Friday, December 10, 2010

The Results Are In: The Final Top 10

Friday, December 10, 2010
The results of Torque Control's poll to determine the top ten science fiction novels of the last decade written by women are in and final.  Niall has been posting the list, one by one, all week.  With the announcement of the number one novel, we now have the full list. 

1. The Carhullan Army/Daughters of the North, by Sarah Hall
2. Maul, by Tricia Sullivan
3. Natural History, by Justina Robson
4. The Time-Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
5= Spirit, by Gwyneth Jones
5= The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon
7. Life, by Gwyneth Jones
8. Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin
9. Farthing, by Jo Walton
10= Bold as Love, by Gwyneth Jones
10= City of Pearl, by Karen Traviss
My first thought is: Cool, two of my picks were popular enough to make the final list.  Both City of Pearl and The Time Traveler's Wife are excellent novels.  I'm glad I took the time to send in my picks because without them, City of Pearl would have dropped off the list.  It's nice to see that a number of other people though highly enough of it to include it on their lists as well. 

My second thought: Clearly I need to read some Gwyneth Jones.  And Tricia Sullivan's Maul.  I own a copy.  Maybe I should open it. 

Niall has also been compiling various stats based on the voting.

Various Top Tens by Category
The Full List of Works Nominated.
Top Ten Writers (based on total nominations, not necessarily placement on the list)

There have been a number of other posts keeping in the theme of the week, discussing other female authored SF works.  Just browse around and you'll find plenty of stuff to read.  Otherwise, the womensf tag grabs everything on wordpress using that tag.  You'll get all of Torque Control's recent stuff, but it stretches back farther than just this week.  Not a huge fan of the interface there, but it's another resource. 

So there you have it. 


Carl V. said...

Is Lavinia science fiction?

Joe Sherry said...

No. There was discussion about that in the comments to the listing.

I think that Niall decided that he wasn't going to judge where other people drew their lines for the genre.

He did mention that folks would write in, say they were sad they couldn't vote for Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (to use one example) because it was fantasy, and then go ahead and vote for Lavinia.

Carl V. said...

Okay, just curious. Not that I had some big investment in another book, it just bugged me ever so slightly to see a Top 10 'science fiction' list that wasn't able to stick to actually having 10 science fiction titles in it. That sort of thing could be used by someone touchy about the whole thing as an indictment about the presence of female writers in the genre. Not by me, but I've seen these (often, but not always, petty) arguments rise up in the genre community lately and they sometimes fly far afield from being a reasonable discussion.

Joe Sherry said...

Click on the Lavinia link. I agree with Jo Walton. This was a specific exercise about women and science fiction. It's understood by most that women write a lot of fantasy.

And if we wanted to include fantasy novels, we'd all have very different lists.

Carl V. said...

Thanks Joe, I went ahead and did just that. I agree with what Jo Walton had to say in the comments. Good genre fiction is good genre fiction and deserves to be recognized and celebrated, but I do think it takes some of the edge off the validity of the votes that made up this list when the idea set forth was to recognize science fiction and a fantasy title ends up on the list.

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