It’s time to start nominating again! Here are some things that made an impression on me over the past year.

Image via Wikimedia

Novel

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
Ancillary Sword continues where Ancillary Justice left off, with Breq working for the Radch empire, trying to undo the damage made by the warring Anaander Mianaai. Again, Leckie does something we don’t often see in space opera. She makes a point of showing the reader all manner of things inside the ecosystem of a space station and the way changes to a system, no matter how broken, effects the people in it.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer
Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance are the three volumes in Jeff Vandermeer’s strange, scary vision of an America driven under the influence of a slightly surreal and alien version of nature. It is all kinds of paranoid and claustrofobic and great.

Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
Hurley’s sprawling fantasy is about a predatory mirror dimension trying to take over another one. Contains pronoun fuckery, carnivorous trees and celestial magic.

Lock In by John Scalzi
John Scalzi’s thriller features a world in which due to a disease people have become “locked in” inside their own bodies, fully aware but unable to move. As usual, Scalzi delivered a thrilling tale, riddled with cool ideas and clever insights into the society we live in.

Short story

Tortoiseshell Cats Are Not Refundable by Cat Rambo
An amazing short story about cloning, chimeras and the uniqueness of human life.

This Chance Planet by Elizabeth Bear
Elizabeth Bear’s near-future short story on the bond between a human and a dog. And other things, the telling of which would be spoiler-y.

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire
I practically know this story by heart, I’ve listened to it so many times. Seanan McGuire’s science fiction take on mermaid women in the military for Lightspeed’s special issue of Women Destroy Science Fiction was a brilliant battle-cry for this past year.

Dramatic presentation, long form

Guardians of the Galaxy
So expected of one. But still. In a world that seems to have embraced grimdark as a way of life, GotG provided a breath of fresh air.

Maleficent
I am weak, yes, I know. I’m partial to Angelina Jolie and fairy-tales with a darker bent and I simply loved this take on Sleeping Beauty.

Edge of Tomorrow
A movie that starts out by making the audience watch Tom Cruise playing the recent public persona of Tom Cruise killed bloody dozens of times then goes on to use the big idea behind it all kinds of interesting ways.

Semiprozine

Clarkesworld
Simply because, well, Clarkesworld.

Lightspeed
The same goes double for Lightspeed.

Best Fancast

The Skiffy and Fanty Show
Full disclosure, I have recently befriended Shaun Duke, who is one of the brains behind this operation and have found him to be an awesome person. That said, the Skiffy and Fanty Show is a fabulous show done in interviews, panel discussions, audioplays and reviews. Covers all kinds of topics related to the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Galactic Suburbia Podcast
A feminist SF panel done by three women from Australia. Highly recommended.

SF Squeecast
A neverending panel discussion of vague positivity. In other words, awesomesauce.

I’m probably forgetting some things but these are the things that come to mind.