Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 20 best science fiction books of the noughties

Annalee Newitz and io9 came up with a list of the 20 best science fiction books of the last decade.

One book on the list:
Acacia: The War with the Mein, by David Anthony Durham (Doubleday)

According to the Washington Post:
From the first pages of Acacia, Durham, a respected historical novelist, demonstrates that he is a master of the fantasy epic. He quickly sets out in broad strokes the corrupt world that these unwitting children have been raised to rule. For 22 generations, the Akarans have presided over the empire of Acacia. And for 22 generations, they've sent a yearly shipment of child slaves to mysterious traders beyond their borders, "with no questions asked, no conditions imposed on what they did with them, and no possibility that the children would ever see Acacia again." In exchange, the Akarans get "mist," a drug that guarantees their subjects' "labor and submission." ... Durham sacrifices nothing — not psychological acuity, not political complexity, not lyrical phrases — as he drives the plot of this gripping book forward. The names of people and places sound as if they've been recalled from a dusty past, not cobbled from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, a far too common practice among fantasy writers. Tropes that sound outlandish — "dream-travel," for one — are credible in Durham's telling. And the story always surprises. Characters that seem poised to take center stage are killed abruptly. Evil often triumphs.
This is the first novel in Durham's planned Acacian Trilogy. The second novel, The Other Lands, has recently been published and the third is on the way.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Acacia (Acacia, Book 1).

The Other Lands
is one of Amazon's top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy books for 2009.

The Page 69 Test: Acacia: The Other Lands.

--Marshal Zeringue