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Jonathan
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 05:31 pm:   

I'm pretty much surrounded by year-in-review kind of stuff. I've packaged up two year's best annuals for one publisher, and should have another done very shortly. I'm also working on Locus's recommended reading list. And so on, and so on.

While that identifies things for a certain value of 'best', it doesn't necessarily identify what I liked the most. With that in mind I thought I'd proffer a very short list of my favorite fiction of 2004, and encourage everyone else to do so too. The only criteria are that whatever you recommend must have been published and read during calendar year 2004. With that in mind, I proffer the following.

Favorite Novel
Perfect Circle, Sean Stewart (Small Beer)

Favorite Collection
Black Juice, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin Australia)

Favorite Anthology
The Faery Reel, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling eds. (Viking)

Favorite Fantasy Short Story
"The Faery Handbag", Kelly Link (The Faery Reel)

Favorite Science Fiction Short Story
"The Voluntary State", Christopher Rowe (SciFiction)

I know I should probably post something about why I liked these things, and I may, but here's a start.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 06:00 pm:   

Here are my favorites with the caveat that since I work at F&SF, I'm going to exclude all F&SF stories from my list.

Favorite Novel
Market Forces, Richard K. Morgan (Gollancz)

Favorite Collection
Trujillo, Lucius Shepard (PS Publishing)

Favorite Anthology
The Faery Reel, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling eds. (Viking)

Favorite Fantasy Short Story
"The Annals of Eelin-Ok" by Jeff Ford (The Faery Reel)

Favorite Science Fiction Short Story
"Shadow Twin" by Gardner Dozois, George R. R. Martin, & Daniel Abraham (SciFiction)

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Jonathan
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 06:48 pm:   

John: Interesting that we overlap on The Faery Reel. I think it's a wonderful book, and I liked "The Annals of Eelin-Ok" enough to include it in Fantasy: Best of 2004. I did seriously consider Trujillo for my favorite collection - there are some great stories in it - but for me the Lanagan is just a tour de force, and Trujillo is almost overstuffed. A great book, though. - J
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JJA
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 07:20 pm:   

I haven't read the Lanagan yet, though I've heard very good things (in addition to your praise of it here). It's due out in March 05 here in the states, so I'll likely take a look at it sometime around then.

Of course, lack of a US edition didn't stop me from reading Market Forces this year, but, alas, I can't afford to import *everything* that catches my eye. :-) In fact, the only reason I did import it is because I was interviewing Richard for SF Weekly, and I wanted to read it beforehand. I'm so glad I did; it was totally worth the extra cost--I totally loved it, thought it brilliant (or a tour de force, to borrow your phrase from above).

Speaking of the great stories in Trujillo, I really loved "Hands Up! Who Wants to Die!" but I don't think it was SF or fantasy, so it wouldn't have fit into either of your categories above. It was published in Night Visions 11, so perhaps it's horror?

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