A six-month deployment to Afghanistan hasn't prevented me from taking the survey -- I wouldn't miss it (but it is keeping me from the Worldcon).
Again, I am always unsure how to answer the question about "new vs. used" books, because a very high % of my purchases are of "remainders", and I'm not sure whether those should be counted as new or used. -- I love Locus, keep up the good work!
Also interested in "Twilight Zone"; "Outer Limits".
Also Mangas and Anime (for related subjects). I am surprised, you don't propose them as options.
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is the best Australian small press publication around and deserves more recognition!
Answered "no" to Sci-Fi channel, but I do receive Canadian version "SPACE".
Argh! Too many great Novelettes! Why couldn't some of them have been longer so I could vote for them in the Novella category? The Novelette category was the toughest for me to decide. There were at least three more great stories I wish I could have voted for.
As usual, I'm too cheap to buy hardbacks, and so can't comment on this year's new books.
As usual, quantifying my answers for the questions requiring quantification was difficult... No surprise I guess!
Ask me if I actually LIKE the SciFi Channel. Mansquito & Man-Thing, indeed. Feh!
Attendance at Worldcon this year was an anomaly; it happened to be held close to home.
Battlestar Galactica is now the best SF on TV.
Battlestar Galactica under TV
Boy, I thought I was a serious and informed fan, but I guess not!
Buys books at library book sales.
Can't vote for what I haven't read but I really wanted to vote for Reynolds' Century Rain base on previous books--can't vote for it next year either.
Clichéd, I know: Keep up the good work. Wouldn't mind seeing more horror-oriented material.
Din't even review my favorite anthology this year, _Turn the Other Chick_ by E. Friesner from Baen, what do you guys have against Baen anyway?
Every year I feel I'm drowning in a sea of books, but the drowning was more interesting, the best work being done by newer writers, over all.
Faster this way (vs hardcopy), and I can't forget to mail it - like I did last year.
For those of us who review, the word 'acquire' would be better than 'buy'.
General trend for me is buying less books and reading more at the library, strictly because my income doesn't keep up with inflation.
GREAT MAGAZINE AS ALWAYS
Great survey. You might want to add "domestic partner" or something under the marital status question, for those of us who are in long-term relationships but not technically "married" though certainly not "single." Thanks!
Haven't read too much recent stuff. Still trying to catch up on the huge backlog that keeps growing and growing.
How about addition as a general interest subject: Non-Fiction - The Arts (History, Music etc.)
I actually buy every Locus issue through my comic-book reserve at my friendly local comic book shop
I am also very interested in manga and anime. You should cover fantasy and sf manga.
I am somewhat handicapped thus most of my buying is online, mostly thru Abebooks.com, Shocklines.com, and Books-a-Million.com
I didn't read enough scifi/fantasy books to be able to vote this year.
I don't read magazines, so I don't get a chance to read short fiction until it appears in anthologies, at which point it's too late to vote for it...
I don't so much watch movies/videos as sit in the room doing stuff while my kids watch them. : )
I find your Best Of nominations to be totally out of touch with the readership, and very narrow in scope.
I have access to "Space, The Imagination Station", the Canadian equivalent to the Sci-Fi Channel. You could equate the two except that Space shows fewer infomercials (at least up to now). Space usually acquires most of the original Sci-Fi productions sometime after they have aired on Sci-Fi.
I like this format for the questionnaire a lot. Good job.
I love your magazine and enjoyed this year's batch of reviews. You seemed more inclined to pay attention to fantasy/sci-fi in the mainstream this year, which was a nice surprise. I still think your reviews give away too many plot points and tend toward over praise, but I still enjoy them. Keep up the good work.
I quit subscribing to mags (Locus excepted) to spend more time online. Recently moved to larger city with better library with larger sf collection so have been buying less.
I review sf/f and focus on TV series, books and magazines. I buy less than I get for review.
I think that you should have a separate category for small press publishers, as opposed to large scale publishers like Harpers or Bantam.
I used to do more fanac, but have gafiated. I use friends and online recommendations as filters for what I check out.
I watch sf in anime dvd's and manga. You should include it in your survey.
