Locus Magazine Unveils 2009 Recommended Reading List

The February issue of stalwart scifi literature magazine Locus reveals their staff's picks for the best science fiction prose of 2009. Which of your favorite books made the voluminous final cut?


Here are Locus' picks for Best Novel and Best First Novels. Note the inclusion of Paolo Bacigalupi's The Wind-Up Girl, which incidentally was io9 Book Club's read this month (we're meeting this Tuesday, hint hint).

Novels - Science Fiction

The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker (Subterranean Press; Tor)
Transition, Iain M. Banks (Little Brown UK; Orbit)
Ark, Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
The Devil's Alphabet, Daryl Gregory (Ballantine Del Rey)
Buyout, Alexander C. Irvine (Ballantine Del Rey)
Under the Dome, Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton; Scribner)
Steal Across the Sky, Nancy Kress (Tor)
Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem (Doubleday)
Gardens of the Sun, Paul McAuley (Gollancz; Pyr 2010)
The Walls of the Universe, Paul Melko (Tor)
Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)
Yellow Blue Tibia, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperVoyager; Ballantine Spectra 2010)
The Sunless Countries, Karl Schroeder (Tor)
This Is Not a Game, Walter Jon Williams (Orbit UK, Orbit US)
Julian Comstock, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)

First Novels

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books)
The Manual of Detection, Jedediah Berry (Penguin)
Soulless, Gail Carriger (Orbit)
The Adamantine Palace, Stephen Deas (Gollancz; Roc '10)
Total Oblivion, More or Less, Alan DeNiro (Ballantine Spectra)
Blood of Ambrose, James Enge (Pyr)
Ash, Malinda Lo (Little, Brown)
Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire (DAW)
Lamentation, Ken Scholes (Tor)
Harbinger, Jack Skillingstead (Fairwood Press)
Spellbent, Lucy A. Snyder (Ballantine Del Rey)
Living with Ghosts, Kari Sperring (DAW)
Lightbreaker, Mark Teppo (Night Shade Books)
Norse Code, Greg van Eekhout (Ballantine Spectra)


[via Locus]

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Chip Overclock®

I'm about two thirds of the way through THE MANUAL OF DETECTION by Berry. It's not the kind of book that I usually read, not completely anyway, and I'm not sure what made me pick it up. It's a cross between a Terry Gilliam movie and a hard boiled detective novel. There's a private dick, and a dame, and a plucky assistant, and a city that never sleeps, and all the other tropes of the noir detective novels. But there's also a bureaucracy right out of BRAZIL.

I'd be interested in hearing others' *spoilerless* opinions.