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VOTE NOW Westeros 100 Best Books VOTE NOW


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As discussed in the other recent 'top 100' thread, I'm running a vote on the forum to determine a list of (the best? the most popular? the most worth reading?) 100 genre works. The twist is that I'll be using an unusual electoral system to determine the results, which I hope will be fairer and more representative than that of most such polls.

The really short version of the counting system: you vote for books, but the list works on the basis of allocating slots to the authors with the most cumulative votes. This should avoid the problem of authors with many popular books having their votes split between their works.

What is eligible: this is for genre (SF, fantasy) works, not general fiction. However, "genre work" means anything you think ought to be considered "genre", for whatever reason, whether this is based on content, style, the author's usual concerns, anything you like.

What you should do:

Write out a ballot with up to twenty works on it. These works should be arranged in three tiers: a group of four, a group of eight, and a second group of eight. Within these tiers, the precise ordering does not matter: sixth place and tenth place are both in the same tier, and will be counted the same way. You don't have to give twenty works if you can't think of enough.

For my convenience, please put a blank line between the three tiers (ie, after the fourth and twelfth works).

If you think that some of your choices are not only good books but GREAT books, life-changing books that would be great in any genre, you can signify this by putting UP TO TWO of the books in BOLD. This is optional - don't automatically give it to your two favourite books unless you think they deserve it.

For my convenience, please adopt a single format: write the name of the book, underlined, followed by the name of the author. If there's any helpful information you think I should know (date of publication, alternative publication title, alternative name of author, that sort of thing), please put it in brackets. Please give the English title somewhere if it's a translation (if there IS an English title).

No individual short stories. Short story collections are fine. Graphic novels are fine, but must have a single author - a run in a comic book is fine, but not the whole of a magazine, or the whole of a character's corpus.

If you want to nominate a work from a sequence, give either the name of the sequence or the name of the individual book. Votes for individual books will be compiled into votes for overall series, but the most popular installment will be specifically mentioned. Do not nominate multiple books from the same series.

You may relay the votes of friends and family who are not board members. Please be honest about this and do not cheat. Please give these in the same post if possible. Otherwise, state clearly that this is what you are doing, so that I don't think you're ammending your first ballot.

If you want to amend your ballot, please say so clearly. Also, in order that I don't have to search through for your original ballot, please state your original ballot along with the revised version (or specify the changes you have made).

This poll will run for an unspecified length of time - until people stop voting, or, if that never happens, until I give up waiting.

I hope that covers everything that needs covering. If there are any question, feel free to post them in your replies.

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At risk of mockery, and without having thought about it as much as I probably should have done, I may as well kick things off with a list of my own:

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkien

The Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe

The Urth of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe

The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller, Jr

Watership Down - Richard Adams

Ash: A Secret History - Mary Gentle

The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut

A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon

Collected Stories - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Ash: A Secret History - Mary Gentle

Watchmen - Alan Moore

Unfinished Tales - JRR Tolkien

Shardik - Richard Adams

The Liveship Traders - Robin Hobb

Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

The One Tree - Stephen Donaldson

The Ill-Made Knight - TH White

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin

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- whoops, double post -

To make the most of the error, a small note: I don't mind "reactions" in this thread, but I don't want "discussion".

That is, I don't want a age of people discussing the merits of a book, because it gets in the way, but I don't mind if there's a bit of banter, either in its own post or accompanying a ballot -"that's a surprise", "I think X is better than Y", "I though I was the only one who liked X", etc.

I think a bit of banter enlivens the thread and adds character - but if it turns into actual discussion, it makes it harder to go through and pick out the actual ballots, so please exercise some restraint.

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A Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin

Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

Little, Big - John Crowley

The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

A Song for Arbonne - Guy Gavriel Kay

Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Songmaster - Orson Scott Card

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

Night Watch - Terry Pratchett

Gloriana - Michael Moorcock

Nine Princes in Amber - Roger Zelazny

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser - Fritz Leiber

Elric - Michael Moorcock

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkien

The Messiah of Dune - Franck Herbert

Aegypt - John Crowley

Planetes - Yukimura Makoto

Nausicaa - Hayao Miyazaki

Yeah, well... Putting not one, but two manga series in there might seem too much, but I'll stand by my choice, as these are two of the best genre pieces I've ever read. (as graphic novels are ok, I assumed other forms of sequential art would be ok too)

As my memory is far from perfect and I don't have my whole book collection with me, maybe I'll change some of my vote later if other voters remind me of great reads.

