1. Best stick-in-your-head line from an ’09 fiction: “The sky was a fucked puzzle,” from Blake Butler’s EVER.
2. Best coinage: To squid (v.i. or v.t). My four-year old son, the baddest four-year old son in the world, made this one up. It means: to move one’s fingers softly over another’s skin…. As in, “No squidding!”
3. Best uncelebrated ’09 fiction: Karl Taro Greenfeld’s “Thiebold,” from The New York Tyrant. Psycho-cultural politics. Who else is writing fiction like this? Fuckin stunner.
4. Best pure pop song, “Lust for Life,” from Girls’ ALBUM.
5. Best post-pop song, “Rollerskate,” by Matias Aguayo.
6. Best band for people who’ve decided they don’t miss Bob Pollard that much after all: Times New Viking.
7. Best new mag, online or print: The Collagist.
8. Best reissue of any kind, book or music: Gary Lutz’s STORIES IN THE WORST WAY.
9. Best defense against bad reviews: Bob Dylan dedicating all proceeds from his holiday album, CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART, to charity.
10. Best attempt to induce mass insanity via transmission: the free-credit-report.com jingle.
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.