The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton
There was little-to-no-chance that any book was going to beat The Evolutionary Void this year unless Peter F Hamilton managed to mess it up completely. Pleasingly, he didn’t, but not only that he delivered what I think is the best finish to any series he’s written to date. The whole of the Void trilogy is right up there with the best sci-fi series I’ve read and once again confirms his position as my favourite SF writer.
Cosmopath by Eric Brown
Cosmopath is one that you could argue shouldn’t be on this list, but at its time of release there were mixed release dates out – some saying 31st December 2009, some saying January 2010. Either way I didn’t include this in my best-of post last year, hence its inclusion here. Regardless, Cosmopath is the third and exceedingly good novel in Eric Brown’s Bengal Station trilogy. I can’t recommend this series highly enough, I consider it to be one of the best sci-fi trilogies in the past decade.
Feed by Mira Grant
Feed is a zombie novel, but not a typical one. It’s set in the future and Mira Grant has done a great job of fully realising the world in which it is set. It’s the first book in a trilogy too, so there is plenty more to come from this excellent setting.
The Desert Spear by Peter V Brett
I loved The Painted Man when I read it and The Desert Spear was high on my anticipated releases of 2010. The book has had some criticism, but it does exactly what it needs to do and I thought it continued the story very well. It’s also cemented Peter V Brett as one of the few fantasy authors I will read with no hesitation.
The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding
Retribution Falls was number 2 in my best reads last year, and the only reason that The Black Lung Captain isn’t higher is simply due to the standard of books I’ve read this year. It’s an excellent continuation of the characters and advances many things the way you’d expect, and sometimes wouldn’t. Great stuff.
The Noise Within by Ian Whates
Ian Whates is the person behind the very impressive Newcon Press, and with his debut novel he shows that he can not only run and edited that publisher, but he can write a damned good story too!
Glitter Rose by Marianne de Pierres
I’ve really enjoyed reading Marianne de Pierres over the past few years (and I’m embarrassed I’ve not read her big release this year, Transformation Space), and her Glitter Rose collection is just beautiful. There is no other word for it. Highly recommended for some intelligent and emotional SF.
Spellwright by Blake Charlton
Another of the few fantasy books I’ve read this year, but Spellwright hit all the right buttons for me. It’s written in such a way that is easy to read, makes the pages fly by and gets you to invest in the characters. I’ll be adding Blake Charlton to the exclusive list of fantasy authors I’ll be buying on publication.
Engineman by Eric Brown
Another Eric Brown novel in the top 10, and despite it being a re-release (with some re-writes) of the same novel that was out a decade and a half ago, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable.
The Great Bazaar by Peter V Brett
Rounding off the top 10 is the short release from Peter V Brett that gives some more information on Arlen’s journeys. Really enjoyable, and with another similar release due any time now I’m sure Mr Brett will be a regular face in my best-of lists from now on.
Favourite Reads – Older Books
The Starship series was thoroughly enjoyable and one of the best military stories I’ve read in a while. I’ve read these twice this year – I think that says it all!
What’s this? More Eric Brown? Yep, and some great stuff. I still need to review the second of these, but I want to read it again before doing so. Eric has also sold another two stories in this series to PS Publishing, so I’ll be getting to those ASAP once they’re out.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this novel as much as I did, but the reputation it’s garnered is well deserved. I’m hanging off reading the second in the series until a firm date is set for the release of the third…
Meridian Days by Eric Brown
I know it may be getting repetitive, but Eric Brown is one of those authors that hits everything I enjoy about sci-fi. ‘Nuff said.
40 Years by Bernd Struben
This is probably my biggest surprise read of the year, but hugely enjoyable and very reminiscent of some of John Scalzi’s work. It doesn’t have that same humour, but what it does deliver is worth every word.