The Best Books of The Millenium (Thus Far)
|Granted, we're not yet 7 years into the 2K's, but inspired by Jay Tomio's Best 100 Books of the Past Ten Years (Which he has no intention of ever completing, I'm quite certain.), I've decided to do something similar. Spanning the time period from January 1, 2000 unto the present day, these are the best speculative fiction works released thus far this decade. They are in descending order, based solely upon my opinion of their merit, with the briefest of descriptions as to why.|
50. Knife of Dreams byRobert Jordan: It appears that Jordan has finally righted this tottering behemoth of a series. KoD is a return to the highest quality of the heyday of The Wheel of Time, and it's noteworthy and commendable after the travesty that was his last few volumes.
49. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey: Sexy and exciting, Carey's first foray in the world of Terre d'Ange is also her best novel to date. The rest of the books are worth reading, however.
48. The Merchant Princes by Charles Stross: SF wunderkind Charlie Stross's fantasy epic which combines equal parts Zelazny's Amber, the Medici family, and James Bond.
47. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: Tragedy and hope; a wonderful and moving ghost story.
46. The Mount by Carol Emshwiller: No one is weirder than Emshwiller. A boy is the horse of a soon-to-be Emperor of an alien species that has conquered Earth.
45. Infoquake by David Louis Edelman: Perhaps the best recent take on the dangers of widespread capitalism. A wonderous and scathing debut novel.
44. Smoking Poppy by Graham Joyce: Graham Joyce is the best fantasy author you've never read. Fix that failing.
43. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke: Incredibly overrated, this Hugo and World Fantasy Award winner is still a pretty damn fine novel.
42. Black Juice by Margo Lanagan: It is impossible to read this short story collection for children and remain unmoved.
41. Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay: Kay's first urban fantasy, and his best novel in over a decade.
40. Fables by Bill Willingham: A comic book series telling the story of fairy tale legends in New York. Winner of multiple Eisner Awards.
39. War Stories by Joe Haldeman:
an omnibus edition of Haldeman's Vietnam novels and shorts. A wonderful companion piece to his SF mega-novel, The Forever War, and perhaps the most important book published thus far from Night Shade Books.
38. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: The first book of the dazzlingly addictive Thursday Next SF mysteries.
37. Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds: Space opera meets mystery in Alastair Reynolds finest novel to date.
36. The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon: Science fiction featuring autism and futuristic corporate politics. Winner of the Nebula Award
35. Galveston by Sean Stewart: Galveston, Texas is split between a world of magical ever-lasting Mardi Gras and the mundane normal city. World Fantasy Award winner.
34. The Fantasy Writer's Assistant by Jeffrey Ford: A deeply affecting short story collection from one of the finest short story writers in the world, in any genre.
33. Camouflage by Joe Haldeman: Haldeman's Nebula Award winning novel of shape shifting.
32. GRRM: A Rretrospective by George R.R. Martin: An amazingly complete collection of the Martin's short work. It contains some of the best short fiction of the 70's and 80's, along with newer work. Published in the UK as Dream Songs.
31. Vellum by Hal Duncan: This novel will confound or enthrall you; there is no third option. A fine debut novel, not easily topped.
30. Accelerando by Charles Stross: Stross's most important work thus far, but I expect more from him based upon his evident abilities. I have no doubt he will fulfill this demand.
29. White Devils by Paul McCauley: A post-apocalyptic techno-thriller set in Africa. Think Michael crichton, if he were, you know, a good author.
28. A Year in The Linear City by Paul Di Filippo: The story of a city betwixt heaven and hell.
27. The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford: Simply the finest urban fantasy I have ever read from an author we lost this year.
26. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Six fantastic viewpoints weaved together to form a dreamlike whole. A marvel of a novel.
25. Temeraire by Naomi Novik: A wonderfully enjoyable amalgam of McCaffrey's Pern and O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin novels.
24. Kalpa Imperial by Angelica Gorodischer: Stories of a fictional empire. Absolutely stunning and moving. It's the best book you've never heard of.
23. City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer: A similar theme: VanderMeer's collection of stories set in Ambergris. His latest novel, Shriek, I have yet to read, and so was unable to judge if it was fit for inclusion in this list. A fault I will shortly remedy.
22. Air by Geoff Ryman: The story of a provincial woman trapped in the quantam realm of a futuristic internet. James Tiptree Jr. Award Winner
21. The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce: Joyce's best novel in a handful of years. That's high praise, people. World Fantasy Award winner.
20. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson: a great science fiction yarn about big ideas and full of that good old fashioned 'sensawundah.' Hugo Award Winner
19. American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Gods exist because we believe in them. The story of Shadow and Wednesday is the pinnacle of Gaiman's stories career, and an excellent novel. Hugo Award winner.
18. Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link: Kelly Link bends structure and warps expectations. Her short fiction is like nothing else, and that's a good thing.
17. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch: I have not read a more enjoyable book in years. Lynch is the future of high adventure fantasy.
16. Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan: Simply the best science fiction comic book currently being produced, by a wide margin. Yorick must survive in a world where he is the last living male. Eisner Award winner
15. The Road by Cormac McCarthy: 've sat down three times to review this novel, and I am at a loss as to what to say. I was decimated, mind and body, by this tale of hope and horror.
14. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: Booker prize winning author's take on cloning and human engineering.
13. The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach: Orson Scott card has not done much worthy of mention since Speaker For The Dead, but I thank him heartily for bringing this epic tale into print in the United States.
12. Blindsight by Peter Watts: Next years Hugo Award Winner. This is the SF novel of 2006.
11. The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford: This volume deserves to be ranked with The Rediscovery of Man, Deathbird Stories, and The Jaguar Hunters, as one of the best genre fiction collections in history. It's almost as good as Number 6.
10. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville: Perdido ushered in the New Weird, and Mieville is one of the finest young writers in speculative fiction today.
9. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore: Without a doubt, the funniest book ever penned. Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt ought to take notes from this master.
8. The Prince of Nothing Trilogy by R. Scott Bakker: This is the best epic fantasy trilogy since The Lord of The Rings.
7. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan: Until Number 5 came along, this was the best SF novel of the burgeoning decade. A page turning noirish cyber-mystery, that will have you buying the sequels before you're done with the first. Phillip K. Dick Award winner.
6. Story of your Life and Others by Ted Chiang: The best SF collection since The Rediscovery of Man. An absolute must-read for lovers of the short form.
5. River of Gods by Ian McDonald: The veritable proof I was searching for that science fiction is not dead.
4. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: The reinvention of the horror novel. The book itself is a work of art, and Danielewski is an absolute madman -- but you'll enjoy the ride.
3. The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe: This dualogy is the pinnacle of Wolfe's Grandmaster level career. This dream induced fantasy is about as good as fantasy can possibly be.
2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: The story of cousins, The Holocaust, comic books, love, and courage. Pulitzer Prize winner.
1. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin: The single best fantasy novel ever written.