I’ve knocked a few more World Fantasy Award nominees off and here is what I’m thinking right now:
Novel: The Lies of Locke Lamora. I’ve now read Lisey’s Story and Lies, so I’m not really on firm ground here. Lisey’s Story was a bit of a disappointment and despite the WFA nomination I would suggest Lisey’s Story will be remembered as Minor King, rather than Major King, but as we can imagine, I might be wrong about that. Still have no intention of reading the Gene Wolfe novel, but I would like to read the Kushner and the Valente. Will probably get to the Valente first since the Kushner is technically the second in a series, though I don’t think (but may be wrong) that I -need- to read the first entry. Regardless, Lies is one of my favorite reads of this year.
Novella: "Dark Harvest". This isn’t even close. “Map of Dreams” was far better than I had anticipated, “Botch Town” was...well...disappointing, and I never quite gave “Ghost Train” a fair shake because I was burnt out on the Diogenes Club by the time I reached this story in the collection. This leaves the Wilce novella, which is in the forthcoming entry in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (as well as in another Year’s Best collection that I saw at my local library). Despite this, Dark Harvest is still an outstanding piece of fiction, one I would put up in the novel category over the thrice as long Lisey’s Story.
Short Story: “The Way He Does It”. This time I’ve read three of the five, with the other two, I believe, in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. I didn’t like “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)” when I read it as a Hugo nominee and I have no interest in revisiting it now. “A Siege of Cranes” from Twenty Epics did not capture me at all. If the WFA folks are busy nominating stories from Twenty Epics they should have chosen Mary Robinette Kowal’s “The Bound Man” from that same anthology. I know I’m biased towards Kowal, but that’s because her fiction is damn good. I love the title of Christopher Rowe’s story, so I hope it is good when I get the chance to read it. I wrote about Jeffrey Ford’s story before and this is a Ford that I can get behind.
Lisey's Story, Stephen King
The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente
Soldier of Sidon, Gene Wolfe
"Botch Town", Jeffrey Ford (The Empire of Ice Cream, Golden Gryphon)
"The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train", Kim Newman (The Man from the Diogenes Club, MonkeyBrain)
Dark Harvest, Norman Partridge (Cemetery Dance)
"Map of Dreams", M. Rickert (Map of Dreams, Golden Gryphon)
"The Lineaments of Gratified Desire", Ysabeau S. Wilce (F&SF 7/06)
"The Way He Does It", Jeffrey Ford (Electric Velocipede 10 Spring '06)
"Journey Into the Kingdom", M. Rickert (F&SF 5/06)
"A Siege of Cranes", Benjamin Rosenbaum (Twenty Epics, All-Star Stories)
"Another Word for Map Is Faith", Christopher Rowe (F&SF 8/06)
"Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)", Geoff Ryman (F&SF 10-11/06)