I would like to get a copy of the nominated books and novella. I find it hard to find good reviews of SF and lists at most bookstores. I often run through the suggestions from Amazon based on some weird computer algorithm that suggest what books I would like based on what books I have liked in the past. I often use the SF Weekly SF Wire to get suggestions for the books. But I didn't even recognize more than a hand full of the suggested books in your list. Maybe it is because I'm out of the hard-core readership base, but I do read a lot of SF and usually it is of authors I'm familiar with and what is available in the bookstores around the area. You would do a great service to readers if you would work a deal with big book chains to make available a list of winners and nominated books as well as brief reviews in the bookstores by the SF section. That would help me and I'm guessing a number of other readers immensely. It would also be an opportunity to promote your magazine for the price a sheet of paper and some coordination with some booksellers.
I would like to see a category for best sci-fi/horror/fantasy poetry work included in the awards.
I'm a reviewer and on the nebula novel jury so while I read many books, none of them are bought.
I'm in a weird period in my life at the moment, several of these answers may be quite different by this time next year. In the last few years I've been reading much more crime/mystery fiction than sf&f, but I tend to appreciate wondrous content more now than when most of the fiction I read was sf&f.
I'm surprised I had so many write-ins for best SF & best fantasy novel -- I don't think I've ever had anything similar before. I'm a little behind on my 2004 reading, but I have managed to read 60 f/sf or closely related novels published in 2004 so far, so?? (One problem is continuing series; if you fall behind, as I did for 6 entries in the sf dropdown list, it takes longer to catch up.) It seemed easier to find outstanding fantasy novels among those I read, though my reading was split almost 50/50.
It wasn't at all clear in the ballots whether we were putting books in order, or just listing those we liked.
It would be helpful if Locus had at least one reviewer that would say a book stank when it stank. This business of only reviewing books you like and if you don't review it then it must stink is a bit too coy and certainly not helpful to the reader.
It'd be nice to subscribe to Locus but I live out of the U.S. so friends have to mail it to me. Also, isn't it about time to separate once and for all science fiction and fantasy??
I've been a reader of "Locus" since I first picked up a copy in Goering.
I've been answering essentially the same questions above for like 15+ years; possibly some new, contemporary questions that would incite a younger generation to participate are needed.
I've been on a tight budget the past year; many more books I wish I'd read!
I've never subscribed to Locus, but have bought copies at book stores and conventions since around 1980.
John Birmingham's "Weapons of Choice" is not his first novel. He's had several prior mainstream novels published in Australia. WoC should be removed from the First Novel category (unless it means "First SF/F novel...)
Just found Locus Online! Thanks and I'll be back! :)
Keep up the good work.
Keep up the good work, online and in print!
Keep up the good work. Seems like the "fan base" is getting older right along with me.
Keep up the great work!
Locus continues to be a wonderful print magazine. Locus Online is also excellent. I can only hope that you don't impoverish yourselves in this wonderful endeavor.
Locus is still the best source of information on the Science Fiction literary field. Keep up the good work.
Locus Mag lets me keep track of pubs of favorite authors, and reviews for new ones.
Long live the online ballot! This is a great improvement.
Love Locus and your website. I visit your website daily.
My favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee. Or maybe coffee with chocolate chips.
My husband used to subscribe to Locus; I read his copies.
My 'to read' pile is unfortunately growing and I'm sure there are some 2004 books I need to read. French beaded flowers and subtitled anime are interfering with my reading time. I don't read all types of SF, so I use your magazine to help me choose good books to stock. Keep up the good work.
Not living in the US, there are some "trick" questions... but I've done my best to be honest!
Out of 125 books I read in 2004 64 were science fiction and fantasy 50 were mysteries and 11 were mainstream fiction.
Public libraries are not listed here as sources.
RE Where buy most SF: I checked all these boxes, but this is only one store: Powell's in Portland, Oregon. Powell's' SF collection is on par with a specialty bookstore. They have 4-5 stores in Oregon, so they're a chain. They are also a general bookstore. I purchase online from them, so they are also an online retailer. I go there 2 times a year to sell my purchases.
Science Fiction is increasingly leaving me behind -- publishing in general seems to be. Fewer books are published each year that are of interest to me anymore. There's 117th volume of Series X or the 1,057th book "in the tradition of..." to be found. But it's getting so maybe 50-60 books come out that are even mildly intriguing and I may buy 30-40 of those. If it weren't for those dwindling few items of interest, I'd go back to mysteries again.
Since I read MMPB I am always a year or two behind the nominated novels....
Since you ask about television and movies in your survey, why are there not comparable categories in the poll? Just a thought.
