Fri
Jan 28 2011 4:16pm
Best SFF Novels of the Decade Poll Update 01/28

Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels of the Decade Reader’s Poll

Our Best SFF Novel of the Decade Poll recount is still ongoing (and going and going) but it looks like the plucksome staff here at Tor.com will have some final results for you between the middle and end of February.

That seems like quite a while, but keep in mind that it has to get squeezed in between a hundred other projects. We’re also taking more time with the recount in the interest of accuracy. On the plus side, we’re seeing some interesting trends emerge from the data, and the extra time is allowing us to assemble that into some cool extras that we’ll be sharing with everyone here on the site.

In regards to folks who named series, we decided to count them as one vote for every eligible book in that series. So if you listed “Wheel of Time” then we added a vote for all six eligible books in that series.

Here’s the weird part—and ultimately why we decided to go that route—adding those votes to the single-book voting tally didn’t change the initial line-up of the top ten most-voted books at all. It didn’t even change the top twenty! Books moved up and down by a couple spaces, but the winners from the single-vote tally remained a true reflection of the books picked by the entire voting pool.

So that’s the status of the Best Of as of the end of January. Expect us to bust out in celebration in the next few weeks, though, if only because we’ll be done counting!

Best SFF Novels of the Decade Readers Poll: ‹ previous | index | next ›
24 comments
James Kenison
1. James Kenison
Well, I'm disappointed. Couldn't you give us the list of 10 or 20 now? I'd still happily read the in-depth analysis and essays next month.
James Kenison
2. James Kenison
I do appreciate the update, though. Thanks for letting us know.
James Kenison
3. Surfwax
I, for one, am elated. I figured Tor had forgotten about the poll amid their 15-or-more FB posts each day. :)
James Kenison
4. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
As long as we can be assured the intern monkeys doing the heavy lifting aren't getting fluffy crap like breaks and weekends off -- I am certainly content to wait.

I want a list, but I want a list that's been used to build someone's character.
James Kenison
5. surfwax
Seriously; each day Tor out-posts all my FB over-eager housewife friends from high school .
William Uniac
6. Billiac
As long as the final result is chock full of DVD-extras, I can wait.
Madeline Ferwerda
7. MadelineF
Fight the good fight, Tor.com! I think you made the right call on series. I look forward to the turkey with trimmings.
James Kenison
8. afterthefallofnight
Hmm. I did not vote for any series, only individual books. If I were to include series I would include:

Vlad Taltos series by Brust
Culture novels by Bank
Potter books by Rowling

(with honorable mentions for Steele, McDevitt, Niven, Stross, Bujold and Jordan)
Ben H
9. dripgrind
How did you manage to keep a daily running count during the polling, but now it'll take you weeks to count all the votes?

And who cares about a complete ranking of everything everyone voted for? I'd rather just read the top 10. Could you publish that first? If you want to do a nerdy overanalysis post later on, that's fine, but it's not going to be very enlightening.

The group you're sampling from is "regular Tor.com readers, plus people who read SFF author blogs and have been directed to the poll". And that's fine: for a book to attract 100 votes in a poll like this means something - those votes may have been sent via the author's blog, but to be in with a chance of placing highly, an author has to have a significant following of engaged fans.

But for the lower-ranked books with only a few votes, it's probably down to chance whether they came 23rd or 51st. Any "interesting trends" you come up with aren't going to say anything about SFF readership as a whole.

This poll was a fun exercise, but I don't see why you need to spend two weeks wanking over the numbers.

