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Ghost Ship Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2012
Here we are again, offering you your annual chance to let the world know what you thought was the best of all the speculative reading material you encountered from the past year. If you've been a regular visitor to the SF Site for more than a couple of years, you are quite probably already familiar with this annual event. If you're new to us, all you need to know is that we want to hear what you believe was the very best of what you read from the past year. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years, you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller which was the top choice last year.

Anomalies Anomalies by Gregory Benford
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
Gregory Benford has been one of science fiction's foremost authors for more than four decades, writing hard SF novels and stories that are among the best in each decade since the 70s. A new Benford short story collection is therefore a notable event. It has been more than a decade since his last short story collectio. This one includes most (but not all) of his short stories from the 2000s, plus a few earlier stories, seventeen in all, along with new and insightful afterwords. It is a testament to the quality of his stories that nine of the seventeen stories here were included in one or more best-of-the-year collections.

Blood of Dragons Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Here, we pick up the story right where she left off in City of Dragons. The dragons and the crew of the Tarman have reached the lost city of Kelsingra and now Alise, Tats, Rapskal and the others are trying to settle down and make a life for themselves in the city. The dragons that remained earthbound all go through the process of learning to fly and the dragon keepers are now developing into full-fledged Elderlings and searching for the silver that will allow the dragons to complete their development.

The Complete Rainbow Orchid The Complete Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
What we generally think of as graphic novels in the Anglosphere is a fairly recent innovation, deriving from more traditional comic books. In the Francophone world, bandes dessinées have a longstanding status and popularity which belies the slightly desperate quest of mainstream acceptability that often characterises English-speaking comics aficionados. The ligne claire style of Tintin or Edgar P. Jacobs' Blake and Mortimer adventures is, of course, not the only style of bandes dessinées, but perhaps it is the best-known and loved in the English speaking world.

Aloha From Hell Aloha From Hell by Richard Kadrey
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise is enticing; God is apparently missing from the City of Angels, Lucifer resides in Heaven, and a psychopath is at war with both Heaven and Hell. Sandman Slim is required to leave his home in LA, and head "downtown" aka Hell. His mission, to rescue his lost love, scupper the plans of an insane serial killer, and while he's not otherwise occupied, stop the forces of Good and Evil from completely annihilating each other. Hardly the average day out, and filled with bloody promise.

Smaller than Most Smaller than Most by Kristine Ong Muslim
reviewed by Trent Walters
When Trent edited poetry for Abyss & Apex and Kristine Ong Muslim's poetry slipped through the transom, her tightly woven imagination floored him. He hadn't encountered such magic carpets so idiosyncratic since those of Russell Edson. "Who is Muslim? Why have I never heard of her?" Upon finding her website, Trent fished around her back-inventory and learned she had only recently [back then] become striking. Since then, Muslim has only gotten better.

City of the Fallen Sky City of the Fallen Sky by Tim Pratt
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
One night Alaeron, an alchemical researcher, comes upon a young woman being held at knife point by two suspicious looking men who believe she owes their master a large sum of money. Alaeron isn't one for getting involved in other people's affairs, but when women are involved, he makes an exception. Using a powerful time altering egg device, Alaeron stops the villains in their tracks, and gets the woman to safety.

The Fractal Prince The Fractal Prince The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In the Oort Cloud, post-human societies sculpt ice into massive art forms, while on Earth uncontrolled nanotech and wild viruses twist and shape the desert and anyone who dares venture there. A thief and an angel contemplate the consequences of completing their mission, and two sisters play a game of family politics with the fate of the last humans on Earth at stake. That's just the start.

Digital Rapture Digital Rapture edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The period between the two world wars was the heyday of the autodidact, and publishers responded by producing books by eminent thinkers and scientists like Bertrand Russell and J.B.S. Haldane aimed at the general public. One of the oddest and most influential of these was published by Cape in 1929. It was written by the pioneer of X-ray crystallography, J.D. Bernal, but his slim volume was far more wide ranging than that specialisation might suggest. His book addressed the three enemies of humanity's future, and was thus entitled, taking a line from the Bible, The World, the Flesh and the Devil. It was an extraordinary exercise in what we would now call futurology.

Nemo! Nemo! by Ray Bradbury
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
"Little Nemo in Slumberland" chronicled the experiences of a little boy in his dreamworld. Each night he would don his pajamas, climb into his brass bed, and soar off to fabulous adventures in marvelous cities populated by fascinating characters and weird monsters. Time and space were annihilated. Even Nemo's bed came to life, lengthening and stretching its legs and carrying the youngster away from his home.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
After a nearly decade since the publication of Geek Confidential, Rick Klaw's newest book hits the stands in February. The Apes of Wrath delivers a collection of 17 simian-laden tales by many luminaries alongside four original essays on various aspects of apes in pop culture and a foreword by Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. This anthology is the first book he has edited in 15 years. Pretty ironic since he initially established his reputation as an editor. Here's how it began.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New arrivals this time include the latest from Mike Resnick, Hannu Rajaniemi, Gail Z. Martin, forthcoming books from John Varley, Lucius Shepard, Brian Lumley, Guy Gavriel Kay, and plenty more.


Rocket Science: Fiction and Non-Fiction Rocket Science: Fiction and Non-Fiction edited by Ian Sales
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It started out as an open call for submissions and turned into a book of short stories and non-fiction essays that show how good a compilation of stories can be. For a long time now, science fiction has become science fact; the quirky gadget from the original Star Trek series developed into today's cell phone, while the PADD from Star Trek TNG became the e-reader device many of us read novels and stories on around the world.

The Grand Conversation The Grand Conversation by L. Timmel Duchamp
reviewed by Trent Walters
The book-end essays are the primary lectures and much of what you'd expect from the title. Picture a grand ballroom where many guests mill around, sip wine, and dip into the conversation. The first essay is something of an introductory piece on the history, even offering other perspectives on how to see the history. The last is better as it puts its topic within the context of the author's life, instead of propounding a dry, academic lecture.


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