Best genre fiction of 2013

Instead of compiling an all-encompassing “best fiction” list, these top 10s focus on particular genres.

Science Fiction:

The Guardian says after many decades, “the domination of the (science fiction) genre by US and UK writers is starting to crumble.” Among its top sci-fi books is “The Shining Girls” by South African writer Lauren Beukes.

Buzzfeed calls its top science fiction book, “Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance” by Lois McMaster Bujold, “a romp in the best possible meaning of the word.”


One of Bookpages’ top 10 mysteries is “Tatiana” by Martin Cruz Smith.

To say that Smith is in top form with Tatiana would beg the question: When has he not been in top form? Smith balances plot, characters and atmosphere with talents equal to the best writers in the genre, and his latest effort is guaranteed to please his longtime fans and likely to win him many new ones.

The Seattle Times’ top 10 mysteries are chosen by Adam Woog. A book by Charles McCarry, “the best-kept secret … in spy fiction,” made the list. It’s called “The Shanghai Factor.”

In this wily and often very funny story of double- and triple-crosses, a young CIA operative in Shanghai gets entangled with an enigmatic lover and an equally enigmatic businessman, either one or both possible spies.


Sarah MacLean’s “One Good Earl Deserves a Lover” was named a top romance of 2013 by Library Journal.

A brainy bluestocking engaged to a sweet but rather dim earl needs to learn all she can about the physical side of marriage before the big day. She chooses her brother-in-law’s seductively charming business partner at the Fallen Angel to be her research assistant, and they both learn more than they expect in this witty, offbeat story that sparkles despite its dark undercurrents.

You Give Good Love” by J.J. Murray made Publishers Weekly’s top 10 romance books of 2013.

Murray’s tale is a genuinely heartwarming romance starring a broken heroine in need of mending. Hope Warren, an African-Bahamian-Canadian with an M.F.A., works glumly at a Brooklyn print shop. She’s been miserable for eight years, ever since being dumped one Christmas Eve. With charming persistence, kind-hearted Irish-American Dylan Healy, owner of a greeting card company, coaxes Hope out of her shell.

  • Gary F

    Maybe we should re-introduce wild buffalo to southern and western Minnesota?

    • JQP

      or the epi-continental sea! imagine a balmy warm sea in Luverne!

      • Gary F

        Then we’d have to change our licence plate to….Minnesota, Land of 1 Big Lake.

  • Gayle

    If they are dying out due to natural selection, then we should not intervene. It will be interesting to see how the ecosystem and food chain on Isle Royale change in the coming years. Perhaps a new pack will naturally establish itself in the future.

  • Pearly

    Let nature take its course

  • Gayle

    We should not intervene, since we have 55 years of data it would be good to continue to monitor and learn.

    Similarly, we should not intervene in any more wars or conflicts around the world. Stop military spending and spying on the world. All I am saying is give peace a chance.

  • david

    Does anyone know when the last time an ice bridge formed to the island? 20 some years ago when I hiked the island I got interested in the subject and wondered if it would be possible to walk out there myself. I have since then never heard of the lake freezing enough to do it.

    I guess I’m inclined to at least reintroduce wolves once the current pack is gone. Since moose are all but extinct in the state I think it would be a good idea to maintain the balance on the island. Its an experience you never forget to be hiking alone down a trail and a full grown bull moose is walking towards you and you have to step off the trail at the last second to let it pass so not to get stepped on.

  • rev

    Of course we should intervene. It’s never ok to let something die off or die out.

  • Sue de Nim

    I don’t have an opinion on this particular question, but I do find one thing interesting. The economy and the ecosystem produce opposite opinions from liberals and conservatives. Liberals usually want to leave the ecosystem alone and manipulate the economy to achieve desired results; conservatives usually want to extract profits from natural resources and let markets run wild. I think both sides are half right and half wrong in both spheres.

  • Jim G

    Most of the time I don’t want to fool with Mother Nature, but all this group of wolves needs to survive is one individual female with good genes. That would be a great research study too.

  • scott44

    No!! They want to study the complete cycle right? If man intrudces a new female then the cycle has been broken by man. In due time the Big Lake will freeze enough and a new female and or maybe a breeding pair will cross the ice. Let mother nature run its coarse.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    Let nature take its course. If wolves disappear from Isle Royale, then so be it. The loss of wolves would provide a tremendous opportunity to reintroduce woodland caribou to the island–preferably from the Slate Islands in Lake Superior, where they number several hundred animals–too many for their available habitat.

    A successful caribou reintroduction would result in the only population of those animals in the Lower 48 States, as they were long ago extirpated from their native range in the northern parts Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New England.

    A related question could be: Does the National Park Service have any visionaries among its leaders?

  • Todd

    No, it is no longer studying “natural” situations, but it is research for the sake of research ($$$$). What is the value of “studies” if nature is going to be manipulated to keep a project going? Far too much tax payer money is already spent on so called “research” that is manipulated for certain outcomes.