2017 books to read

These aren’t necessarily the best books of the year, and I’m skewed towards SF anyway, but I would consider these the ones by better known authors with a lot of advance interest that mostly lived up to their expectations and that I would want to read anyway:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz
The Moon and the Other, by John Kessel
The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
Tomorrow’s Kin, by Nancy Kress
Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor
Babylon’s Ashes, by James S. A. Corey
The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi
Seven Surrenders, by Ada Palmer
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
The Changeling, Victor LaValle

Strahan Year’s Best 2017 ToC

Here’s the table of contents for the next best-of anthology from Jonathan Strahan, due in April.  I added more details on the locations and tried to categorize between novelettes and short stories but on a few there wasn’t enough info so they just went to short story by default.  So far there isn’t any confirmation of the existence of forthcoming best-of’s from Rich Horton, Neil Clarke, or the “Best American” series.

Novelette
“The Mocking Tower”, Daniel Abraham (The Book of Swords)
“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue”, Charlie Jane Anders (Global Dystopias)
“My English Name”, R. S. Benedict (F&SF May-Jun)
“The Moon is Not a Battlefield”, Indrapramit Das (Infinity Wars)
“The Hermit of Houston”, Samuel R. Delany (F&SF Sep-Oct)
“The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine”, Greg Egan (Asimov’s Nov-Dec)
Crispin’s Model”, Max Gladstone (Tor.com Oct 4)
Come See the Living Dryad”, Theodora Goss (Tor.com Mar 9)
The Worshipful Society of Glovers”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Uncanny Jul-Aug)
“The Chameleon’s Gloves”, Yoon Ha Lee (Cosmic Powers)
“The Smoke of Gold is Glory”, Scott Lynch (The Book of Swords)
Concessions”, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (Strange Horizons Mar)
The Secret Life of Bots”, Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld Sep)
A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld Jan)
The Lamentation of their Women”, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Aug 24)

Short Story
Probably Still the Chosen One”, Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed Feb)
“Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance”, Tobias Buckell (Cosmic Powers)
Though She Be But Little”, C.S.E. Cooney (Uncanny Sep-Oct)
“Bring Your Own Spoon”, Saad Z. Hossain (The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories)
“Babylon”, Dave Hutchinson, 2084
The Faerie Tree”, Kathleen Kayembe (Lightspeed Nov)
“Fairy Tale of Wood Street”, Caitlin R Kiernan (Sirenia Digest Jul)
“An Evening with Severyn Grimes”, Rich Larson (Asimov’s Jul-Aug)
Sidewalks”, Maureen McHugh (Omni, Winter)
The Martian Obelisk”, Linda Nagata (Tor.com Jul 19)
“Belladonna Nights”, Alastair Reynolds (The Weight of Words)
“Eminence”, Karl Schroeder (Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World)
“Confessions of a Con Girl”, Nick Wolven (Asimov’s Nov-Dec)
Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies May)

Dozois Best of 2017 ToC

Since this book doesn’t come out until July, plenty of time to find most of these in their original publications.  I’ve attempted to categorize by length but a few of them don’t have enough info online to make that determination so I just guessed.

Novella
The Martian Job, Jaine Fenn (NewCon Press)
The Proving Ground, Alec Nevala-Lee (Analog Jan-Feb)
Prime Meridian, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Innsmouth Free Press)
Nexus, Michael F. Flynn (Analog Mar-Apr)

Novelette
The Moon is Not a Battlefield, Indrapramit Das (Infinity Wars)
My English Name, R.S. Benedict (F&SF May-Jun)
We Who Live in the Heart, Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld May)
Night Passage, Alastair Reynolds (Infinite Stars)
Uncanny Valley, Greg Egan (Tor.com Aug 9)
Pan Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics, Jess Barber and Sara Saab (Clarkesworld Sep)
The Influence Machine, Sean McMullen (Interzone Mar-Apr)
There Used to be Olive Trees, Rich Larson (F&SF Jan-Feb)
Whending My Way Back Home, Bill Johnson (Analog Jan-Feb)
Death on Mars, Madeline Ashby (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities)
A Series of Steaks, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld Jan)

