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Dust of Dreams: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Volume 9 Dust of Dreams: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Volume 9 SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2009
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here we are at the SF Site's 13th annual Editors' Choice Best Books of the Year -- our official Best Reading recommendations from everything we read in 2009. As our stable of editors, reviewers, columnists, interviewers, and other contributors continues to grow, our choice of reading material likewise continues to expand. This year it seemed more than ever that there was very little overlap in our reading selections, so the results of our Best of the Year list are even closer than ever.

The Other Lands The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In this sequel to Acacia, Corinn has gained the throne and become Queen, and she has plans to restore and expand Acacia's power. As her siblings become pawns in her schemes, two problems loom. One, Corinn has come in to possession of a magic artifact that grants her great power, but she doesn't know how it works or what the price for using it might be. Second, by sending her brother Dariel as an emissary to the Other Lands, she has helped to trigger events that will lead to the most horrific invasion Acacia has ever seen.

The Gathering Storm The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
Brandon Sanderson, has reinvigorated the Wheel of Time with a renewed sense of momentum. The last battle between main character Rand al'Thor and the Dark One is finally imminent. Darkness covers the land and the final seals are breaking on the Dark One's prison. Evil is becoming more manifest as spring blooms fail and food inexplicably spoils, throwing kingdoms into famine and chaos.

Manhood for Amateurs Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Thre is an undercurrent of SF runninng through this new collection of essays. Very few of them directly address genre, though the collection opens with him trying and failing to launch a comics fan group when he was a child, but fantasy and science fiction provide images and analogies right the way through.

Secret of the Sands Secret of the Sands by Leona Wisoker
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
This is an extremely intricate novel and tells a complex tale set in a desert society that is presided over by a king, yet ruled by Desert Lords and the mysterious ha'rethe told through two alternating storylines. The first is the story of Idisio, a common street thief who accidently picks the pocket of Cadaf Scratha, a desert lord, and ends up embroiled in the political machinations of the king and the desert families. The second is the story of Lady Alyea, one-time lover and trusted friend and advisor to the king, who is asked to travel deep into the desert to preside over the lands of Cadaf Scratha while he completes a mission for the king.

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.

Triangulation: Dark Glass Triangulation: Dark Glass edited by Pete Butler
reviewed by John Enzinas
John is always anxious about reading short story collections as they often leave me unsatisfied and unhappy like a carbohydrate-heavy buffet breakfast. This was not the case here. The editor has managed to put together a anthology in which every single story was innovative, well-crafted and unique while still touching on the theme.

Angelic Angelic by Kelley Armstrong
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
Eve Levine is probably a poor choice for an angel. She's a half-demon, a dark witch, and something of a rebel. The fates need her for her underworld contacts and her ability to deal dirty to get the job done, then reprimand her for using those same underworld contacts and dirty methods. She gets sick of this, and sets about to get herself fired.

Darling Jim Darling Jim by Christian Moerk
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
In this modern gothic tale of love, lust, betrayal and murder, Niall Casey, a rather ne'er-do-well mail clerk and wannabe graphic artist, comes across the diary of Fiona Walsh, one of three sisters from Castletownbere, Ireland. Fiona was found dead with one of her sisters, Roisin, and their Aunt Moira Hagarty in a house in Dublin. The diary describes the last days of Fiona's life and the twisted tale of how Jim Quick, a traveling seanachai (storyteller) came to Castletownbere and changed the lives of four women.

In Memoriam: 2009 -- Robert Holdstock In Memoriam: 2009
a memorial by Steven H Silver
Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre. Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. Deaths in 2009 included Philip José Farmer, J.G. Ballard, Tom Deitz, David Eddings, Robert A. Collins, Charles N. Brown, Phyllis Gotlieb, Donald M. Grant, Mark Owings, Louise Cooper and Robert Holdstock.

Makers Makers by Cory Doctorow
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Many science fiction novels ask, "What is the next big thing?" This is hardly a surprising trend. Within our own lifetimes, we have seen a succession of these next big things. It's a theme as old as the genre itself. This novel instead concerns two other, perhaps more interesting questions: "What does it mean to be the next big thing?" and "What happens after the next big thing?"

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.

FVZA: Federal Vampire And Zombie Agency, Book 1 FVZA: Federal Vampire And Zombie Agency, Book 1 by David Hine
reviewed by John Enzinas
Zombies and Vampires are real. There's a government department responsible for dealing with the problem in the USA. We are introduced to the founder of the organization who is about to be killed.

Silver Kiss Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Ayla and Shannon, a lesbian couple, have just moved back into "the city." (We never really know where we are, though toward the end, brief mentions of Yorkshire hint at England.) Ayla is a werewolf; the stresses in her family over her gender choice, and her place in the Pack, had driven her out for eight years. Her partner is a human woman, a PI named Shannon.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Patricia Briggs talks about coyotes, alpha werewolves and telling whoppers in her latest Mercy Thompson story, Silver Borne; and get ready for flesh-rending gore as editor Christopher Golden and authors Tad Williams and Tim Lebbon take on the scariest monster on the block in Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
So last month, Mark London Williams wrote of his hurlyburly week where comics seemed to be bursting out of the confines of their panels, into what is commonly held to be the "real" world. This started with his mother taking a last-minute trip down to L.A., to catch the R. Crumb Genesis exhibit at the Armand Hammer museum. But then no sooner does he get home to read the day's news than he sees comics again, bursting their bonds (bounds?) to appear as part of the "real" world conversation, the warp and woof of non-comics things.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
FlashForward and V will return sooner than expected. Clips from old episodes of FlashForward will air March 16, with new episodes March 18 and 25. Clips from old episodes of V will air March 23, with a new episode March 30. ABC is heavily promoting both shows, and promising to reveal lots of secrets.

Non-Fiction

The Science of Doctor Who The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
The brain behind the book is Paul Parsons, a science writer with a PhD in cosmology, years of popular science writing under his belt, and an unabashed love for all things Doctor Who. Parsons begins right off by telling us that he intends his guide to be "a gathering of amazing possibilities" rather than an exercise in scientific pedantry -- all the better to celebrate one of the most unabashedly fun science fiction shows around.


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