Welcome to Smugglivus 2010: Day 15
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors, bloggers and publishers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2010, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2011.
Who: Aidan Moher from A Dribble of Ink, one of our favorite Fantasy bloggers. Aidan reviews are awesome (even if we hardly agree on a book, which only makes it even more awesome) but he is also (in)famous for his cover art posts (and we DO agree on those!). AND a few days ago, Aidan became the boss at Tor.com’s new venture: Tor.com Fantasy.
Ladies and gents, please give it up for Aidan!
Jeez, is it that time of year again?
2010’s been a good year for me and my books. Instead of boring you with a self-indulgent pat-on-the-back list of achievements, I thought I’d go the traditional route and point you in the right direction of some books I feel deserve more attention.
Without further adieu:
Best book released in 2010
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
I mean, really, what is there to be said about Kay that hasn’t been said before and with more eloquent words than I can write. The man’s a master of the genre and his ability to weave real world history with the fantastic is second to none. Under Heaven is a lovely, lyrical novel that continues to resonate with me months after turning its final page.
Best book not released in 2010
A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham
Last year I named Daniel Abraham’s A Shadow in Summer as my favourite book of the year. This year, I’m going back to the Abraham pot. I’ve not yet finished the series, because I’m almost too intimidated by the series’ reputation and how strong the final two volumes are supposed to be. Like Guy Gavriel Kay, Abraham is an author I keep on the shelf for a time when I feel jaded about the genre and need to be reminded of how wonderful Fantasy can be.
Best Debut of 2010
The Last Page by Anthony Huso
It’s not often that a new author hits the stage with as much aplomb as Anthony Huso. His debut novel, The Last Page is weird and wonderful, sorrowful and heartbreaking and will appeal to fans of Steven Erikson, Mark Charan Newton and China Mieville. Quite a list of names, but one he deserves to be among. There’s not been as much talk about The Last Page as I’d like, but I hope more people are able to discover Huso’s work in 2011 and with the upcoming release of Black Bottle, the final volume in the duology.
Re-reading The Wheel of Time
Another bit of fun I’ve been having is finally tackling The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan for a second time. The first time around, I read The Wheel of Time in highschool and burned out on the series by the seventh book. I always said I’d get back to it if I heard good things about the final few volumes, and… well, Brandon Sanderson came along and, from all accounts, has been doing Jordan proud as he wraps up the ambitious series.
It’s been great fun to re-visit the world and the characters, but what’s been most rewarding is seeing how my perception of certain characters and events has changed as I’ve grown older. I mean, really, I like Nynaeve? Who ever thought that would happen?
So there you are! Some of my favourite reads from 2010. Can 2011 be an even stronger year for good books? Will I continued to be swayed by Asian-inspired secondary worlds? We’ll find out next year at Smugglivus 2011!
Till next year, Aidan!