Bloom County, Vol. 3 vs. Deathless
I love Bloom County, I do. But I adored Deathless beyond all measure. Mixing Russian history and folklore? Are you serious? There isn't a step put wrong in this one, and this story that involves Stalinist house-domovoi and how stories become ingrained in the world is sad, terrifying, and poignant. I love Catherynne Valente's writing style, and this one in no way disappointed. This was one of those books that inspired me to evangelicalism. Read it!
Angelmaker vs. Deadline
I knew I read three books I loved in fairly quick succession, but I am so relieved to see that they won't come up against each other in the first round. Angelmaker delivers the knockout blow on this one, easily coming out on top of the fine but not spectacular zombie/surveillance society stylings of Mira Grant. It's steampunky, it's also about state abuse of power, it has sexy lesbian spies and clockwork bees. What else could you possibly want? Love it, love it, love it.
The City & The City vs. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Winner: The City & the City
This is the third of the books I loved that I read while I was away at a conference. Both of the books in this match-up are a little bit noir, so I like to think of The City & the City sneaking up on The Talented Mr. Ripley, (maybe using weird techniques to go unseen), and stabbing Patricia Highsmith's book in the back. This was my first adult China Mieville book, and I loved it. I honestly don't think I can summarize it easily. Just read it.
Moving Pictures vs. Remake
Winner: Moving Pictures
Neither of these books rocked my world. Moving Pictures was a Terry Pratchett I read when I wasn't sick, and Remake was a Connie Willis that seemed more derivative of her other work than a good entry into her canon. But of the two, Moving Pictures had a bit more to say about the world of entertainment, even though that was what they were both about. Willis' dystopia of a world of copyright battles and nothing new being made pales beside her other work, but the creation of Holy Wood outside Ankh-Morpork tickled my funnybone at least a little.
A Week in Winter vs. A Good Man
Winner: A Good Man
A Week in Winter was lovely and light, but it can't possibly compare to Guy Vanderhaeghe's third book in his Western Canada series. (Third? This is the only one I've read, so I'm not all that sure.) While I enjoyed heartwarming stories in Ireland, the bleakness of the Canadian and American prairies, sexual politics in largely homosocial towns, and negotiations in bad faith with Native Americans, of the two, A Good Man is a good read.