Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien finished atop of NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey. Over 60,000 voters participated. Coming in second and third were Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
NPR has winnowed thousands of suggestions for the best SF and fantasy ever written and posted a list of finalists for everyone to vote on. Participants get to vote for their top 10 favorites.
The balance of old classics and popular recent works is appropriate to one of these summertime radio countdowns, the kind where The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” ends up losing to the Number One Hit of three weeks ago. Will N. K. Jemison’s Inheritance Trilogy similarly run ahead of The Lensman Series and The Martian Chronicles?
There are lots of entries by other women, too — Lois McMaster Bujold, Ellen Kushner, Ursula K. LeGuin, Joanna Russ, Sheri S. Tepper, and Connie Willis to begin with. Margaret Atwood has books on the list because it’s the readers, not the writers, getting the final say about what is genre fiction. Surprisingly, J.K. Rowling is not a finalist — if that is explained someplace, I didn’t see it, although in the comments several people said the reason is that all YA books were excluded.
As for me, I’ll be happily clicking on Simak’s Way Station, Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, The Vorkosigan Saga, Doomsday Book and other favorites from a lifetime reading sf.
NPR had help from an expert panel of John Clute, Farah Mendelsohn and Gary K. Wolfe. Going by the not-exactly-infallible litmus test of whether everything I want to vote for is on the list I’d say they did a fine job.
[Thanks to Michael Walsh for the link.]
CARL: “I am tired of these m-f’ing zombies in my m-f’ing White House!”
PETER: That was a slightly edited version of a quote from which world leader, in response to the zombie threat?
PETER: No, I’m sorry, it was Vice-President Joe Biden, who went, and we quote the vice-president again, “all Samuel L. Jackson on their asses.” President Obama, meanwhile, defended the West Wing with a functioning lightsaber that the Pentagon had apparently built for him in secret.
[Via James Hay.]
Andrew Porter reports that Harlan Ellison was interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Studio 360” on May 31 for about 15 minutes. There’s an hour-long interview with him on the website, here.