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Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st century 
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st century
Tor has put out a list, based on an unscientific poll, of the top ten SF & F novels of the oughts.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/03/best-s ... ll-results

I've read the top two, and two others, and own another. But I haven't even heard of four of the other ones.

Thoughts?


Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I'm apparently not very well-read. I love everything that Scalzi has done, and have read American Gods, but the rest of the list draws a blank.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I read #8 awhile back but none of the others.

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Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:42 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I just had to stick my face in to say that the Susanna Clark novel was the biggest waste of paper supposing itself to be a brilliant first novel I've ever read. Like nearly all hyped first novels, it smacks of having been written and written and written in between quick shoves into a desk drawer and timid readings at a writer's group, then having reached an acquisitions editor after her three-martini lunch.

Eight hundred pages of moody maneuvering, free of any comprehensible story or believable characters; plot is a word used on page 625. One online comment I found read, "I read 400 pages waiting for something to happen. I read the remaining 400 sure something would. I was wrong."

*Bleah*

Which is about how I feel about such lists, or much of anything Tor blog-promotes these days. I suspect it polled highly because Tor's audience is largely wannabe authors wishing they could sell the brick in their bottom desk drawer for a millyun bux.

<fx crawls back into his cave, grunting. />

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Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:53 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
At least there isn't any Kevin J. Anderson on the list.

I've read 1,2,5,6,8.

I really enjoyed Anathem. Gaiman can be an entertaining read. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" is an interesting fantasy series, may it one day be finished. I've liked what I have read by Scalzi so far, and the Kushiel's series is big with the kink/bondage/alternative lifestyle crowds. I read the first book and enjoyed some sections and skipped the rest.

Tastes vary, you like what you like.

Rob


Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:32 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
Actually, Jim, I liked her book -- but it could have used some serious pruning.

I'm reading Paradise Lost for the first time in about twenty years, and I am struck by how likely he'd be to writing Tolkien knockoffs today.

I own Kushiel's Dart; haven't brought myself to read it, as fantasy has gotten so repetitive and derivative I get bored too quickly.

As for Anathem, it's on my list to get from the library.

I love Scalzi, but I would be a lot happier if he'd not write another sequel to his brilliant first novel. His stand alones are every bit as good. I think he and Charles Stross are among the handful of people writing really original stuff these days.

Robert


Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I've only read #1. Bad experiences going for what have been voted highly or critically acclaimed. Don't feel any inclination to go for these. Amazing that the appreciation for American Gods doesn't give the reader the slightest idea what it's about. Agree with Robert about Scalzi. Way too much S-F these days is concerned with showing off how obscure/edgy/bizarre/convoluted it can be without, like, telling a decent story with any suspense or likeable characters. I'm getting more mileage out of what I guess would be called thriller-fantasies in the Da Vinci Code mold.


Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:29 am
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I've read several of them. Two would have made my top-10 list -- "American Gods" (Neil Gaiman) and "Perdido Street Station"(China Mieville). IMHO "American Gods" is some of the best fantasy written in the last 100 years, and definitely Gaiman's masterwork so far. It's purely fantasy; don't go in looking for SF elements. It's a retelling of a story involving the old pre-Christian European gods, which were supposedly brought to America by European immigrants who still believed in them, and how they adapted to America and the 20th century. It's so completely unlike anything that Heinlein could possibly have ever written that I'm not too surprised to see a collective shrug here. ;)

"Perdido Street Station" is literary fiction in tone and style; it's SF in subject matter only. I like good literary fiction, and loved it, but it isn't something I'd necessarily expect a Heinlein fan to like or relate to. (Wonder what Audrey thought of it, if she read it.)

Scalzi's was a maybe third from Tor's list that might also have made my list of "Best 10". I enjoyed it, and really enjoyed one of his other books, "Android's Dream". It's a novel about a world where humans have settled planets in other solar systems, and Earth is crowded. So older people are allowed to join the Army, at which time they are given cool new genetically engineered bodies, and sent off to fight a war. If they survive their term of enlistment, they are then given an ordinary human body at the end and allowed to settle on any planet but Earth itself. The story is about a couple of people who do this, and their adventures. It's got some depths, but IMHO is mostly a fun space war story.

However, "Androids Dream" is a *must* read for Philip K. Dick and Douglass Adams fans. IMHO it's the best thing Scalzi has done yet. ;)

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Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
Sounds like you are describing Old Man's War more than Android's Dream to me. Though I even liked Agent to the Stars, and Scalzi is on my "will read anything including grocery lists" list.

Also heard through grapevine that they are making a movie of Old Man's War.


Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Tor's top ten list for the first decade of the 21st cent
I loved "Android's Dream" also. Best. Fart joke. Ever.


Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:07 am
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