Best Books of 2004

Ven vendersleighc at
Fri Jan 7 19:47:22 EST 2005

Grrr Yahoo just ate my post, not a total loss
because I was working from a draft but all the
same I hate them!

This is my best of 2004 that I can remember -- a
bit weighted toward the end of the year.

Jo Walton The Prize in the Game. This one
definitely had the wow factor. I enjoyed JW's
first two books, The King's Peace and The King's
Name, with this prequel her writing has taken a
quantum leap upwards. It's one of those
romantical, Celtic, doomy kind of books worked
out with equal amounts of foreshadowed doom and
surprising twists. her next has just come out in
pb, Tooth and Claw, apparently a fantasy of
manners, Victorian style, with dragons that eat
each other, oh my, can't wait. 

Lois Macmaster Bujold: Paladin of Souls. I liked
this one a lot more than Curse of Chalion (which
I found rather hard work) or, for that matter,
Diplomatic Immunity. 

Steven Brust Sethra Lavode Much anticipated, much
enjoyed but I do not think the series as a whole
equals Brust's best work (or indeed that of Brust
as Paarfi's). There are some wonderful touches
nonetheless, it was childish and crass but I did
like the away that Morrolan summoned the enemy

Terry Pratchett Wee Free Men and Monstrous
Regiment - I've been getting behind on Pratchett
now that I can't afford to buy as many hard backs
-- or even paperbacks. Wee Free Men may well be
the best Pratchett ever, certainly the best I
have read in a long while, I particularly liked
the way he used the chalk country -- I come from
chalk country myself.

Kim Stanley Robinson Forty Signs of Rain --
quintessential Robinson really, the intermingling
of the domestic with the wider political with
catastrophic "natural" events. Nice epiphany for
one of the characters but on the whole I didn't
feel this was much of a stretch for Robinson.

Liam Neeson, Across the Nightingale floor and,um,
the next one -- ages after everyone else I know,
and you were all right.

Neal Stephenson Baroque Cycle -- I have raved
about this very recently, it gave me weeks of
intense reading pleasure and is, hence, my best
series  of the year.


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