I've read more books by women this year than by men. That is a first as well. Of the 56 works 30 were written by women, 23 by men and 3 contained work by both men and women. I have been keeping an eye on the gender balance for the past couple of years but I hadn't really noticed I had read more by women than by men. An interesting development. Most of the books I read this year were in English. I read 5 books in Dutch. Of these 2 were translations from French, the other 3 were originally written in Dutch. Of the 51 English language books 3 were translations, 2 from Chinese and one from Russian. Only eight books not originally written in English. Maybe I should keep an eye out for more translated work.
Lana contributed one review this year. Julia by Peter Straub.
Best of 2015
- Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. Possibly the most controversial science fiction novel of the year. Robinson takes aim at one of the staples of science fiction and explains in vivid detail why we won't leave the solar system and colonize other star systems.
- The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard. I haven't exactly made a secret of my admiration for her writing. This new novel is one of the most interesting books to be published in Fantasy this year. Gorgeous prose and wonderful worldbuilding.
- Segu by Maryse Condé. A reread of a wonderful historical novel. In two volumes she covers the history of the Bambara state of Segu in present day Mali. Condé follows one family starting at the height of the empire in 1796 up to the arrival of the French colonial forces in 1890. A bit of history not many western readers would otherwise be exposed to.
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. The first translated novel to win a Hugo Award. I'm not sure it would have happened without the intervention of the puppies but I am glad a translated novel did receive this bit of recognition. The lack of translations is hurting science fiction. Liu shows us that there are many worthy novels out there that deserve a larger audience.
- Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald. A new adult novel by McDonald, set on the moon. This is another book I could read for the beautiful prose alone but McDonald puts in a vision of a colonized near future moon that is absolutely fascinating as well.
- The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith. The first in a series of three on the character of Aud Torvingen. These books are crime novels, not a genre I read often. This book had a special attraction to be because of the Norwegian background of the main character. I am still trying to get Lana to read it. Aud is a very interesting main character. It's a hard-hitting novel though, the end felt like a punch in the gut.
- The Just City by Jo Walton. Greek mythology, Plato, robots and time travel. How could you possibly make that into a novel. Walton shows us how it is done in this book. This must be one of the most inventive and surprising novels of the year.
Traffic is still somewhere between pathetic and none. No really big hits this year. Like last year the articles that get most traffic are quite old. The most viewed articles are:
The Valley of the Horses - Jean M. Auel
Sarum - Edward Rutherfurd
The Lucky Strike - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Lazarus Effect - Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom
Blood of Dragons - Robin Hobb
Soul Catcher - Frank Herbert
The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu
The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel
The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula K. Le Guin
The House of Shattered Wings - Alliette de Bodard
Only two 2015 articles on the list. A bit disappointing. Most of the others were articles that did well in other years as well. Soul Catcher got a lot of publicity this year because it is being made into a movie. Apparently they are going to change the rather controversial ending of the book. The one that baffles me is Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb. It is not exactly her most popular novel. The more recent third Fitz trilogy ought to get more attention.
That's it for this year at Random Comments. I wish you all the best for 2016 and hope to see you all around again on the blog.