I’m cutting it close getting this post done before my Hugo ballot is due. It’s a shame I’m only now finding the time to recognize the best books of 2012 three months in to 2013. Such is life.
Last year, I gave the Juice Box to Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse, a collection of her short fiction, including three new stories. It really blew me away. I didn’t find a short story collection that impacted me nearly so much this year, although I regret that I did not read Karin Tidbeck’s Jagannath. Thus, this year’s list is strictly novels.
Sadly, with the exception of one, all of this year’s short list are fantasy, which is likely a result of not reading 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, or M. John Harrison’s Empty Space. I’m certainly going to endeavor to read them in 2013. Among the science fiction I did read this year, the near misses include Faith by John Love (which I named best debut), Rapture by Kameron Hurley, Caliban’s War by James SA Corey, Chimera by TC McCarthy, and Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds.… Read the rest
Admittedly, this is the Juice Box no one wants to drink. It’s like the equivalent of the Coastal Cooler Capri Sun. No eight year old should have to suffer that abomination in their lunchbox. By the same token, the books that make this short list really shouldn’t have been foisted on to unsuspecting genre fans. Nevertheless, here we are. Unlike our eight year old comparison points, it’s pretty hard to do a lunch room swap with a bad book.
But, this Juice Box Award isn’t for bad reads. No, sir! It’s for books that promised to be great and fell flat on their face. Sometimes that means an average book. Sometimes is just means it isn’t as good as it could be, which was surely the case with last year’s winner (er.. loser?) George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons. Regardless, onward!
I present the Most Disappointing Books of the Year:
#5) Railsea & Redshirts
Both of these novels clearly fall into the ‘not as good as they could be’ category because neither is particularly bad.… Read the rest
My 2012 Juice Box Awards hit a bit of a snag called a new job. I quite underestimated the challenge of moving into a new work environment after ten years. But, I’m going to do my damnedest to get my 2012 awards done this week!
One of my favorite awards is recognizing books from years past that I only recently read for the first time. These novels get forgotten too easily with the shiny new releases that come by every month. Unlike last year, I tried to make a point of reading more out of year novels, and I succeeded with twenty of the one-hundred books I read this year. Not bad, right?
So, which was the best? Below are my five favorites from 2012, with published years ranging from the early 1980s to 2011.… Read the rest
In previous years, I’ve awarded this Juice Box to the editor whom I felt best directed an imprint. To do it any other way is really difficult. While I believe an award for best editor SHOULD go to an editor who best improves the work they buy through actual editing, it’s impossible to judge. I don’t know what books looked like when they were first bought by a publisher and how the editor influenced their development. Thusly, I shall continue on prior course, and look instead to an editor’s sense of editorial direction.
When 2012 began there was one name that kept popping up, Dongwon Song. He’s the man behind Robert Jackson Bennett’s superb The Troupe, TC McCarthy’s Exogene and Chimera, Daniel Abraham’s Dagger & Coin series, James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series, among others. He also left Orbit before most of those books ever hit the streets, joining up with startup Zola Books, an online eBook retailer.… Read the rest
So, 2012 is over and that means it’s time for the ‘Best of 2012′ lists to start trickling out. The truth is I’m a little behind the trend due to some real world constraints, but it’s time to get on the horse. Last year I debuted my ‘Juice Box Awards’ and I dug it. The’re back.
I’m going to be doing a short list (5) for each of the book awards and then I always like to give a few Juice Boxes out to people or presses in the industry I think worthy of recognition. I’ll be doing a separate post for each category with a goal of having them all done before February (we’ll see). My award categories are as follows:
Best Small Press of 2012
Editor of the Year
Cover of the Year
Best Book I Read This Year Not Published in 2012
Most Disappointing Book of 2012
Debut of the Year
Book of the Year
*I reserve the right to add nonsense awards at any time. … Read the rest