Best of 2016: Tor.com Reviewer’s Choice

Tor.com returns with it’s annual Reviewer’s Choice post. This year, they had 11 of their reviewers chose roughly 3 books each. That’s a lot of opinion crammed into one post. Historically, the tastes of Tor.com have aligned pretty well with the tastes of the Hugo voters, so expect a lot of overlap when the eventual Hugo nominations come out.

I only included the “main choices,” which Tor.com conveniently bolded for us. There was no overlap among the 11 reviewers, and not everyone chose 3 books. Here’s what was listed:

Hagseed, Margaret Atwood
The Power, Naomi Alderman
This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab
Malafrena, Ursula K. Le Guin (originally published 1979, republished as part of the Library of America Le Guin volumes, definitely not eligible for anything in 2016)
Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee
Black Panther, Ta-Nehisi Coates (comic book)
The Sunlight Pilgrims, Jenni Fagan
A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers
The Bloodsworn, Erin Lindsey
Conspiracy of Ravens, Lila Bowen
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff
All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders
Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer
The Fisherman, John Langan
An Accident of StarS, Fox Meadows
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Helen Oyeyemi (collection)
Ghostland, Colin Dickey (non-fiction)
A Tree or a Person or a Wall, Matt Bell (collection)
The Unfinished World and Other Stories, Amber Sparks
The Medusa chronicles, Stephen Baxter and Alasdair Reynolds
Central Station, Lavie Tidhar
The Race, Nina Allan (originally published 2014)
Wicked Weeds, Pedro Cabiya
Death’s End, Cixin Liu
Iraq+100: Stories from a Century After the Invasion (collection)
The Fireman, Joe Hill
The Summer Dragon, Todd Lockwood
The Queen of Blood, Sarah Beth Durst
Furnace and Other Stories, Livia Llewellyn (collection)
Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle

A long list, but with many of this year’s likely contenders, such as Yoon Ha Lee, Ada Palmer, Charlie Jane Anders, and Cixin Liu, making an appearance. Who’s missing? N.K. Jemisin, for one, which seems an odd oversight. Maybe the Tor.com crowd thought everyone else would recommend it. Connie Willis doesn’t make it for Crosstalk, and Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Blades shows up only as an also ran. China Mieville has not been doing well on year-end lists so far, and The Last Days of New Paris, novella or not, doesn’t make it here either. There’s no real revelations or surprises, but that’s not what these lists are for: in their totality, they’ll give us a picture of the major contenders.

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