Bibliophile Stalker Best Of 2009 Short List

Guest Blogger Charles Tan blogs at Bibliophile Stalker, The World SF News Blog, and SF Signal.

It’s not yet the end of the year and publications/companies/people are already publishing their “Best Of 2009” lists. Don’t you find that annoying? (I, on the other hand, am trying to cram as much books that I haven’t yet read in this last two months.) Anyway, I’m following Andrew Wheeler’s advice on publishing my short list. At the end of the year, I’ll be publishing my top three titles in various categories over at my blog. I’m not an institution however so note that this list is very subjective and tentative (and I still have a lot of reading to catch up to!).

Some disclaimers though. While a lot of other publications focus on the novel, I tend to read more of anthologies and short story collections. And while we’re on the subject of short stories (and its ilk, the novelette and the novella), I don’t have access to to the Big Three genre magazines, so that also colors my preferences (I can’t evaluate what I haven’t read).

I like lists though because it generates discussion. What are your favorite titles in the various categories? Anything that I missed or should be reading? (On that note, China Mieville’s The City & The City has been bought but unread, and the same goes for John Joseph Adams’s Night Shade Books anthologies.)

Best Novel

  • The Babylonian Trilogy by Sebastien Doubinsky (PS Publishing)
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (Spectra)
  • Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (Underland Press)
  • The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (William Morrow)
  • Slights by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot Books)

Best Novella

  • “Delusion’s Song” by Alan Smale from Panverse One (Panverse Publishing)
  • Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow (Tachyon Publications)
  • Starfall by Stephen Baxter (PS Publishing)
  • The Witnesses Are Gone by Joel Lane (PS Publishing)
  • The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough (PS Publishing)

Best Novelette

  • “Everland by Paul Witcover from Everland and Other Stories (PS Publishing)
  • “Technicolor” by John Langan from Poe (Solaris Books)
  • “It Takes Two” by Nicola Griffith from Eclipse Three (Night Shade Books)
  • “Don’t Mention Madagascar” by Pat Cadigan from Eclipse Three (Night Shade Books)
  • “The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria” by Carlos Hernandez from Interfictions 2 (Small Beer Press)

Best Short Story

  • “Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy” by Catherynne M. Valente from Federations (Prime Books)
  • “SO-far” by Otsuichi from ZOO (Haikasoru)
  • “The Cinderella Game” by Kelly Link from Troll’s Eye View (Viking Juvenille)
  • “At the Edge of Dying” by Mary Robinette Kowal from Clockwork Phoenix 2 (Norilana Books)
  • “The Best Monkey” by Daniel Abraham from The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 3 (Solaris Books)
  • “Artis Eterne” from Cern Zoo (Megazanthus Press)
  • “Count Poniatowski and the Beautiful Chicken” by Elizabeth Ziemska from Interfictions 2 (Small Beer Press)

Best Original Anthology

  • Poe edited by Ellen Datlow (Solaris Books)
  • Philippine Speculative Fiction IV edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar (Kestrel IMC) — disclosure: I’m included in this anthology.
  • Eclipse Three by edited Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
  • Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November (Firebird)
  • Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing edited by Delia Sherman & Christopher Barzak (Small Beer Press)

Best Reprint Anthology

  • Best American Fantasy 2 edited by Jeff & Ann VanderMeer (Prime Books)
  • Year’s Best Fantasy 9 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (Tor Books)
  • The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology edited by Gordon Van Gelder (Tachyon Publications)
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume One edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books)
  • The Secret History of Science Fiction edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (Tachyon Publications)

Best Short Story Collection

  • The Best of Michael Moorcock edited by John Davey with Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon Publications)
  • Everland and Other Stories by Paul Witcover (PS Publishing)
  • We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications)
  • ZOO by Otsuichi (Haikasoru)

Best Single-Issue Magazine

      Best Genre Podcast

      Special Award

      • Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon Publications)

      Best Non-Genre Book for a Genre Reader

      • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (Picador)

      8 comments on “Bibliophile Stalker Best Of 2009 Short List

      1. ben_ says:

        A few Links would have been cool, especially to to podcasts.

      2. Charles A Tan says:


      3. Rina Weisman says:

        Nice mention of The Agony Column! Rick Kleffel is one of the hardest working men in show business…not only does AC post fresh content every day, but Rick is the podcaster for the SF in SF events program here in San Francisco. He was also the ‘official’ podcaster for the recent World Fantasy Convention held here in the Bay Area over Halloween weekend. His work is essential to the field.

      4. Charles A Tan says:

        Thanks Rina! One of the World Fantasy Con recordings is actually up now.

        It’s not on my list but Rick’s counterpart in New York would be Jim Freud of Hour of the Wolf. Similarly tireless in his participation in the genre.

      5. trailhawk says:

        “Philippine Speculative Fiction IV edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar (Kestrel IMC)” – a must read for me.

      6. A lot of great books are left off this list. Check out “The Sons of Plato”.

      7. Eric Schaller says:

        Hey thanks for the shout-out about New Genre. I really like nuts-and-bolts quality that Adam Golaski puts into producing each issue–it’s one of the most beautiful print magazines out there–and I am royally pleased to be part of the latest issue.

      8. At times you arrive across a submit that just seems to create sense. Thanks a good deal

      Comments are closed.