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The Science Fiction publisher Tor has a very nice blog.  Lots of interesting things and varied entries by many varied authors. Lately it's been "The 12 Doctors of Christmas" and before that a fortnight of steam punk posts.  There are on-going posts by Jo Walton (re-reading Patrick O'Brian, overview of the Hugo winners) and others.

Just now, they've got a poll asking you to nominate your picks for the Best SF and Fantasy Novels of the 2000s.

My picks, in no particular order, are as follows.  I've linked to excerpts of the books, if not the entire novel, where I could find them so you can read for yourself.

Shades of Grey  by Jasper Fforde
All of Jasper Fforde's books are good.  Better.  Best. 
The Eyre Affair is unlike any book I've ever read, and practically indescribable.  But very, very good and innovative.
The Big Over Easy
is just plain fun and a fanciful police procedural.  Humpty Dumpty had a great fall--but did he fall or was he pushed? DCI Jack Spratt is on the case.
But I felt Shades of Grey was even better and more original.

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
I like almost everything Bujold has ever written. And of course, Miles Vorkosigan (spoilers) is one of the most popular characters in Science Fiction. But I think her best Vorkosigan book was Memory, which was published in 1996 so is not eligible.
Paladin of Souls is a sequel to The Curse of Chalion, which is also a very good book.  But I liked the themes and structure of Paladin better so chose it.

Passage by Connie Willis
Willis is one of my favorite authors. Firewatch, Doomsday Book (set during the Black Plague near Oxford) and To Say Nothing of the Dog are my favorite of her books.  And Bellwether is one of the funniest.  But they were all published last decade.  And I like Passage much better than Blackout/All ClearPassage is typical Willis.  It's funny, serious, contemporary.

A Hat Full of Sky by Sir Terry Pratchett.  Yes, knighted for his services to literature for a series full of satire.  Yeah!
Pratchett needs no introduction.  If you do need an introduction, go straight to a library and read Guards! Guards! or Equal Rites immediately.  A Hat Full of Sky is set in the Discworld universe but it's part of his Tiffany Aching Young Adult series of four books.  I think it's the best of the first three (I haven't read I Shall Wear Midnight yet). And I love what he's done in these books.  In some ways they are more mature, or mature in a very different way, than his adult Discworld books. (Which I also love.  Go read them if you haven't yet!)  But start reading the Tiffany Aching books with Wee Free Men.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow--the link is a free download of the entire novel.  Huzzah for Creative Commons!
A great take on how Young Adults make a difference in a world where Homeland Security has gone mad.  Very little of the technology is fiction. And what was fiction then is close to being reality now.

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
The Napoleonic Wars.  With Dragons.  Patrick O'Brian meets Anne McCaffery. Temeraire is a wonderful character.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi
I really liked the ideas in this book.  And it's well written as well. Scalzi, current president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), is a fantastic writer.  I discovered him in 2010 and am very glad I did. He also has an entertaining blog.

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
One of the best books in the new sub-genre of Fantasy of Manners.  Jane Austin with magic, basically.  I love these books and Wrede and Stevermer have some of the best books in the genre, both written as a team and individually.
Sorcery and Cecelia is the first of three epistolary novels written as letters between two cousins in Regency England.  Love it!

Lirael by Garth Nix
Nix's Old Kingdom series started with Sabriel, published in the last decade.  Lirael is a sequel and you don't have to have read Sabriel first. But I recommend it.  Really wonderful series and I wish he would write more books in this world.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
This is probably the most interesting and best SF book I've read in ... well in a very, very long time.  It's a fascinating world and Stephenson plunges you straight into it to figure out.  What a great puzzle.  Fascinating characters. It builds slowly and once you're done, wait a month or so and read it again.  Don't read in bed, though, or you risk a concussion. I don't think Stephenson knows how to write a normal-sized book.  It's BIG.

Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce
I love every word this woman has ever written.

The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn
She has a lot of books I haven't read yet and I can't wait. The three books in this series were innovative and fascinating.


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