All-Time Short Fiction Results, 2012

There’s a lot more explanation and details here, but probably the most amazing thing about these results is that Ted Chiang takes the #1 spot in 3 out of the 6 categories.

20th Century Novella:

Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Chiang, Ted : Story of Your Life (1998) 978 63
2 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Word for World Is Forest (1972) 666 45
3 Tiptree, James, Jr. : Houston, Houston, Do You Read? (1976) 592 39
4 Campbell, John W. : Who Goes There? (1938) 568 39
5 Varley, John : The Persistence of Vision (1978) 561 39
6 Wolfe, Gene : The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972) 510 34
7 Leiber, Fritz : Ill Met in Lankhmar (1970) 509 36
8 Heinlein, Robert A. : The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950) 508 34
9 Kress, Nancy : Beggars in Spain (1991) 456 33
10 Moore, C. L. (& Henry Kuttner) : Vintage Season (1946) 424 29
11 Bujold, Lois McMaster : The Mountains of Mourning (1989) 416 29
12 Martin, George R. R. : A Song for Lya (1974) 401 27
13 Lovecraft, H. P. : The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1942) 372 25
14 Heinlein, Robert A. : By His Bootstraps 325 22
15 Simak, Clifford D. : The Big Front Yard (1958) 323 23
16 Sturgeon, Theodore : Baby Is Three (1952) 322 22
17* Moorcock, Michael : Behold the Man (1966) 321 23
17* Varley, John : PRESS ENTER[] (1984) 321 23
19 Willis, Connie : The Last of the Winnebagos (1988) 309 22
20 Vinge, Vernor : True Names (1981) 307 22
21 Vance, Jack : The Last Castle (1966) 287 21
22* Crowley, John : Great Work of Time (1989) 283 19
22* Zelazny, Roger : 24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai (1985) 283 18
24* Vance, Jack : The Dragon Masters (1962) 282 21
24* Vance, Jack : The Moon Moth (1961) 282 19
26 Heinlein, Robert A. : The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag (1942) 281 18
27 Longyear, Barry B. : Enemy Mine (1979) 256 20
28 Asimov, Isaac : The Martian Way (1952) 253 18
29 Farmer, Philip Jose : Riders of the Purple Wage (1967) 248 19
30 Zelazny, Roger : He Who Shapes (1965) 231 17
31 Chiang, Ted : Seventy-two Letters (2000) 225 16
32 Shepard, Lucius : R&R (1986) 224 16
33 Wolfe, Gene : The Death of Doctor Island (1973) 222 17
34 Delany, Samuel R. : The Star Pit (1967) 201 14
35 McCaffrey, Anne : Dragonrider (1967) 200 14
36 Resnick, Mike : Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge (1994) 195 15
37 Heinlein, Robert A. : Universe (1941) 188 13
38 McCaffrey, Anne : Weyr Search (1967) 186 13
39 Silverberg, Robert : Nightwings (1968) 177 13
40 Anderson, Poul : The Queen of Air and Darkness (1971) 176 13
41 Lovecraft, H. P. : The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward 170 12
42* Howard, Robert E. : Red Nails (1936) 165 12
42* Silverberg, Robert : Sailing to Byzantium (1985) 165 12
44 Brin, David : The Postman (1982) 162 12
45 Bear, Greg : Hardfought (1983) 160 11
46 Russell, Eric Frank : …And Then There Were None 157 11
47 Zelazny, Roger : Home Is the Hangman (1975) 155 10
48* Haldeman, Joe : The Hemingway Hoax (1990) 152 12
48* Wolfe, Gene : Seven American Nights (1978) 152 10
50 Lovecraft, H. P. : The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (1943) 146 10
20th Century Novelette:
Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Keyes, Daniel : Flowers for Algernon (1959) 1646 108
2 Asimov, Isaac : Nightfall (1941) 1012 64
3 Zelazny, Roger : A Rose for Ecclesiastes (1963) 754 49
4 Asimov, Isaac : The Bicentennial Man (1976) 660 44
5 Martin, George R. R. : Sandkings (1979) 601 42
6 Bester, Alfred : Fondly Fahrenheit (1954) 554 37
7 Ellison, Harlan : A Boy and His Dog (1969) 516 36
8 Bear, Greg : Blood Music (1983) 480 34
9 Butler, Octavia E. : Bloodchild (1984) 458 30
10 Godwin, Tom : The Cold Equations (1954) 450 31
11 Tiptree, James, Jr. : The Women Men Don’t See (1973) 426 29
12 Tiptree, James, Jr. : The Girl Who Was Plugged In 416 29
13 Card, Orson Scott : Ender’s Game (1977) 400 28
14 Chiang, Ted : Tower of Babylon (1990) 378 26
15 Weinbaum, Stanley G. : A Martian Odyssey (1934) 357 25
16 Delany, Samuel R. : Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (1968) 355 23
