It was also a year filled with pleasant surprises – one of my favorite crime fiction authors, Charlie Huston, released a thought-provoking post-apocalyptic thriller entitled Sleepless; Terry DeHart’s debut novel The Unit was exceptionally good; paranormal fantasy luminary Rob Thurman dipped her feet into the science fiction pool with Chimera; Mark L. Van Name elevated his Jon Moore saga to another level with Children No More; 62-year old debut novelist Jack Eason released a small press gem with Onet's Tale; etc.
Out of all of the Year’s Best lists I’ve compiled for 2010, this one was the hardest. There were so many high quality releases – it was virtually impossible to narrow it down to just a baker’s dozen – in the end, I just had to go with my gut. The list below constitutes the releases of 2010 that not only entertained me but also moved me in some way. For me, science fiction is ideally about enlightenment – changing the way I look at myself or the world around me – and all of the releases below succeeded in not only entertaining me but illuminating me as well.
And before I get inundated with emails, all vampire and zombie powered science fiction releases (like Mira Grant’s Feed and Justin Cronin’s The Passage) were featured in the Year’s Best Zombie Releases and Year’s Best Vampire Releases lists.
So, without further ado, here is my (what will surely be contentious!) list for best science fiction releases of 2010. Enjoy!
1. Yarn by Jon Armstrong
2. Shine: An Anthology of Near-Future Optimistic Science Fiction edited by Jetse de Vries
3. He Walked Among Us by Norman Spinrad
4. WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer
6. The Double Human by James O’Neal
7. Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear
8. The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton
9. Geosynchron by David Louis Edelman
10. Ark by Stephen Baxter
11. Sleepless by Charlie Huston
12. Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
13. Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for almost the last two decades and has written more than 6,000 reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.
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