SFFWorld's Favorite Books of 2005!

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Rob B, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Well, it is a little bit late, but I've finally tallied the results of our annual Best Of poll. I’d like to thank all of our members for participating, as well as those folks who joined and by posting in the poll. For the record I’ll be using “points” and “votes” to refer to the books on and off the list. “Votes” refers to each appearance on a person’s ballot, or post. Points are the rankings attributed to each book by virtue of where the poster placed them on their list.
    So without further adeiu, here are the results:

    1. The Warrior Prophet by R. Scott Bakker, with nearly 20 more points than the second place book...(Nice going Scott!)
    2. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

    The rest of the top vote-getters looks like this:
    3. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    4. The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe.*
    5. Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
    6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
    7. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan
    8. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
    9. Olympos by Dan Simmons
    10. Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson

    Some additional things to consider

    It may not come as a surprise the two books receiving most first place votes were Scott Bakker's The Warrior Prophet and Martin's A Feast for Crows.

    Just under the radar knocking on #10’s door were the following books, all tied with the same number of votes:

    The Carpet Makers
    Vellum
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


    The book with the most total votes (not points) was actually A Feast for Crows. The book with the least amount of votes in the top 10: Memories of Ice – only three people actually voted for the book, but they all ranked # 1 or #2.

    The three books with the most votes not in the top 10 were Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, and Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer, each with four votes.

    About 80 total books were put in the “ballots,” so to speak, so the nominating field was fairly wide.

    *I decided to add all the votes for The Wizard and The Knight along with those who voted for the book as a single book together. The total tally for The WizardKnight was 15, The Knight – 20, and The Wizard – 14. If you want to remove my calculations for TWK then the list looks something like this:

    1. The Warrior Prophet by R. Scott Bakker
    2. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
    3. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    4. Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
    5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
    6. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan
    7. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
    8. Olympos by Dan Simmons
    9. Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson & The Knight by Gene Wolfe
    10. Vellum by Hal Duncan, The Carpet Makers & JS&MN
     
  2. werewolfv2

    werewolfv2 Book worm

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    eh? not many votes for Deadhouse Gates I take it?
     
  3. Jack

    Jack Hyperpower!

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    The winna' of SFFWorld's Favorite Books in 2006:

    THE THOUSANDFOLD THOUGHT!

    And the crowd goes wild!

    Just a prediction. Also further smarmy comments: Feast For Crows? *rolls eyes almost imperceptibly*

    But big grats to Bakker, I think TWP earned its position. Though to be honest, I would've placed Anansi Boys above it. Then again, I would've placed Jon Strange at #1, so. :D

    Thanks for everyone who voted, and please disregard the smarm.
     
  4. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    If I read TWP in 2005, I would have voted for it, but I actually read the book in 2004. :D

    werewolfv2 - only three people voted for Deadhouse Gates. A lot of our members read it when it first published in UK/Canada.
     
  5. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Give me liberty!

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    Looks like I'm going to have to read the Bakker trilogy ... its been on my radar for a while. :)
     
  6. JohnH

    JohnH Abstainer from Foolosophy

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    I likely would have voted for Bakker's book as well had I read last year and not 2004. And while Deadhouse Gates would never have been the pick for the year that I read it, The Bonehunters, I'm not sure about (I guess bending the rules a little I could vote for TTT). It rivals a couple of others but there are one or two I could see surpassing it (it likely would be in the top five as it stands now). No doubt, though the book could make three different years to be judged. Which seems silly to me. But both comments underline the inherent and inescapable flaw in such a judging/ranking tabulation.

    Leaving it open to mass market seems a mistake to me, but as I am happy that any recognition to Bakker takes place, I'll leave to personal tastes that likely are not very egalitarian.
     
  7. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Did Old Man's War get any nods at all?
     
  8. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I don't think there were any votes for Old Man's War, but I have heard very good things about it, as well as its sequel, The Ghost Brigades.
     
  9. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    It's a much easier read than Olympos yet it deals successfully with some ineresting issues. Also leaves some questions on the table. Also has one of the more interesting takes on quantuum realities that I have encountered including how get from a to b at FTL without violating the state of the art in physics.
    Yet it didn't make any of the lists.
     
  10. Yobmod

    Yobmod Yobmod

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    So far i've only read The Wizard Knight (good) and JS&MN (quite good). In theory there are another 8 on my to read list, but only 3 of those that i'm likely to get to in the forseeable future:

    Anansi boys, because i liked American Gods and haven't finished another Gaiman book yet.
    Warrior Prophet, because of all the praise here and so i can add to the bookclub discusion, and its finished!
    The Carpet Makers, I've heard its great, and i'm learning German, so may get it in both languages if its good enough, for practice.

