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Tor.com: Reviewers' Choice Best Books of 2013

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Yet another "Best of 2013" list. This one is interesting in that it includes many books that maybe aren't the usual suspects. Check it out if you're looking for some things you may have possibly never heard about.


    Sorry to rattle off names, but I'll list the books mentioned at the link below. You can check out the article for more info on the titles. (too many italics to include, so none for you! :)):

    Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
    Equilateral by Ken Kalfus
    A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn (described as the "China Mieville of literary fiction; color me intrigued)
    A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (this one is mentioned multiple times)
    The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
    The Machine by James Smythe
    The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce
    Unnatural Creatures edited by Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley
    Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
    The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates
    NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
    The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
    American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
    Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
    Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
    Reflections by Roz Kaveney
    On A Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
    A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
    Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter
    Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
    Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee
    Elect H. Mouse State Judge by Nelly Reifler
    Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathanial Rich
    The Unreal and the Real by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Before and Afterlives by Christopher Barzak
    Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tiernay aka Caitlin R. Kiernan
    Scatter, Adapt, Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Angela Newitz (non-fiction)
    Mouse Guard: the Black Axe by David Peterson (graphic novel)
    The Land Across by Gene Wolfe
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis
    The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar

    Have you heard anything about any of these or do they pique your interest? Obviously a title and author's name may not be enough, but as I said, the article has links and some information about each book.

    I'll go through the list more thoroughly later and pick some out that I think I may be interested in checking out.
  2. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    Aside from the ones from the more famous SFF authors on the list, the only odd one I'd heard of here was Hild by Nicola Griffith. I was a medieval history major back in university, and I happen to adore the whole... history of the saints in Christianity, plus I do adore historical fiction surrounding women, so I'm quite interested in that one.

    And yes, I was also piqued by the description of Horn as the "China Mieville of literary fiction".
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I've had some time to look through these more and give some opinions on ones I may be interested in:

    A Guide For the Perplexed definitely interests me. Any comparison to Mieville can't be bad.

    NOS4A2 by Joe Hill sounds like fun. I've heard good things about him in other threads and other places, so it sounds like a creepy ride.

    The Tyrant's Law is the third book in Daniel Abraham's Dagger and the Coin series. After being impressed with the Long Price Quartet (what I read anyway), I would like to check out this series.

    American Elsewhere also sounds like something I'd like if I'm in a "darker" mood. I'm trying to not only read "fantasy fantasy" (not sure I have to explain what that means, but it makes sense to me) only so much recently. So a story that includes Cthulu mythos is always welcome.

    A Natural History of Dragons has an awesome cover and here's an interesting review on it. Downton Abbey, But With Dragons! Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons | Tor.com "Dragon dissections?" Huh? Color me intrigued. It's also described as "Downton Abbey with dragons." I haven't watched that show, but I know it's wildly popular. Might be a fitting tagline.

    Six-Gun Snow White involves a retelling of Snow White in the Wild West through the POV of a biracial girl. If you like fairytale retellings, might be worth a go.

    Mouse Guard: the Black Ax looks pretty dang cool. It kind of looks like Redwall with Vikings. Not a bad amalgamation.

    Something More Than Night might be up my alley since I've been reading lots of noir-ish fantasy as of late. Fallen angels, femme fatales, and a Philip Marlow-esque lead sound pretty awesome.

    Those are the ones that got my attention anyway.

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