I hope this isn't a delaying tactic to try and find some reason to drop the poll altogether because you are embarrassed about Tor's shameful treatment of Blindsight (giving it a terrible cover and a tiny print run). I mean, that's a crazy conspiracy theory, right?
Juanma Barranquero
10. lektu
I agree with dripgrind; it doesn't make much sense to say that it will take weeks to count the votes, and also that counting series as votes for every book on them does not "change the initial line-up of the top ten most-voted books at all". It's kind of difficult to be so sure unless you already know the rankings, isn't it? So, why the delay?
James Kenison
11. Chosen
I want everything right now. Give it to me now.
No?
How about now?
Well then there must be some kind of conspiracy to keep this list out of the publics hands. Why? Does it compromise some secret goverment conspiracy to keep genre fiction readers from knowing which book came in 1st and which came in 22nd. is Tor.com being controlled by the tri-latteral comission?

You must publish this list right now. If you dont who else will tell us which ten books are worth reading and which books suck.I know that I personally will never read anything but these 10 books for the rest of my life. If a book is not on this list I personally will ridicule it and its author on every blog, forum and any other place that will let me vent my spleen all over the public, in a review format. Because these 10 books are the only books that matter anymore. In fact, I say we destory all other books. I want to live in a world where only thesse 10 books exist and all other works of fiction have been purged.

I beg you all to remeber the List, and to keep it holy.
Juanma Barranquero
12. lektu
Very funny, Chosen, but that's not what I said, and I don't think it's what dripgrind said, either.
I still would like to know how could they give us a running total almost daily, and suddenly it takes two or more weeks to tally the results.
Ben H
13. dripgrind
Chosen's clever satirical comment reminds us all that it's totally unreasonable to expect the results of a poll three to five weeks after they were originally supposed to appear.

And also that this poll matters so little that there is no point commenting about it.
Madeline Ferwerda
14. MadelineF
Srsly, guys, what I'd known about Peter Watts before people started getting all het up about this informal poll, was that the border patrol had beaten him and stolen his coat and thrown him out into the winter. What I know after, is that he has some kind of bone to pick with the publishers Tor, and the people who read his blog haven't noticed that tor.com is different people, and that they think they can make him look good by coming over here and being defensive.

But they can't.
Juanma Barranquero
15. lektu
Did I mention Peter Watts? Yes, I voted for his book (among others) because I like it, but the point I'm making is unrelated to Peter Watts. It's about the inconsistencies: daily tallies, then a comment about "next week", and then suddenly it's several weeks.
Goetz Kruppa
16. goetznl
Dear tor.com people!
Thanks for the update!

I loved this poll and all the very different books mentioned do make a fascinating list.
I was asking early on already for publishing the results as complete as possible and I am happy that it looks like that.
For better, more informative results I gladly wait.
Those who just want the top ten - nobody is stopping you from counting them yourselves, after all: all the votes are still there for everybody too see...
James Kenison
17. Peter Watts
I think Irene mentioned something about lining up "appreciations" for the Top Ten. Assuming that those would be some kind of written tributes (as opposed to cash prizes or hand jobs), I'm guessing that those are what's taking the extra time, not just the parsing of a spreadsheet. I bet the pollsters simply want to release everything simultaneously, which is understandable.
James Kenison
18. goggolor
Now, Peter, there's no sense in being reasonable about this. Your partisans have got this perfectly serviceable barricade up and ready to go...
Goetz Kruppa
19. goetznl
Could we possibly have another update on how or when you are going to publish the results?
I said, I'll gladly wait, but it is getting really looooong....
Irene Gallo
20. Irene
Goetznl,

We are close. The thought we'd need to the end of Feb and it looks like that is very doable.
James Kenison
21. trench
I got a kindle for my b-day, with a gift card. I would really like to fill it with books from this list. Are we getting close or should I just go ahead and pick them myself?
James Kenison
22. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
TIC TOC TIC TOC TIC TOC...

(Is this like, "Let's be quiet and ignore it and maybe they'll forget." Like the Sandman re-read?) :-D
Irene Gallo
23. Irene
We counted to 10,ooo on all our fingers and toes. Twice. And then asked ten peoples to write an appreciation of the top ten, as we announced in the beginning. Results, tomorrow AM.
James Kenison
24. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
::Kermit cheer:: Yayyyyy!

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