Review of 2005

… and it’s hello from me. To explain a little more about scheduling: the BSFA publishes three magazines, Vector, the news magazine Matrix, and the writers’ magazine Focus. Vector and Matrix are bimonthly, and Focus is biannual; unfortunately, this year we’ve had a bit of a publication backlog, because the distribution company that actually did the magazine mailing went bust, and it’s taken a little while to get a replacement lined up.

Still, everything seems to be working again now. The March/April issue, which as Geneva mentioned was the Review of 2005 issue, has now been published. It features articles by Colin Odell and Mitch LeBlanc on the films of the year, Mattia Valente on 2005’s TV, Claire Brialey on ‘Best Related Relatedness’ (non-fiction, critical and academic happenings), and a couple of pieces we’ve put on the website: a second column by Graham Sleight, on ‘The Vanishing Midlist, Revisited‘, and Matthew Cheney’s ‘Confessions of a Short-Story Burnout‘, his thoughts on the short fiction of 2005.

Most importantly, the issue features the results of the annual Vector survey of the best books of the year, compiled and with commentary by the reviews editor, Paul N. Billinger. The raw results of the survey, plus the complete list of nominated titles (which we didn’t have room to print in the issue itself) can be found here. This year’s winner was 9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (reviewed by Paul Billinger here), with Charles Stross’s Accelerando (reviewed by Paul Kincaid here) the runner-up.

You may well notice what may look like some slightly odd nominations as you look down the list. This is a feature, not a bug; unlike, say, the Locus Recommended Reading List, or the SF Site readers’ and editors’ picks of the year, the Vector survey asks for what respondents read in the previous year, not what was published in the previous year. Preference is given to recent books, and to sf/fantasy books, but so long as someone read it and thinks it’s ‘of interest to BSFA members’, it’s fair game. Which is how you can get last year’s winner, Ian McDonald’s River of Gods, making a respectable showing this time out as well.

(Mind you, Pride and Prejudice does still seem like a bit of a stretch.)

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