Regardless of year published, the following are the books I read in 2016 that stuck out for one reason or another. The gods know I am horrendous at doing my 21st century duty and reading as many female writers as male, homosexual as hetero, three-eyed as two. My ratios are bad. But when looking through the reviews I posted, this might have been one of my better years for diversity. In no particular those that lingered are:
Breathmoss & Other Exhalations by Ian Macleod – Containing some of the best short fiction of Macleod’s career, this is a collection that can be read several times to discover the details of setting and character, in a wide variety of sub-genres, and all the while drooling over Macleod’s glorious prose.
The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard – Not for the faint of heart, Ballard's collage—sorry, collection—sorry, tableaux—sorry, mosaic—sorry, I don’t know wtf to call it—tests the limits of what precisely fiction is. A visual/ideological experience in the least, Ballard combines and recombines imagery of the 70s into a vision both political and artistic that will not be to everyone’s liking, but it is very much mine.
Distraction by Bruce Sterling – Quite possibly Sterling's best novel, Distraction is the purest distillation of his unique brand of satire. Politicized, Sterling takes more than one crack at American politics, effortlessly cutting it off at the knees all the while asking humorously posed questions in scenarios having one foot in comedy and the other all too reality.