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Dragon Ship SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2012
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here we are at our 15th annual SF Site Readers' Choice Top Ten Books. Every year we ask our readers to vote for their favourite books of the preceding year. What follows below are the results of that voting. It's a banner year for Baen Publishing, with 6 of the top 10 books, including first, second and third choices. Congratulations to Baen, to all the other fine publishers, and to the authors who write the books we so enjoy reading.

Hair Side, Flesh Side Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Here comes a new writer endowed with an uncommonly vivid imagination, with her stunning debut collection, featuring fifteen tales suspended between the fantastic and the horrific, each one representing somehow a different body part. Her stories are never banal, although, predictably, not all are quite successful.

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Colonel Alan Bookbinder. Married, with kids. Career soldier. Professional paper pusher. His life is sedate, his military service is undistinguished, and he's only good if you want to follow the money trail. And then his Latent magical abilities surface. The Supernatural Operation Corps may not know what Bookbinder's special gifts are yet, but it doesn't matter: he's still theirs.

Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution edited by Ann VanderMeer
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Neo-Victoriana is a special realm of fantasy for many fiction writers and in this, the third volume of the Steampunk series, there are over twenty fiction stories and four non-fiction stories. They take readers through the cities of the Far East, where mad scientists, lethal assassins and adventurers dare to go but where no woman could ever venture, and with some of the most interesting real characters like Bram Stoker and Karl Marx. These stories have something everyone can enjoy.

In Memoriam: 2012 In Memoriam: 2012
a memorial by Steven H Silver
Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre. Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. Deaths in 2012 included Ardath Mayhar, Samuel Youd, Jack Scovil, Ralph McQuarrie, Dick Spelman, Moebius, Gene DeWeese, K.D. Wentworth, Leo Dillon, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Mahy, Harry Harrison, Josepha Sherman, Neil Armstrong and John D. Squires.

Phantom Sense and Other Stories Phantom Sense and Other Stories edited by Richard A. Lovett and Mark Niemann-Ross
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Analog writers have collaborated to create this series of tales that concentrate on science and humanity. It is interesting when one writer edits a series of short stories, but when two notable ones join together, anything can happen, and it has with this award-winning team. These have the advantage of being both science and fiction and the two aspects are equal in these four stories which also come with an explanation for how they were conceived.

Oz, the Great and Powerful Oz, the Great and Powerful
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Not as deeply satisfying as the original 1939 film, the new Oz movie is beautiful and clever and is easily the second best Oz film of all time. There are some slow moments early on, but the characters are delightful and it all comes together in the end.

Scarlet Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Linh Cinder, humble mechanic, has been exposed as both a cyborg and a Lunar, and imprisoned. Levana, ruthless queen of Luna, is demanding her extradition, knowing full well that Cinder is one of the few threats standing between her and domination of both Luna and Earth. Cinder has only just learned that she's actually the lost Princess Selene, long thought dead but secretly spirited away to hide on Earth. She has no intentions of staying locked up. But if she escapes, she's going to need friends. Enter Scarlett.

The Alienated Critic The Alienated Critic
a column by D. Douglas Fratz
By way of introduction, D. Douglas Fratz has been reading science fiction for almost fifty years, and writing about it for more than forty. Since discovering the Tom Swift novels and the Heinlein juveniles in the early 60s, it has been a primary and continuous source of reading pleasure. He has been reviewing books and writing commentary on science fiction and fantasy fiction since 1969, and spend slightly more than two decades (1973-1993) editing and publishing the SF review magazine, Thrust Science Fiction & Fantasy Review (in its later years Quantum Science Fiction & Fantasy Review), which garnered five Hugo Award nominations.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Rick Klaw talks to Robert Boyd about his original comic art collection. "The first piece I got was given to me back in 1993 by David Collier," Boyd said. "I got it after sending him a fan letter." Since then he amassed some fifty pieces, a self-professed meager collection, but impressive enough for Boyd's alma mater Rice University to open an exhibit.


The Compleat Ankh-Morpork The Compleat Ankh-Morpork by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The book itself provides a guide to the city, with discussions of the laws and governance of Ankh-Morpork, guides to the guilds, many of which are based on that long ago diary series, and details of some of the deities worshipped in Ankh-Morpork. The largest section of the book, however, is taken up by an alphabetical gazetteer which looks at the various businesses extant in Ankh-Morpork.

Ancient Rockets A Dictionary Of Made-Up Languages Ancient Rockets by Kage Baker and A Dictionary Of Made-Up Languages by Stephen D. Rogers
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Non-fiction writing in the fields of fantasy and science fiction comes in many forms, most of them familiar to a mainstream audience. There are also non-fiction works in the genres that are fairly unique to the field, to the point of looking like oddities to an outsider. Two recent works of non-fiction are good examples of two different types of non-fiction, both devoted to increasing our appreciation of the fantastic.

Stan Lee's How to Draw Comics Stan Lee's How to Draw Comics by Stan Lee
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
This is an updated version of the ground-breaking 1978 book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by comics writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, although much of the material is new. It includes work by 60s/70s artists such as Jack Kirby, John Romita, Sr., Neal Adams and Gil Kane, along with much more recent work by artists apparently associated with "contributing writer" Dave Campiti. Both volumes seek to demonstrate how to draw comic books in the super-hero and related genres.

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter: Owner's Workshop Manual Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter: Owner's Workshop Manual by Ryder Windham
reviewed by David Maddox
Ever wonder were Han Solo got some of the ideas to modify his YT-1300 Corellian Freighter? Were they just spurts of imagination and creativity, or did he have a little help? All this information and more can be yours. Haynes Publishing, renowned for creating durable and practical users guides for car, bike, tank, barbeque, and who-knows-how-many other items have teamed with Del Rey to release a detailed history and guidebook to modifying your YT-1300 Corellian Freighter.


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