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Ghost Ship SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2011
compiled by Neil Walsh
Welcome to the results of our annual SF Site Readers' Choice Top Ten Books. Every year we ask our readers to vote for their favourite books of the preceding year. What follows are the results of that voting. I want to thank everyone who participated, and I invite you all to compare the Readers' Choice Top Ten with the Editors' Choice Top Ten to see where our reading interests and yours differ and overlap.

Embassytown SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2011
compiled by Neil Walsh
This is Year 15 of our annual SF Site Editors' Choice Best Books of the Year, the SF Site official Best Reading and Top Ten (...er, 11 this time, due to a tie) recommendations from everything we read in the previous year. The voting results were extremely close this time, which I shall take to mean -- even more so than usual -- that absolutely everything mentioned below is worth seeking out and reading, if you haven't already done so.

The Rift Walker The Rift Walker by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The book opens with Princess Adele struggling to reconcile her duties with the call of her heart. The Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink on an ill-conceived war with the vampire clans of the north, and the genocidal strategy formulated by Senator Clark drives Adele to desperate measures. Reunited with her love, the mysterious Greyfriar, Adele soon finds herself pursued by her own people, in addition to the bombastic Senator Clark. The American, despite an interrupted wedding ceremony, still considers himself to be her husband and, by default, the future Emperor.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
The science fiction world lost another giant. On March 10, 2012, Jean Giraud, the artist also known as Moebius, shuffled off this mortal coil. An artist whose incredibly surreal work included the incredible panels for The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius, Derek first consciously encountered him in 1984, when he purchased a couple of volumes of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Incal at a secondhand store in Houston.

Anticopernicus Anticopernicus by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Trent Walters
You like big, mind-blowing ideas in your SF? Here's a doozy. Often, SF's big ideas go somewhere far away and open outward. This one does the opposite in a way that whips out the magnifying lens on our view of humanity. Aliens have approached the solar system, but their ship hangs out in the Oort Cloud, waiting. They do not explain their motives for coming -- except those which are not their motives.

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Volume 6, Multiples, 1983-1987 The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Volume 6, Multiples, 1983-1987 by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
It is easy to argue that over the past five decades, Robert Silverberg has been the field's most prolific author of superior science fiction of all lengths, especially short fiction. Although his short fiction has been featured in a number of previous collections -- some of which have been retrospective volumes with titles that include "best of" or "collected stories" -- this new Subterranean Press series of The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg is a welcome and necessary addition to the library of any science fiction reader.

Black Static, Issue 25, November 2011 Black Static, Issue 25, November 2011
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This time around, Black Static boasts of reviews of new novels, anthologies, collections and even novellas plus DVD and Blu-ray reviews and give-aways of free copies. There is a lot of information packed into a sixty-four page issue that tests the boundaries of the unusual, fantastic and truly horrific.

Pyxis: The Discovery Pyxis: The Discovery by K.C. Neal
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
The mysterious wooden box labeled "Pyxis" belonged to Corrine's recently deceased grandmother. Filled with glass vials containing various colored liquids, Corrine doesn't know what she's supposed to do with the box, but she does realize its intended for her use. If only there had been time for Grandma Doris to talk with Corrine before her unexpected demise.

Future Media Future Media edited by Rick Wilber
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
In the influential 2010 essay "Reality Hunger: A Manifesto," David Shields argued that the age of fiction is past; non-fiction in its many variants (some of which borrow the conventions and practices of fiction) is the key literature of our time. This anthology could almost be Exhibit A in the case against Shields' thesis. The fiction is almost always not only more entertaining, but conceptually richer.

The Hunger Games The Hunger Games
a movie review by Rick Norwood
In some situations the only moral thing to do is to die. The Hunger Games acknowledges that fact. But it also rigs the game in order to have a happy ending. John D. MacDonald, in his books about Travis McGee, will sometimes have Travis McGee in a situation where the only moral thing to do would be to die. Travis McGee does not die. He is a deeply moral man, but to preserve his own life, he will kill any number of innocents.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick had high hopes for Touch, because he enjoyed Heroes and admires Tim Kring as a writer, but the pilot episode was so farfetched he doesn't have much hope of it surviving past mid-season, despite an audience of more than twelve million viewers for the premiere. There is an audience for really good science fiction television, but nobody is giving it to them. Rick also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in April.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
WonderCon is -- for you cognoscenti -- the smaller, Northern California edition of "ComicCon," as it has been owned and operated by the San Diego bunch for awhile now. Except that this year the Con wasn't going to be -- or couldn't be -- held in its traditional Moscone Center setting, in San Francisco, and so decided to test the waters south, and try out the Anaheim Convention Center for 2012. Mark London Williams paid a visit to see how it fared.


Ancient Rockets A Dictionary Of Made-Up Languages Ancient Rockets by Kage Baker and A Dictionary Of Made-Up Languages by Stephen D. Rogers
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Non-fiction writing in the fields of fantasy and science fiction comes in many forms, most of them familiar to a mainstream audience. There are also non-fiction works in the genres that are fairly unique to the field, to the point of looking like oddities to an outsider. Two recent works of non-fiction are good examples of two different types of non-fiction, both devoted to increasing our appreciation of the fantastic.

First Novels

Babylon Steel Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel is set in Scalentine, a city which seems to be most of its "plane," sort of a universe among multiple universes, accessible from other planes by multiple portals. (Scalentine seems to be a sort of neutral ground for multiple races from different planes.) The eponymous heroine is that old cliché, a whore with a heart of gold.

The Deacon's Tale The Deacon's Tale by Arinn Dembo
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The novel shows us a dark future, but one filled with a sense of hope, and the human's sense of survival in the most dangerous of circumstances. The protagonist, Cai Rui is a good humoured man who has to beat his way through adversity and all odds until he reaches his goal of taking down an alien entity calling himself The Deacon.


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