Also, I voted sometimes for individual books in sequences and sometimes for whole series. Is it ok ?

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Watership Down - Richard Adams

Riddlemaster trilogy - Patricia McKillip

Hyperion - Dan Simmons

The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Use of Weapons- Iain M. Banks

The Book of Knights - Yves Meynard

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

A Fire Upon The Deep - Vernor Vinge

A Deepness in the Sky - Vernor Vinge

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny

Prince of Nothing trilogy - R. Scott Bakker

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

The Princess Bride - William Goldman

The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton

The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz - Russell Hoban

A Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

It is done. Phew. This was hard. Harder maybe than a straight ranking would've been. The toughest part was to decide which of the top five would have to go to tier II. In the end it had to be "A Deepness in the Sky". I should like to note, for the record, that I do consider it the better of two very strong Vernor Vinge novels, a notion which I was unable to quite convey under the current system.

This is fun. I'm really looking forward to the finished list. I might make it a priority of mine to read any unread works thereupon. Which, I dare to predict, should force me to finally tackle my first novel-lenght Wolfe *shivers in fear and anticipation*.

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BTW: I think it's a bad idea to sticky the thread at this point. Regulars tend to disregard the stickied threads (I know I do), and so the thread might get overlooked by many.

I'd strongly advise that the thread be un-stickied while voting is in progress. Should it slip onto page 2, it can be bumped. It can (and should, then) be re-stickied once voting is closed and the tabluation is done.

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Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein

Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe

The Last Unicorn - Peter S Beagle

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick (hard to limit 1 PKD; want to put 5 here!)

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller Jr

Gormenghast trilogy - Mervyn Peake

Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

The Scar (or Bas-Lag) - China Mieville

A Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin

The Dispossessed - Ursula K Le Guin

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

Earth Abides - George Stewert

The Affirmation - Christopher Priest

A Fine and Private Place - Peter S Beagle

Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever - James Tiptree Jr (Alice Sheldon, too few women on this list)

Ambergris cycle - Jeff Vandermeer (sorry Stego!)

Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe

OK. Promise not to return and edit!

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Good point there, Bellis.

I've decided it'll be easiest to compile the votes as they are cast.

To that end, I'd be grateful if people didn't edit theit ballots once first posted, but rather posted a second time giving both the original and the new version.

I know this may be inconvenient for people, but I think it makes it a lot easier at my end (it's easier to avoid making mistakes when I'm entering things one-by-one, rather than when I'm trying to enter dozens of ballots in a single long session).


Ratatoskr: I don't really know about that. I can see your point. Perhaps have it stickied for a while so that people think "what's the new sticky?" and then take it down? I don't know, I'm open to advice from others. I'll leave it as it is for now, anyway.

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Blindness - Jose Saramago

Magister Ludi - Hermann Hesse

The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

The Tin Drum - Gunter Grass

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

The Autumn of the Patriarch - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Stone Raft - Jose Saramago

The Moor's Last Sigh - Salman Rushdie

Galapagos - Kurt Vonnegut

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Thunderer/Gears of the City - Felix Gilman

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant - Stephen Donaldson

A Song of Ice and Fire - GRRM

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

The Long Price Quartet - Daniel Abraham

The Prince of Nothing - R. Scott Bakker

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein

Note: More than two of these deserved to be bolded, but I'll stick to the rules.

ETA, question: I know we're not supposed to nominate more than one book from a series, but it is ok to nominate more than one book from an author isn't it?

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Yeah, two or more from the same author is fine. The 'not two from the same series' rule is because I'm going to count series as single works, and if you can count for every part of it that would give sequential works an advantage.