    MoI, aFfC, Vellum, i'm waiting for the series' to be finished. Olympus I will read, but i've already got Simmon's Endyminion books on my shelf unread. Oh, and if the praise for Spin continues (esp with award noms), then i'll read that.

    Finally, I have no interest in HP (read the first 3 and feel they are children's books, not for me); I've given up on WoT; I wasn't overly impressed by Hobb's Farseer series, and am waiting for something special before i try another.
     
  11. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    For what it is worth SFSite posted their Editor's choice of 2005. I am not too suprised by the lack of overlap. I'll be very interested to see how their readers (which includes me) voted when they post the Reader's Choice in another week.

    One book both of our list and SFSite's editors have done, though, is give me more reasons to pick up RCW's Spin.
     
  12. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    Written by who? Who wrote Old Man's War? I'm going to get very fussy here. If you're going to talk about Best of, you have to give the whole title and the whole author name. If there's a series name involved, it wouldn't hurt to put that in either. No anacronyms! :)
     
  13. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Vellum is the first half of The Book of All Hours. The second half of the duology Ink publishes this year in the UK and I'm assuming next year in the US.

    I think we all know Susanna Clarke wrote Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

    The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach, translated by Doryl Jensen

    The author of both Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades is John Scalzi, and he maintains a fairly popular and interesting blog at http://www.scalzi.com/whatever.

    Sheesh! Did I miss anything else?
     
  14. Solaar

    Solaar The Good

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    Long time no see, H!

    RE: Old Man's War - I'm a big fan of Olympus and Ilium and wouldn't mind another book along those lines... However, a book about physics might hurt my brain!

    Is it worth picking up? Or is it science heavy?

    Solaar
    the curious
     
  15. Yobmod

    Yobmod Yobmod

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    The results are in for SFsite's reader's poll

    1. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    2. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
    3. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
    4. Accelerando by Charles Stross
    5. Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link
    6. The Warrior-Prophet by R. Scott Bakker
    7. Thud! by Terry Pratchett
    8. Looking for Jake by China Miéville
    9. River of Gods by Ian McDonald
    9. Mélusine by Sarah Monette
    9. Olympos by Dan Simmons
    10. Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
    10. Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

    Magic For Beginners (3), Accelerando (2), Spin (1) were also on the Editors choice list - i've read accelerando and liked it, and loved Link's Stranger things Happen, so i've ordered Magic for Beginners.
    Just have to hope Spin becomes the SF bookclub selection for may.

    I am suprised at the lack of overlap with our list, it seems SFsite readers are less fans of ongoing fantasy series (only 2 entries cf to 6 in the SFFworld list.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  16. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Ya beat me to it Yob!

    I had a feeling the forumites voting patterns and top 10 would be quite similar to the SFSite Reader choices.

    Our Top 3, as well as 8 & 9 are on their reader's lists.

    As for our tastes leaning to fantasy, the fantasy forum has always been the more active forum. However, the SF forum here has been gaining momentum for a while, though I wonder where emohawk is, one of the more consisten posters there.
     
  17. Yobmod

    Yobmod Yobmod

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    Hmm, i guess they are more similar than i first thought. Plus some of the books on our list were on the SFsite list in previous years (eg The Wizard Knight).

    The only one i've not heard of is Mélusine by Sarah Monette.
    Here's a description:

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. Set in the wondrous city of Mélusine, Monette's extraordinary first fantasy novel focuses on two captivating characters from two very different worlds: Felix Harrowgate, a powerful magician at the court of Lord Steven Teverius, and Mildmay the Fox, a cat burglar who has been trained as an assassin. When Felix falls prey to the unscrupulous machinations of a man who's plotting to destroy Mélusine, he's left nearly mad, unable to clear his name or explain his actions. Mildmay, on the other hand, undertakes a simple burglary, thinking it will lead to a bit of extra flash that will keep him going for more than a few days. Instead, the burglary opens the way to a series of unfortunate events that force Felix and Mildmay into a partnership neither of them could have anticipated or desired. Jacqueline Carey provides a blurb, but those readers expecting a knock-off of that author's Kushiel series will be happily surprised. Monette resembles Carey only insofar as she, too, is a highly original writer with her own unique voice.


    Maybe Emohawk will reappear if i big up his recommendation list? I give it a go.