Tor.com 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards

Tor.com 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards Update 01/17

We’ve tallied your responses to the Tor.com 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards as of 5:00 PM EST, Sunday, January 15 and little has budged over the weekend.

Once Monday and Tuesday’s votes are tallied and verified we imagine that will change, but for now here are the top ten voted on Novels for the end of the weekend:

  1. The All-Pro by Scott Sigler (89 votes)
  2. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (86 votes)
  3. The Seventh Throne by Stephen Zimmer (56 votes)
  4. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (49 votes)
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (42 votes)
  6. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (37 votes)
  7. Embassytown by China Mieville (36 votes)
  8. Among Others by Jo Walton (33 votes)
  9. A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (33 votes)
  10. Dancing With Eternity by J.P. Lowry (24 votes)

The presence of more and more small press or self-published books making gains in the poll has put the focus on how writers utilize social media. As the number of votes grows, we’re curious as to whether the results are heading towards a statstical homogenization or whether we’re on the cusp of differentiation.

Heavy online campaigning by Stephen Zimmer, Scott Sigler, J.P Lowry, and John Scalzi has produced significant results so far but so far the number of votes in the Reader’s Choice poll is roughly equal to the amount of people one is connected to through social media. Most people have around one hundred to five hundred people they’re connected to, so once that group has been mobilized would that author’s progress come to a halt? Or would it continue to ripple outwards based on appeal? Is there a point where perpetual motion comes in to play in regards to people championing a book?

On the other hand, a great many of the books in the top ten are there on appeal alone, gaining votes slowly and steadily without any campaigning from their authors. The majority of these books benefitted from marketing and awareness campaigns (including at least one from this very site) conducted by large publishers. The contrast is interesting to consider and we’re curious as to whether a conclusion can be reached in regards to how a reader becomes aware of a book.

In the meantime, let’s look at who’s in the top 20 for Novels:

11.  Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (18 votes)
12.  Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (18 votes)
13.  The Crippled God by Steven Erikson (16 votes)
14.  The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (14 votes)
15.  Snuff by Terry Pratchett (14 votes)
16.  Reamde by Neal Stephenson (13 votes)
17.  11.22.63 by Stephen King (12 votes)
18.  Dragon Fate by J.D. Hallowell (12 votes)
19.  Final Arbiter by Mark Rivera (12 votes)
20.  Osama by Lavie Tidhar (11 votes)


Author campaigns rule the day in the Short Fiction category. It would take a huge effort to unseat the number one slot:

  1. The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City by John Scalzi (appearing on Tor.com) – 87 votes
  2. “An Island Sojourn” by Stephen Zimmer (appearing in Dreams of Steam) – 22 votes
  3. “All Mimsy” by Kelly Wright – 17 votes
  4. Awakening of Evarun, Part 1″ by Tom Barczak – 13 votes
  5. “Absinthe Fish” by M. David Blake (appearing in Bull Spec) – 7 votes
  6. “Blood is Red” by Scott Sigler – 4 votes
  7. “Perfect Shadow” by Brent Weeks – 4 votes
  8. The Dala Horse by Michael Swanwick (appearing on Tor.com) – 4 votes

All other stories have 3 votes or less.


The Book Cover votes break down as follows:

  1. The Seventh Throne by Stephen Zimmer, cover by Matthew Perry (47 votes)
  2. The All-Pro by Scott Sigler, cover designed by Donna Mugavero (18 votes)
  3. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, cover by Beth White, design by Peter Lutjen (15 votes) – See how the cover to Deathless was created.
  4. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, cover by Chris McGrath (12 votes)
  5. Dragon Fate by J.D. Hallowell, cover credits not listed (11 votes)
  6. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey, cover by Daniel Dociu (8 votes)
  7. God’s Eye by A.J. Scudiere, cover by Ruke, design by Greenleaf Book Group LLC and Alex Head (7 votes)
  8. Towers of Midnight ebook edition by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, cover by Raymond Swanland (7 votes)
  9. Rift Walker by Clay & Susan Griffith, cover by Chris McGrath, design by Grace M. Conti-Zilsberger (5 votes)
  10. The Unremembered by Peter Orullian, cover by Kekai Kotaki (5 votes)

Two new small press titles plus our first ebook!


The Comic votes shake out as follows:

  1. Across Thin Ice – 15 votes
  2. Girl Genius – 10 votes
  3. The Order of the Stick – 7 votes
  4. XKCD – 6 votes
  5. Schlock Mercenary – 5 votes
  6. The Unwritten – 4 votes
  7. Animal Man (The New 52) - 4 votes
  8. TURF – 3 votes
  9. Locke & Key: Clockworks – 3 votes

All other titles have two votes or less. Girl Genius made the biggest jump over the weekend, doubling its votes.


And that’s the weekend’s results. We’ll be a couple days behind in vote tallying due to the holiday weekend, so expect tomorrow’s results to be up to 5 PM Monday.

As always, keep an eye on the Tor.com Readers’ Choice Awards index for updates and don’t vote in this post. You vote here and only here.


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot and often random voice of Tor.com. Through the power of ballistic rocket hypnosis, which is real, it is making everyone vote for stories about space football and thrones.

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