Bests of the Decade - THE WINNERS!

The time is finally here, the votes have been tallied [WITH a spreadsheet - Ed] and we can now announce The DreamCage Bests of the Decade winners. Susan Omand does the honours...

Well, that was a lot of fun! With thanks to everyone that voted in our Twitter polls of shortlisted titles over the last nine days, we now have our definitive winners list of what we, The DreamCage writers and readers, deem to be our bests of the decade. It got a bit competitive, some categories were very hotly contested, others appeared too close to call, one even resulting in a draw and, as with all great Awards shows, there was controversy off stage as well as on, as our nominations process was publicly called into question when the results were not as expected. Woo hoo!

Before we get to the Winners list though, a few quick thank-yous from DCMG Bossman Steve (@STBwrites) and me (@omandoriginal):

Thanks to everyone else who contributed their writing and recording talents to The DreamCage or our twin site over at AlbieMedia Arts and Music this year. And what a great year it was! We had theme days for Martin Scorsese, Women Behind the Screens, The Moon and Anime, a Norton vs Slater face-off for Steve's Birthday Takeover and, of course, another magnificent month of #Hallowvent Horror articles from David Ames. Over on AlbieMedia there was me getting educated about  post 1980s music in #EducatingOmand Year 2, a day by day look at the Proms 2019 and a year long look back at some of the albums that turned 30 this past year in our Turn That Noise Down weekly strand for 1989 [by the way, you should read/sing along to Steve's "We Didn't Start the 1989" on AlbieMedia today -Ed] as well as some songs that turned 40 in TTND79.

This year's contributors were (in no particular order)...

Ren Zelen - @RenZelen
Marc Nash - @21stCScribe
The Defective Inspector - @DefInspector
Nate McKenzie - @Thoughtsinnate
David Ames - @theDavidMAmes
Tony Cross - @Lokster71
Barnaby Eaton-Jones - @BarnabyEJ
Ian Ham - @ianham_
Stuart Mulrain - @TokenNerd
Kraig Taylor-Bryant - @Kraigandhismac
Alwyn Ash - @AlwynAsh
Daniel White - @DanielWBmouth
Jimmy Hunter - @JimJamGin
Paul Robinson - @thefourteenth
Neil Gardner - @HokusBloke
Deborah Taylor-Bryant - @MsGeekAgent
I Seymour
Jon Britton
and our fantastic film podcasting partners, Matt and Cody over at Was This Always Weird.

Thanks to all the Film Festivals this year who were gracious enough to provide press passes for us: Edinburgh Film Festival, Sheffield DocFest, Open City Documentary Festival, Raindance Film Festival, London Film Festival, London Korean Film Festival, the Jewish Film Festival. And a special thank you to the brilliant True Believers Comics Festival - you can already buy your tickets for next year's Troobs here.

Thank you too to all the amazing indie creators of all kinds, the audiobook, audiodrama, game, book, and comic publishers and the PR companies who have provided us with a huge variety of news items, guest articles, interviews and review material for both our websites this year so that we had plenty to write about and you had an eclectic mix to read about.

But most of all, thanks to you guys, our readers. As you know we're not out to tell you what to watch /play /read /listen to but we're truly grateful to know that you do read/listen to us... at least sometimes!

So thank you all. Merry Festives and let's all approach the New Year with the clarity that 2020 vision should bring [well, that joke's not going to get old at all, is it? - Ed].

We'll be back with new stuff in the New Year on The DreamCage... but keep your eyes on AlbieMedia between Christmas and Hogmanay for something a bit special...



BEST GAME - Until Dawn (Read Steve's Review)

"When eight friends become trapped on a remote mountain getaway gone wrong, things quickly turn sinister and they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Gripped by fear and with tensions in the group running high, you’ll be forced to make snap decisions that could mean life or death for everyone involved. Every choice you make while playing as each of the eight friends – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out your own unique story. With spine-tingling performances from a talented cast of Hollywood actors, including Hayden Panettiere (Heroes, Nashville) and Rami Malek, Until Dawn delivers credible performances that forge an emotional bond with players."

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Train to Busan (Read Ren's Review)

"As an unidentified virus sweeps the country, the Korean government declares martial law. Those on an express train to Busan, a city that has successfully fended off the viral outbreak, must fight for their own survival..."

BEST DOCUMENTARY - We Steal Secrets (read Steve's review)

[Editor's note - there was actually a DRAW in the polls between this and Best Before Death (read Susan's review on but Head Judge Steve had the casting vote]

"A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Hailed by some as a free-speech hero and others as a traitor and terrorist, the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of PFC Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers, revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of the government’s international diplomacy and military strategy."


"Idris Elba stars as maverick detective John Luther in this gripping, smart and entertaining thriller. A detective working for London’s Serious Crime Unit, Luther is a dedicated policeman, an inspired maker of connections and a whirlwind genius. He is dazzling, obsessive and sometimes dangerous in the violence of his fixations. Throughout the series, Luther faces a succession of psychological duels between hunter and hunted, predator and prey. But as the stakes get ever higher and more personal, Luther’s lonely path pulls him towards the very edge of temptation."

BEST COMIC/GRAPHIC NOVEL - The Death Sentence comics series Written/lettered by Monty Nero, art by Mike Dowling/Martin Simmonds

"SEX, SUPERPOWERS AND SIX MONTHS TO LIVE! Verity: frustrated artist. Weasel: struggling guitarist. Monty: rogue media icon. Three people infected with the G+ virus, which grants them incredible powers – but which will kill them in six months! Will they fade away – or go out in a blaze of glory? From the streets of London to the North Atlantic, from muses lost to futures thrown away – Death Sentence is the jaw-dropping next step in superpowered storytelling"

BEST FICTION BOOK - The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

"It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

"His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang."


"On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatises the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster."

BEST NON-FICTION BOOK - Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill 

"In 1999, when Tom O’Neill was assigned a magazine piece about the thirtieth anniversary of the Manson murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Weren’t the facts indisputable? Charles Manson had ordered his teenage followers to commit seven brutal murders, and in his thrall, they’d gladly complied. But when O’Neill began reporting the story, he kept finding holes in the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s narrative, long enshrined in the bestselling Helter Skelter. Before long, O’Neill had questions about everything from the motive to the manhunt. Though he’d never considered himself a conspiracy theorist, the Manson murders swallowed the next two decades of his career. He was obsessed.

BEST FILM - Inception (Read Ren's review)

"Blockbuster sci-fi thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a professional thief with a difference: the spoils he goes after are not material objects but the thoughts, dreams and secrets buried in the minds of other people. This rare talent has cost him dear, rendering him a solitary fugitive stripped of everything he ever really cared about. When he is offered a chance for redemption by reversing the process and planting an idea rather than stealing it, he and his team of specialists find themselves pitted against a dangerous enemy that appears to pre-empt their every move."

And here's where you can find them for yourselves. Thanks to everyone that bought something through our Amazon affiliate links this year, the pennies earned go straight back into making the websites as enjoyable for you as possible.

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