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The Books of 1998
by John O'Neill

Click on any of the covers below for a larger image.

Art: John Harris
It's been a tremendous year for SF and Fantasy readers. And as 1998 draws to a close, the staff members and reviewers of the SF Site begin the daunting task of looking back over the last twelve months and selecting the best titles of year. The amount of material being published today is frankly overwhelming, and no matter how attentive you are, chances are you've overlooked a great many books that really deserve your attention. Rather than give an award or awards to a single work or works in a small number of categories, we've elected to highlight the ten books that most impressed us in 1998. The result is our annual "Ten Best" list, published each January (have a look at last year's if you missed all the shoutin'.)

Do we really believe that the best work of the year can be captured with a list of ten titles, no matter how carefully selected? Of course not. Then why do we do it? To celebrate the authors and editors who've raised the bar for SF and Fantasy for one more year -- not just the blockbuster titles from major names and publishing houses, but the novels and collections from smaller publishers and emerging (or neglected) authors whose work is often lost in the din. If we can bring even one overlooked title to the attention of a fresh group of fans, then all the effort and bloody debate that went into our Ten Best list will have been worth it.

But before we taint your thinking, we'd like to invite you to send us your votes for the best books of the year. You can vote for as few as one, or as many as ten. To assist you in your pondering, what follows is the complete list of books with a 1998 publishing date to arrive at the SF Site -- nearly 800 titles from over thirty publishers. After some debate, we've chosen to list almost every title, including reprints (but excluding magazines, advance proofs, second printings, and some revised editions) to arrive at our door. If you should happen to think that Tor's reprint of Dan Simmons' Song of Kali is the best dang thing you've found all year, we'd like to hear it.

Art: Donato
Those books noted with a blue flag have been reviewed here, and if you need a quick reminder of a particular titles you can drop by our review list (be careful, it's big) -- or the SF Site Books Section, where every single title we receive is scanned and given a 100-150 word blurb.

We haven't seen every book published, of course, so we invite you to go beyond the list we've provided. A few rules of thumb: only works in English will be considered, and in general the SF Site concentrates on the North American publishing industry (you're welcome to vote for British or Australian write-in candidates, just to remind us how narrow that is). Only one vote per person, please.

Send your votes by e-mail to john@sfsite.com. And remember to drop by in thirty days to see how well your selections jive with the writers and editors of the SF Site. You know where to find us.

Go To The Books of 1998

Copyright © 1998 by John O'Neill

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