Best of 2015

by Alex Hern


Best book I read this year: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick

Best book I read this year that actually came out this year: Poseidon’s Wake, by Alasdair Reynolds

Best non-fiction book I read this year that actually came out this year: Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin, by Nathaniel Popper

Best fiction I read this year: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

Best book I read this year for making me want to turn to someone else the second I finished and have a long conversation about it: Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks

Best book about technology which was written in 1997 but could basically be brand new if you swapped out some of the nouns I read this year: Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents, by Ellen Ullman


Best comic I read in single issues this year: The Wicked and The Divine, by Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson/Cowles

Best comic I read in a collected edition this year: Finder: Third World, by Carla Speed McNeil

Best comic I read this year that has actually been out for ages, because I insisted in reading it first in $100 volumes, and it takes a while to buy four of those: Absolute Sandman Volume 4, by Gaiman et al

Best superhero comic I read this year if none of the above count as a superhero comics, even though to greater and lesser degrees all three of them are: Ms Marvel: Generation Why, by Wilson/Alphona/Wyatt

Best comic by Kieron Gillen I read this year that isn’t The Wicked and The Divine: Uber, by Gillen/White/Andrade/Gete

Best manga I read this year: Ranma 1/2 vols 1 & 2 by Rumiko Takahashi


Best album that came out this year: Peace is the Mission, by Major Lazer

Best track that came out this year: Run Away With Me, by Carly Rae Jepsen

Best nominee for this year’s Popjustice £20 music prize: Seasons, by Olly Murs

Best nominee for this year’s Mercury Music Prize: My Love is Cool, by Wolf Alice

Best gig this year: Carly Rae Jepsen at Islington Assembly Halls

Best British album this year: Every Open Eye, by CHVRCHES

Best lyrics on an album this year: Beat the Champ, by Mountain Goats

Best musical this year: Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda et al

Best streaming service this year: Spotify

Film and TV

Best film this year: Mad Max: Fury Road

Most surprising tears this year: Paddington

Best film this year that actually came out last year: Edge of Tomorrow

Best TV show this year: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Best TV drama this year: Jessica Jones

Best new-to-me TV show this year: The Good Wife

Best theme tune this year: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Best piece I wrote this year: I read all the small print on the internet and it made me want to die

Best piece I read this year: Access denied

Most upsetting realisation I had about my consumption of media this year made while compiling this list: Unlike the above categories, I have no record of what I’ve read; and so it slips from my mind almost as quickly as it enters.

Best piece I read this year about being a gay male contestant on British dating gameshow “Take Me Out”: What It’s Like To Be A Contestant On “Take Me Out”, Despite Being Gay And In A Relationship

Best news story this year: The Meerkat/Monkey/Llama keepers in a love triangle at London Zoo.

Best hoax or con of the year: Whoever successfully fingered Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Worst hoax or con of the year: Ship your enemies glitter.


Best new hardware this year: The new Macbook. Pretty much the one good example this year of a tech company making the right sort of compromise, pushing the field forward rather than languishing in mediocrity.

Best media management of the year: Whoever at Apple managed to successfully push the “perfectionism” angle when doing a media blitz for a wireless mouse which can’t be used and charged at the same time.

Best hack this year: Ashley Madison.


Best game I have played this year: Hearthstone

Best AAA game I have played this year: Destiny

Only other AAA game I have played this year: Dishonoured

Best game this year that you should not play because it will destroy you and your friendships: Subterfuge

Best match-three game this year: You Must Build A Boat

Best game that is basically a tamagotchi this year: Survive! Mola Mola

Best game that I stopped playing because it had no offline mode that now has an offline mode: Alphabear

Best traditional game this year: Netrunner

Best new traditional game this year: One Night Ultimate Vampire