17 Dick, Philip K. : We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1966) 352 24
18 Gibson, William : Burning Chrome (1982) 347 24
19 Lovecraft, H. P. : The Call of Cthulhu (1928) 319 23
20 Brown, Fredric : Arena (1944) 302 23
21 Blish, James : Surface Tension (1952) 298 22
22 Willis, Connie : Fire Watch (1982) 297 21
23 Ellison, Harlan : The Deathbird 290 19
24 Miller, Walter M., Jr. : A Canticle for Leibowitz (1955) 272 18
25 Zelazny, Roger : The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth (1965) 271 19
26* Smith, Cordwainer : The Ballad of Lost C’Mell (1962) 270 20
26* Niven, Larry : Inconstant Moon (1971) 270 19
28 Kuttner, Henry [Lewis Padgett] : Mimsy Were the Borogoves (1943) 246 19
29 Niven, Larry : Neutron Star (1966) 237 18
30 Kelly, James Patrick : Think Like a Dinosaur (1995) 227 17
31 Zelazny, Roger : For a Breath I Tarry (1966) 226 15
32 Sturgeon, Theodore : Microcosmic God 223 17
33 McCaffrey, Anne : The Ship Who Sang (1961) 220 17
34 Asimov, Isaac : Foundation (1942) 217 15
35* Dick, Philip K. : Second Variety (1953) 214 16
35* Smith, Cordwainer : Scanners Live in Vain (1950) 214 15
37 Shepard, Lucius : The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule (1984) 210 16
38 Heinlein, Robert A. : –And He Built a Crooked House (1941) 195 14
39 Leinster, Murray : First Contact (1945) 191 14
40 Kornbluth, C. M. : The Little Black Bag 189 14
41* Aldiss, Brian W. : Hothouse (1961) 186 14
41* Heinlein, Robert A. : The Roads Must Roll (1940) 186 13
43 Kornbluth, C. M. : The Marching Morons 178 12
44 Sterling, Bruce : Swarm (1982) 175 13
45 Lovecraft, H. P. : The Dunwich Horror (1929) 171 12
46 Asimov, Isaac : The Ugly Little Boy (1958) 170 12
47 Zelazny, Roger : The Keys to December (1966) 156 11
48 Leiber, Fritz : Gonna Roll the Bones (1967) 155 11
49 Chiang, Ted : Understand (1991) 150 10
50* Waldrop, Howard : The Ugly Chickens 147 11
50* Le Guin, Ursula K. : Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come out Tonight 147 10
20th Century Short Story:
Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Clarke, Arthur C. : The Nine Billion Names of God (1953) 932 62
2 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (1973) 797 52
3 Ellison, Harlan : ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ said the Ticktockman (1965) 767 52
4 Ellison, Harlan : I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (1967) 717 49
5 Clarke, Arthur C. : The Star (1955) 607 40
6 Bradbury, Ray : A Sound of Thunder (1952) 504 34
7 Heinlein, Robert A. : All You Zombies– (1959) 442 32
8 Gibson, William : Johnny Mnemonic (1981) 428 30
9 Tiptree, James, Jr. : The Screwfly Solution (1977) 425 30
10 Jackson, Shirley : The Lottery (1948) 421 28
11 Bradbury, Ray : There Will Come Soft Rains (1950) 407 29
12 Asimov, Isaac : The Last Question (1956) 381 25
13 Shaw, Bob : Light of Other Days (1966) 371 26
14 Vonnegut, Kurt : Harrison Bergeron (1961) 364 27
15 Heinlein, Robert A. : The Green Hills of Earth (1947) 362 26
16 Smith, Cordwainer : The Game of Rat and Dragon (1955) 290 22
17 Pohl, Frederik : Day Million (1966) 289 21
18 Ellison, Harlan : Jeffty Is Five (1977) 275 19
19 Clarke, Arthur C. : The Sentinel (1951) 273 19
20 Russ, Joanna : When It Changed 259 18
21 Tiptree, James, Jr. : Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death (1973) 248 17
22 Delany, Samuel R. : Aye, and Gomorrah 243 19
23 Bixby, Jerome : It’s a Good Life (1953) 232 16
24 Bradbury, Ray : The Veldt (1950) 230 17
25 Varley, John : Air Raid (1977) 206 16
26 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Day Before the Revolution (1974) 200 14
27 Bisson, Terry : Bears Discover Fire (1990) 196 14
28 Butler, Octavia E. : Speech Sounds 181 13
29 Asimov, Isaac : Robbie (1940) 177 12
30* Bradbury, Ray : The Million Year Picnic (1946) 167 13
30* Willis, Connie : Even the Queen (1992) 167 13
30* Sturgeon, Theodore : The Man Who Lost the Sea (1959) 167 10
33 Leiber, Fritz : A Pail of Air (1951) 153 11
34 Sturgeon, Theodore : Saucer of Loneliness (1953) 151 10
35* Davidson, Avram : Or All the Seas with Oysters (1958) 144 10
35* Russell, Eric Frank : Allamagoosa (1955) 144 10
37 Card, Orson Scott : Unaccompanied Sonata (1979) 143 10
