Top Ten Reads of my 2016

I’ve read a bunch of books this year – Goodreads tells me 110 of them! Many were easy reads while I was undergoing chemotherapy, and I read a bunch of non-fiction when researching how to make cheese, and how to mosaic.

Here are my top ten recommended novels from what I’ve read this year (not many published this year, and they’re in the order of when I read them).

Uprooted cover1. Naomi Novik – Uprooted
Wonderful, fairy-tale-inspired story. Magic, a Dragon, coming of age: it’s all there.

Earthly Delights cover2. Kerry Greenwood – Earthly Delights
Fun, fun and more fun! Fabulous protagonist (a baker who loves cats, dresses fabulously to have a rooftop G&T in the afternoon), a mystery, and a romance.

Ancillary Justice cover3. Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice
I was instantly captivated by this series. Great space-opera, the narrator is intriguing and the story’s universe is intricate and fascinating.

Squid's Grief cover4. DK Mok – Squid’s Grief
Cyberpunk noir, really well-written. The protagonist was engaging and the story pacy and interesting.

Shades of Milk and Honey cover5. Mary Robinette Kowal – Shades of Milk and Honey
Wonderful regency romance with magic – but so much more than that. Lovely depictions of society and breaking the rules.

Dawn cover6. Octavia E Butler – Dawn
I found the story pretty horrifying, but because of that, it was incredibly thought-provoking about humanity and society.

The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax cover7. Dorothy Gilman – The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax
So much fun. Mrs Pollifax is a geranium-growing grandmother who has lost interest in life, until she “volunteers” to join the CIA as a spy. The series is pacy and has a lot of pathos, and leads the reader through many exotic locales. The early ones especially are a bit dated, but worth the read.

Den of Wolves cover8.Juliet Marillier – Den of Wolves
Wonderful book in a wonderful series. Juliet’s characters are always very real, very engaging and very powerful. No “gifted orphan” tropes here – the characters work bloody hard to make things happen.

Crocodile on the Sandbank cover9.Elizabeth Peters – Crocodile on the Sandbank
Another fun mystery series. Amelia Peabody is a hoot of a protagonist – very self-unaware and utterly loveable because of it. Set in Egypt in the late nineteenth century.

Vigil cover10. Angela Slatter – Vigil
Excellent Australian urban fantasy noir. Great characters and interesting plot; a refreshing take on the genre.

2016 awards season (or awards weekend!)

Congratulations to the winners and nominees of the various sets of speculative fiction awards across Australia this weekend!

Special congratulations go to Ticonderoga-related wins:
Amanda Pillar for the Aurealis Award for Best Anthology for Bloodlines
– Kathleen Jennings for the Ditmar Award for Best Short Story, for “A Hedge of Yellow Roses” in Hear Me Roar
– Rivqa Rafael for the Ditmar for Best New Talent (one of her first sales, “Function A:save(target.Dawn)” was in Hear Me Roar, so we totally claim some connection)
Stephanie Gunn for the Tin Duck for Best Professional Short Written Work for “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth” in Bloodlines

Raising a glass to all!


We’re really happy that our Kickstarter for the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015 has funded!

Thanks to all who helped out, whether it was backing us, sharing the link to all and sundry or even “liking” our posts about it, to tell us we were doing OK.

Talie and I will be very busy for the next few months finalising our lineup before we can go to print. Remember to keep sending us news and information about the year if you want to make sure we’ve seen all the relevant info for our Year in Fantasy and Horror introduction.