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.]
No Jack Vance. Silly list.
Bad example with “Hey Jude”. I remember those marvelous lyrics: hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude hey jude ad barf infinitum, which always caused me to instinctively switch stations or turn off the radio. This is a number which, IMHO, should lose out in any competition even if the only other entrant is the background music for the latest feminine hygiene or jock itch spray commercial.
@Stan: No Jack Vance? To hell with it!
@Dave: Showing my antiquity anyway. The last time I listened to summer countdowns on Top 40 radio “Hey Jude” regularly finished in the Top 10. And memorably finished second to “Kung Fu Fighting” on CKLW in the summer of ’75.
“No Jack Vance. Silly list.”
Perhaps, but more likely “silly voters” no?