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Zero History - Viking Zero History - Berkley/Putnam SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2010
compiled by Neil Walsh
Welcome to the SF Site's 14th annual Editors' Choice Best Books of the Year -- our official Best Reading recommendations from everything we read in 2010. You'll notice some overlap with the SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year, and plenty of variance. Undoubtedly you can find some gem of a book here that you might otherwise have missed, as every book mentioned on this page is worth a look. Enjoy!

Up the Bright River Up the Bright River by Philip José Farmer, edited by Gary K. Wolfe
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
The volume collects sixteen of his less available works beginning near the very start of his career in 1953 and spanning the next 40 years. The stories are arranged chronologically, and, with a few exceptions, are very emblematic of the times in which they were written. But throughout the decades, Farmer returns to several common themes, especially those dealing with religion and medical doctors.

Dust City Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a curious mixture; a cross-genre novel aimed at young adults, yet based on characters from classic fairy tales. The lead character is Henry Whelp, the juvenile son of the Big Bad Wolf who killed Little Red Riding Hood and her granny. A crime for which Whelp senior is now imprisoned at a maximum security facility. Henry, also begins the story incarcerated, in the St. Remus home for Wayward Wolves, for the crime of breaking a window.

The Dervish House - Gollancz edition The Dervish House - Pyr edition SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2010
compiled by Neil Walsh
Every year SF Site asks you, our readers, to tell us what you felt were the best books you read from the year that just ended. For the past several weeks, we've been reading your recommendations with keen interest, and tallying your votes for the best of the best. What follows is the list that you and your fellow readers have chosen as the best books from 2010.

Unearthly Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Clara Gardner is one-quarter angel which, among other things, makes her faster and smarter than her peers although she tries to hide this, so she can live as normal a life as possible. Being an angel-blood also means she has an individual purpose for her life but discovering the details isn't easy. She gets bits and pieces from a vision of a boy, a truck and a raging forest fire that lead her family to move from the Bay Area to Jackson, Wyoming.

Towers of Midnight Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
The gathering storm has broken. Black clouds roil the skies and the Dark One's taint mars the land. Skirmishes rage along the borderlands as Trolloc hordes surge out of the Blight in horrifying numbers. The Black Ajah is still at large and death stalks the halls of the White Tower, with Aes Sedai found mysteriously murdered. And armies are marshalling too late under the banners of Andor, Malkier and The Dragon Reborn, as the Forsaken scheme in the shadows to thwart destiny and crush the Dragon before his final confrontation with Shai'tan at Tarmon Gai'don. And thus the stage is set for Towers of Midnight.

After Dark #1 After Dark #1 by Peter Milligan, created by Antoine Fuqua & Wesley Snipes
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Brood, a lieutenant of the local police force in Solar City, is a post-apocalyptic place of perpetual darkness. Brood uses drugs to suppress parts of his brain that control fear and loathing to be at his best to do his job, yet through them he gains memories of a better past spent with those he loved, when the light once lit the city showing its once glorious sights.

Paul Paul
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Rick had high hopes for this sf comedy, because Simon Pegg worked on the script of Shaun of the Dead, as well as playing Shaun, and did a wonderful acting turn as Scotty in the new Star Trek. As the bishop said of the egg, parts of it were very good.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Many of you are already familiar with Carla Speed McNeil's gender-fuzzing sf opus, Finder, as installments have appeared for years on the web, and in indie comics form, and Voice is set in that same world, the domed city of Anvard, where genders seemed to shift and blend faster than in The Left Hand of Darkness, among a greater array of clans duking it out for control than you see in Dune. Mark London Williams has a look.

Venus Venus by Ben Bova
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
Alexander Humphries led the first manned expedition to Venus, and became among the first to die there. It was an unexplained equipment malfunction that doomed Alex's ship and crew to rest on the toxic surface of Earth's twin forever. In the two years since, there have been rumours that the malfunction may have been the result of sabotage. Alex's brother, Van, will have to make the long trip to Venus and descend onto the planet's broiling surface to discover the truth of what happened.

Married With Zombies Flip This Zombie Married With Zombies and Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Where were you when the zombiepocalypse hit? Running errands? In class? Asleep? For David and Sarah, it was simple: they were on their way to marriage counseling (which, by the way, wasn't going so well). But when they stumble across their counselor snacking on the appointment before theirs, it's cause to worry. Cue a nonstop fight for survival, as the bickering couple attempts to stay one step ahead of the hungry hordes of restless undead. Seattle's never going to be the same again.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Derek first read Bram Stoker's Dracula when he was eleven years old. At the time, it fit in nicely with his other reading which leaned heavily on adventure fiction of the period. His cinematic viewing was limited to two screen iterations of the infamous Count Dracula, both in a comedic vein. He went on to read classic vampire stories along with watching horror films like The Lost Boys, Near Dark, Once Bitten and Bram Stoker's Dracula. And now along comes Red Riding Hood and Beastly.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The big news in April is the beginning of the new HBO series Game of Thrones, based on the best-selling fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. HBO has a good reputation for doing things right, and fans of the books can be thankful that HBO bought them instead of SyFy.

First Novels

Tomorrow's Guardian Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Eleven-year-old Tom is a rather ordinary English schoolboy, who fears bullies and enjoys games. He begins to experience unusual déjà-vu episodes -- some of which are genuinely terrifying experiences of impending violent death; his parents bring him to a family doctor and then a psychologist. It seems that perhaps growing pains are taking their toll. But things don't add up, in true hero-with-hidden-special-powers-story fashion, and then, he encounters an adventurer Septimus Mason.

Passion Play Passion Play by Beth Bernobich
reviewed by Rich Horton
Therez Zhalina is the daughter of a rich merchant in the city of Melnek in the country of Veraene. She hopes to have her life broadened when she accompanies her older brother to his university. Alas, all her plans are destroyed when her father decides to marry her off to an influential man. But Therez, on meeting the man, takes an immediate dislike to him, and is further furious at the lack of any consideration of her own future. So she decides to run away.


Forry: The Life of Forrest J. Ackerman Forry: The Life of Forrest J. Ackerman by Deborah Painter
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Uncle Forry. The Ackermonster. Dr. Acula. A few people despised him. Thousands loved him. He's been gone for three years now -- born 1916, died 2008 -- and Deborah Painter, a longtime friend of Forry's and sometime contributor to his magazines, has written a full-scale biography of the most Famous Monster of them all. Considering the long-term affectionate relationship between them, one would hardly expect this book to present an objective view of its subject. Nor does it. And that's all right.

Series Review

Shadowmarch Shadowmarch Shadowmarch Shadowmarch
Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Dominic had such a great time last year reading Memory Sorrow and Thorn for the first time that it was a no-brainer to continue to explore the work of Tad Williams. He discovered another fantasy trilogy called Shadowmarch. As was the case with Memory Sorrow and Thorn, the final volume of this planned trilogy just got too big and had to be published in two volumes.


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