Short story
An Evening with Severyn Grimes, Rich Larson (Asimov’s Jul-Aug)
Vanguard 2.0, Carter Scholz (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities)
Starlight Express, Michael Swanwick (F&SF Sep-Oct)
The Martian Obelisk, Linda Nagata (Tor.com July 19)
Winter Timeshare, Ray Nayler (Asimov’s Jan-Feb)
Dear Sarah, Nancy Kress (Infinity Wars)
The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun, Aliette de Bodard (Cosmic Powers)
Waiting Out the End of the World in Patty’s Place Cafe, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld Mar)
The Hunger After You’re Fed, James S.A. Corey (Wired Jan)
Assassins, Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courtier (Clarkesworld Feb)
The Road to the Sea, Lavie Tidhar (Sunvault)
The Worldless, Indrapramit Das (Lightspeed Mar)
Zigeuner, Harry Turtledove (Asimov’s Sep-Oct)
Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance, Tobias Buckell (Cosmic Powers)
Canoe, Nancy Kress (Extrasolar)
The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs, Kelly Jennings (F&SF May-Jun)
Triceratops, Ian McHugh (Asimov’s May-Jun)
Mines, Eleanor Arnason (Infinity Wars)
Elephant on Table, Bruce Sterling (Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World)
Number Thirty-Nine Skink, Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s Mar-Apr)
The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon, Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld Oct)
The Residue of Fire, Robert Reed (Extrasolar)
Sidewalks, Maureen F. McHugh (Omni, Winter)

Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

This was announced in June:

The Medusa Chronicles, Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds (Saga)
Zero K, Don DeLillo (Scribner)
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
Into Everywhere, Paul J. McAuley (Gollancz)
Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)
Occupy Me, Tricia Sullivan (Gollancz)
Rosewater, Tade Thompson (Apex)
Central Station, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
The Arrival of Missives, Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
Alien Morning, Rick Wilber (Tor)
Underground Airlines, Ben Winters (Mulholland)
Azanian Bridges, Nick Wood (NewCon)

thoughts on best novellas

The list of eligible novellas for 2016 is necessarily short, and filtering through the various recommendations it’s hard to find consensus at any level.  The Nebulas picked 5 of their 6 nominees from tor.com, which means they were only available in book form, and the sixth was from F&SF.  Locus agreed with 4 of the 5 Tor offerings, and threw in one of their own, but picked a different F&SF story.  Gardner Dozois also picked that F&SF story, plus another one from the same magazine, which Rich Horton agreed with.  Meanwhile Locus only picked one Asimov’s story, but the Asimov’s reader’s poll picked their 5 favorites, which didn’t include that story, although Horton agreed with one of them.  Strahan’s Best Of doesn’t pick any novellas.  The Analog readers poll doesn’t have to worry about conflicting with any other list, since no one else picked any novellas from Analog.  So let’s run through the contenders:

F&SF

“The Liar”, by John P. Murphy

A Nebula nominee, but not on the Locus list or any Best of’s.  This is a very well told ghost story, I don’t read a lot of this sort of thing so maybe it’s derivative or something, but on its own terms I thought it was very well paced, kept you guessing, and had a satisfying conclusion.

“The Vanishing Kind”, by Lavie Tidhar

Nebula nominee, also chosen by Horton and Dozois.  This is barely fantasy, an alternate history that with some minor alterations could be made into a 50’s noir story, but it was very well received and does a good job with the story at hand, very adept at capturing the mood and the spooky overtones of post-WW2 German-occupied London.

“The Further Adventures of Mr. Costello”, by David Gerrold

In Dozois’ best of, Gerrold’s folksy conversational style makes for an easy read, I didn’t find this story particular memorable for it’s length though.

Asimov’s

“Einstein’s Shadow”, by Allen Steele

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  Einstein in an alternate history where he is escorted to the U.S. in a blimp by the Nazis.  Out of the ordinary for Steele, a decent enough yarn but as with most alternate history I wonder what was the point.

“Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer

Asimov readers’ poll and Horton’s best of, but not on the Locus list.   A decent hard sf story but not a standout for me.

“The Charge and the Storm”, by An Owomoyela

On the Locus list.  This one probably benefits from repeated reading, it’s difficult to gauge what the focus of the story should be, but the world the author creates is original.  This story didn’t make the reader’s poll, it’s definitely more challenging than those that did.

