Amazon.com's editors have released their list of the top ten science fiction and fantasy books of 2009, and it includes some pleasant surprises.
The list is very eclectic and leaves out some genre superstars — no Iain M. Banks, Robert Charles Wilson or China Mieville here — instead, focusing on some up-and-coming writers and a few you might not have heard of.
It's also a bit slanted towards fantasy and the gothic: Catherynne M. Valente's well-received urban fantasyPalimpsest makes the cut, as does Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Red Tree. More traditional fantasy also winds up on the list, in the form of David Anthony Durham's The Other Lands and Jesse Bullington's The Sad Tale Of The Brothers Grossbart. Yellow Blue Tibia, Adam Roberts' novel which Kim Stanley Robinson said should have won this year's Booker Prize, also makes the cut.
The anthologies on the list are slanted towards the literary and eclectic: Eclipse 3 edited by Jonathan Strahan, the genre-busting Interfictions 2, and the Library of America's Gothic survey, American Fantastic Tales Boxed Set.
All in all, it's a list that's sure to provoke some debate, and hopefully gain some exposure for writers who deserve wider notice.