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The City & the City (Macmillan/Pan) The City & the City (Del Rey) The City & the City (Subterranean) Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2010
Happy New Year! Once again, it's time to voice your opinion about what your favourite reading was from the year that just ended. Long-time visitors to the SF Site are familiar with the process. If you're new, what this is about is that we want to hear what you thought was the very best of what you read from the past year. And since we know how hard it is to pick just one favourite, you can tell us what you would put on your personal top 10 favourites. We also understand that you may not yet have read all the books from 2010 that you meant to, so we're going to give you a chance to do that -- until March 4, 2011. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years, you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including The City and the City by China Miéville which was the top choice last year.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead by Mark Twain and Don Borchert
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
From Jane Austen's Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith to Bram Stoker's classic Dracula, the new version penned by Bram's descendant, Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt to create Dracula The Un-Dead, have all had a rewrite, though this one starts where the last one left off. In this story, the main horror feature is zombies.

Sybil's Garage #7 Sybil's Garage #7
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
This is an anthology of pieces with suggested musical accompaniment. Oddly, as the reader will see, the writing tended to remind one of images from films; fragments, moments, individual scenes and shots rather than complete features. Music ostensibly permeates the collection but you may find images more prominent. After reading any literature (broadly defined), what remains can be emotions, quotes, images, characters, plot twists, ideas -- anything from an infinite assemblage from the jumble sale of life.

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21 The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21 edited by Stephen Jones
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The book continues to be the source of exhaustive and invaluable information about what has happened in the field of horror (books, magazines, movie etc.) during the previous year. Of course, the core of each volume is represented by a number of horror stories considered to be the best of the year. The current anthology includes nineteen tales.

Kris Longknife: Redoubtable Kris Longknife: Redoubtable by Mike Shepherd
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Lieutenant Commander Kris Longknife, Princess of Wardhaven and "one of those damned Longknifes" is up to her eyeballs in trouble once again. She's been patrolling the Rim of human space, her ship of soldiers and scientists disguised as a merchant vessel, acting as bait in order to shut down the pirates and raiders plaguing humanity's far-flung outposts. Mostly, it's been routine.

Beautiful Darkness Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
reviewed by Dan Shade
If there was ever a city that lived in the past, it's Gatlin, Tennessee. And if there were ever two star-crossed lovers, they are the caster Lena Duchannes and the mortal Ethan Wate. Beautiful Darkness continues the rousing story of the Lena and Ethan. Lena is a caster which are more or less witches but they each have a special gift. Ethan, whom we thought was a plain, vanilla mortal, turns out not to be.

World Made By Hand World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
It was scary how fast it happened. Terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, leveling the city. The nation's water ports clamped down, inspecting every piece of incoming cargo. Ships sat for days, or even weeks at a time, waiting to be inspected, until finally some of them began to turn away, their cargoes undelivered. America's economy was crippled, and the chances of recovery were slim. When the second bomb went off in Washington DC, even that slim chance was gone.

Patient Zero Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
The terrorist El Mujahid is being funded to create a virus/parasite that turns people into the walking dead. To help combat this threat, Joe Ledger is recruited from the Baltimore Police to become a special ops agent in a secret branch of the government. Ledger kicks butt like no other, and he does it with class. Just roll James Bond, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, and Jean Claude Van-Damme into one and the outcome still couldn't stand up against Joe Ledger -- he is just that cool and tough. But is he tough enough for zombies?

Brothers in Arms Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Miles Naismith Vorkosigan is used to living a double life. On his home planet of Barrayar, he's Lord Miles Vorkosigan, a member of the elite ruling and military class, and son to the second-most powerful man on the planet. Off-world, however, he's Admiral Miles Naismith, commander of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet. It's critical that Miles keep his two identities separate -- not always the easiest thing when a prenatal gas attack left him with a crippled physical appearance and brittle bones that are distinctly memorable.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams was intending to spend the column writing about Nick Bertozzi's splendid graphical overview of Lewis & Clark, those plucky adventurers sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the then-unknown (to most European-Americans) West. But he picked up the next book in his promising new year's start pile. GB Tran's Vietnamerica is his graphic memoir/historical recreation of his parents' journey from a war-torn Vietnam to America, where he became the first family born here.

The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
So here you are, a longtime fan of Garrison Keillor's folksy yarns chronicling the ordinary goings-on in his fictional hometown of Lake Woebegone, Minnesota -- as featured weekly on his radio show A Prairie Home Companion and in many books and short stories -- and you're wondering, should I even bother with The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by the pseudonymous Harrison Geillor?

SF Masterworks SF Masterworks
SF Masterworks is a series of classics that deserve to be in print and kept there rather than languishing as OP titles. They were published monthly by Millennium, which is an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, a UK publisher whose other imprints include Dolphin, Orion Media, Phoenix and Victor Gollancz. On the pages for the series, you'll find an overview of the series with cover/title links to the reviews we've done.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Caprica has ended. The next installment of the Battlestar Galactica story will be set at a time between the end of Caprica and the start of BSG. Rick found the last five episodes, which aired back to back on January 4, moderately enjoyable. The ending was more fun than some of the earlier episodes.

Series Review

Hawkwood and the Kings Hawkwood and the Kings and Century of the Soldier by Paul Kearney
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
With Monarchies of the Gods, Paul Kearney has created a complex society where the interplay between church and state creates plenty of lying, scheming and treachery among the upper power echelons, Kings, Queens, Pontiffs and princes all join in the fun and the backstabbing. Socially, the books take place during a time when gunpowder and iron are replacing magic and the practitioners of "dweomer" are ostracized and persecuted as heretics by the church.


Search for Philip K. Dick Search for Philip K. Dick by Anne R. Dick
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Why are we so interested in the life of Philip K. Dick? Other than H.G. Wells, science fiction writers don't usually attract biographers, and when they do it is usually one book and no more. But Dick has attracted a whole host of biographers, his life has been fictionalized more than once, and we seem ever eager for more. For a writer of, mostly, paperback originals that were never that successful during most of his lifetime, a writer who barely travelled out of California, and someone whose greatest adventure seems to have consisted of finding different ways to fry his brains with drugs, his life seems curiously but enduringly fascinating.

Second Looks

Gateway Gateway by Frederik Pohl
reviewed by Trent Walters
It has long been considered a classic of the genre. In 1978, it won the Campbell, the Hugo, the Locus and the Nebula awards. Did it deserve such laurels? In a word, yes. The mysterious tunneled worlds and technology of the Heechee still feels fresh and full of wonder. The novel weaves the past and present of Robinette Broadhead, from his contemporary psychiatric sessions with a computer he has dubbed Sigfrid von Shrink to his reminisces of less fortunate days.

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Superman vs. Muhammad Ali by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams
reviewed by Susan Dunman
Two undisputed champions are forced to fight it out when alien invaders demand a title match between Earth's greatest fighters. The winner will face their own champion, a muscle-bound behemoth bio-engineered to pound others into the ground. And the stakes couldn't be higher for this fist-fest -- the fate of planet Earth rests on who is declared the final winner.

Death's Master Death's Master by Tanith Lee
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Death's Master is about ancient times when the Earth was believed to be flat, and Gods reigned over all, and the world was separated into three different levels much like in the Norse pantheon. The Gods lived on the Upper Earth realm, while the Lords of Darkness and demons lived far below in the bowels of the Earth. Normal mortals resided in the middle world between the order and chaos and had a much harder life as a result.


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