Saturday, 10 December 2011

Top of the Scots 2011 | The Best of the Best of the Best

So there you have it, everyone.

Of the year. According to me. And you know me, don't you?

It's been a bit surreal, doing this for the second time. When I first sat down to write a review of Tigana, almost two years ago to the day now - for you newcomers, that's here, by the by - I did not think blogging would come to be such a huge part of my life. I certainly wouldn't have believed you if you had told me I'd be doing this two years on, and doing it more than ever.

I'm still not entirely convinced that I am.

But here we are, hey?

And it's been fun! Indeed, it continues to be fun. And I ain't going anyplace just yet -- though there will be some changes to TSS in 2012. Better formatting for one thing, whether that means I move the site over to another service or see if Live Writer can solve all my problems in one fell swoop. We can only hope.

Anyway, with that ever-so-slight digression, Top of the Scots is almost over, till next year.

Almost... but not quite!

See, this is the part where I troop out the best of The Best of the Best for one last hurrah, or in case you missed 'em the first time out. Our three overall winners, then - in books, movies and video games - are as follows.

The Best Book of 2011

The Best Movie of 2011

The Best Game of 2011

Though you couldn't go wrong with the runners-up, either, or any of my selections, come to that... except perhaps a few of the movies I had to make do with. But let's not get into that again.

So if you play one video game this year, let it be Portal 2. For PotatOS! In space!

If you watch one movie, meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 marked the end of an era, and it marked it, if I may say so, very well indeed.

As to books? Well that's what I'm here for, first and foremost - let's not beat around the burning bush as to my priorities - and if you take just one of the many, many recommendations I've made in 2011 to heart, let it be this: K. J. Parker is amazing.

Read The Hammer. Weep, if you must. Then come back to me and let me know how you found it. It's an incredible piece of standalone fantasy fiction, to my mind, and the more folks I can turn on to K. J. Parker, the better.

Right then. That's it.

Or -- wait, is it? 

Actually, no. Not even now, because now that I've shown you mine, you have to show me yours, folks! It's the law around these here parts... or so the policeman told me. :/

And now that we're done talking about 2011, or we near-as-dammit are, next on the agenda: 2012!

For a taste of what's to come, please do pop back on Monday, when I'll be pointing you in the general direction of a long blog about my most anticipated books of the year ahead.

Gosh, it never stops, does it?

Well, I wouldn't have it any other way!


  1. First of all, I'm a relatively new subscriber (only a few months since I started following the blog) but I have to admit your blog has turned into one of my favourites, mostly because of the style and the chosen reviewed material. So well done and here's to another couple of years at least!
    After you mentioned Portal 2 in your previous post about best games of 2011, I decided to give it a shot. I had just tried for a short stint Two Worlds II but the clunky controls left me disappointed. I wanted something that would feel comfortable and having played Portal earlier this year, I knew that it would be at least good. So I finished Portal 2 yesterday and I have to say it was a great game! Maybe I was hoping for a longer game, it did seem a bit short (though longer probably that Portal 1) but it was quite intense and packed. The atmosphere was great, the puzzles were very clever (I still found them easier than Portal 1 though) and in general the game was extremely well-crafted and well-designed. I can't say that I was so extremely impressed to call it the best game of 2011 (not having played any other of the top-rated games of 2011) but it was certainly an amazing game that I would recommend to anyone!

  2. Welcome to the blog then, Antonakis - very happy to have you!

    As to Portal 2, I'll admit that my choosing it as my favourite game of the year probably says as much about me as it does about Portal 2. I love a lot of things about it, and I full well expect it to be overlooked by the bigger video game websites - simply because it came out so early in the year - so my vote was in part to preempt that, and in part because I had such a wonderful time playing through both the single player and the co-op with my significant other, who doesn't often care about video games, I'll say.

    All the same, it's a great game, and I'm glad you enjoyed your play-through. So... is Skyrim next on your list? :)

  3. Always good to meet another K.J. Parker fan! I finished The Folding Knife a few weeks ago and have The Company on my shelf!

  4. As an old and passionate Elder Scrolls fan, Skyrim is definitely on my gaming list!! I'm just trying to delay it for after the christmas holidays because I know I won't be able to get any serious gaming done during those weeks and I'd hate to start now and interrupt it so soon. This from a guy who has spent at least a hundred hours playing each of the last previous three Elder Scrolls games (I think my clock counter shows something close to 400 hrs for Oblivion). So yes Skyrim... I'm a Dovahkin what can I do ?
    In the meantime I'm trying some other games that wanted to check for a while. I've been playing Crysis for the last couple of days. Two things impress me (and it's not the graphics):
    1. How high the pc requirements are for a 4-year old game that it runs relatively slow on my system.
    2. How much I suck at FPS games. Still at the early chapters and I'm struggling way too much, so much in fact that I'm starting to loose my enjoyment and thinking about dropping this one. We'll see how much juice it (or I) still has to go on.

  5. Marduk/An0mand3r Rak312 December 2011 at 02:15

    I've read a lot of great books this year but as a huge Malazan fan I can't go past The Crippled God as book of the year. This should probably be a vote for the series as a whole but yeah just phenomenal. My favourite epic fantasy series of all time, by far and without a doubt. Read it twice through now and looking forward to the next re-read as well!

    Other fantastic reads this year in no particular order (and not necessarily released this year) were:

    The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie
    The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi
    Embassytown - China Mieville
    Leviathan Wakes - James S A Corey
    Palimpsest - Catherynne M Valente
    Fenrir - M D Lachlan
    The Metrozone series - Simon Morden
    The Reapers are the Angels - Alden Bell
    The Monarchies of God Series - Paul Kearney