Grateful Dead's 'The Music Never Stopped'
With 2009 way behind us and 2010 aging finer than the firkins of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Reynard laid up last fall, it’s time to check out the Green Man staffers Best Picks for 2009. And I -- Bartholomew L. Bhea, Subordinate Scribe -- am honored to have been invited to introduce the lists.
Going alphabetically, -- I’ve never been too good with numbers -- April Gutierrez leads the charge with a mix of reads that include a scathing indictment of nuclear war, Fairy Tales gone modern, and tip of the nib to Stephen King.
Camille Alexa’s off the cuff favorites for 2009 provide a strong second with a list that’s very much unlike her Green Man Library, which eschews division by genre. Staying squarely within the science fiction genre, she chooses two excellent movies, a handful of great reads, and finishes with an anticipation of 2010.
For those dark and stormy nights that turn the mind towards murder, Cat Eldridge offers an excellent section of the best mysteries from '09. See which DVDs he recommends and learn about Simon R. Green's hat trick by reading his Best of Picks here.
Charles Stross -- apparently, I’m also not that good with my letters -- presents a beautifully symmetrical list, with two live performances, two tribute albums, two books, and two cats. It’s too perfect.
From nipple-tasseled burlesque girls to a dark Belgian thriller, Christopher Fowler offers a best pick for just about every medium reviewed by GMR. Check out his books, cinema, opera, music and live performance reviews here.
David Kidney -- oh I get it, alphabetical by first name! -- brings an oxymoronic list of live performances and music with a 'quiet' theme in their titles. Of course, who wouldn’t be in a hushed awe after sitting only two rows away from the inimitable Elvis Costello? Read about Costello’s interview and read David’s list in full here.
Deb Grabien valiantly attempts a Twelve Days of Christmas parody with her list. She gets all the way to six before hitting the send button, but they’re six selections deserving her encomiums. Read about it and see what she added to her list later.
If I got to select a winner for best organized list, I’d pick Elizabeth Bear’s The Best of Everything! It covers everything from sci-fi novels and chocolate to cable television, and it’s neatly arranged with out any clutter like, 'if I got to select a winner for best organized list.'
Never get into a reading competition with Ellen Datlow! I did just that last year while knocking back a few at Green Man Pub. I bet Ellen she could read 18 great novels to list for the Best of 2009. She did. They’re here. And that’s why I’m still the lowly Subordinate Scribe and she visits magical worlds of intrigue and supernatural creatures.
For the fantasy fans, James Stoddard provides a thorough list of his favorite 2009 reads and public domain listens (audio books). He even includes one non-fantasy movie -- sort of. To find out which one, read his commentary.
Pardon tear drops that blur the lettering of this note. Unless your heart is colder than a mid-January snowball, you’ll cry too when you find out why Jane Yolen found herself unable to pick a best chocolate for 2009. Hopefully, she discovered a source of solace in her poetry selections.
If Adam Sandler can sneak onto a GMR Best of 2009 list, than I can get a promotion! We all have dreams. Someday I want to be the super-ordinate scribe -- same pay, but more chocolate covered espresso beans. Of course, Sandler isn’t the only thing on Jennifer Stevenson’s list, but you have to click here to read it.
In a predictably abstract list, Joseph Thompson's Best of 2009 list reads like a menu and then ends on a recommendation to try a different restaurant. A good list for those dieting or simply tired of eating.
Josepha Sherman offers the year’s most concise list. So in keeping with that spirit, I’ll just say read it here.
When I first arrived at the GMR office building, Nancy Carlin found me wandering around lost. During the tour, she showed me a row of jars in the kitchen. 'These are my favorite spices of the year,' she told me. Read her notes to learn what spices she picked. She picked a fair amount of music as well.
From "Nordic" to Neil Gaiman, Robert Tilendis provided a fine distillation of the past year in his Best of 2009 Picks. As the lowly scribe, I can only say, "Oh, that's how it's supposed to read.
Tim Pratt offers a nice mix of sci-fi and horror, including a few reads he picked up off his local book exchange shelf. And, he selected a few albums for the wee ones -- an all too often neglected genre. I couldn’t believe my ears when I learned these bands were now targeting a younger audience. You can find out for yourself here. And with that, the Best of 2009 list ends on the letter 'T.'
Moving beyond 'Best of,' two GMR staffers created separate lists of their favorite creature comforts for this winter. While the mugs at the Green Man Pub -- nice heavy things that keep a mulled cider hot -- are excluded, several other things make the lists and satisfy every sense.
'The Flaming Scallops' would make an excellent band name. Catherynne Valenete delivered not a music review but a list winter foods that made me stop mid word and take a lunch break. Tactfully, she doesn’t mention her recent visit to the Green Man Office Building, but she does open her 2009 list of creature comforts with a selection of scented skin creams, shampoos and body lotions.
And Jane Yolen brings these blurbs to a close with a shift from physical comforts to mental ones. Read about what books now substitute chocolate in her life here.
Some stories from Le Hérisson de Sommeil (The Sleeping Hedgehog).