(Yeah, yeah, I know. This list isn't strictly part of my regular list of science books lists, but hey, it's Boxing Day and we should all be a little extra self-indulgent and buy ourselves something nice. Being a fan of the full range of science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, I have been paying attention to those "best of 2012" lists as I see them online -- as well as crime fiction and cookbooks, natch -- so I thought I'd share one of the nicest ones I've seen with all my readers. Enjoy!)
Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.
Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.
All the previous 2012 lists are here.
This post includes the following: io9: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2012.
- 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
- The Long Earthby Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxte
- Intrusion by Ken MacLeod
- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
- The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood Duology) by NK Jemisin
- Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillip
- Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
- Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan
- vN: The First Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby
- Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
- The Dog Stars by Peter Hiller
I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.
I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.
For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.
If you are looking for a really good, science-grounded science fiction adventure, may I recommend "The Great Succession Crisis" by Laurel A. Rockefeller. It's a self published novel that came out in August, 2012 that is getting positive reviews by the few people who have heard of it. Website is www.peersofbeinan.com. I think you will really enjoy it. There's so much science and backstory behind the novel that there is a companion "Data Files" book for those who enjoy detailed information about what you see in the story.
I liked vN by Ashby, clever take on nanotech plus androids.
OK, io9 is fun, though I have some issues with Annalee Newitz's take on things. I'm just wondering. At what point does mixing magic in with science fiction create anti-science fiction?
Maybe it's just me, but I can't help thinking that if you're going to make science a subject (even in mythologizing stories) it should support the superiority of scientific reasoning over superstition.
Seems like there are too many literary-type fabulists out there who don't get science at all, not how or why it works, and certainly not it's role in the evolution of modern thinking.
Yeah, OA, I hear ya. The boundary between sf & fantasy can be insanely porous sometimes, to the detriment of each side. The original post from io9 does mention that it's science fiction and fantasy books, and I did include the clearly fantasy books in my re-listing. At least they also sound like great books.
I loved John Scalzi's Redshirts. It's a clever take on the guys (usually) in Star Trek who wear red shirts on away missions, and usually, um, die (no spoilers here).