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The Year's Best Science Fiction Crosses Galaxies And Genres

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This was a good year for cross-genre pollination. It was packed with brilliant books that stretched the boundaries of what counts as science fiction and fantasy — and even what counts as fiction itself. Authors like Ken MacLeod and G. Willow Wilson spun tales that begin as near-future dystopian science fiction, only to turn abruptly into fantastical tales of supernatural creatures. Call it magical cyberpunk realism.

We also witnessed a strong resurgence of political themes in genre fiction, as Maureen McHugh and Kim Stanley Robinson explored what it means to be part of a civilization on the brink of transformation or collapse.

Here are six of the year's best works of science fiction and fantasy — two of which were favorites from our summer list, too.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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