10. Harbinger of the Storm Aliette de Bodard
Do you like fun? Harbinger of the Storm balances political intrigue, an exotic and fascinating culture, magic and even a bit of metaphysics against each other brilliantly. It's really a cracking read.
9. Hothouse by Brian Aldiss
Thickly detailed and inventive, Hothouse is quite the journey. Through the eyes of a couple of post-humans we see a world where the whole world has been taken over by plants. It's detailed and rich, and genuinely rather fun and scary at times.
8. Jack Glass by Adam Roberts
Three locked door murder mysteries, and in each case Jack Glass is the killer. So whodunnit? (Hint: it was Jack Glass).
This book was definitely too clever for its own good, and Roberts can't quite deliver on the promise on a couple of the mysteries. Still a great book, fueled by ideas, in turn funny and dark. Genuinely sad that it's unlikely we'll not get another book with the characters and world again.
7. Babylon by Victor Pevelin
Ridiculously quotable, funny and absurd; Babylon (or Homo Zapiens or Generation P) is a hell of a strange trip. Filled with drugs and the guiding voice of Che Guevara, it has a very strong post-soviet union feel to it.
6. The Short and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Following the titular Wao and in his family, Diaz weaves an absurd and bittersweet tale. It's filled with asides about Puerto Rican society and recent history, all the whilst demonstrating how Wao's geeky proclivities help shape his views of the world. There's just a dash of the fantastical sprinkled on top too.
5. The Race by Nina Allan
I'm actually shocked this is this far down the list to be honest - The Race is a story soaked in ambiguity and an underlying sense of menace. Christopher Priest style narrative trickery turns a novel about a woman's relationship with her brother into a story that unsettles just as much as it pleases.
4. Wylding Hall
Wylding Hall is bright, airy and very pretty. It's tragic and poignant. It's also a haunted house story. I mentioned in an earlier list that Hand accomplishes an incredible tightrope walk in this story, and I'm not sure that I need to say anything else.
3. God Bless You, Mr Rosewater
Like many of the best satires, Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr Rosewater is probably more relevant today than it's ever been. Terrifically funny, dripping with cynicism and genuinely moving in parts, this novel has a strange resonance with Catch-22. Possibly my favourite Vonnegut.
A little slice of Americano, helmed by the great beast from ancient Crete. The attention to detail that makes the situation way more believable than it should do and the vulnerability of the narrative voice both cause the book to come to life.
1. The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick
To say that there's nothing I've ever read that is quite like The Iron Dragon's Daughter may sound trite, but it's also entirely accurate. The novel is strange and unexpected and totally beguiling, not to mention brilliant.