The OF Blog: OF Blog reader's Top 10 poll results

Thursday, July 16, 2009

OF Blog reader's Top 10 poll results

There were several dozen entries here, but below are the top 16 books/series nominated by the readership, with the number of votes beside each one:

1. Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun (6 votes)

2. Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions/Ficciónes (5 votes)

3. Dan Simmons, The Hyperion Cantos (4 votes)

4. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons

(tie) Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (3 votes)

(tie) Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast novels (3 votes)

(tie) J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (3 votes)

8-16, with two votes each:

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End

Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

Peter F. Hamilton, Night's Dawn trilogy

H.P. Lovecraft, The Cthulhu Mythos

George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire

Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth

H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

Read all but four (Banks, Dick, Hamilton, Lovecraft) from this list. What about you? Agree or disagree with who appears on this list and why so?


Martin said...

By my count Use Of Weapons got three votes and it would be on my list too. Of the others only Sandman would be a definite, although some of the others are maybes.

Larry said...

I couldn't remember if it were a Culture novel or not, so I'll edit this after work to reflect that. Thanks for catching that for me.

Martin said...

It is specifically mentioned by Liviu, Eddie C and Daniel Soler, in addition to The Witchfinder's mention of whole series.

I would give The Iron Dragon's Daughter another vote. Likewise One Hundred Years of Solitude. China Mountain Zhang is tempting.

Ones not mentioned in the other thread that would be on my list:

Lanark by Alastair Grey
The Scar by China Mieville
The Deptford Mice Trilogy by Robon Jarvis

I would have to have some PKD but my favourite novel of his, A Scanner Darkly, isn't really the most representative. It would probably have to be the collected stories. And the same probably applies to JG Ballard

The Witchfinder said...

I realize my own indecisiveness in regards to the Culture series, and will gladly forgive you if you just ignore it. Also, in retrospect, to better suit the "speculative fiction" term, I'd probably exchange Blood Meridian for The Road.

That said, there are only three of the works listed that I have not read, which includes Borges (which is on my shelf as we speak), Le Guin and Dick (although I have read some of his other stories). Obviously, this pleases me immensely, as this is the only time EVER that I have read more items on any given list than you. You could probably rectify this in an afternoon, should you so choose, but as for now, I'm marinading in my own smug delight... :p

Did you ever offer a list of your own, by the way?

Daniel Ausema said...

The most glaring absence is Italo Calvino! I did see at least one person mention If on a winter's night a traveler, and if I'd gotten around to posting a top 10 list, I'm sure that would have been atop it (and if I'd allowed myself more than one from any given author, Invisible Cities would have as well).

And no VanderMeer? I've long listed City of Saints & Madmen as a favorite...though having just finished a reread of Shriek about a week ago, I'd actually have a hard time picking between the two.

There are others that would be on my list, of course, (Riddley Walker, for one) but those were the two I was most surprised not to see.

tim said...

I agree about the Vandermeer being missing. And M. John Harrison. Both crimes. But also, its sad that Tom Disch didn't get a vote. And for oldies have to throw in Frank Herbert. His work seems to be getting battered and bruised lately, but there is some really good stuff in there.
I guess, basically, I should have voted instead of just complaining about the outcome. I will post-vote in the hopes of a recount, and add Rikki Ducornet's elemental cycle, Zivokic's Library, K. J. Bishop's The Etched City, Whittemore's Jerusalem Quartet, Moorcock's Cornelius Quartet [over Elric], McCarthy's Blood Meridian, and Peake....sure, that sounds good. Mr. President, I demand a recount! or revolution.

Larry said...

OK, corrected the Banks to reflect that it got three votes. Guess it was on my mind, since I bought it this evening when visiting Davis-Kidd in Nashville.

Come and think of it, I never put my own list up. A provisional list would include:

1. Borges, Obras Completas

2. Julio Cortázar, Rayuela (defining spec fic in an extremely loose fashion)

3. Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

4. Dino Buzzati, The Tartar Steppe

5. Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun series

6. Jeff VanderMeer, City of Saints and Madmen

7. Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves

8. Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

9. Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

10. M. John Harrison, Viriconium

Larry said...

Oh, and the books y'all named here, most of those are favorites of mine as well.

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