Either io9 has such poor taste that I can safely ignore their recommendations OR I am clearly out of touch with what is happening in the world of scifi. Here's their list with my reactions:
Acacia: The War with the Mein, by David Anthony Durham
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Durham.
Air, Or Have Not Have, by Geoff Ryman
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Ryman.
The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Sedia.
The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson
I've read the first book, but couldn't finish the second (sorry, Tracy K and Jeff M!). It's definitely baroque, and I really like sections of the books, but there are chapters that just meander into pointlessness. Or maybe I'm not smart enough to get the awesome of those chapters.
Confessions of Max Tivoli, by Andrew Sean
Never read it. I heard of this when that terrible Benjamin Button movie came out, but haven't gotten around to checking it out.
Down And Out In the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow
Never read it.
Of course I have heard of Doctorow (it's boingboing's internet, we're just living in it). I've read exactly one short story of his, which I enjoyed. I actually think his (mostly appealing) blogging makes me hesitant to read his novels. Definitely something weird going on in my brain on this one. I should just pick up the damn book.
The Execution Channel, by Ken MacLeod
Never read it.
MacLeod (which I will continue to pronounce "McCloud" whether or not that is correct) is aces in my esteem for tackling politics in his science fiction, but I don't find his actual writing to be very good. At his best, he evokes Iain M. Banks, but cannot sustain it. The reviews say this is one of his better works, so I guess I should pick it up.
If you are going to read MacLeod, my recommendation would be to start with Cosmonaut Keep, also published in this decade.
Glasshouse, by Charles Stross
Never read it, but it has been sitting on my nightstand for several months.
This paragraph is copied and pasted from McLeod's: Stross is aces in my esteem for tackling politics in his science fiction, but I don't find his actual writing to be very good. At his best, he evokes Iain M. Banks, but cannot sustain it. The reviews say this is one of his better works, so I guess I should pick it up.
If you are going to read Stross, I would start with Singularity Sky, also published in this decade.
Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling
ALL CAPS WTF.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
I'm reading this right now on the Kindle iPhone application. So far, it's pretty good. I'll update the post when I finish.
Look to Windward, by Iain M. Banks
Okay, it's not bad. None of the Culture books are bad. In fact, the worst Culture book is probably better than most of the books on this list. So I guess I have no complaint with it's inclusion here. But if you haven't read any of these books before now, I would heartily recommend beginning with his short stories, or jumping in to Consider Phlebas, Use of Weapons, or Excession.
The Mount, by Carol Emshwiller
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Emshwiller.
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
Never read it, but I do intend to do so. I am a fan of Atwood's work.
Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Gibson (just kidding, but for real I have never been a big fan).
Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville
Never read it. I'll probably get around to it. I have read two others of Mieville's.
Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge
This is not a great book, but it is a very, very interesting vision of the near future. If you want to know where things are heading, this is probably a more accurate prediction than most. (Note that the title is a complete sentence, not a phrase with a punctuation error).
Stories of Your Life And Others, by Ted Chiang
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Chiang. This is despite io9's assertion that:
Chiang is one of the legends of the science fiction world, often hailed as the best short story writer of his generation.
Where have I been?
Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
Never read it. Heard of the movie.
Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton
Never read it. Never heard of it. Never heard of Walton.
World War Z, by Max Brooks
Never read it. The Zombie Survival Guide was somewhat amusing, but did not leave me wanting more.
To sum up, that's 15 out of 20 I've never read. So it's completely not fair to react to this list so negatively. However, I will say that any of the follwoing novels could take the place of the Harry Potter book on any list, any list at all, that purports to be a list of great science fiction. All were published in this decade.
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
I recommend the whole series, with the caveat that Morgan feels like he must include some truly ridiculous sex scenes every 50 pages or so.
Pandora's Star, by Peter F. Hamilton
Truly mega let's-throw-everything-in-the-blender sci fi.
Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey
If it didn't feature some (really quite innocent compared to a lot of stuff in this list) homosexuality, this would be an outstanding example of young-adult science fiction. Let me rephrase: This is an outstanding example of young-adult science fiction, but you will not likely find it in any young-adult section due to the aforementioned lesbianism.