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A collaborative blog by Locus editors, contributors, and other invited guests. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine or Locus Online.

(Earlier posts end here in April 2010)




Alvaro Zinos-Amaro


Alan Beatts
Terry Bisson
Marie Brennan
Karen Burnham
Siobhan Carroll
John Clute
F. Brett Cox
Ellen Datlow
Paul Di Filippo
Michael Dirda
Gardner Dozois
Andy Duncan
Stefan Dziemianowicz
Brian Evenson
Jeffrey Ford
Karen Joy Fowler
Kathleen Ann Goonan
Theodora Goss
Elizabeth Hand
Cecelia Holland
Rich Horton
Guy Gavriel Kay
James Patrick Kelly
Mark R. Kelly
Ellen Klages
Russell Letson
Karen Lord
Brit Mandelo
Adrienne Martini
Tim Pratt
Cat Rambo
Paul Graham Raven
Graham Sleight
Maureen Kincaid Speller
Peter Straub
Rachel Swirsky
Paul Witcover
Gary K. Wolfe
E. Lily Yu

Roundtable on All-Centuries Novel Polling

« PreviousNext »

Authors, regardless of genre

20th Century
Ursula K. Le Guin 10
J. R. R. Tolkien 10
Gene Wolfe 8
Ray Bradbury 5
John Crowley 5
Samuel R. Delany 5
T. H. White 5
Iain M. Banks 4
Alfred Bester 4
William Gibson 4
Shirley Jackson 4
Fritz Leiber 4
Philip K. Dick 3
Robert Heinlein 3
Aldous Huxley 3
Hope Mirrlees 3
Mervyn Peake 3
Mary Doria Russell 3
Olaf Stapledon 3
Jack Vance 3
Richard Adams 2
Edgar Rice Burroughs 2
Gabriel Garcia Marquez 2
William Goldman 2
Kenneth Grahame 2
Joe Haldeman 2
Frank Herbert 2
William Hjortsberg 2
Stanislaw Lem 2
C. S. Lewis 2
Walter M. Miller Jr. 2
George Orwell 2
Keith Roberts 2
Kim Stanley Robinson 2
Vernor Vinge 2

21st Century

Neil Gaiman 5
Ian McDonald 5
China Mieville 5
Susannah Clarke 3
Kim Stanley Robinson 3
J. K. Rowling 3
Jeff VanderMeer 3
Michael Chabon 2
Elizabeth Moon 2
Alastair Reynolds 2
Charles Stross 2

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


Comment from Dan in Seattle
Time January 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Ellen – sorry, but you don’t get to cite “Alice”, published in 1865, as a 20th century book. (Otherwise I would have put it top of my list as well!) In fact, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz barely qualifies, published in 1900, but the Oz series extended well into the 20th century so that should be allowed.

But you panelists are bending the rules like Gumby so I guess you can cite whatever books you want! Certainly the “Alice”‘ books could be considered as the most widely known and influential fantasy in English literature.

Comment from Ellen Datlow
Time January 11, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Dan -going over my list (before seeing your comment) I suddenly realized-oh sh-t! wrong century. It was me being bad.

Comment from Space27
Time January 13, 2013 at 1:28 am

A Horror/Dark Fantasy category? Where are those lists of novels and stories?

Comment from Karen Burnham
Time January 13, 2013 at 3:16 am

Space27–Ellen Datlow and Jeff Ford sort of created that category on their own. The overlap (two votes) between the two of them are:

The Wasp Factory (1984) Iain M. Banks 2
The Haunting of Hill House (1959) Shirley Jackson 2

It’s nestled between 20th C Fantasy and 21st C SF.

Comment from Space27
Time January 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Oh, that list. Just two items? I’m a little bit disappointed. But I did vote for The Wasp Factory.

Comment from Space27
Time January 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Speaking of the wrong century, I know two novels from the 1800’s that I could have put in the 20th Cent. vote and got away with it:

Star, C.I. Defontenay (1854, in french)
Two Planets, Kurd Lasswitz (1897, in german)

They were first published in english in the 1970’s.

Comment from Thomas Parker
Time January 15, 2013 at 3:21 am

Great lists and remarks from everyone, but the focus on the almighty novel slights so many superb writers, from Cyril Kornbluth to Willam Tenn. to Fredric Brown to Harlan Ellison. One of my top ten SF books of all time is Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr/Alice Sheldon. I can’t think of a single SF novel, however fine, that I would be willing to give it up for. It’s as essential as Dune or Neuromancer or any other that I can think of. So Tiptree wasn’t comfortable with the novel form – so what?

Comment from Dan in Seattle
Time January 18, 2013 at 3:52 am

Thomas – I think Karen felt it would be hard enough herding the cats on the panel to make their picks for novels, without trying for all the short fiction categories. You make a good point that there are short form masters like Ellison and Tiptree, and some of those masters are reflected in the short fiction lists: Ellison with 6 entries, Tiptree with 5. Both of them ranked as high as #3 in a category for the whole 20th century – not too shabby. (Harlan had both #3 and #4 in the 20th Century Short Story category.)

My favorite example of a short form master is, of course, Ted Chiang, who seems to have no interest in publishing a novel but knocked down the top spot in three different short fiction categories. Nobody would consider him slighted because he can’t show up on the novel list.

Comment from bill
Time February 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm

How can you not put REH on the list if not at the top? Best story teller ever. No Michael Morcook? YOU PEOPLE ARE INSANE.

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