Still reading from my own golden age - anybody who voted for Heinlein's For Us the Living didn't read it.
Thank you for making this available online. (I forget to mail it in otherwise.)
Thanks for another great year of Sf and fantasy reporting! I'd like to see more coverage or roleplaying games and the rpg industry.
Thanks for great coverage and more interviews lately. Still hoping Locus will restore Horror/Dark Fantasy as an award category; if you'll review more of it as well I'd be grateful. We miss Edward Bryant.
This may be the first Locus Poll I've answered, in all these years. Karen Traviss is why I did. She writes good stuff! AND I have a chance also to say good things about Laurie Marks and Martha Wells who are, I believe, under-appreciated.
Very Nice Magazine you have there with Locus.
Way too many questions
When you ask "how many hours per week do you spend on online" are we to include time online when we are at work?
Where's Farscape or other in the related subjects?
While I don't watch many movies, I have much of Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Firefly on video & Dvd. Better than "reality" series!
Wolfe never needs to write another word. He is the top!
You didn't ask about e-books purchased. I buy far more e-books these days than the other versions combined.
You missed the best short story, Noreen Doyle's "Ankhfiti the Brave is Dying," FIRST HEROES
You need to be clearer in your rules/guidance -- for example Kage Baker's collection included individual stories [novellas and short stories] published in previous years in publications I don't read - can I still single them out and vote for them as they are better than anything else published this year and came to most people's attention this year? Also I'd like to vote for the 10 best S/F novels - as I hated not voting for many great books - you should expand that. Also - you should have a separate category for trilogies!
You should allow more flexibility in publishing dates or take in account the date of the paperback edition not necessarily the hardcover edition. People reading only paperbacks can hardly vote for 2004 books.
Your dropdown of Best Alltime Fantasy Stories includes a lot of stories I consider SF, including much alt. history---has that been deemed fantasy? In your survey, I wondered how many of your responses come from outside the US. Worth adding a question?
Your survey was WAY too long :-( voting should be separate. If you wanted to tie the survey with free mag copy I think that would have been more appropriate. That being said, i DO enjoy, very much, your website and will subscribe to your publication :-) thanks
Absolutely arbitrary -- tomorrow I will love another five, and five more the day after that -- I am the promiscuous reader!
Actually, The Dark Man is likely Robert E. Howard's best short story. But I don't want to take a vote away from his listed works above, so I won't vote it in.
Bit of a strange selection. Four Harlan Ellison, only one J. G. Ballard and no Harry Harrison or Brian Aldiss.
Brutal. So many good choices, only five slots!
Can't believe that you confused several stories that are science fiction and not fantasy! From Locus -- of all people!
Can't believe there's no room for Sturgeon, Leiber, Vance, Bradbury, etc., etc...
Can't claim to have read even half of the list, but these 5 are the ones that influenced my reading and/or still stick in my mind. Can't believe you didn't include 'Paladin' in your list.
Choosing only 5 stories is almost impossible; tomorrow I would probably choose differently for some of the stories.
Dear gods, how to choose between these. And how many brilliant stories are not on the list. Uncle Einar but not The Homecoming? The Masque of the Red Death but not The Tell-Tale Heart? Argh!
Excellent idea. This should be lots of fun.
Hello. I may be pushing it a bit with Jekyll and Hyde (perhaps more horror than fantasy), but surely George MacDonald, often credited for having produced the first definitive fantasy novel, should appear on this list. As you can see, I'm plugging for some of the genre's earliest practitioners, perhaps too few of whom have been mentioned in the ever-expanding list of suggestions.
How could one possibly choose? And it's just a coincidence that my #1 story was the very first one on your list! Aickman was a genius!
I absolutely Love "Green is the Color". The story is so creative, and the characters are very likable.
I am surprised that names such as Blackwood and Machen are not amongst the suggestions, but this poll is a great idea.
I feel a little silly not voting for more than one "all-time" favorite from before I was born, but that's how it worked out within the limits of my knowledge of fantasy literature. While I was tempted to vote for "The Lottery", I finally decided it didn't quite count as fantasy.
I had to whittle down severely, and I was deeply unfair to a number of great stories. Couldn't we have a top 10 instead?
I think Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol are both novella length, at most, so should be eligible.
I wish I could vote for more!!!
If you'd included novels, James Branch Cabell would have had 1 through 5.
I'm very pleased to see Gaiman & Vess's represented on this ballot--kudos. But nothing touches "Omelas."
