Oh, Look, a Poll
Posted on January 10, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 35 Comments
Tor.com is currently running a poll on the best science fiction and fantasy novels of the last ten years, with the top ten at close of polling (on Friday) to be written about in appreciations, etc. You can nominate as many novels as you choose.
I’ll note that Old Man’s War is currently number eight, with 40 votes, which makes me wonder WHY YOU ALL HAVE FAILED ME SO. I’ll just sit here. In the dark. At number eight. That’s not even bronze. That’s, like, tetanus-laden rust.
(Note: Please don’t actually stuff the ballot box on my behalf. I just like to pretend to complain about my ridiculous good fortune in overly-dramatic tones.)
And more seriously, if you’ve got science fiction and fantasy books you’d like to nominate as the best of the last decade, head on over and make your recommendations. I’ll be interested to find out what eventually makes the cut.
Yikes. So now I have to go through my boxes and boxes of books and check copyright dates. OR, since John says Old Man’s War was from the last decade, I could just trust he knows when it came out…
Old Man’s War was released on Jan 1, 2005.
Gads, this is difficult…
I need a coin, because there are at least two series that have captured my imagination in the last decade, both Old Man’s War and the Coyote universes.
How about both being number 1?
You don’t actually have to rank them over on the Tor site. They’ll add up the total nominations. You can nominate both plus any others you’ve found exceptional.
And, yeah, I love me the Coyote series, too.
I think anyone who manages to finish a book (especially a science fiction book set in a universe of their own creation) and get it published has accomplished something major. I’m currently struggling to finish the first book in a larger series in a universe that is of my own creation. To paraphrase Larry Niven, I want to create my own playground rather than poaching someone else’s, but man, it is a huge amount of work!!!!!!
Hey, I voted for OMW on Friday. Friday! Three whole days ago. I did my bit.
Tor is letting people vote for however many novels they want. You don’t have to pick just one or two.
What is this “Coyote Series” of which you speak? Would that be the one by Allen Steele?
“What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt!”
Me and Fitzurse are on it boss.
After reading those comments, I can only surmise that I really am the only person who liked Olympos better than Illium.
Stuff, Stuff, Stuff (for all my favourites :).
Really, really, really like Old Man’s War. But The Android’s Dream… LOVED IT! I think it liked it so much because of the humor; I giggled my way through it. Old Man’s War I just devoured.
I voted for both of them. :)
Almost as much fun as voting in Chicago (where the dead often vote more often than the living).
Totally happy to see you on the list, and deservedly so, but seriously, NOTHING by Charlie Stross?
Andrew @14: “…but seriously, NOTHING by Charlie Stross?”
Sure there is. But there are five squintillion comments on that thread. Just do a Find on the page for “Stross.” It’s mostly Halting State and Accelerando, but I believe every other title of his has gotten at least one nomination.
Some of us were busy digging out of this Southern Snow Storm of Death down here in Atlanta boss. We did finally get around to participating.
Some may take this article as an attempt by the author to incite a “stuffing-the-box riot” using inflammatory and suggestive rhetoric, and then using reverse psychology to further goad the masses into doing what he is claiming he doesn’t want done. Just sayin’…..
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Algebraist by Iain M Banks
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I got a copy of Coyote sitting on my dresser, that’s next on my read list.
I just posted my top ten novels on Tor.com. Scalzi’s OMW ranks number eight, coincidentally enough. For me, I rank books according to a) how immersed my readings are b) how quickly my readings go c) indelible impressions, which bring about rereads.
If memory serves, I read Scalzi’s OMW in one fully-immersed sitting. Friday night giving way to Saturday.
It took me a good couple of weeks with King’s Dark Tower and months with Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle blew my mind; The Diamond Age still one of my favorite reads after Snow Crash and Gibson’s Neuromancer.
I was the perfect age for Neuromancer, like 14 years old in 1984. I still myself lucking to have read Neuromancer before the World Wide Web came about in the 1990s. I was a computer technician at Doppler Computers in the mid-90s, witnessed Gibson’s vision crawling out of the imaginings of programmers firsthand.
Like OMW, I actually gave my copy of Rainbow’s End to a gaming buddy in Seoul. It was that must-read-now.
John, if you’re upset OMW is only eighth, really, you created the problem yourself. If all the “votes for a book by Scalzi” were concentrated on OMW you’d be well up in the standings, but you had to keep on writing and writing and now those votes are spread out over a half dozen books.
I’m with Kelly @12. OMW was fantastic for the universe it set up, the players the moral codes (or lack of them for certain characters), etc. But I took “Android’s Dream” on a cruise and pissed off my chaise-lounge-mates by constantly snorking into my martinis, then regailing the Admiral with what made me react so, tears running down my face from laughter.
Next time I choke on an olive, I’m blaming you, Scalzi! ;)
BTW, gotta worry about something that is content to be called “stubby”…
Thanks for the heads-up! Here’s my post, with OMW coming in at #2 out of my top ten. Not an easy selection to make!
A superb decade for SFF, some of the best writing in the past 70 years (best by each author italicized):
Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (also Elantris, Mistborn)
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (also Ghost Brigades, Last Colony)
Pandora’s Star / Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton (also Dreaming Void, Temporal Void)
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
Imager by LE Modesitt, Jr.
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Live Free or Die by John Ringo
The Gathering Storm by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan
Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan
Hmm! There’s a sudden flurry of votes for Old Man’s War in the late 500’s so you may be moving up the list.
I agree with Kelly @ 12 and Cap’n @ 21. As much as I really enjoyed OMW, I enjoyed Android’s Dream more, so after making sure it was published in the last decade, I made sure to include it in my voting list as well.
My list in no particular order:
Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon
American Gods, Neil Gaiman
Anathem, Neal Stephenson
Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, Confusion, System of the World), Neal Stephenson
Old Man’s War, John Scalzi
Transition, Iain Banks
Pandora’s Star, Peter Hamilton
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay
Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan
Daemon, Daniel Suarez
Passage, Connie Willis
Kiln People, David Brin
I love reader polls. It’s the best place to find new books.
My own list was rather lengthy… I read a lot. I eagerly await the final list so I may plunder it and read all those books I haven’t heard of before. *eyes the list greedily* It might keep be busy for a whole year…
I hate to point this out, but OMW is actually number NINE on that list: there’s a tie for 6th place, so the next entry (Perdido Street Station) should really be number 8…
what do You consider the best novels of the last eleven years?
Did you put a list on tor.com?
Or are you planning an enlightend post for after the tor.com poll is closed, sometime next week?
My own favourite of your books is The Ghost Brigades, though I’ve enjoyed them all.
I’d also love to hear what John’s favorite novels of the last decade have been!
Check the list out now, John. You are far and away number 1. You went from 40 votes to 180 votes. Does your blog have a lot of readers?
I ask this in a nonsensical way, since I have been checking out your blog since I read OMW a few years ago. I also read Your Hate Mail Will be Graded.
But I digress. What is your list of the ten best novels? I’m looking for something new to read.
Check the list out now, John. You are far and away number 1. You went from 40 votes to 180 votes.
Also, your name is now Jon.
Not only was it fun to have to come up with my faves over the past decade, but given how hard it is to find extraordinarily creative and enjoyable writing, being directed to this blog is a godsend. My pile of “Haven’t heard of that author, 45 people with similar tastes cited her, better add her book to the must-read list” is growing geometrically. Thanks John!