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The Decade's Top Sellers (Skip to the Geeks)

The Bookseller has put out the UK's 100 bestselling writers of the past 10 years, drawn from Nielsen BookScan data.

I've taken the liberty of scouring out all the boring mainstream fiction, and here are the representatives from sf/f fiction:

1. JK Rowling (27.5m copies, £215m, 210 ISBNs)

6. Terry Pratchett (8.6m copies, £64m, 304 ISBNs)

21. Philip Pullman (5.3m copies, £34m, 168 ISBNs)

23. J.R.R. Tolkien (4.9m copies, £47m, 235 ISBNs)

25. Stephenie Meyer (4.6m copies, £27m, 58 ISBNs)

30. Stephen King (4.2m copies, £31m, 372 ISBNs)

66. Dean Koontz (2.5m copies, £15m, 176 ISBNs)

92. Eoin Colfer (1.8m copies, £12m, 94 ISBNs)

Thoughts after the jump.

Continue reading "The Decade's Top Sellers (Skip to the Geeks)" »

Underground Reading: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris


Yesterday I read Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark, the book that the HBO series True Blood is based on.  I liked it at first, but as it went on it turned into just another 'romantic thriller with a possessive vampire love interest' novel.  There seem to be quite a lot of those around these days.  

I got bored with it by the end and probably won't read any more in the series.  The fairly promising premise is that a telepathic waitress gets involved with a vampire because he's the only person who's mind she can't read, but the novel rapidly devolves into a routine - and mediocre - romantic thriller.

The heroine is a virgin, naturally; the majority of the men in town are interested in her; the vampire comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders; the heroine doesn't know who to trust and needs time away from her (literally) addictive lover; tempers flare; passions rise; sex happens.

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PK Draft: Best Vampire & Win Templesmith's Dracula!

Bram Stoker's Dracula Despite the best efforts of modern fangst fiction, vampires are still pretty awesome. 

IDW's edition of Dracula brings together two of the best - the original text of Bram Stoker and the artwork of Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell, etc.). 

So, who is your favorite vampire?

Just to make things interesting, a first edition of this beautiful book could be yours

All you need to do? Take part in this week's draft. All entrants will be dropped into a (vampiric) hat - the winner gets the book. So be sure to leave an email address.

The standard draft rules apply: 

- You can't pick something that someone else has picked already 

- You can pick as many times as you like, but you have to wait 5 responses between picks

- Books, movies, TV shows, comics, all fair game...

And for the contest:

- Drawing takes place on Wednesday (6 pm, GMT)

- We're springing for UK shipping only. If you're not from the UK, but are willing to fork out for shipping, go for it.

The 2009 Kitschies: The Short List

[Check out the new Kitschies website -]

KitschiesWith the kvetching out of the way, there were some great genre novels in 2009.

The finalists below are chosen because we believe they'll stand the test of time. They all bring something extraordinary to genre fiction, above and beyond their sheer entertainment value.

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Our Favorite New Series of 2009...

Nothing fills us with joy like falling in love with the first book of a new series. It means that there's more great reading to come for years (barring accident, injury or the Curse of Infinite Recursion that seems to strike genre authors...)

Try as we might, we didn't get to read everything that came out this year, but, of what we did get through, here are the top picks...

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Best of 2009: The Year that Wasn't


Just going off the statistics, my collection contains a third fewer books printed in 2009 than in either 2008 or 2007. There wasn't less fiction published - nor did I read any less - but my urge to collect and preserve was much lower this year.

What happened? 

Speculating shamelessly, I think there are a few factors involved:

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New Releases: Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

Finch  Finch is the first Ambergris book I've read - in fact, the first time I've ever experienced Jeff VanderMeer's writing. And 'experienced' is the right verb. VanderMeer's book is more than a traditional read - Finch is so well-described, so thoroughly painted, that it achieves something much more immersive than words on the page. 

VanderMeer is also using his powers for evil - in Finch, we're treated to a world conquered by fungus. Literally. With ever page, we're taken through squishy, damp corridors. Leaks, mold, spores, horrible damp, moistness, awful shudder-inducing sensations abound. VanderMeer has mastered the art of evocative horror - again, literally: this book is truly horrible. 

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