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Monday, October 18, 2010

My Anticipated Books of 2010 Revisited (by Liviu Suciu)

In late 2009, I tried to do a larger scale "2010 Anticipated Books". I first did three posts: "Top 10", "Established Authors SFF", "More established Authors SFF, Debuts, Non-SFF, Maybes" and then collated them in a big post with continual updates as I got and read the books.

The major drawback that I discovered was that the Collated/Updated post got way too big and I tried to keep a "first look" list of titles to mitigate that. Now that of all the books mentioned there, I miss only three 2010 ones which I expect to get sooner rather than later, I thought it's time for an uncluttered look back.

Total 2010 Anticipated Books - 94 - some moved to 2011
Read 78 with one that I decided it is not-for-me for a total of 79 "done"
Currently reading 3; not-yet-have 3 more, all more-or-less asap reads
Nine started and moved back on the pile for a "nebulous" later, though I have not yet given up on any of those

Of the 78 read I rated:

2 F's : hated them, would not touch anything by the author 1/10
7 D's : disliked but not hated them 4/10
6 C's : ok'ish at least partly, but far from being favorites 6/10
4 B's : liked them but either major flaws or irritating stuff detracted a lot from my enjoyment 7.5/10
2 A- : these should have been a B, but they have so many goodies to mostly compensate for major flaws in one case or lack of ambition in another 8.5/10
24 A : liked a lot, no major complaints, or occasionally very ambitious but with flaws that stop it from the A+/A++ level, will read more from the author/series automatically 9/10
11 A+ : loved them and they had the added "extra" - personal favorite, ambition, type of novel I prefer, but either short a bit of the top-top level or from a sub-genre I cannot rate there and the books in cause did not transcend (mundane-sf or mil-fantasy are such) 9.5/10
22 A++: utterly loved them, my top books with of course the several 2010 A++ that were quite unexpected and are not here; some are for series achievement rather than the books themselves 10/10

Other statistics; out of the 79 below, 46 were author/publisher copies, 33 got independently by me, while for the total of 91 I have, it is 51 author/publisher, 40 me; of the total 94, 22 are by women authors, so about 23%.

My full list of 2010 Books read (151 so far, some read in 09) as well as of books read in 2010 (209 so far) are on Goodreads. Here are the 79 ones from the original anticipated list in chronological order of reading.

City of Ruin/Newton (A++, full rv )
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/Jemisin (A+, Goodreads minireview, full rv RT)
Spellwright/Charlton (D from me, Goodreads minireview, full rv RT)
The Bookman/Tidhar(A, full rv),
The Desert Spear/Brett(A, full rv)
Servant of the Underworld/de Bodard(A, full rv)

The Left Hand of God/Hoffman(A++, dual full rv)
The Conqueror's Shadow/Marmell(C from me, Goodreads minireview, full rv RT)
The Napoleon Concerto/Mellon(A, full rv)
The River Kings Road/Merciel (D from me, Goodreads minireview, full rv RT)
Geosynchron/Edelman(A+, full rv),
Freedom/Suarez(C, Goodreads minireview)

Spirit Lens/Berg(A, full rv),
Thirteen Years Later/Kent(B,Goodreads minireview, full rv RT with my short take)
Black Hills/Simmons (A++ , full rv),
The Folding Knife
/Parker (A++, full rv)
Mission of Honor/Weber (A+, full rv)
Funeral Games/Cameron(A, Goodreads minireview)

Grand Central Arena/Spoor (A, full rv)
Salute the Dark/Tchaikovsky (A++, full rv),
A Mighty Fortress/Weber (A++, full rv),
Farlander/Buchanan(A, full rv),
Bitter Seeds/Tregillis (A++, full rv),
Up Jim River/Flynn(A, full rv)

The Emerald Storm/Michael Sullivan(A++, full rv),
Raven:Sons of Thunder/Kristian(A, full rv),
The Orphaned Worlds/Cobley(C, Goodreads minireview)
The Dream of Perpetual Motion/Palmer(D, Goodreads minireview, full rv RT)
Ghosts of Manhattan/Mann(A, full rv)
Terminal World/Reynolds (A-, full rv)

The Sorcerer's House/Wolfe (A, full rv),
Secrets of the Fire Sea/Hunt (A++, full rv)
Children No More/Van Name (A+, full rv),
The Barbary Pirates/Dietrich(A, full rv)
Shadow's Son/Sprunk(A+, full rv),
Dragonsoul/Jones & Bennett(A, full rv),

Gaslight Dogs/Lowachee(C, Goodreads minireview)
The Age of Zeus/Lovegrove(A, full rv),
West and East/Turtledove(A, Goodreads minireview)
Office of Shadow/Sturges(A, full rv)
The Lotus Eaters/Kratman(C, Goodreads minireview)
Migration/Hogan(A, full rv)

The King of the Crags/Deas(A, full rv)
Tome of the Undergates/Sykes(F, un-review)
A Magic of Dawn/Farrell(A, full rv)
The Hypnotist/Rose(D, Goodreads minireview)
New Model Army/Roberts(B, full rv)
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet/Mitchell(A++, full rv)

Naamah's Curse/Carey(A, full rv)
The Last Page/Huso(A++, full rv)
Deceiver/Cherryh (D, Goodreads minireview)
The Prince of Mist/Zafon(C, Goodreads minireview, full rv CH)
Lex Trent Versus The Gods/Bell(A, full rv)
Stealing Fire/Graham(A+, full rv)