I realise that it's not always clear when something is or is not a series. I suggest erring on the side of not if you're unsure, and then if I decide they are I can ask you for an alternative vote. Better than assuming they'll be joined, because I've no way of telling who WOULD have voted for something.

Oh, and Kuroishi: it's OK if it's a) printed, B) all by the same author (which can include multiple simultaneous authors, just not different parts by different people), and c) is at least partly in words (if you find a comic/manga with no words at all, only pictures, I don't think it should qualify).

EDIT: OK, well done Myshkin. Not only does he launch a putsch to put Vonnegut on the list single-handedly, but in the process he reminds me of a novel I forgot about and forces me to edit my own ballot...

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Well, I might go back and submit an edited list later, but for the purpose of getting my own brain working, here is my initial twenty. This was harder than I thought it would be.

The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Der Ring Des Nibelung, Richard Wagner

The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card

Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes

Dune, Frank Herbert

The Iliad, Homer

The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan (& Brandon Sanderson)

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin

Foundation and Empire, Isaac Asimov

A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

The Gunslinger (Original Version), Stephen King

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami

V., Thomas Pynchon

The Eyes of the Overworld, Jack Vance

The Once and Future King, T.H. White

A few notes:

-I hope the Wagner vote is eligible, according to the "as long as it has text" rules. Graphic novels are text put to images, so I felt that text put to music would also be acceptable. If it's not, I will change up my vote.

-My King vote goes for the original 1980s Gunslinger, not the atrociously revised 2003 edition, in case that makes any sort of difference.

-My vote for The Phantom Tollbooth might seem a bit silly, but I feel it's one of the best children's books out there, and was certainly an influence on me during my formative years of reading. All nostalgia aside, I reread it last year, and it's still damn clever.

-I know honorable mentions won't count for anything, but I feel I have to at least bring up Against the Day, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Prince of Nothing, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and The Road, all of which almost made the cut.

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Le Morte d'Arthur - Sir Thomas Malory

The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien

The Book of the New Sun- Gene Wolfe

Ficciones - Jorge Luis Borges

The Lyonesse Trilogy - Jack Vance

A Song of Ice & Fire - George R.R. Martin

Prince of Nothing - R. Scott Bakker

Little, Big - John Crowley

The Star Rover - Jack London

At the Mountains of Madness - H.P. Lovecraft

Lost Worlds - Clark Ashton Smith

It - Stephen King

The Odyssey - Homer

Wizard Knight - Gene Wolfe

The Once & Future King - T.H. White

Phantastes - George MacDonald

The Mabinogion Tetralogy - Evangaline Walton

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hour of the Dragon- Robert E. Howard

The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle

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le morte d'arthur, t. malory

paradise lost, j. milton

doctor faustus, c. marlowe

divine comedy, dante

gulliver's travels, j. swift

frankenstein, m. shelley

shadow over innsmouth, h. lovecraft

silmarillion, j. tolkien

portrait of dorian grey, o. wilde

utopia, t. more

at the edge of the world, dunsany

grendel, j. gardiner

i am legend, r. matheson

book of the new sun, g. wolfe

do androids dream of electric sheep?, p. dick

dune, f. herbert

foundation, i. asimov

perdido street station, c. mieville

dhalgren, s. delany

song of ice and fire, g. martin

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Year's Best Science Fiction anthology series, Gardner Dozois

A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin

Dune, Frank Herbert

Immodest Proposals, William Tenn

Roderick, John Sladek

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein

Doomsday Book, Connie Willis

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller

Gateway, Frederick Pohl

Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester

The Forever War, Joe Haldeman

Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe

Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang

Broken Angels, Richard K. Morgan

Pattern Recognition, William Gibson

Perdido Street Station, China Mieville

The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell

Armor, John Steakley

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The Wizard Knight - Gene Wolfe

Blade of Tyshalle - Matthew Stover

Gormenghast - Mervyn Peake

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Book of the Long Sun - Gene Wolfe

Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe

A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson

Shriek: An Afterword - Jeff VanderMeer

Perdido Street Station - China Mieville

The Fortress of Solitude - Jonathan Lethem

The One Tree - Stephen R. Donaldson

The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

Magic for Beginners - Kelly Link

Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock

Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan

The Sandman - Neil Gaiman

Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

Wizard and Glass - Stephen King

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The Book of the New Sun- Gene Wolfe

