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The City & the City (Macmillan/Pan) The City & the City (Del Rey) The City & the City (Subterranean) SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2009
compiled by Neil Walsh
For more than a decade now, SF Site has been annually soliciting you, our readers, to vote for your favourite books of the past year. Over the past couple of months, we've been receiving your input on the best of 2009 with interest, and now we're ready to present the results. What follows is the best books of 2009 as chosen by the SF Site readers.

Gardens of the Sun Gardens of the Sun Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley
reviewed by Rich Horton
Greater Brazil, in this future, controls most or all of the Americas, and it is the leading force in the Three Powers Alliance, a union of convenience of the three major Earth powers in the war to subdue the Outer Planets. Earth politics is dominated by flavors of radical Greenness, a response to the near destruction of Earth due to climate change. The primary technological effort on Earth is to restore the planet to something like its pristine, prehuman, condition.

Best of 2009 Best of 2009
complied by Greg L. Johnson
If you'd have talked to Greg in the middle of the year, say August or so, you might have heard him bemoan the state of the year thus far in science fiction, few of the books he'd read by that time had struck him as worthy of inclusion on a best of the year list. But that quickly turned around.

The Conqueror's Shadow The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Meet Corvis Rebaine, Terror of the East and the most feared man in all of Imphallion. After taking the city of Denathere and digging up something from far below the meeting hall, Corvis mysteriously disappears abandoning his army, his campaign and his chance at ruling all Imphallion. Flash forward the clock twenty years...

Shade's Children Shade's Children by Garth Nix
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The setting is a devastated urban wasteland on a near future Earth, where most of the population have vanished. The disappeared include all who were adult at the time of the cataclysmic event referred to simply as the Change. The world's children are either living wild, or being farmed in huge dormitories, where on their Sad Birthday, aged 14, they are removed to the Meat Factory.

Retromancer Retromancer by Robert Rankin
reviewed by John Enzinas
We return to the adventures of Rizla and that paragon of perfection, Hugo Rune. The story begins with young Rizla awakening to discover that not only has the past been changed by evil forces and the Nazis have won the war, but he is also now expected to get a job. In his attempt to avoid the latter, he is captured by the former.

Where Everything Ends Where Everything Ends by Ray Bradbury
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Widely famous as a SF writer, Ray Bradbury is an eclectic author who in the course of his long career has been dealing with various fiction genres, including mystery. Bookended by the short, previously unpublished and rather unremarkable title story, Where Everything Ends, the present volume collects Bradbury's three mystery novels in a hefty volume.

Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Perry
reviewed by David Maddox
Indiana Jones has faced Nazis, Communists, Knights, the Holy Grail, Noah's Ark and even found the city of Atlantis in his myriad screen and Expanded Universe exploits. So, keeping up with current popularity, why not throw some zombis into the mix? That's what we find in the first novel adventure of everyone's favorite globe-trotting archaeologist to see print since Max McCoy's Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx back in 1999 from Bantam.

The Martian Chronicles The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
This isn't a novel so much as it is a series of poems and vignettes that that run together, with little continuity between the characters except at the very end, when the war starts on Earth, and several characters are brought back to react to it. This book doesn't succeed because of its plot or characters. It achieves greatness through its language and its lyrical beauty.

The Demon Apostle, Part 2: The Demon Wars The Demon Apostle, Part 2: The Demon Wars by R.A. Salvatore
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
GraphicAudio continues their "Movie in Your Mind" production of R.A. Salvatore's Demon Wars Saga with book three of the seven-book series. I haven't decided yet if I'm fond of the way the book is divided into three parts. On the one hand, this approach offers the book in smaller, digestible audiobook chunks. But on the other hand, the producer really knows where to divide the books to create massive cliffhangers between the sections, and this one ends with the listener craving to know what happens next.

Galileo's Dream Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Science fiction writers have used historical characters before, everyone from Jesus Christ to Richard Nixon has had their life, or part of it, used as the basis for a science fiction or fantasy story. But using a standard science fiction plot device like time travel as a means to enhance and expand upon what is at its core a serious biographical look at the life of one of the most important figures in the history of science is a bit out of the ordinary. The world of literature has long been home to historical fictions and biographical novels, time to make room for biographical science fiction.

Cursed Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp
reviewed by John Enzinas
For the last 12 days Nick has:
1) thought about the state of his life,
2) made lists,
3) gotten slapped.
That last item has caused him to decide that he has been cursed by some malevolent entity. His best friend Cicely received her own curse. She woke up with a tennis ball in her hand and absolute certainty that if she ever let go, the world would end.

Under the Rose Under the Rose edited by Dave Hutchinson
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Under the rose -- sub rosa -- has long been associated with secrecy. It is particularly related to the confidentiality of the confessional. None of the 27 stories gathered in this anthology is confessional in mode or concerns the passing on of secrets, however; this is not by any stretch of the imagination a theme anthology. The secrecy, then, would seem to lie in the existence of the anthology itself.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
This month marks the fifteenth anniversary of Weird Business. Co-edited by Rick Klaw and Joe R. Lansdale, the massive 420 page hardcover anthology contained 23 stories by 56 different creators including some of the biggest names in the sf/f/h field including Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Nancy Collins, Charles de Lint, Michael Moorcock, Norman Partridge, Howard Waldrop, F. Paul Wilson, and Roger Zelazny. Rick decided to use this opportunity to check out what happened to some of the then-lesser known contributors.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Robin Hobb, Charlaine Harris, Robert Conroy, Elizabeth Bear, Stephen Hunt, Robert V.S. Redick, Kay Kenyon, and many others are among the authors bringing us new works this time out.

New Audiobooks New Audiobooks
compiled by Susan Dunman
Recent audiobook releases received by SF Site include works by Kelley Armstrong, Laura Anne Gilman, R.A. Salvatore, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. At times it's more convenient (and enjoyable) to hear the latest in science fiction and fantasy.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
When Lost first aired, Rick watched a few episodes, but it did not hold his interest. There were too many flashbacks, vignettes about the characters, with no sf content. But he did watch each season finale and each season premiere, and after they announced that the current season, Season Six, would be the last, he watched all of Season Five. Now Rick is hooked.

First Novels

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
reviewed by Jason Erik Lundberg
Yeine Darr, our heroine and narrator, is the mixed-race chieftain of her homeland in the north. After her mother dies unexpectedly, Yeine is summoned to the imperial capital by her grandfather Dekarta, the king of the Arameri Empire which rules the eponymous hundred thousand kingdoms of the known world. Once there, she is shocked to discover that she has been named as heir to the throne, along with two manipulative cousins who are none too happy about a barbarian woman competing for the throne of the world.


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