38 Martin, George R. R. : With Morning Comes Mistfall (1973) 140 10
39 Gaiman, Neil : A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1990) 132 10
40 Bester, Alfred : The Men Who Murdered Mohammed (1958) 131 10
41 Asimov, Isaac : Liar! (1941) 130 8
42 Egan, Greg : Learning to Be Me (1990) 125 9
43 Gaiman, Neil : Troll Bridge (1993) 123 8
44 Wolfe, Gene : The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories 121 8
45* Leiber, Fritz : Coming Attraction 120 9
45* Silverberg, Robert : Passengers 120 9
47 Ballard, J. G. : The Terminal Beach 115 8
48 Bradbury, Ray : All Summer in a Day (1954) 114 8
49 Knight, Damon : The Country of the Kind (1956) 112 9
50 Sturgeon, Theodore : Thunder and Roses (1947) 109 8
21st Century Novella:
Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Link, Kelly : Magic for Beginners (2005) 205 31
2 Stross, Charles : Palimpsest (2009) 108 18
3 MacLeod, Ian R. : New Light on the Drake Equation (2001) 106 15
4 Chiang, Ted : Liking What You See: A Documentary (2002) 105 17
5 Vinge, Vernor : Fast Times at Fairmont High 95 14
6 Reynolds, Alastair : Diamond Dogs (2001) 87 15
7 Willis, Connie : Inside Job 77 13
8 Stross, Charles : The Concrete Jungle (2004) 74 12
9 Baker, Kage : The Empress of Mars (2003) 72 11
10 Scalzi, John : The God Engines (2009) 71 9
11* Gaiman, Neil : Coraline 69 10
11* Vinge, Vernor : The Cookie Monster (2003) 69 9
13 Swirsky, Rachel : The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window 65 11
14 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Finder (2001) 61 9
15 McDonald, Ian : The Little Goddess (2005) 60 9
16 Stross, Charles : Missile Gap (2006) 58 10
17 Chiang, Ted : The Lifecycle of Software Objects 56 8
18 Kelly, James Patrick : Burn (2005) 55 8
19* Kress, Nancy : The Erdmann Nexus (2008) 53 10
19* Chwedyk, Richard : Bronte’s Egg (2002) 53 8
21st Century Novelette:
Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Chiang, Ted : Hell Is the Absence of God (2001) 293 43
2 Chiang, Ted : The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate (2007) 232 35
3 Gaiman, Neil : A Study in Emerald (2003) 224 32
4 Bacigalupi, Paolo : The Calorie Man (2005) 124 20
5* Link, Kelly : The Faery Handbag (2004) 110 18
5* Bacigalupi, Paolo : The People of Sand and Slag (2004) 110 16
7 Ford, Jeffrey : The Empire of Ice Cream (2003) 104 17
8 Stross, Charles : Lobsters (2001) 102 16
9* Mieville, China : Reports of Certain Events in London (2004) 87 15
9* Watts, Peter : The Island 87 13
11 Reynolds, Alastair : Beyond the Aquila Rift (2005) 78 13
12 Doctorow, Cory : When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth (2006) 72 13
13* Bacigalupi, Paolo : Yellow Card Man (2006) 67 11
13* Bacigalupi, Paolo : The Fluted Girl (2003) 67 10
15 Gregory, Daryl : Second Person, Present Tense (2005) 66 11
16* Bacigalupi, Paolo : Pump Six (2008) 65 10
16* Egan, Greg : Dark Integers 65 10
18 Beagle, Peter S. : Two Hearts (2005) 61 9
19 Gardner, James Alan : The Ray-Gun: A Love Story 55 9
20 Swirsky, Rachel : Eros, Philia, Agape 49 8
21st Century Short Story:
Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes
1 Chiang, Ted : Exhalation (2008) 306 47
2 Lanagan, Margo : Singing My Sister Down (2004) 147 22
3 Gaiman, Neil : How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2006) 121 18
4 Watts, Peter : The Things (2010) 93 14
5* Swanwick, Michael : The Dog Said Bow-Wow (2001) 89 14
5* Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Bones of the Earth (2001) 89 13
7 Johnson, Kij : 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss 78 11
8 Abraham, Daniel : The Cambist and Lord Iron (2007) 77 12
9* Johnson, Kij : Spar (2009) 69 12
9* Reynolds, Alastair : Zima Blue (2005) 69 11
11 Liu, Ken : The Paper Menagerie (2011) 64 9
12 Gaiman, Neil : October in the Chair (2002) 59 9
13 Resnick, Mike : Travels with My Cats (2004) 54 6
14 Ford, Jeffrey : Creation (2002) 53 8
15 Bear, Elizabeth : Tideline (2007) 52 9
16 Stross, Charles : Rogue Farm (2003) 45 7
17 McIntosh, Will : Bridesicle 41 6
18 Ellison, Harlan : How Interesting: A Tiny Man (2010) 40 6
19 Johnson, Kij : Ponies (2010) 39 6
20* Fowler, Karen Joy : The Pelican Bar 38 6
20* Fowler, Karen Joy : What I Didn’t See (2002) 38 5

