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2006: A Year in Review

Continuing my annual tradition, this is a year-end wrap-up for my personal sf/fantasy/horror experiences for 2006. These are not necessarily things that first appeared this year – some of the books I read are reprints or older copies – they are just the things that I read (or watched) this year.


To sum up, the Best of 2006 (works that received at least a 4.5 out of 5 rating) are:

Maybe worth noting: only 3 of these titles first appeared in 2006 and only two of those are fiction. (River of Gods was released in the U.K. in 2004 before it was released in the U.S. in 2006.) Also, Scalzi and Effinger were on last year’s list for the corresponding prequels.



Here is my OCD-summary of the books I’ve read in 2006 noting the year the book was originally released.

Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton (2004)

The Wave by Walter Mosley (2006)

Child of Earth by David Gerrold (2005)

Prodigy by Dave Kalstein (2006)

Platinum Pohl by Frederik Pohl (2006)

Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell (2006)

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (2006)

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton (2006)

253 – The Print Remix by Geoff Ryman (1996)

Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein (1948)

A Fire in the Sun by George Alec Effinger (1990)

The Good Old Stuff edited by Gardner Dozois (1998)

Genetopia by Keith Brooke (2006)

River of Gods by Ian McDonald (2004)

Best Short Novels: 2005 edited by Jonathan Strahan (2005)

The Book of Skulls Robert Silverberg (1972)

A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick (1977)

One Million A.D. edited by Gardner Dozois (2005)

Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn (2005)

Down These Dark Spaceways edited by Mike Resnick (2005)

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (1990)

Scardown by Elizabeth Bear (2005)

The Destiny Mask by Martin Sketchley (2005)

Worldwired by Elizabeth Bear (2005)

Paragaea by Chris Roberson (2006)

Between Worlds edited by Robert Silverberg (2004)

The Dark Light Years by Brian Aldiss (1964)

Year’s Best SF 11 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer (2005)

Best Short Novels: 2006 edited by Jonathan Strahan (2006)

The Exile Kiss by George Alec Effinger (1991)

Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio by John Picacio (2006)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction # 23 edited by Gardner Dozois (2006)

Midnighters #1 – The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld (2004)

The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer (2006)

Crossover by Joel Shepherd (2001)

Forbidden Planets edited by Marvin Kaye (2006)

The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi (2006)

Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest (2006)

Isaac Asimov’s Halloween edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams (2001)

The Children of Men by P.D. James (1992)

Escape From Earth edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois (2006)

Sagramanda by Alan Dean Foster (2006)

The Witling by Vernor Vinge (1976)

The Good New Stuff edited by Gardner Dozois (1999)

Solstice Chronicles by Jeff Patterson (2006)

Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker (2006)

Vic and Blood: The Continuing Adventures of a Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison (2003)

I read 48 books this year, down from last year’s 54. I attribute this to (1) Reading more anthologies/collections (15 vs. last year’s 9) which take longer to read and review, and (2) Reading some FHBs (Freakin’ Huge Books) like Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained and The Space Opera Renaissance. Although, if my calculations are correct (and they probably aren’t), my page count is indeed lower.


My 2006 short-story-a-day reading project was successful. Yay me. See details posted elsewhere.


I didn’t see many sf/f movies this year. Sigh. I’m still trying to catch up on my DVD viewing: Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, etc. Here’s what I did see and rate:

THX 1138

X-Men 2


Does anyone else think SF TV has gotten better? Last year was, what? BSG and Doctor Who? This year those continued to be in fine form, though BSG might currently be in a slump. But in 2006 we also got Heroes, Eureka and The Lost Room. All watchable, all fun. (Let’s ignore my brief-but-wayward fascination with Who Wants to be a Superhero?, shall we? Thank you.)

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on 2006: A Year in Review

  1. Are you counting the published date as the hardback or paperback date? It always irritates me that I can never read all the awards lists until a year later when they come out in paperback and I can afford them 🙁 (Although I do get some hardbacks as presents if lucky).

  2. Stargate SG-1 & Stargate Atlantis are both science fiction last I saw…

  3. James,

    The dates are the copyright dates I pulled from the first few pages, so they usually reflect the hardback date if they were available in hardback. It’s also possible the book first appeared after that year. I know what you mean on the price of hardbacks. I’m lucky in that regard: books 2 (hb), 3 (hb), 4 (tpb), 5 (hb), and 8 (hb) were sent to me by the publisher. Books 1 (mmpb), 6 (mmpb & tpb), 7 (hb), 9 (hb) and 10 (tpb) I purchased myself from a used bookstore.


    I was only reflecting on the things that I read or watched. I’m afraid I jumped off the Stargate train years ago for SG-1, and after one or two episodes for Atlantis.

  4. Sorry for the off-topic post (come on, it is me, after all!) but saw the name John Scalzi and thought you might want to read about Mr. Scalzi’s ideas of being poor. Then here’s someone’s “rebuttal” to the list.

    And if you still don’t feel pretty good about your life after those, go ahead and read about what being poor really mean

    Now back to our regularly scheduled SciFi yummy goodness…

  5. Loved Ghost Brigades. Haven’t read any of the others though I do have Crystal Rain on my list. I think I’m going to have to add Pandora’s Star, it sounds very interesting and I have heard of but haven’t read Peter Hamilton.

  6. Carl, if you’re going to read Hamilton and you’ve got the time, read his Night’s Dawn series. It was much stronger overall. The sequel to Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained, was somewhat of a letdown after such a strong start.

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