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Kirkus Best Books of 2006

Kirkus lists their Top books for 2006 (PDF file).

Making the cut in the “Sci-Fi” category:

  • Shadows in the Starlight by Elaine Cunningham
  • A Grey Moon Over China by Thomas A. Day
  • The Crippled Angel by Sara Douglass
  • Eifelheim by Michael Flynn [see SF Signal review]
  • Stamping Butterflies by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
  • Bridge of Souls by Fiona McIntosh
  • The Toyminator by Robert Rankin
  • Greywalker by Kat Richardson
  • Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder
  • In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

See also: Kirkus Best Books of 2005

[via SFBC Blog]

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

8 Comments on Kirkus Best Books of 2006

  1. Mike Timonin // January 11, 2007 at 8:15 am //

    Odd, I haven’t read any of those. In fact, I’ve only heard of the Douglass. Seems Kirkus liked none of the new fiction that I liked this past year.

  2. Like Andrew Wheeler mentions in the original link, the list does seem somewhat idiosyncratic. That’s good though, isn’t it? Who wants to see the same titles on list after list?

  3. Mike Timonin // January 11, 2007 at 1:02 pm //

    Point. Also, as I think about what I’ve read in new SF this past year (I’m reading and re-reading some older stuff at present), there hasn’t been all that I would present as stunningly good. So perhaps it’s good that Kirkus disagrees with me…

  4. Curiosity piqued. What does your list for best 2006 reads look like?

    Here’s mine, though it admittedly only has 3 titles that are new in 2006: 2 fiction (River of Gods and Crystal Rain) + 1 art book (Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio). I also like reading older stuff.

  5. Mike Timonin // January 11, 2007 at 3:59 pm //

    Geez. I’ll have to think about that. I’ll get back to you.

  6. Mike Timonin // January 12, 2007 at 9:03 am //

    Ok. Problem is, I read so … voraciously? … that I don’t have a good idea of exactly what I read last year. However, a couple of high points:

    Connie Willis – Inside Job, best use of H.L. Mencken in an SF story.

    Lois McMaster Bujold – The Sharing Knife, an interesting start to a new series. Little slow to begin, but compelling enough that I’ll pick up the next one, at least.

    Naomi Novik – The Temeraire Trilogy, Hadn’t seen these before (we moved, so new libraries, new stuff), and I’m a Napoleonic War buff, so these were very interesting.

    S.M. Stirling – Dies The Fire Trilogy, again, new to me. Really liked the characterization. I thought the middle book was by far the best.

    Tamora Pierce – Will of the Empress, a satisfying cap to the series, but overall, in retrospect, not that great.

    I’m pretty sure I read some Turtledove this past year, but I’m not sure which ones. I think, when he’s good, he’s very very good, but when he’s not so good? Like that World War I, but with dragons book? That sucked as nothing has ever sucked before.

    George R.R. Martin – Song of Ice and Fire I devoured these. Several hundred pages in a matter of days. (not the whole series in a matter of days, but each book, certainly.)

    John Scalzi – The Ghost Brigades Good, but not as good as OMW. The premise was no longer new, perhaps that detracted. I’m really not sure, but I thought it fell a little flat at the end.

    That’s what comes to mind at the moment – not so much a top ten as a “these are what stuck in my sieve-like mind”.

  7. Ah, yes…I also liked the Willis short story. I keep wanting to read the Temeraire books, but I it takes a lot of effort to overcome my personal predisposition away from fantasy. For the Song of Ice and Fire series (which friends have raved about, too), it’s just a matter of me getting up the nerve to start a long, as-yet-unfinished series.

  8. Mike Timonin // January 12, 2007 at 12:19 pm //

    I think the fantasy elements in the Temeraire books are actually fairly minor. Yes, there are dragons, but they are scientific dragons. Also, and I liked this, the dragons don’t seem to be affecting the historical record in any discernable way – that is, the history is happening more or less as it happened in our non-dragony world.

    I recommend pacing yourself if you start the Martins. I think if you tried to read more than one in a row, they would be overwhelming. I tried to leave a month or so between books. In those, the fantasy is integral to the world, but it’s not flashy wizards and pointy eared elves and such. At least, not yet. These are very character driven novels, with long arcs of character development.

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