Camille Alexa's Off-the-Cuff 2009 Faves

2009 was a notable year for film because not one but TWO great independent SF movies came out and rocked the house: Moon and District 9. I went into both these films -- quiet movies in their own ways, yet powerful stuff -- with no expectations. Perhaps that's why I was so pleased with my moviegoing experience in each instance. I won't mention a certain soulless money-making award grabber currently in vogue (unmentioned film being 2010 and the polar opposite of a personal favorite), but let's just say the magic utterly lacking in that particular blockbuster shone in both these other beauties.

Though I reviewed a slightly older TV favorite for The Green Man this year, the first series of BBC's Life on Mars, my enthusiastic TV fave vote for 2009 goes to the quirky and outrageous Misfits.

Best read of the year was without doubt Mitchell Smith's Snowfall trilogy from Tor. Other personal faves on the novel front included Canadian author A. M. Dellamonica's debut, Indigo Springs (Tor, 2009), Brenda Cooper's The Silver Ship and the Sea (Tor, 2008), and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's Fistful of Sky (Ace, 2004). Runner ups would be Kristin Cashore's Graceling (and sequel Fire, both from 2009) and Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (from 2008 and its sequel, Catching Fire from 2009). Favorite short story of the year has to be Tina Connolly's SF piece "Turning the Apples" (free to read in Strange Horizons, also free in audio at Pseudopod.

I bought the Dellamonica, Cooper, and Hoffman novels straight from the authors at the 2009 Powell's Books Authorfest in Portland, Oregon (timed to coincide with Orycon). Both events are on my calender for annual pilgrimage purposes.

Most anticipated reads for 2010: Passing for Human (PS Publishing, 2009), edited by Michael Bishop and Steven Utley (containing stories by the likes of Ray Bradbury, Jessica Reisman, Carol Emshwiller, and Jeff Vandermeer), and also Steven Utley's collection, Ghost Seas. I'll let you know how those work out.