you want to don’t want to get off your ass and take action after reading this YA gem than you weren’t paying attention.
3) The Kingdom On the Waves
The brilliant M.T. Anderson finishes his tale of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation. The classically educated escaped slave heads south to join the British as the Revolutionary War breaks out around him. One of those books I haven’t finished as of yet (give me another week), by the time I’m finished this could actually move up to the top spot.
4) More Information Than You Require
John Hodgman’s second book of false knowledge, this time supplimented with commentary of his newfound life as a minor television personality (and Battlestar Galactica fan). It’s a real shame reality can’t measure up to the surreal world Hodgman creates.
5) Vicious Circle
Mike Carey’s second outing in his Felix Castor series is a huge improvement over the first book. It still feels a bit like a story he didn’t have time to write when he was on Hellblazer, but the end result is a nice creepy supernatural mystery.
6) Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman tries his hand at the Jungle Book, pretty much exactly what you’d expect given the title.
7) The Baum Plan for Financial Independance
My favorite Indy publisher, Small Beer Press, collects many of the best short stories of John Kessel.
8) The Dragons of Babel
It took forever, but Michael Swanwick has finally completed his sequel to the Iron Dragon’s Daughter, possibly the greatest dark fantasy ever written. Sadly the sequel, much of which is a series of intertwined short stories, doesn’t nearly live up to its predecessor.
9) Pirate Sun
Karl Schroeder continues his amazing space opera. The set pieces in the book are as great as always, but I’m starting to suspect that Schroeder doesn’t actually have an end in mind for the story.
10) Philosopher’s Apprentice
James Morrow, the biggest heretic in literature (and yes that’s a very good thing), takes on philosophy in a pseudo-tribute to the Island of Dr. Moreau.