2020 best books

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Laer Carroll

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The New York Times has released its100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2020. I read about a third of the way through before giving up in disgust. Should I have continued?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/books/notable-books.html

There are at least one which qualifies as Romance, Mystery, and Horror. Several I'd classify as Historicals. But nothing I'd classify as Fantasy or Science Fiction. Someone, please, tell me I'm wrong & give me a link to the items!

Meanwhile Goodreads has published what might serve as a guide to the strange and futuristic: the Goodreads Choice Awards final round nominees. Here they are for Fantasy and Science Fiction.

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fantasy-books-2020

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-science-fiction-books-2020

For what it's worth (nothing!) none of the picks of the Goodreads readers would satisfy me. They strike me as boring boring boring.

So I'll keep on writing the kind of books I want read. The latest of which is the sequel to AMY AND THE STAR RANGERS, which continues with Amelia Earhart as a trainee Star Guardian, an interstellar agent of the Human Interstellar Confederation.
 
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Helix

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I dunno. The books on the NYT list sound interesting. It's always worth reading outside your niche so your work doesn't get stale and hackneyed.
 

mccardey

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Settle petal. These lists are very random. For starters, very few of them have Australian writers on them, and we do have some brilliant writers.
 

Helix

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For what it's worth (nothing!) none of the picks of the Goodreads readers would satisfy me. The boringy strike me as boring boring boring.


What about them strikes you as boring boring boring? I've got The City We Became and Piranesi on my To Be Read list because of their not-boring(x3)ness.
 

Brightdreamer

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If you've already decided to dislike them on first sight, I'm not sure why I should attempt to explain why I enjoyed a few of the Goodreads ones at the very least. You're entitled to your likes and dislikes; just don't yuk on my yum, as the saying goes. (Myself, I greatly enjoyed The House on the Cerulean Sea and The City We Became - both would easily be on my personal list of best books I've read this year - and I'm hoping to read several others, such as the Murderbot novel.)

As for the NYT list... I'm not particularly surprised SFF didn't make the cut when compared to every other book, fiction and nonfiction, by a major mainstream publication targeting a major mainstream readership. SFF is more popular than it once was, certainly, but still not as popular as general fiction or other genres, and nonfiction... some of those titles looked to have SF appeal, such as the one about seeking life on Mars. And others looked interesting on their own merits. It wasn't written for or by genre readers in general or you specifically.

Every list is going to be biased in some way by the people who write it or the intended audience. Maybe you should write your own list of best books you read this year, if you don't like other people's lists.
 

Roxxsmom

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I've liked the murderbot novellas I've read so far, so the full-length novel is on my to-read list. Some of the others on the goodreads list look interesting too. The Once and Future Witches looks like it might be fun and also that Addie LaRue book. I've been meaning to try Jemisin's new book too.
 
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Laer Carroll

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Why would I find boring the picks of the Goodreads 10 finalists for best SF in 2020? Hmm. Let's see.
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Medical thriller: search for cause of a mysterious killer virus. Even before C19 I'd hate such a story. Not just find it boring. HATE it.

Explores a mother-daughter relationship in a world ravaged by climate change and overpopulation. I hate disaster stories.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet an alien relic terrorizes the surveyors. Nope. I long ago OD'd on stories based on sinister aliens. Cliché.

The protagonist discovers a plot that endangers not just her world but the entire multiverse. Oh, God. The ENTIRE MULTIVERSE?!

The next is a dystopia. Another hate-it.

The next is about a mysterious force that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality. Mysterious force: yawn. Control ALL reality? Really.

Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells. Loved #1-4. Read #5 twice already & will surely read it and its prequels many times more.

The next takes place in an entire GALAXY ruled by an EMPEROR. And the fate of the entire GALAXY depends on the PROTAGONIST?!!!

The next involves a decades-long coverup of the existence of an alien who has refused to communicate with its government captors. Until the arrival on the scene of the main character. A DECADES-LONG COVERUP? Of AN ALIEN?!

A collection of short stories. It's a rare author whom I enjoy in shorter lengths. In seventy years I've encountered only three. I sampled the first three stories in the collection and could not become engaged.
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So one out of ten. Not bad odds for someone who has been reading SF for almost 70 years. Someone one who's become increasingly unwilling to chances on anything my experience tells me will bore me.
 

amergina

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You know what? We are not doing this. RYFW, people. If you want to bitch and whine about books you hate and then fluff your own puff about your oh so great novels, do it on your own damn blog.
 

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You know what? We are not doing this. RYFW, people. If you want to bitch and whine about books you hate and then fluff your own puff about your oh so great novels, do it on your own damn blog.

It's ok to not like a book. It's ok to say "I didn't like [book] but I really loved [book], but to slam other writers and take it as an opportunity to post a puff?

Nope. Never ok.
 

zanzjan

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Also consider that maybe science fiction isn't the right genre for you as a reader anymore.
 
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