Sunday, 28 October 2012

Charting the best in SF? Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

If you're looking for a book as a Christmas present for the SF fan in your life that will potentially keep them quiet for hours - not just reading it, but the novels they buy as a result of reading it - then Non-Stop Press' Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 might be just the ticket.

Released earlier this year, the book, compiled by Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo, was Inspired by Interzone editor David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literature.

"The chance to pause and take a look backward at the genre helped refresh my sense of the marvels the field had recently achieved," says co-author Paul Di Filippo, "and to inspire future goals of my own. Luis Ortiz at Non-Stop Press also makes such beautiful books!"

Of interest to SF art fans, hence its mention here, is that each entry features a cover image of the novel, as well as a plot synopsis (warning: some spoilers in these, as well as the "mini reviews), making it an ideal go-to guide for anyone wanting to become reacquainted with an old favourite or to discover a previously unknown treasure.

The selected works include Orson Scott Card's Enders Game, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Perdido Street Station, The Time Traveler’s Wife and many other better known novels, rubbing shoulders with books some argue have no place in such a list, such as Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

With a foreword by David Pringle, this invaluable reference has already provoked conversation and debates among SF fans and devotees judging from online reviews, and just like Pringle's 1985 work, I'm sure it's one that will continue to do so for some time to come.

Here's a list of the books featured: Which ones do you own?

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Ender’s Game (1985)
  • Radio Free Albemuth (1985)
  • Always Coming Home (1985)
  • This Is the Way the World Ends (1985)
  • Gal├ípagos (1985)
  • The Falling Woman (1986)
  • The Shore of Women (1986)
  • A Door Into Ocean (1986)
  • Soldiers of Paradise (1987)
  • Life During Wartime (1987)
  • The Sea and Summer (1987)
  • Cyteen (1988)
  • Neverness (1988)
  • The Steerswoman (1989)
  • Grass (1989)
  • Use of Weapons (1990)
  • Queen of Angels (1990)
  • Barrayar (1991)
  • Synners (1991)
  • Sarah Canary (1991)
  • White Queen (1991)
  • Eternal Light (1991)
  • Stations of the Tide (1991)
  • Timelike Infinity (1992)
  • Dead Girls (1992)
  • Jumper (1992)
  • China Mountain Zhang (1992)
  • Red Mars (1992)
  • A Fire Upon the Deep (1992)
  • Aristoi (1992)
  • Doomsday Book (1992)
  • Parable of the Sower (1993)
  • Ammonite (1993)
  • Chimera (1993)
  • Nightside the Long Sun (1993)
  • Brittle Innings (1994)
  • Permutation City (1994)
  • Blood (1994)
  • Mother of Storms (1995)
  • Sailing Bright Eternity (1995)
  • Galatea 2.2 (1995)
  • The Diamond Age (1995)
  • The Transmigration of Souls (1996)
  • The Fortunate Fall (1996)
  • The Sparrow/Children of God (1996/1998)
  • Holy Fire (1996)
  • Night Lamp (1996)
  • In the Garden of Iden (1997)
  • Forever Peace (1997)
  • Glimmering (1997)
  • As She Climbed Across the Table (1997)
  • The Cassini Division (1998)
  • Bloom (1998)
  • Vast (1998)
  • The Golden Globe (1998)
  • Headlong (1999)
  • Cave of Stars (1999)
  • Genesis (2000)
  • Super-Cannes (2000)
  • Under the Skin (2000)
  • Perdido Street Station (2000)
  • Distance Haze (2000)
  • Revelation Space trilogy (2000)
  • Salt (2000)
  • Ventus (2001)
  • The Cassandra Complex (2001)
  • Light (2002)
  • Altered Carbon (2002)
  • The Separation (2002)
  • The Golden Age (2002)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
  • Natural History (2003)
  • The Labyrinth Key / Spears of God
  • River of Gods (2004)
  • The Plot Against America (2004)
  • Never Let Me Go (2005)
  • The House of Storms (2005)
  • Counting Heads (2005)
  • Air (Or, Have Not Have) (2005)
  • Accelerando (2005)
  • Spin (2005)
  • My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006)
  • The Road (2006)
  • Temeraire /His Majesty’s Dragon (2006)
  • Blindsight (2006)
  • HARM (2007)
  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007)
  • The Secret City (2007)
  • In War Times (2007)
  • Postsingular (2007)
  • Shadow of the Scorpion (2008)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010)
  • Little Brother (2008)
  • The Alchemy of Stone (2008)
  • The Windup Girl (2009)
  • Steal Across the Sky (2009)
  • Boneshaker (2009)
  • Zoo City (2010)
  • Zero History (2010)
  • The Quantum Thief (2010)
 

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