Books of the year 2022 edition

As with last year this may be slightly early, as there is a fair chance I’ll read a couple more before the end of the year. (in fact I know I will as there are a couple I am reading at the moment), but building on the tradition started way back in 2021 it is time for my annual Passing Place Blog Books Of The Year Awards. An with last year this award ceremony carries very little prestige, and no prize money… It also doesn’t have a particular order, but does include all the books I have reviewed on the blog ‘this year…’ for a given quantity of twelve months since the last rewards so includes books read in December last year…

The Award for: Book by a Steampunk Author that not Steampunk but in in fact beautifully written dark age fantasy with more than a Hint of David Gemmell in his pomp, goes to Annis: Goddess of Sorrows by Mat McCall

The Award for: Book not being a just another Talented child novel… with special mention of strange nocturnal bees, indoor rain, quires of vixens, and dirigible’s used as giant night lights… Goes to Monica Orphan By Stephen Palmer , with equal mention of the other two novels in his Conjuror Girl series.

The Award for: Book that includes Were-Otters and that not even slightly being what the novel is about but by god its beautiful, wonderful and deeply, impossibly, fascinating… Which is a new and very singular category, goes to Hunting the Egret by Nimue Brown

The Award for: Sequel for a book from last years list that is even better than the first book and deeply deeply sinister on a whole new level… goes to Visitation by Kieth Healing

The Award for: Best book in a formatted I can’t stand but read and enjoyed anyway… A special category for books of micro fiction goes to Micro Moods by Amy Wilson. If you like micro fiction give it a try…

The Award for: Books that include a fictional book within them that contains the sage advice like Do kind things for Badgers goes to When we are Vanished by Nimue Brown, just read it…. and remember Be more like the toadstool. Then you will be happy.

The Award for: ‘Third book in a trilogy written by the person who writes this blog’ goes to A Squid on the Shoulder by Mark Hayes., No its not nepotism, I am not related to myself… Did I mention the giant volcano powered cannon pointed at the moon?

The Award for: Novella that was a stretch goal on a kick started and I don’t actually know if it was published or not but it certainly should be… goes to Semblance of Truth by Nimue Brown… Yes that is her third appearance in this list, whats you point, have you not read Nimue Brown? And if not why not?

The Award for: ‘Book that grew out of a series of blog posts on this very blog and is now strands as a warning to all of the dangers of H P Lovecraft… goes to Lexinonicon: A Blaggers Guide to the Writings of HP Lovecraft by Me… Still not Nepotism, though I have been know to sleep with myself… I also know how to summon the old gods, whats your point again?

The Award for: Best Hardback containing a trilogy I love, goes to Hanover by CG Hatton, which is three of my favourite books sandwiched into a lethal weapon…

The Award for: I saw the ending coming a mile off, yet I was still both surprised and delighted by it when I got there… goes to Critical Nexus by Kate Baucherel the forth in her SimCavalier series

The Award for: Anthology of the year goes to Harvey Duckman Volume 9, by Various the one with the octopus on the cover that may or may not include a story inspired by the wisdom of an old plumber written by his son.

The Award for: Book by an author who is a huge ball of over-excitement but delightful with it goes to Dexter and Sinister: Detecting Agents by Kieth W Dickinson, warning book contains cats… well a cat, almost a cat at any rate….

The Award for: Best use of the colour orange… goes to Apocalypse When? Apocalypse How? a book of photograph by the immensely talented Ian Robinson , which also contains stories and poems from the writers and poets of the Post Apocalypse School of Teesside, This may include a story by me as they gave me an honour degree in ‘Waffling on about the importance of tin-openers’, I look forward to my post graduate studies in zombie slaying and woodcraft.

The Award for: Novella I loved but and still waiting for book 2 of, what he just made a new (and very cute) human with his wife, oh fine I’ll wait then…. goes to Engines and Amulets : The Aethertide Saga Book 1 by Craig Hallam. It also has a pretty cover… It’s all purple smoke (the book not the baby)

The Award for: Book by another author who for some reason thinks they should write this series under a pen name… goes to Dormant Magick: The Whitby Witches Book 1 By Lillian Brooks, who has also received an award under her actual name in this awards ceremony. Frankly I loved Lillian’s novel and don’t know why Amy feels she needs to write them under another name, though Lillian is taller and looks better in a pointy hat…

The Award for: Proper folklore of the dark and twisted verity that makes you skin itch and sets your teeth on edge… goes to Lore of the Saelvatici by Steven C Davis, which was also the most surprising book I read all year in many respects, and utterly visceral.

The Award for: Anthology of the year, yes a second one, goes Harvey Duckman Volume 10, the one with the gargoyle on the front by Various ( and me ) contains among other things ‘The Ballard of Jonny Two Bones’ which could be described as a western, for the first paragraph or two. It then becomes something else entirely…

The Award for: Book based on a book written by a long dead relative who based there book on a Wagnar opera… goes to Bleak Future : The flying Dutchman book 1 by Nils Visser which was also beautifully illustrated by Julie Gorringe. Its a fabulous read, but don’t ask me about the flag…

The Award for: A hardback you could Muller a badger with… goes to The Complete Hannibal Smyth Misadventures By Mark Hayes*. This is the first three Hannibal Smyth novels combined into a single book, with extra’s. It exists because I wanted a copy of the novels in hardback… *Mark is a wonderful author and a delightful human being and you should all read his books. He also likes people to buy him gin and tonics with a slice of lime, light on the tonic…

The Award for: Non-fiction book of the year other than the Lexinonicon… goes to Wyrd by Kieth Healing. Its all about runs and ‘Ball of string theory’ …

The Award for: Novella I really wish was a full sized novel , its just that damn good… goes to Owl Eyes Motel by Barbara Avon, which is just delightful in it’s dark sexy wonderfulness

The Award for: Novel I have been waiting for for four years that did not disappoint… goes to A Boy and a Rat by Peter James Martin. Which Peter can pick up provided he doesn’t send Riz…

And there we are, that the full list, mostly… I did a lot of reviews this year and some short ones and frankly the list was getting out of hand. It was only twelve long last year… I don’t really have an overall book of the year. I recommend them all or they would not be on this list, but if you twist my arm its Hunting the Egret by Nimue Brown, because, I’m a sucker for a love story, and were-otters…


About Mark Hayes

Writer A messy, complicated sort of entity. Quantum Pagan. Occasional weregoth Knows where his spoon is, do you? #author #steampunk
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