“What We Hold On To”, by Jay O’Connell

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  This story maybe suffers from being less about the SF element and more about the protagonist who has to go through her dying mother’s possessions with the help of a “Nomad”.  Surprised this didn’t get more love from Locus.

“Choose Poison, Choose Life”, by Michael Blumlein

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  I don’t recall one memorable thing about this story, but apparently some people liked it.

“Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” by David Erik Nelson

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  This was kind of a fun time travel story with the protagonist repeatedly interfering in colonial New England to bring back valuable artifacts for his employers to sell.  The satisfying part is that his multiple trips start to create issues with causality.  Great title, too, again I would have thought Locus would go for this.

Stories I didn’t read, but somebody liked:

From the Locus list:

The Lost Child of Lychford, Paul Cornell
The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (also a Nebula nominee)
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (also a Nebula nominee)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (also a Nebula nominee)
This Census-taker, China Miéville
The Devil You Know, K.J. Parker
The Iron Tactician, Alastair Reynolds (also in Dozois’ Best of)
The Dispatcher, John Scalzi
Pirate Utopia, Bruce Sterling
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (also a Nebula nominee)

also a Nebula nominee:

Runtime, by S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)

So I’m going to go with the Tidhar, Murphy, Nelson and O’Connell stories

Rich Horton’s best of 2016

“Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark, Analog
“All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson, Asimov’s
“Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace, Asimov’s
“Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer, Asimov’s
“The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod, Asimov’s
“Openness” by Alexander Weinstein, Beloit Fiction Journal
“In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders, Bridging Infinity
“Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee, Bridging Infinity
“The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley, Clarkesworld
“Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home” by Genevieve Valentine, Clarkesworld
“Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller, Clarkesworld
“Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson, Clockwork Phoenix 5
“Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts, Crises and Conflicts
“Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo, F&SF
“The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar, F&SF
“A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley, F&SF
“Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia, Interzone
“Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes, Lightspeed
“I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell, Lightspeed
“RedKing” by Craig deLancey, Lightspeed
“A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt, Mothershipship Zeta
“Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Now We Are Ten
“The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley, Patreon
“Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan, Strange Horizons
“The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez, The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria
“Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley, Tor.com
“That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn, Tor.com

Nebula award nominees

Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

Novella

  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (F&SF 3-4/16)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette      

  • ‘‘The Long Fall Up’’, William Ledbetter (F&SF 5-6/16)
  • ‘‘Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea’’, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 2/16)
  • “The Orangery”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • ‘‘Blood Grains Speak Through Memories’’, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies3/17/16)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • ‘‘You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay’’, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 5-6/16)

Short Story

  • ‘‘Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies’’, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
  • ‘‘Seasons of Glass and Iron’’, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • ‘‘Sabbath Wine’’, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • ‘‘Things With Beards’’, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 6/16)
  • ‘‘This Is Not a Wardrobe Door’’, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine 1/16)
  • ‘‘A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers’’, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com 3/2/16)
  • ‘‘Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 3/16)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

Strahan Best of 2016 ToC

Jonathan Strahan has announced the table of contents for his The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 11.
Here is the table of contents for this year:
“Two’s Company”, Joe Abercrombie (Sharp Ends)

“The Art of Space Travel”, Nina Allan (Tor.com)

“Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit wood)

“Mika Model”, Paolo Bacigalupi (Slate)

“A Salvaging of Ghosts”, Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 01/03/16)

“Laws of Night and Silk”, Seth Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 26 May 2016)

“Touring with the Alien”, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld 115, 4/16)

“Red as Blood and White as Bone”, Theodora Goss (Tor.com)

“Even the Crumbs Were Delicious”, Daryl Gregory (The Starlit Wood)

“Number Nine Moon”, Alex Irvine (F&SF, 1/16)

“Red Dirt Witch”, N.K. Jemisin (Fantasy/PoC Destroy Fantasy)

“Whisper Road (Murder Ballad No. 9)”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Sirenia Digest 125, 7/16)

“Successor, Usurper, Replacement”, Alice Sola Kim (Buzzfeed, 10/26/16)