A Song of Ice and Fire- George RR Martin

A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess

The Foundation Trilogy- Isaac Asimov

The Sarantine Mosaic- Guy Gavriel Kay

The Darkness That Comes Before- R. Scott Bakker

The Book of the Short Sun- Gene Wolfe

Lord of the Rings- JRR Tolkien

The Last Argument of Kings- Joe Abercrombie

Titus Groan- Mervyn Peake

Soldier of the Mist- Gene Wolfe

Hyperion- Dan Simmons

Midnight Tides- Steven Erikson

The Gap- Stephen R. Donaldson

The Scar- China Mieville

City of Saints and Madmen- Jeff Vandermeer

It- Stephen King

1984- George Orwell

Ficciones- Jorge Luis Borges

The Waste Lands- Stephen King

I guess only one thing to point out about my list: I don't consider ancient and medieval epic poetry to be fantasy and so I don't include stuff like The Iliad or Aeneid on it, even though the Iliad for example would be extremely high. I think that calling these poems "fantasy" is extremely anachronistic and pretty much is a complete misunderstanding of what these works are. But that's just my two cents.

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The Gospel According to Jesus Christ - Jose Saramago.

Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie.

The Iliad & The Odyssey - Homer.

The Mahabharata - Anonymous.

Soldier of the Mist - Gene Wolfe.

China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh.

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin.

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller.

My Name Is Red - Orhan Pamuk.

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess.

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell.

Gojiro - Mark Jacobson.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood.

Dune - Frank Herbert.

Vast - Linda Nagata.

White Queen - Gwyneth Jones.

The Last Dancer - Daniel Keys Moran.

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Eden Trilogy - Harry Harrison.

The Culture Series - Iain M. Banks.

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Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

The Silmarillion J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R Tolkien

Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon

Cyberiad - Stanislaw Lem

The Invincible - Stanislaw Lem

Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatski

The Earthsea Trilogy - Ursula Le Guin

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

The Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe

Ficciones - Jorge Luis Borges

The Return from the Stars - Stanislaw Lem

Tales of Pirx the Pilot - Stanislaw Lem

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Prince of Nothing - R. Scott Bakker

Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) - Hermann Hesse

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin

Inne pieśni (The Other Songs) - Jacek Dukaj

Lód (Ice) - Jacek Dukaj

I don't consider anything written before !9th century fantasy, so no clasic epics etc. in my list. I also don't think magic realism, allegorical fiction or old style children's book (as opposed to post-Harry Potter YA) should be considered fantasy, so no Marquez, Kafka or Alice in Wonderland appear in my list as well.

Weren't we supposed to do a separate new century list as well? If so, I would move all my 21th century titles to it (all three of them), to make place for some older stuff. (You know, only 20 titles is very restrictive)

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Sologdin vouched for you, Wastrel, and that's good enough for me. (I am deeply unhappy with your view on comic books, however, and I think it unfair of you to have your opinions on Watchmen without any point of reference. But you can make a cogent point, if a trifle wordy, so in that you're more capable than, say, me or Yagathai.)

Like I was going to miss a chance to make a list. You may as well ask a District 9 alien to fore go some 9 Lives.

I'm digressing.

I feel the need to put comics in here. I sort of want to populate the entire list with them after reading Wastrel's blog.

And I sort of want to put things in here to counteract what others have posted.

Furthermore, I'm upset I can't have a list of 100. For fuck sake.


The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Dune by Frank Herbert

Davy by Edgar Pangborn

Replay by Ken Grimwood

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith

The Book of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe

A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Little, Big by John Crowley

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.

Anno-Dracula by Kim Newman

The Book of Knights by Yves Meynard

The Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

FUCK, being so limited is hard. I left off 50 books. I left off Henderson and Brackett and LeGuin and Russ and now I'm obviously a misogynist. DAMMIT.

Post Script: My list is better than your lists.

Post Post Script: I forgot to add any comics. Damn you, Wastrel.

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