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Books like The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009

2009, Rich Horton, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ian McDonald, Ted Kosmathka, Alice Sola Kim, Alex Jeffers, Daryl Gregory, Karen Heuler, Elizabeth Bear, K.J. Parker, Paul McAuley, James Maxey, Rachel Swirsky, Sarah Monette, Garth Nix, Eugene Mirabelli, James L. Cambias, Robert Reed, Ann Leckie, Carol Emshwiller, Charles Anders, Will McIntosh, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Beth Bernobich, Gene Wolfe, Meghan McCarron, Yoon Ha Lee, Paul Park, Liz Williams, Delia Sherman, Kil Johnson, Naomi Novik, Margo Lanagan, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Hand, Rivka Galchen, Richard Bowes, James Patrick Kelly, Erik Amundsen, Paul Cornell, Jeffrey Ford, Holly Phillips, James Alan Gardner, Jeff VanderMeer, Christopher Golden, Catherynne M. Valente, Peter S. Beagle, Patrick Rothfuss, Jonathan Carroll, Peter Watts


Overall this novel was okay but I wouldn't recommend it. It had mostly okay stories with some terrible ones and only a few great stories. Some of the favorite stories were Araminta, the Wreck of the Amphidrake by Naomi Novik, Infestation by Garth Nix, Finding Hanover by Jeff VanderMeer, and The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss. I didn't have time to finish all the stories though as I had to return it to the library (3 stories were unread). Introduction by Rich HortonIn the introduction Horton describes different genres of fantasy and science fiction. This seemed redundant and unnecessary. Horton also briefly described some of the stories. Overall a pointless but slightly informative introduction. 26 monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson ★★★★Good story about a magic show involving disappearing monkeys. I feel I didn't get the whole story as there is references to home (are the characters living everyday in the monkeys world or do the monkeys vanish and visit their home during the magic tricks) I didn't get.Shaggoths in Bloom by Elizabeth Bear ★★Not a good story. The parallels between slave engineered Shaggoths and WWII wasn't subtle. I liked the Shaggoths but they make such a small appearance even though the story was about their discovery.Glass by Daryl Gregory ★★★Super short story about psychopaths in a prison and a drug that can give them emotions. Story was too short for good characterization or a solid plot, felt more like a teaser. The Hiss of Escaping Air by Christopher Golden ★★★★This was a great story featuring love, loss, death and revenge. Story had a slow start but the ending made up for it. Araminta, or the Wreck of the Amphidrake by Naomi Novik ★★★★★Araminta is a noblewoman who acts differently. She fights, hunts and wants to learn magic. Since her parents know she would never attract a man in the area she lives in they send her to the Drowned Lands to get married. Instead she is captured by pirates and gets to take control of her life. Best novel in the story, I loved it!We Love Deena by Alice Sola Kim ★★★★This story was creepy. The MC can inhabit numerous people's bodies which she uses to try to win her girlfriend's love back. It was a little funny. Great characters and backstory. The Art of Alchemy by Ted Kosmatka ★★★★This was a great story about carbon nanotubes and a corporation that wants to bury the new technology that will compete with their business. I loved the ending, a little sad yet it completed the story perfectly. Falling Ange by Eugene Mirabeli ★★★Super weird story about an angel who escapes and hooks up with a human male. I didn't understand the ending. The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross by Margo Langan- DNFStory seemed too sexist and degrading so I put it down at 20% read. King Pelles the Sure by Peter S. Beagle ★★★★★Another great story by a great author. King Pelles is unhappy that he will not be remembered for anything grand so he decides to create civil unrest and turns his peaceful kingdom into a warring one. I loved the ending, it wrapped the story up perfectly. Character Flu by Robert Reed ★★★Super short story about a plague. Wasn't really sure the purpose of the story. Too short to have any characterization. Gift From a Spring by Delia Sherman ★★Whittier, a struggling artist, goes to work for a retired dancer and producer. There she helps free Ondine. Story wasn't original or grand. The "twist" regarding the couple and the stream I figured out from page 4. The Region of Unlikeness by Rivka Galchen ★★This story features three people who meet at a coffee shop and quickly became good friends. The plot featuring time travel and scientific exploration but it focused mostly on the characters. I hated all the characters, they were mean or mopie with no redeeming traits. Daltharee by Jeffrey Ford ★Super strange story about miniature cities and a miniature people called Daltharee who live inside a bottle. My mind kept wandering as I read the story. I didn't find it exciting, not even the twist ending. The Ray-Gun: A Love Story by James Alan Gardner ★★★★Awesome story about a teenagers obsession with a ray gun. I loved the ending as it was perfect. Nice and sappy for this story. The God of Au by Ann Leckie ★★★★Good story, quite unique. I liked how finicky and greedy the gods were. The Fantasy Jumper by Will McIntosh ★★★This was one of the darker stories in the novel. I was a little horrified by it but the ending helped redeem it. The Magician's House by Meghan McCarron - DNFThis story is about a girl who wants to be a magician. I tried reading a few pages but I couldn't get into it so I stopped. Balancing Accounts by James L. Cambios ★★★Good story about an AI cargo ship. Some parts of the story dragged on but I really liked the MC. He was unusual and unique, nice different POV. Suicide Drive by Charlie Anders ★★★Story is about a man who is talking about his father. His father invented a one-way FTL drive so humanity could escape a dying Earth and recolonize. Story was good, I liked how it was written like an interview but only one way. The Small Door by Holly Philips ★★★Good story, I was a little surprised by the ending. I was really expecting a dark and twisted ending, yet it was sweet. The Eyes of God by Peter Watts - DNFI found the beginning too distasteful that I had no desire to finish it. I hated how the author defined people so callously by their medical conditions. Shame too as I love stories set in Canada. Firooz and His Brother by Alex Jeffers ★★★This story was about the love between two people, one not quite human. The ending was good but otherwise it was an average story with a great location. Infestation by Garth Nix ★★★★★Not sure if this is more a sci-fi or fantasy story as it features vampires. I loved the main character, plot and backstory. One of the best stories in the novel. A Water Matter by Jay LakeDid not readThe Golden Octopus by Beth Bernobich ★★★★A really good story featuring a scientist researching time travel and a queen funding his research. I initially didn't like the romance in the story until the ending. Great way to wrap up the story. Blue Vervain Murder Ballad #2: Jack of Diamonds by Erik Amundsen ★This story bothered me due to the plot; it focused on Hector who wanted to win a card game and therefore have the right to have sex with Rachel. I hate bad female tropes. The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss ★★★★★This story follows Kvothe as he rescues two kidnapped girls from fake Edema Ruh. The story was excellent. My only small complaint was how helpless the girls acted. I understand the story was about their rescue I just wish they acted less damsley. Finding Hanover by Jeff VanderMeer ★★★★Amazing story about a genius engineer who escapes his king and his war machines only to have his past come back to haunt him later. Story had a slow start but it picked up nicely. I loved the ending and the steampunk feel to it. Boojum by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah MonetteDid not readThe Difficulties of Evolution by Karen Heuler ★Stupid stupid story. In it a mother tries to come to terms as her three years old evolves into a reptile. Apparently in this world most children evolve into a creature (moth, elephant, cat, etc). Waste of time reading it. Catherine Drewe by Paul Cornell ★★Beginning of the story was okay as it felt dystopian with illegal abductions and very little regard for human life. The middle to end got dull as it felt too religious with the higher calling stuff. I know it was about aliens and not god but still. Silent as Dust by James Maxey ★★I found the story confusing, especially the main character. He kept referring to himself as a ghost living in a haunted house (so I literally thought he was a ghost). Nope, he is a living human who just exists like an unseen ghost/human. Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal ★★★Short story about an enhanced monkey with a higher than average intelligence. He doesn't fit in so he makes poetry. Story was okay, too short to have much character or plot development. If Angels Fight by Richard BowesDid not readSpiderhorse by Liz Williams ★★★This was a super strange story about rebirth and the Hunt taking stillborn babies. I think it's based on old Norish tales but I wouldn't know. Alright story but nothing special.the Tear by Ian McDonald - DNFI tried to retain interest in the story but there wasn't enough action. The characterization was good. I didn't like the sex scenes, they felt way too creepy (the characters were teenagers). I gave up halfway through when I realized I was zoning out.

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