Amazon UK just posted their best-of SF/F list for the year, as reported by SF Signal. For comparison purposes here’s the US list, with commentary on 1-5 and 6-10. For the US list, I put together a list of recomendations, and then the final list is compiled after consultation with Amazon editors and with consideration of recommendations coming back from them—same as, for example, their comics best-of list, which is compiled by their comics expert and used to include some of my recommendations when I was reading and featuring graphic novels for Amazon’s book blog.
I’m fairly sure that just as the US list can only include books published in the US in 2010, the UK list probably can only be books published in the UK in 2010. This means both lists will have some books that couldn’t be considered by the folks putting together the other list. There are two books on their list I haven’t read but which I believe have not yet been published in the US. (Just as a reader, though, my immediate reaction would be: What?! No Charles Yu [Atlantic]? No Zoo City by Beukes? [Angry Robot], etc.)
Anyway, there’s been some discussion at io9, both positive and negative, about the US list. All of it makes me wonder again about the center of genre, and the center of the genre book culture, and the role of the blogosphere in all of that. Because the two lists—trying to look at them as an impartial observer—largely look like they come from two different worlds. (Another aspect of that is: when I see a book title or author I don’t recognize on a year’s best list, my immediate reaction isn’t usually “WTF”, but instead, “Excellent! A chance to find some new, shiny thing that I might love.”)
And also: this is why it’s important to have so many different year’s best lists, coming from different perspectives.