Best Books of 2016

Eh, well, everyone seems to be doing lists this year, so I might as well. This is just a reflection of my own personal tastes, and I’ve probably left some books out, so you shouldn’t pay too much attention to it.

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers. Easily one of the best titles ever. I loved this book. It made me smile.

Dodgers – Bill Beverly. A very, very, very fine thriller, made all the more extraordinary by being Beverly’s debut novel. Essential reading. Seriously, read this book.

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky. The very worthy winner of the Clarke Award this year. Proper ‘core sf’, beautifully conceived and written, and packed with sentient spiders.

Fever City – Tim Baker. Another thriller, and another breathtaking debut novel, this time set round the events of the assassination of JFK. Comes very close to out-Ellroying Ellroy.

The Thing Itself – Adam Roberts. Mindbending and wondrous and very funny. A fabulous, fabulous book. Should have Won Things.

Freedom’s Child – Jax Miller. Miller is going to be a star. You wait and see.

Dominion – Peter McLean. The follow-up to Drake sees the return of Don Drake, ‘Hell’s Hitman’. Easily as gritty, sweary – and that’s very sweary – and as much fun as its predecessor.

Way Down Dark – James Smythe. Very different from The Machine, which I still think is a very considerable work, but easily as good. I’m hoping my life will settle down soon and I can get round to reading the rest of the Australia Trilogy.