42 thoughts on “All-Time Short Fiction Results, 2012

  • December 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for doing this. Poring over this will provide me with much pleasure for a long time to come.

  • December 31, 2012 at 1:27 am

    It’s only amazing to those who haven’t read Ted’s stories. For the rest of us, it’s an acknowledgement of the craft that Ted puts into each and every story. There are relatively few of them, and each one shines like a polished gem.

  • December 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

    It’s a lot to digest…and a quick run up and down and up again through the list—both novels and short stuff—is just enough to make me say, “Ooh! Maybe I should’ve voted for that one…that one…that one…that one…” But I tried to stick with the ones that had the most impact on me.

    One more comment [for now]…your original list was useful, but it also reminded me of works not mentioned. Seeing Frederic Brown’s “What Mad Universe” and “Martians Go Home!” reminded me how much I loved his “The Lights in the Sky are Stars”—which didn’t make my final cut—and if I could dig it out of my disorganized collection I’d give it another read-through.

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  • December 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Very useful for you to do this. Doing it regularly, but not too often, seems to provide some nice balance. I was very interested to see that some Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke hold up 70 years after they were written, and some doesn’t. I didn’t vote, but I find it a very credible list for both centuries.

  • December 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I did some summing to find the most mentioned authors. Bradbury leads, with 3 novels and 10 ‘shorts’ (non-novels). Heinlein has 3 and 8, Asimov 2 and 8 (although Foundation counted twice). Chiang is behind Bradbury with 9 shorts (he doesn’t write novels). Gaiman is well balanced with 5 and 6. Le Guin is right behind him with 4 and 6. Zelazny is up there with 2 and 7. Ellison and Tiptree appeared in the ‘shorts’ only, with 6 and 5 respectively. Sturgeon and Lovecraft both had 1 and 5. Wolfe was balanced with 3 and 4, although ‘New Sun’ counted twice as SF and F. Clarke’s numbers were lower than the other ‘bigs’ but balanced at 3 and 3. Dick was the only one to have more novels than shorts, 3 and 2. Gibson was the most cited ‘cyberpunk’ with 2 and 2. A bit disappointing: Vance, Silverberg and Delany all had 1 and 3.

