Other worlds: Tor.com readers name their top SF/F novels of the decade

Tor.com has wrapped up their reader’s poll, naming the top ten science fiction and fantasy novels of the decade:

  1. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  4. Blindsight by Peter Watts
  5. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  6. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  7. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  8. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  9. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  10. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I’ve read half of them: I could see American Gods, Kushiel’s Dart, and A Storm of Swords among my own top reads, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by The Name of the Wind and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. (I’ve been putting off Old Man’s War – it’s in the pile!) What are your thoughts?

7 Replies to “Other worlds: Tor.com readers name their top SF/F novels of the decade”

  1. I’ve read four on that list. Kushiel is a fantastic book (and trilogy) and I’m glad to see it on the list! I also very much enjoyed Mistborn, though I felt let down by book #3 in the trilogy (The Hero of Ages).

    OMW was difficult for me to get into…just seemed slow to start. The ideas are great and I’m glad I stuck with it because book #3 (The Lost Colony) brought all the ideas together in an awesome package.

    I enjoyed Name of the Wind as well but I want to read the whole trilogy before I commit to buying it or not.

    Many friends have recommended GRRM’s series but I’m waiting until I wraps up before I dive in, heh.

    I something of an all or nothing kind of reader.

    Never heard of Blindsight…had to look that one up.

  2. I will say that “Old Man’s War” did not really appeal to me in title or jacket blurb. But I’d seen so many people praise it that I finally gave in and read it.

    I LOVE that book! And I promptly tore through all his other work.

    Move it up the pile.

  3. I really loved “Old Man’s War,” but I don’t know that it merits the number-one spot. But then I’m partial to Neil Gaiman.

    Several of those books I haven’t read yet.

  4. I’m a little ashamed to say that I haven’t read the majority of the list: just American Gods and The Name of the Wind. I didn’t much care for Name of the Wind. I know a lot of people who absolutely rave about it but it just absolutely never clicked with me.

    Most everything else on there has been on my list of things to either pick up someday, or finally read my copy of, but that’s a long friggin’ list. I could have sworn, just absolutely up and down, that American Gods was older than 2001 though. Jeez but that was a lot of books ago.

  5. I loved “Name of the Wind”. I really like his way of describing scenes. I can’t wait to get his next one (out this month).

    I also really enjoyed all of Carey’s Kushiel books (the more recent Naamah books not quite as much) but my boyfriend couldn’t even get through the first one. Said there was too much intrigue (I liked the complexity) and nothing happened for a long time.

    As to GRRM’s series, waiting until it wraps up is not a bad idea, as they are pretty complex and he only publishes one every 5 yrs or so. When the next one comes out I’ll have to re-read the 1st 4 in order to really appreciate it. But they are epic and worth reading.

  6. @Michelle – I’m with you on the Naamah books. I feel that Carey shifted into using more overt magic-magic as opposed to subtle faith-magic. I’m ok with magic-magic but I wish she’d built an entirely new world for it.

  7. I read OMW, AmGods, and Perdido. It could be that this readers poll (with the top vote getters earning less than 300 votes and the bottom of the list at 125) did suffer a bit from sway of the fanbases. Scalzi is quite popular right now (as blogger, syfy tv science consultant, and author whose OMW just got a movie deal) so his fanbase might be a little more active than some others. Old Man’s War was a good and enjoyable read, but i think American Gods was a bit better. Perdido Street Station was a fascinating world.

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