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Friday, August 9, 2019

Happy Friday with the BEST Issue of Booklist All Year

So I may be biased since I am a speculative fiction reviewer for Booklist, but I look forward to August every year because it is when Booklist Magazine does their Spotlight on Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

This year, the cover of the issue [left] is from the cover of Paul Tremblay's most recent release, the collection which I gave a STAR in the May15th issue and which Susan Maguire added to her top 10 SF/F/H of the year [see below].

The speculative genres are very popular right now. Not only are some of the best books being written in these genres, but also, there is a lot of growth in terms of the new types of stories that the authors are bringing. The originality, depth, and breath of speculative fiction is vast and exciting.

For the past 18 months I have been entrenched in world of all three of these genres as I have been leading the "Speculative Fiction team as ARRT has been updating our Popular Fiction List, a product we sell to NoveList [link to the old edition]. We are in the final draft of the process [you can expect to see it available by the end of this year] and one of the biggest changes to the organizational structure of the Speculative Fiction section is that we added another category in addition to SF, Fantasy, and Horror. We call it "Further Explorations of the Unreal." I will talk more about that product and all of the changes when the entire product is ready, but the reason I am bringing it up here is that Booklist is doing something similar with their coverage too.

Usually I get upset when a top 10 list for all three genres is lumped together, but in this case, it makes total sense. Susan and I were discussing it recently and so many of the very best titles that came out this year have aspects of at least 2, if not all 3 of the genres in them. How can you separate them out into separate lists then? And if you do, are some great books left out because they can't be pigeoned holed into one genre or the other?

The solution to pick the very best and understand that they include tropes and instances of more than 1 genre. Here is the link to that list Susan compiled of the top 10 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror from August 2018 to July 2019.

There is also a combined list for Audio here and the best SF/F/H debuts here.

Booklist Reader will also have content on the speculative genres all month long.

Make sure you use this month to get up to speed on all of the speculative genres. Check your collections to make sure you own all of these titles, make some displays top highlight what you have, and use the lists and their annotations to book talk these titles to potential readers, whether you have read the book or not. Booklist's Top 10 lists are an excellent and trusted resource for sure bet picks all year long.

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