Best novels of 2011 so far

I knew it was halfway through the year when my thing-a-day calendar required flipping on the fourth of July. And halfway through means another quarter has passed and you have read more books.

Back in April, these were the books suggested for next year’s award nominations:

  • Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City (Published 2011 in the US)
  • Daniel Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path
  • James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes.
  • Joe Abercrombie’s The Heroes.
  • Jo Walton’s Among Others
  • Andrea Hairston’s Redwood & Wildfire
Are these still the best contenders for next year’s novel awards, or have new books trumped or added to them since? What would you nominate as of now?

11 Responses to “Best novels of 2011 so far”

  1. Tamara Says:

    I’d add Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique.

  2. Rose Fox Says:

    Triptych by J.M. Frey (it will never win because no one’s heard of it but it is AMAZING). Miéville’s Embassytown, of course. Possible Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief.

  3. Niall Says:

    God’s War by Kameron Hurley. Possibly Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. Possibly The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham (I’m about half-way through).

  4. Rich Horton Says:

    Embasssytown of course.

    I think of The Quantum Thief as a 2010 book, likewise Zoo City. Not sure what the Hugo rules are — don’t they need special dispensation to have eligibility reopened, or is it automatic?

  5. Jonathan Strahan Says:

    Way too early to tell, is my feeling. There’s a new Ian McDonald due before the end of the year, and a new Neal Stephenson (though I confess to having skipped his last few). Embassytown is essential, and I did like the new Michael Swanwick. I also have a bunch of interesting books sitting on the ‘to read’ pile but I’d suggest that only the Walton of the ones you name will definitely be in the running for awards come next year.

  6. Gary Couzens Says:

    I was thinking about this myself, as this year and last I’ve made a point of reading the BSFA Award shortlist and I was wondering what might be on next year’s list and if I should and could read some of it early.

    So, based on word of mouth, I’d be surprised if Embassytown or Christopher Priest’s The Islanders don’t make some award shortlists, though I have read neither of them yet. The Islanders is not out until September. I wonder if A Dance With Dragons might be a contender too, though I haven’t read that yet either.

  7. A Challenge To You-Let’s Do It For The Little Guy Says:

    […] of the British Science Fiction Association, where the blogger asked her readers to suggest “The Best Novels of 2011 So Far” in order to get a feel for what people think should go  for award […]

  8. Leah Petersen Says:

    “Triptych by J.M. Frey (it will never win because no one’s heard of it but it is AMAZING)”

    I’ve heard of it, and it IS amazing!

  9. Rose Fox Says:

    Leah: Hooray! That makes three people I know of so far… just another couple hundred and we could make it a Hugo winner!

  10. Dan Frey Says:

    Triptych By J.M. Frey excellent first novel I think it was well received

  11. kev mcveigh Says:

    I still stand by Redwood & Wildfire as one of the best books of the year. I’m rereading it already and it remains remarkable.

    Lisa Goldstein should be on everyone’s list but unfortunately doesn’t get enough notice. http://performativeutterance.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/the-uncertain-places/

    Like everyone else I’m eager to read Chris Priest’s The Islanders too, but there are a few exciting books in various genres due soon.


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