Tags

1. Lincoln at Cooper Union — Harold Holzer (2004)+
2. The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2001)
3. Saturday — Ian McEwan (2005)
4. Our Ecstatic Days — Steve Erickson (2005)*
5. Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 — ed Vonda McIntyre (2004)*
6. xyzt: dimensions of science fiction — Damien Broderick (2004)*
7. The Complete Critical Assembly — David Langford (2002)*
8. Up Through an Empty House of Stars — David Langford (2003)*
9. Life — Gwyneth Jones (2004)*
10. Subterranean Worlds — ed Peter Fitting (2004)*
11. Fascination — William Boyd (2004)
12. The Professor’s House — Willa Cather (1925)
13. Stamping Butterflies — Jon Courtenay Grimwood (2004)
14. Borges: A Life — Edwin Williamson (2004)+
15. Scandal Takes a Holiday — Lindsay Davies (2004)
16. Come Dance With Me — Russell Hoban (2005)
17. Iron Council — China Mieville (2004)
18. Market Forces — Richard Morgan (2004)
19. The System of the World — Neal Stephenson (2004)
20. The Separation — Christopher Priest (2002)
21. Suffering in Paradise — Rebecca Totero (2005)*
22. Vellum — Hal Duncan (2005)*
23. Lord Byron’s Novel — John Crowley (2005)*
24. Accelerando — Charles Stross (2005)*
25. Encounters — ed Maxine McArthur & Donna Maree Hansen (2004)*
26. H.G. Wells: Traversing Time — W. Warren Wagar (2004)*+
27. American Brutus — Michael W. Kauffman (2004)+
28. Ex Libris — Anna Fadiman (1998)
29. The Sea — John Banville (2005)
30. The Club Dumas — Arturo Perez-Reverte (1993)
31. Christopher Priest: The Interaction — ed Andrew M. Butler (2005)+
32. Poe & Fanny — John May (2004)
33. McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories — ed Michael Chabon (2004)
34. Anansi Boys — Neil Gaiman (2005)
35. My Family and Other Animals — Gerald Durrell (1956)
36. Beowulf — Seamus Heaney (1999)
37. Arthur and George — Julian Barnes (2005)
38. This Stage-Play World — Julia Briggs (1993)+
39. Fortress of Solitude — Jonathan Lethem (2003)
40. Soul Made Flesh — Carl Zimmer (2004)+
41. Cultural Breaks — Brian Aldiss (2005)*
42. Parietal Games — ed Mark Bould & Michelle Reid (2005)*
43. Little Machines — Paul McAuley (2005)*
44. Numbers Don’t Lie — Terry Bisson (2005)*
45. Pushing Ice — Alastair Reynolds (2005)*
46. Soundings — Gary Wolfe (2005)*
47. Specimen Days — Michael Cunningham (2005)*
48. The Isle of Pines — Henry Neville (1668)
49. Founding Fictions — Amy Boesky (1996)+
50. The March — E.L. Doctorow (2005)
51. Magic for Beginners — Kelly Link (2005)

Maybe I should have gone in for the 50-Book challenge. I just made the total. (As I write, by the way, I have not quite finished the Kelly Link collection, but there is no doubt I will complete the book before the end of tomorrow. The same cannot be said for the other four or five books I’m currently in the process of reading).

I’ve marked in bold the seven stand-out fictions of the year for me (and only the Erickson, Crowley and Link are remotely fantastical. But anyone who does not read the McEwan, the Banville, the Barnes and especially the Doctorow (which I’ll write about separately) is missing out on a real treat). I’ve put a + beside the best of the non-fictions but some of them are only liable to be of interest if you share my particular predelictions. For my own interest I’ve also included an * beside those books I read for review. A frightening number when you see them gathered together like this, but when you remember it includes reviews for SF Studies, Utopian Studies, NY Review of SF, Foundation, Vector, Interzone, Strange Horizons and SF Site, I suppose it’s not really that many. There are one or two of the reviewed books which will appear in one of other of my books of the year lists, but in the main I am very aware of how few of the books I reviewed were also among the best of the year.

First published at Livejournal, 30 December 2005.

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