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The Incomparable Mothership #600 February 4, 2022
2010s book draft

The Machine Was a Vampire

In this six-hundredth episode of The Incomparable, recorded across two separate sessions, we talk about a whole bunch of novels—namely, our picks for the best SF/F novels of the first decade of The Incomparable, the 2010s! For our purposes, we’re designating the “decade” as 2010-2019. Along the way, we may ponder the most important question a reader should ask: Are there Zeppelins?

Listen to this episode (1 hour, 55 minutes)

Show Notes

Round One:

  • Scott - The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
  • Dan - The Rook - Daniel O’Malley
  • Glenn - This Is How You Lose the Time War - Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
  • Jason - Among Others - Jo Walton
  • Aleen - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
  • Erika - A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers
  • David - The Human Division - John Scalzi

Round Two:

  • Scott - My Real Children - Jo Walton
  • Dan - Caliban’s War - James S.A. Corey
  • Glenn - The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstein
  • Jason - 11/22/63 - Stephen King
  • Aleen - The Calculating Stars - Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Erika - The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
  • David - The Haunting of Tram Car 015 - P. Djeli Clark

Round Three:

  • Scott - Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald
  • Dan - Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch
  • Glenn - The Magician’s Land - Lev Grossman
  • Jason - A Memory Called Empire - Arkady Martine
  • Aleen - The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin
  • Erika - Borderline - Mishell Baker
  • David - The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi

Round Four:

  • Scott - Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
  • Dan - Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance - Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Glenn - The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker
  • Jason - Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
  • Aleen - Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw
  • Erika - Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines
  • David - Day of the Doctor - Steven Moffat

Round Five:

  • Scott - New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Dan - City of Miracles - Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Glenn - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin
  • Jason - Gnomon - Nick Harkaway
  • Aleen - Hollow Kingdom - Kyra Jane Buxton
  • Erika - Delia’s Shadow - Jamie Lee Moyer
  • David - Noir - Christopher Moore

Also Mentioned/Not Picked (Compiled by Listener AJ):

Glenn:

  • Uprooted - Naomi Novik (also Jason, Erika)
  • Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu
  • Exhalation: Stories (including The Lifecycle of Software Objects) - Ted Chiang

Scott:

  • Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
  • Barsk - Lawrence M. Schoen (also Jason)
  • Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
  • Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone

Dan:

  • Gideon the Ninth (but not so much Harrow the Ninth) - Tamsyn Muir
  • The Martian - Andy Weir
  • The “Penric and Desdemona” series of novellas, starting with Penric’s Demon - Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman (also Aleen)
  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart Turton
  • Foundryside - Robert Jackson Bennett

Jason:

  • The Galaxy and the Ground Within - Becky Chambers (also Dan)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter - Theodora Goss
  • Tiamat’s Wrath - James S A Corey
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built - Becky Chambers (2020s)

Aleen:

  • The Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo (also the Netflix series)
  • The Caledonian Gambit - Dan Moren

Erika:

  • The Midnight Bargain - C. L. Polk (bonus 2020s pick!)
  • Summer in Orcus - T Kingfisher
  • Terminal Alliance - Jim C. Hines
  • School for Sidekicks - Kelly McCullough

David:

  • Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang (also kind of Glenn, on his blog)
  • The Paper Menagerie - Ken Liu
  • Blackout (but maybe not All Clear, which is the second half of the same book?) - Connie Willis
  • Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
  • Trail of Lightning - Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Alif the Unseen - G Willow Wilson
  • The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
  • The Light Brigade - Kameron Hurley