The Evolutionary Void/Hamilton(A++, Goodreads minireview, full rv soon)
Absorption/Meaney(B, full rv)
Who Fears Death/Okorafor (not for me)
Spies of the Balkans
/Furst (A-, Goodreads minireview)
The Map of all Things/Anderson (A+, full rv)
The Dervish House/McDonald (D, Goodreads minireview)

Passion Play/Bernobich (A+, full dual review)
The Black Prism/Weeks (A++, full rv)
Imager's Intrigue/Modesitt(A++ book/series, full rv)
Restoration Game/MacLeod(A+, full rv)
Empire of Light/Gibson (A+, full rv)
The Half Made World/Gilman(A++, full rv)

The House on Durrow Street/Beckett(A++, full rv)
The Scarab Path/Tchaikovsky (A++, full rv)
Black Lung Captain/Wooding (B, Goodreads minireview)
The Technician/Asher (A++, full rv)
Ragnarok/Vanner (F, Goodreads minireview)
Midsummer Night/Warrington (A++, full rv soon, Goodreads minireview )

Horns of Ruin/Akers (D, Goodreads minireview)
The Thief-Taker's Apprentice/Deas (A, full rv)
Empire/Saylor (A++, full rv)
Corvus/Kearney (A+, full rv soon, Goodreads minireview )
Surface Detail/Banks (A++, full rv soon,Goodreads minireview)
Wintertide/Sullivan (A++, full rv soon, Goodreads minireview)

1635 The Eastern Front/Flint (A, Goodreads minireview, since it's only half a book, full review together with its second half due April 2011)

Edit 10/20 The Quantum Thief/Rajaniemi (B, Goodreads minireview)

Edit 1/2/11 Prospero in Hell/Lamplighter (C, Goodreads minireview)

Edit 1/2/11 The House of Discarded Dreams/Sedia (Tried and not for me)

Edit 1/2/11 Guardians of Paradise/Fenn (C-, Goodreads minireview)

Not yet have, But hope to get soon:

Guardians of Paradise/Fenn - finally bought it in November but strangely it did not scream 'read me" on the first page so on the pile for now
Edit 1/2/11 Disappointing, almost a series dropping book; see minireview HERE

Transformation Space/De Pierres

Edit 1/2/11 Got it; will read sooner or later;

The House of Discarded Dreams/Sedia

Edit 1/2/11 Tried and not for me.

Read From and Moved down on the Pile:

Behemoth/Westerfeld - back to reading pile for now; too much YA/same, but still wanna give it a chance

Version 43/Palmer - back to reading pile for now; cannot find the mood for 500 pages of it

Above the Snowline/Swainston - prequel and no full Jant narration moved this one down, but it will be most likely the first one I will finish of the 9 here

Prospero in Hell/Lamplighter - picks up where Prospero Lost ended but have not yet found the mood for it

edit 11/24; Finally got around to (fast) read Prospero in Hell (C,too much of the same) and like All That Lives Must Die/Nylund another dropped series where I liked the first book on novelty mostly, but the second book read same and I quickly lost interest.

Stone Spring/Baxter - read 50 pages and the prehistoric setting/naming got tiresome, but I expect to get over that soon

Heretics/Swann - despite being a big fan of previous sff from the author, this series goes slow for me; should read it when #3 and trilogy ending comes next year

Veteran/Smith - wannabe Richard Morgan and not quite there; need to find the mood for it and decide if I want to finish or if it goes to 'dropped'

Inside Out/Snyder - YA and showing but I plan a fast read when its sequel and series ending (?) is out since it moves well

Cryoburn/Bujold - reads tired, more like series milking than anything else; it's still Bujold, so I will read it sometime

Kraken/Mieville - got stuck on page 200 and unclear when I will resume; maybe when CM's sf comes next year

The Midnight Mayor/Griffith - liked the first installment which was the first and maybe last traditional UF I've read; this one not yet on "dropped" list but the odds are I will never open it again; just cannot suspend disbelief to take (widespread) magic in the modern scientific world...
I have discussed this HERE too.


Ron Buckmire said...

I read Mieville's Kraken--barely finished it. It's not awful, just difficult.

I'm hoping that his 2011 "real" sci-fi book is good because I haven't liked the last three books by him I have read: The City & The City (decent, but i'm a mystery fan and it does't really do THAT genre justice) and Iron Council (which I only got through by skipping vast chunks of the book at a time).

Liviu said...

I cannot say i disliked what i read from Kraken and there was some stuff that i actually liked, but somehow I have not yet got the "oomph" to finish it.

Leaving aside the mystery aspect (i read hundreds of mysteries years ago, including most classics like almost all Agatha Christie and AC Doyle, lots of JD Carr, R.Chandler, Eric Ambler, G. Leroux, M. Leblanc... and sort of got 'done' with the genre outside of cross-genre stuff with strong historical or sff nal component), City and City just seemed not believable with 2000 years of history - I can buy today's outside people respecting the unseeing, but I cannot buy the local conquerors (Romans, Avars, Slavs, Ottomans...) doing it and not just razing it to the ground, enslaving/massacring the population and pouring salt on the ruins....

And I hated Iron Council too


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