Monday, January 7, 2013

Promoted from the Comments: Zelazny's Ranking in the Locus All-Time Polls

Again, Dr. Kovacs did the heavy lifting on a Zelazny update. With this post, I'm essentially just reposting his comments here as their own entry for people who don't read the comments.


It may be fitting to comment on the "No Award" story with remarks about Zelazny's work ranking highly on the new Locus All-Time Poll for best sf and fantasy novels. This was a web-based survey in which votes were cast for all-time best novels in four categories: 20th century sf, 20th century fantasy, 21st century sf, and 21st century fantasy.

Complete results are here:

Several Zelazny novels placed within the 20th century categories.

LORD OF LIGHT ranked 23rd as SF novel and 66th as fantasy novel. Rather fitting to see it rank highly in both categories since Zelazny intended it to straddle the boundaries of sf and fantasy. If the votes were combined into one category it would have ranked much higher.

NINE PRINCES IN AMBER placed 5th as fantasy novel and 221st as sf novel. It's remarkable to see what it ranked above in the fantasy category.

THIS IMMORTAL ranked 102nd as SF novel.

CHRONICLES OF AMBER placed 89th as fantasy novel, although voters were instructed to vote for individual novels and not series. If these votes were combined with the individual votes for NINE PRINCES IN AMBER, the rank would still be 5th overall for NINE PRINCES.

JACK OF SHADOWS placed 119th as fantasy novel.

A NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER placed 166th as fantasy novel.

ISLE OF THE DEAD placed 338th as sf novel.



The short fiction results have also been released. Zelazny did really well in the 20th century novella and novelette categories:

#24 – 24 Views of Mt. Fuhi, by Hokusai
#30 – He Who Shapes
#47 – Home Is the Hangman

#3 – A Rose for Ecclesiastes
#25 – The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth
#31 – For a Breath I Tarry
#40 – The Keys to December
#55 – Unicorn Variation
#96 – The Last Defender of Camelot
#119 – This Moment of the Storm

Once the ranking gets to around #100, there are only a few voters for each item.

The main results are shown at this link:


Josh again. I'm kind of surprised that Last Defender did so poorly compared to his other works, though I'm pleased to see Rose ranked so highly, even if it's not one of my personal favorites. I'm actually pretty happy with the rankings as a whole, as the format of the poll, limiting it to 20th century works, prevents it from being so heavily weighted towards stories that are currently popular.

I was expecting to see I Have No Mouth and I must scream in the number one slot, but it was only number four in the short story section. Cordwainer Smith made a respectable showing too. I was very surprised to see that Zelazny is not ranked at all in the short story section, though.I suppose the word count of his best known works moved them into other categories.

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