“You Make Pattaya”, Rich Larson (Interzone 247)

“Foxfire Foxfire”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2016)

“Seven Birthdays”, Ken Liu (Bridging Infinity)

“The Visitor from Taured”, Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s, 9/16)

“Elves of Antarctica”, Paul McAuley (Drowned Worlds)

“Things with Beards”, Sam J Miller (Clarkesworld 117, 6/16)

“Spinning Silver”, Naomi Novik (The Starlit Wood)

“Those Shadows Laugh”, Geoff Ryman (F&SF, 9-10/16)

“The Great Detective”, Delia Sherman (Tor.com)

“Terminal”, Lavie Tidhar (Tor.com, 04/16)

“The Future is Blue”, Catherynne M Valente (Drowned Worlds)

“Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home”, Genevieve Valentine (Clarkesworld)

“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay “, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 10, 5-6/16)

“Fable”, Charles Yu (The New Yorker, 5/30/16)

“The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight”, E Lily Yu (Uncanny 12)

Dozois Best of 2016 ToC

Gardner Dozois has posted the Table of Contents for his latest year’s best collection.
THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL COLLECTION,

Edited by

GARDNER DOZOIS
TERMINAL, Lavie Tidhar

TOURING WITH THE ALIEN, Carolyn Ives Gilman

PATIENCE LAKE, Matthew Claxton

JONAS AND THE FOX, Rich Larson

PRODIGAL, Gord Sellar

KIT: Some Assembly Required, Kathe Koja & Carter Scholz

VORTEX, Gregory Benford

ELVES OF ANTARCTICA, Paul McAuley

THE BABY EATERS, Ian McHugh

A SALVAGING OF GHOSTS, Aliette de Bodard

THOSE SHADOWS LAUGH, Geoff Ryman

RedKING, Craig DeLancey

THINGS WITH BEARDS, Sam J. Miller

FIELDWORK, Shariann Lewit

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF MR. COSTELLO, David Gerrold

INNUMERABLE GLIMMERING LIGHTS, Rich Larson

FIFTY SHADES OF GRAYS, Steven Barnes

SIXTEEN QUESTIONS FOR KAMALA CHATTERJEE, Alastair Reynolds

COLD COMFORT, Pat Murphy & Paul Dohert

THE ART OF SPACE TRAVEL, Nina Allan

FLIGHT FROM THE AGES, Derek Küsken

MY GENERATIONS WILL PRAISE, Samantha Henderson

MARS ABIDES, Stephen Baxter

THE VISITOR FROM TAURED, Ian R. MacLeod

WHEN THE STONE EAGLE FLIES, Bill Johnson

THE VANISHING KIND, Lavie Tidhar

ONE SISTER, TWO SISTERS, THREE, James Patrick Kelly

DISPATCHES FROM THE CRADLE: THE HERMIT—FORTY-EIGHT HOURS IN THE SEA OF MASSACHUSETTS, Ken Liu

CHECKERBOARD PLANET, Eleanor Arnason

THEY HAVE ALL ONE BREATH, Karl Bunker

MIKA MODEL, Paolo Bacigalupi

THAT GAME WE PLAYED DURING THE WAR, Carrie Vaughn

BECAUSE CHANGE WAS THE OCEAN AND WE LIVED BY HER MERCY, Charlie Jane Anders

THE ONE WHO ISN’T, Ted Kosmatka

THOSE BRIGHTER STARS, Mercurio R. Rivera

A TOWER FOR THE COMING WORLD, Maggie Clark

FIRSTBORN, LASTBORN, Melissa Scott

WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS, Ian McDonald

THE IRON TACTICIAN, Alastair Reynolds

Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

Another good list for 2015 SF novels:

Finalists for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award:

•The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit/Knopf)
•Europe at Midnight, Dave Hutchinson (Rebellion)
•Radiomen, Eleanor Lerman (The Permanent)
•Luna: New Moon, Ian McDonald (Gollancz/Tor)
•Galapagos Regained, James Morrow (St. Martin’s)
•Going Dark, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island/Saga)
•The Book of Phoenix, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
•Where, Kit Reed (Tor)
•The Thing Itself, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
•Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
•Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (William Morrow/Harper Collins)