Dec. 22nd, 2009

starlady: A typewriter.  (tool of the trade)
So I mentioned that I might or might not make a post about my disagreements with io9's 20 Best SFF Books of the Decade. (They call the list simply science fiction, but with Harry Potter and Jonathan Strange on it, it's not just sf. Thanks for that insult, guys.) I was leaning toward might not until I saw [personal profile] jonquil post these choice quotations about Cory Doctorow's new novel on her journal. I can't stand Cory Doctorow as a writer, and [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija's posts related to Little Brother are a good illustration of why.

So this list is shorter, because I don't think I read 20 sff books of the Aughts that were truly...I'm not even sure of the word. But I have read all of the ones below, and could go on at length about them if prompted. I took the ones I had read and agreed with off io9, then added.

Neal Stephenson, The Baroque Trilogy
J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter books
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
China Miéville, Perdido Street Station
Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
Kelly Link, Pretty Monsters
Naomi Novik, the Temeraire series
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Shaun Tan, Tales from Outer Suburbia

Some of the comments to the io9 post are pretty spot-on; I think the best is the one pointing out how white it is, which is a valid criticism of my list too. I haven't read enough sff by chromatic writiers; I also think I don't, or haven't, read enough sff of ideas--but I also think that not enough sff of ideas is written. And I don't count "literary fiction" as sff, which lops a chunk of the io9 choices off my reduced list.

What do other people think? What are the sff books of the decade by chromatic authors? What sff novels (of ideas) would you nominate? I think that my list is a beginning and that I am left with far more questions than answers, which disinclines me to try to make any sweeping statements.