It would have been nice to see Elaine Cunningham, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman acknowledged.
Left off a few favorites that I wasn't sure if they were fantasy or not.
Nice idea and lots of new/old stuff to check out.
Of course, the results are skewered to only what I've read. Which I guess means I should stop filling out ballots and catch up on a lot of what I haven't read!
One Poe option, but four Lovecraft? Sheesh.
Pity you can't vote for more than 5 - it would be good to list your top 20, then the computer can get a better sense of popularity of different stories.
Poor choices (gross example: "Our Fair City", but not "Magic Inc." or "...Jonathan Hoag"?!?) and gaping holes. Should rerun with write-ins (disadvantaged by this form) inserted.
Publishers need to rediscover fast passed tightly plotted eerie adventure fantasy, and encourage authors to explore the Swords & Sorcery genre with a fresh perspective.
Robert E. Howard is the greatest fantasy writer of all time!
So many great stories, how can one decide?
So many to choose, so few slots!!!!!!
Thanks so much for providing this huge list of stories. When I first saw the category of All-Time Fantasy Story I drew a blank. I could not think of any fantasy stories, though I immediately thought of several science fiction stories! The problem was that the word "fantasy" made me think of traditional fantasy with wizards, elves, etc. or else knights and maidens, etc. There are many stories on this list that I would never have come up with as a "fantasy" story, but once I really thought about it, they do seem to fit the fantasy category more than science fiction. So, thanks again for providing this list. If this list hadn't been here, I would have left this part of the poll blank!!
There are so many great fantasy stories that this is really an effort in futility.
There are so many great fantasy stories....and I found it difficult to pick one over the other. So what I did was to list five of the most memorable fantasy stories which were not on your list.
There were so many possibilities that if I came here a week later, I probably wouldn't have three of the stories I picked even selected. In the 3 and 4 spots, I picked two stories I know I may well be the only one to select-I was pleased to see them among your recommendations. Two Sadnesses and The Singular Events... are both great stories largely overshadowed by other work done by two very talented writers who deserved better from life and publishing. Unicorn Variation is one of my top 5 favorite stories, as is Jeffty. Good list and any five stories on it that I've read cold have justifiably been selected by me (and I've read all but about 20 of them).
This was tough. There are lots more memorable stand-out sf stories than fantasies. I'll be very curious to see the results.
Too many great ones!
Too many stories; impossible to choose just one Davidson, Sturgeon, Vance, Le Guin, etc.
Very difficult to choose.
Very hard to have to choose from so many brilliant stories!
Well...this will be weighted toward the cited samples, and is pretty meaningless in a specific sense, but should be great fun in a general way, particularly as each author's votes are tallied. I note you suggest one of my probable noms for worst fantasy story ever, King's "The Gunslinger".
What a strange set of choices! Dragonfly by Le Guin, but not the Earthsea trilogy? Jane Yolen's Jenna books? Tanith Lee's THE BIRTHGRAVE? It feels in many cases that an author is represented is not represented by their best work. Of course in some instances an author isn't even represented -- Mary Gentle? Marion Zimmer Bradley? Octavia Butler's KINDRED? Charlotte Perkins Gilman's THE YELLOW WALLPAPER? Jewelle Gomez' THE GILDA STORIES? What about Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN, which is arguably fantastic as well as sf? Or Italo Calvino? And then there are authors who are significantly OVER-represented: Jack Vance is represented by 8 titles? Please. Fritz Leiber, whom I do love, is nevertheless represented by TWELVE titles. In fact, women authors have less than 1/6th of the total titles -- when "fantasy" is often described as the women's half of sf/f. It's impossible to come up with an honest accounting & vote with such a selection. [Later, from the same voter:] Sorry - during my comments I got annoyed & forgot to limit myself to short stories & misspoke. Specifically, Octavia Butler's KINDRED & FRANKENSTEIN are obviously novels; for Le Guin I forgot that The Rule of Names & the Unbinding are both part of Earthsesa. So I'm an asshole for not editing more carefully when I submitted my off-the-cuff comments. But the gist of my comments stands.
What about all-time sf story next?
When you tally the votes, please indicate the write-ins. Thanks.
Why wasn't Stern's The Third Rail included?????
Wish you'd allowed for top 10, rather than top 5!! : ) (Would have added Willis' "Death on the Nile" and Brennan's "Canavan's Back Yard.")