Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Readers Speak! Great Novels of the '90s Tabulated

You don't know about me without you have read a blog post by the name of What Are the Great SF Novels of the 1990s?; but that ain't no matter.

{clears throat}

Yes, well, anyway, the voting seems to have ended (I didn't set a deadline), so now it's time to see what the top-ranking books of the last decade were (at least among the people who bothered to vote in my little poll).

I asked this same question two places -- here on my blog and on Usenet at rec.arts.sf.written -- and the responses from the two groups were similar but not identical. So I'll list the differing preferences of each group, since -- as has already been established many times -- I love lists.

But first, the data:

  • on RASFW, 19 people voted for 74 books (and 51 alternates), casting 125 votes (and 55 alternate votes)
  • here at Antick Musings, 26 people voted for 79 books (and 13 alternates), casting 126 votes (and 14 alternate votes)
So the two groups are roughly comparable in vote totals, though that's partially offset by Joe Bernstein of RASFW, who listed 39 titles.

An "alternate" is either a vote for a second book by an already-listed author, a vote specifically designated as "alternate," or just one thrown in at the end of a message that already had a main list.

Some people voted for only one book, some for eight or ten, and some for more. I counted them all as votes, subject only to counting some votes as alternates under the rules above.

And here are the lists:

Top 10 (RASFW):

  1. Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (7 votes)
  2. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (6 votes)
  3. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons (5 votes)
  4. Raphael Carter, The Fortunate Fall (4 votes)
  5. Greg Egan, Axiomatic (4 votes)
  6. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (4 votes)
  7. Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragon's Daughter (4 votes)
  8. Walter Jon Williams, Aristoi (4 votes)

five titles tied for 9th place with 3 votes: The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust, Last Call by Tim Powers, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Metropolitan by Walter Jon Williams and A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny.

Top 10 (Antick Musings):

  1. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (10 votes)
  2. Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (5 votes)
  3. Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (5 votes)
  4. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (5 votes)
  5. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons (4 votes)

eight titles tied for 6th place with 3 votes: Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, A Fire Upon the Deep by VernorVinger and Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

Top 10 (combined):

  1. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (16 votes)
  2. Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (10 votes)
  3. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons (9 votes)
  4. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (8 votes)
  5. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (7 votes)
  6. Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragon's Daughter (6 votes)
  7. Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance (5 votes)
  8. Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (5 votes)
  9. Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (5 votes)
  10. Dan Simmons, Hyperion (5 votes)
  11. Connie Willis, Doomsday Book (5 votes)

The totals change somewhat if you count alternate votes, so of course I had to work those out as well.

Top 10 (RASFW, including alternates):

  1. Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (7 votes)
  2. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (6 votes)
  3. Iain M. Banks , Use of Weapons (5 votes)
  4. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (5 votes)
  5. Dan Simmons , Hyperion (5 votes)
  6. Raphael Carter, The Fortunate Fall (4 votes)
  7. Greg Egan , Axiomatic (4 votes)
  8. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (4 votes)
  9. Michael Swanwick , The Iron Dragon's Daughter (4 votes)
  10. Walter Jon Williams, Aristoi (4 votes)
  11. Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan (4 votes)

Top 10 (Antick Musings, including alternates):

  1. Neal Stephenson , Snow Crash (10 votes)
  2. Neil Gaiman , Neverwhere (5 votes)
  3. Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (5 votes)
  4. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (5 votes)
  5. Iain M. Banks , Use of Weapons (4 votes)
  6. Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors (4 votes)

seven titles tied for 7th place with 3 votes: Mirror Dance, The Parable of the Sower, A Game of Thrones, The Prestige, Hyperion, A Fire Upon the Deep and Doomsday Book.


Top 10 (combined, including alternates):

  1. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (16 votes)
  2. Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (10 votes)
  3. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons (9 votes)
  4. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (9 votes)
  5. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones 8 votes)
  6. Dan Simmons, Hyperion (8 votes)
  7. Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (6 votes)
  8. Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragon's Daughter (6 votes)
  9. Connie Willis, Doomsday Book (6 votes)
  10. Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance (5 votes)
  11. Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (5 votes)
  12. Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age (5 votes)
  13. Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky (5 votes)

From RASFW, thirty books got at least two votes. From the comments here, twenty-two did (mostly the same titles). I might list those later, but, for now, I'm officially exhausted.

1 comment:

Jose said...

Snow Crash was the book for me. Not only was it the calling card of probably the best new SF writer of the 90s it put the cyberpunk genre to bed just like Unforgiven did for the Western and (for my money at least) Dark Knight Returns did for superhero comics.

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