Thursday, June 19, 2008

The SFX Top 100 List (a meme?

Some of my fellow FSF bloggers have already posted this list, which all but turns this thing into a meme*, so here’s the SFX top 100 with my snarky comments.

*feel free to do this at your own blog, if you so choose.

100. James Herbert
Meh…I’ve heard decent things about him.

99. Gwyneth Jones
Meh…I’ve heard decent things about her.

98. Sara Douglass
Cliched but somewhat entertaining.

97. Charles Stross
Should be higher from all the raves I see about him. I’ve only read a bit, but liked it.

96. Terry Goodkind
I thought he didn’t write fantasy.

95. Brian W. Aldiss
Reputation alone should place him higher, never read anything from him.

94. Ken MacLeod
See my thoughts on Stross

93. Olaf Stapledon
I’d think a Golden Ager would be higher.

92. Michael Marshall Smith
He won the Philip K. Dick Award, I read his novel The Straw Men and liked it.

91. Jon Courtney Grimwood
Haven’t read him, but seems well regarded.

90. Christopher Priest
I’ve only read The Prestige, but liked it a lot.

89. Jonathan Carroll
Should be higher, what I read by him I liked, especially the classic The Land of Laughs.

88. Scott Lynch
Much as I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, this seems a bit premature.

87. David Weber
Haven’t read him, but I do have a collection on the to read pile. Seems popular with the Military SF crows.

86. M. John Harrison
was good, Virinconium started out well, but that’s all I’ve read, outside of his bloggish ramblings.

85. Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel’s Dart was good for half a book, I loved her Banewreaker duology, but like Lynch this seems a bit high, but her quantity of output is pretty impressive.

84. Kim Stanley Robinson
I tried to read Red Mars three times and wanted to poke my eyes out each time.

83. Theodore Sturgeon
An acknowledged master, but I haven’t read him. Seems low.

82. J.V. Jones
About right, I suppose. Read only two of her Ice books.

81. Joe Abercrombie
I like Joe (and how he’ll both downplay and up-play his own writing), so I suppose this is about right if Scotty-boy gets on the list, too.

80. Joe Haldeman
Should be higher, though I’ve only read two of his seminal works.

79. Simon Clark

78. George Orwell
What?? What???? 1984 is one of the greatest pieces of fiction of all time.

77. Samuel R. Delaney Delany
He should be higher.

76. Charles de Lint
About right, I suppose. I loved The Little Country.

75. Julian May
Haven’t read her, but this seems about right, based on what I've heard/seen.

74. Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan and Jon Carter should place him higher, though I’ve yet to read him.

73. Robert Silverberg
Living legend, should be higher.

72. Susanna Clarke
One interesting novel (IMHO one of the most overrated novels of all time) and one collection, switcher with any half dozen lower rankings.

71. Stanislaw Lem
Solaris was one of the most painful reads for me, but I suppose this is an appropriate ranking

70. Larry Niven
This seems pretty low.

69. Alfred Bester
See Stapledon.

68. Katherine Kerr
Haven’t read her, but her Deverry series is long and well regarded enough to get a higher ranking.

67. Jack Vance
What?!? He should easily be a top 10 writer.

66. Harry Harrison

65. Marion Zimmer Bradley
I guess.

64. Richard Matheson
Wa-a-a-y too low.

63. Dan Simmons
Hyperion is an enduring modern classic, his horror output is equally impressive. Relatively low.

62. Elizabeth Haydon
Better than Douglass.

61. Terry Brooks
I’m not his biggest fan, but relatively speaking, he should be higher.

60. Richard Morgan
About right.

59. Stephen Baxter
About right.

58. Jennifer Fallon

57. Mercedes Lackey
Never read her.

56. CJ Cherryh
I tried a couple of her books (Downbelow Station and The Dreaming Tree) and neither worked for me. Ranking seems about right based on what others have said, though.

55. Harlan Ellison
Very low.

54. Jasper Fforde
Never read him.

53. Octavia Butler
Another lowballed ranking.

52. J.G. Ballard

51. Robert E. Howard
Somewhat low.

50. Sherri S. Tepper
Never read her.

49. H.P. Lovecraft
Way too low.

48. Mervyn Peake
just doesn’t work for me.

47. Jules Verne

46. Alastair Reynolds

45. Neal Stephenson
Loved Snow Crash and didn’t like Cryptonomicon.

44. Clive Barker

43. Jim Butcher
I guess, I love The Dresden Files, but some of the other authors should be before him.

42. Tad Williams
See Butcher.

41. Kurt Vonnegut
See Delaney Delany

40. Trudi Canavan
Never read her.

39. Michael Moorcock
Living legend, should be in the top 10

38. David Eddings
Never read him, never will, but higher than Moorcock, Orwell and half a dozen others up above?

37. Alan Moore
Scripted on of Time’s 100 greatest novels, should be higher.

36. Orson Scott Card
About right, I gues.

35. Stephen Donaldson
About right I guess.

34. Gene Wolfe
Should be much, MUCH higher. Top 10. This ranking is the final straw for this list holding any kind of validity for me.

33. China Mieville

32. Raymond E. Feist
Very Popular, I liked the first few RiftWar novels as well as the Empire collaboration with Janny Wurts.

31. Lois McMaster Bujold
Very Popular, I’ve enjoyed the Vorkosigan novels I’ve read.

30. Roger Zelazny
Should be higher, top 15 maybe?

29. Anne McCaffrey
Who hasn’t read her Pern novels? I guess this is about right, once you adjust some of the earlier aberrations.

28. Steven Erikson
I guess this is about right, once you adjust some of the earlier aberrations.

27. William Gibson
I haven’t read him, but seems slightly low.

26. Guy Gavriel Kay
I guess this is about right, once you adjust some of the earlier abberrations.

25. CS Lewis
I guess this is about right, once you adjust some of the earlier abberations.

24. Diana Wynne Jones
I guess this is about right, if a bit too high, relatively speaking.

23. John Wyndham
I guess this is about right, once you adjust some of the earlier abberations.

22. Philip Pullman
About right, I guess. Maybe lower?

21. Robin Hobb
See Pullman.

20. Stephen King
About right.

19. Ray Bradbury
Should be a tad higher.

18. Arthur C. Clarke
See Bradbury.

17. Robert Jordan
Important, but top 20? Then again, this is a popularity contest.

16. JK Rowling
See Jordan.

15. Robert Heinlein
About right.

14. Frank Herbert
About right.

13. Peter F. Hamilton
A bit high.

12. David Gemmell
About right, considering my Jordan/Rowling thoughts.

11. Ursula K. LeGuin
About right.

10. Robert Rankin
Who is this? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book by this author and he’s ahead of Gene Frakking Wolfe and Jack Vance and George Orwell and Steven Erikson and Michael Moorcock...?

9. HG Wells

8. Philip K. Dick
Sure, maybe a bit high.

7. Iain M. Banks
Sure, maybe a bit high. He’s British, this list is from a British magazine, but I’d switch him out with I don’t know, Jack Vance?

6. Isaac Asimov

5. George RR Martin

4. Douglas Adams
A bit high, but again, this is a British popularity contest.

3. Neil Gaiman
I love his work, but see the Adams comment.

2. JRR Tolkien
This may be the first of these types of lists where he hasn’t been Numero Uno.

1. Terry Pratchett
I’ve read what I like. Best selling British Writer, British Popularity Contest.

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