Because apparently I don't really exist anymore, WetAsphalt presents the following:

E.L. Borgnine's selections, not that anybody bothered to ask him...

Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper, a very funny send up of the supernatural horror genre about a group of white supremacists trying to wake the Great Old Ones in the food court of a Rhode Island shopping center.

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry, which was a lovely Kafkaesque bit of crime fiction that left me looking forward to what Berry will do next.

Both Matter and Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks were published in paperback last year, the first as the latest in Banks's Culture universe which explores the uglier side of a utopian left wing future run by Artificial Intelligences, and the latter a very bleak slice of Space Opera dealing with some very interesting twists on the standard setting. Banks is the best writer writing Space Opera today, and he uses science fiction the way it's supposed to be used.

The Reavers by George MacDonald Fraser was important not just because it was the last book he finished, but also because like his earlier novel The Pyrates it's just a damn fine piece of work exhibiting all the best that can be found in escapist adventure fiction.

Lest it be forgotten, last year did see Norton's publication of a scholarly edition of The Complete Short Stories of J.G. Ballard which is important if only because it makes Ballard's most important and interesting work, almost never found in his uniformly poor novels, much more accessible.

And finally, proof that Rosenfield, Champion, Weinman et al's complaints are a bit over blown, at least one book I would heartily recommend and which doesn't seem to fit the pattern that the other authors are seeing was selected. Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Aposotolos Doxiadas and Christos Papadimitriou was probably the most important graphic novel since Maus, and not just because of the unusual level of intertextual erudition and the fact that as a result of it many more people will be exposed to the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein.


Also I noticed that Victor La Valle's Big Machine and Nicholson Baker's truly weird The Anthologist were included in the tournament bracket, which again makes hard to sustain the premise that it's only mainstream traditional narrative that's getting the nod.