Best of the Year – Paul Cornell

Published On December 20, 2011 | By Joe Gordon | Best of the Year 2011, Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

Today’s guest Best of the Year comes from one of our favourite writers, regardless of whether he is scribbling away frantically on television scripts, science fiction novels or comics, and someone who I’ve known and talked to via the web for years but only finally got to meet in person this year, which was a real treat,  it’s Paul Cornell:

FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Paul: I think I’d pick: Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder (who’s the new genius writer of comics, with a run on Detective immediately before the New 52 that blew me away).

(cover to DC New 52’s relaunched Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette)

Batgirl by Gail Simone (who’s always worth reading, one of the true greats).

(Batgirl #1 from the DC New 52 relaunch, written by Gail Simone, art by Ardian Syaf, cover by Adam Hughes)

And, okay, I should do a Marvel one, Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men (that brand feels so invigorated now, and he’s a writer who loves delivering actual endings, always my favourite thing in comics).

(cover to Uncanny X-Men #2 by Kieron Gillen, cover art by Billy Tan and Carlos Pacheco, (c) Marvel)

FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Paul: Reamde by Neal Stephenson (as one blog put it, the great American novel, born out of geek culture while not being SF, showing that geek culture *is* mainstream culture now).

The Islanders by Christopher Priest (it’s the new Priest, so I’m bound to love it, but this one starts the playing with levels of reality on page one).

And Heaven’s Shadow by Michael Cassutt and David S. Goyer (a JK Abrams-style reinvention of the Arthur C. Clarke near future SF novel, pitched to please the mainstream in ‘airport novel’ mode).

FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Paul: Doctor Who is not a show, more a lifestyle choice, so: Fringe (just the most intelligent show on American TV, with multiple layers of reality and an interest in how we react to them, pure SF).

Warehouse 13 – great fun, great plotting, great characters (good, it’s not just me hooked on Warehouse 13 then! – Joe).

Game of Thrones – an epic rebuttal of fantasy cliche, deeply satisfying.

FPI: How did 2011 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?

Paul: I am!  Two comics in the New 52 from DC that are actually *increasing* in sales, a radio play and lots of short stories.  Very pleasing.

Paul Cornell signing at Forbidden Planet Edinburgh 010
(Paul signing in the Edinburgh Forbidden Planet this autumn, pic from my Flickr)

FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2012?

Paul: My first urban fantasy novel, Cops and Monsters, out from Tor in October.  It’s my single best work, I think, emotional and action packed, funny and really serious, all in one.  I feel like I’ve finally worked out how to be a novelist.  If you liked my Doctor Who or comics work, I think you might love this.  And Saucer Country, an ongoing comic series from Vertigo about UFO mythology, as a Presidential candidate gets… well, let’s call it ‘abducted by aliens’.  There are grey areas to that, as we’ll see.

(promotional artwork for Paul’s Saucer Country coming from DC’s Vertigo next year, art by Ryan Kelly)

FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?

Paul: Lauren Beukes has now conquered the world, so I’ll say Adam Christopher, with his new superhero universe in the novel Empire State (NB due out early January from Angry Robot & next on my tottering must-read pile – Joe).

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

One Response to Best of the Year – Paul Cornell

  1. Pingback: EMPIRE STATE unboxing, links and reviews - Adam Christopher