It may be slightly early, as there is a fair chance I’ll read a couple more before the end of the year, but now seems as good a time as any to do my annual Passing Place Blog Books Of The Year Awards. An event that has never been annual previously, as I have never done it before, carries very little prestige, and no prize money… It also don’t have a particular order, but does include all the books I have reviewed on the blog this year as well as honourable mentions for all the books I personally have failed to write this year… So lets start there, as its mildly embarrassing.
At the start of the year, indeed the very first blog of 2021, I presented a list of things to come, the three books I hoped to write and publish this year…
Well, that didn’t happen… However by way of an up date , two of the three, A squid on the Shoulder and the Lexicromicon are written. They are currently sat in my editor, the wonderful C G Hatton’s inbox till she can get to them. So with luck both will be out by April 2022 at the latest, in time for the first big convention of the year, on the off chance the world decides not to end between now and then.
I also started a side project that got a little derailed , The Elf Kings Thingy, for the literally couple of people who have asked me about it, yes I plan to pick it back up in the new year and continue the series…
However moving on from my own literary triumphs’ of 2021… ahum… On to the Books of the year and want an ecliptic year of wonderfulness it has been.
The award for book most likely to contain a steampunk story but didn’t… goes to Harvey Duckman volume 7. The one with the steampunk girl on the cover. Another wonderful collection of stories from the Harvey Duckman writers, which contained among others a story by me set in the Passing Place universe. I’m rather fond of it. It also marked the 50th Harvey writer to join the ever growing stable.
The award for book Book I’d read the year before but forgot to review at the time, goes to The Oddatsea, a Hopeless Maine novella, written by Keith Etherington and illustrated by the every marvellous Tom Brown.
The award for book I didn’t write a full blog post about but did review…. goes to Kate Bauchreal’s Tangled Fortunes, the third in the simcavalier novels of near future cyber crime, which was a great read as were the previous novels, all of which are now collected in a single volume ‘Hacked’
The award for the best pure scifi novel I’ve read this year, like every year… goes to C G Hatton’s Defying Winter the third of the Thieves Guild Origins novels another wonderful instalment in her Thieves Guild universe and if I have not convinced you to give them a read by now frankly you’re a lost cause
The award for book most likely to contain a story about a dragon but doesn’t…. goes to Harvey Duckman Volume 8. the one with the dragon on the cover, which contains Mandrake a steampunk , urban fantasy story written by me, which I should have clearly written for volume 7, but what you going to do (its also quite possible going to become part of a novel, but that’s another story) and as usual a whole bunch of other stories by an eclectic bunch of new writers.
The award for most initiative book of the year… goes to Mat McCall’s The Dandelion Farmer, because it just does. Maybe I am a sucker for Victorian Martian colonists, airships and automatons written by way of journal entries, dairies and the occasional officious report. But if you want something very different to your average run of the mill novel this is it.
The award for most fun you can have on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon with a hot cup of tea on the side and a book in your hand… goes to Ben Sawyer’s debut novel Holly Trinity and the Ghost of York because of all the books I’ve read this year this was the most singular fun I had reading. Which is up against some particularly stiff compertion this year.
The award for best use of tentacles, and art, and words (but mostly tentacles) in a graphic novel… goes to Hopeless Maine Optimist’s by Tom and Nimue Brown. Which was just a joy as ever, the penultimate book in the series and I can not wait for the final instalment.
Best sequel, that’s even better than the first book and that’s saying something, of the year… goes to that Man McCall again and The Hourglass Sea. Which starts where the first book left of and just gets better, stranger, and more engrossing
The nepotistic award for a book I wrote five years ago but have finally released in hard back and I am just happy about this so will keep mentioning it… goes to me and the 5th anniversary release of Passing Place in hardback, with updated none litigious version.
The aware for best book I bought at random after a convention because the writer seemed like a nice bloke… goes to Keith Healing’s The Burnt Watcher, and what a delightfully dark with the occasional slither of yellow read that was..
Finally the award for book I bought months ago and finally got around to reading… goes to Nimue Brown’s Intelligent Designing for Amateurs.. Druid in traction engines and Friday Bob , is all I have to say…
Somehow, mainly by putting on of mine in the list, I managed to review 12 books this year, one for each month… Its been a good one, book wise, which considering very little else has been this year is good. I’ve read far more than I reviewed, as ever. As I only review indie books as a rule. Neil Gaimen doesn’t need me to flog his books…
I don’t really have a book of the year, but if someone was to twist my arm it would be Ben Sawyers Holly Trinity novel just because its the one that I think I needed most at the time, and made me smile when I needed something to do so ( as I said , its been a year, October and early November felt like a year all on their lonesome…) But in all honesty I recommend everything in this list.
Here’s hoping for another great year of books to come. Keep reading everyone, and keep writing.