  • December 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    A postscript: I wasn’t sure how to count The Juggernaut That is GRRM. George had 4 novels and 3 shorts listed, but all 4 books were in the Song of Ice and Fire series. So should that really count as 4, when LOTR and Foundation Trilogy count as 1? (Not to mention Blackout/All Clear). Either way, Mr. Martin has respectable numbers and a rich bibliography.

  • December 31, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    James Davis Nicoll [personal insult deleted–KKB], If there was more women and minorities that cared enough to vote in this poll, then there would have been more females and minorities on the list. you cannot blame others for it.(Stats are about numbers, bottom line)

    I know he’s not ranting about locus readers as much on this shorter work list as he see’s that most voted the Great Chiang and the Lovable Kelly Link as the Top Dogs of them all.

    But he needs to get with Reality and not the one in which he condescendingly pats who he considers less fortunate people on the head while brandishing his Savior Crown of Thorns.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Great stuff. Lots I realised I missed out when voting and lots I’d like to read and re-read. One point that may not have been picked up in the compilation – Arthur C Clarke’s ‘Sunjammer’ and ‘The Wind from the Sun’ are the same story.

  • January 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Hardly the only mistake—likely by the voter, not the compilers who did a great job putting these lists together. Two votes (one each for Best 20th Century SF Novel and Best 20th Century Fantasy Novel) go to Lord Dunsany’s “A Voyage to Arcturus”—which received many more votes as by its rightfully-credited writer, David Lindsay.

    I hope I didn’t make a mistake like that on my submission, though for the ones not on the Big List, I relied on memory for title and writer. I didn’t consult my files. I’m failry confident, but I could’ve been wrong.

  • January 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Wait, I didn’t comment here AFAICR so why am I being chastised for egregious acknowledging women exist here? Also, I question the apparent assumption behind “If there was more women and minorities that cared enough to vote in this poll, then there would have been more females and minorities on the list,” that one has to be female and/or a member of a minority to vote for works by such persons.

    Still, never let it be said I cannot rise to the occasion:

    20th Century Novella 12 %
    20th Century Novelette 11%
    20th Century Short Story 15%
    21st Century Novella 24%
    21st Century Novelette: 8%
    21st Century Short Story 36%

    The oddly low % of stories by women in the 21st Century Novelette category is in part because the voters in a helpful display of the sort of problem this sort of poll can have gave five slots to Bacigalupi.

  • January 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    You complained about locus fans on the net, That made your statement fair game, as you yourself found the list and the voters Fair Game for your Nose Thumbing.(That should be simple enough to understand)

    Ok some basic facts of life that you yourself agree with but seemingly only when it fits into the box you want to present.

    First off we are not retarded children who should shrug off simple truths, We know that people can vote for someone that doesn’t physically represent themselves.(Hello Mr. President) And Life itself has inherently taught us this as the main relationship between humans has been Woman to Man. I’m sure you would agree that it’s good now that men can be biased against wanting the female sex and choose to be with his own kind despite what others think(yeah there’s some irony here and you should really read between the lines)

    Another Truth is your the one who jumped to conclusions about the list.
    Basically the Evil White Man story again(we all heard this one) two things you should serious think about here. First you try and state that if more women and minorities had voted that it would be foolish to assume that it would coincide with a bias(that to think so was a bias in itself) Ummm I don’t remember in all the percentages that you went thru the trouble to shove down our throats, the one where it shows the sex/race of the voter.(So maybe what you agree with there did in fact happen or does common sense tell you something else)

    Hmmm so you jumped to conclusions about who was voting but when called out on it you pretend that it would be bias to jump to conclusions(Look up Hypocrite)

    2ndly/Again your post/s assumed that it was a certain kind of sex/race that is the evil doer(of which you are one/just one of the good uns)

    If what your trying to say is something we all should know by now, that we are all basically the same.
    Then how do you get off by saying that one group is inherently worse then another and you need to come riding in on your white horse to protect the weak and poor off(Again look up Hypocrite)

    Life is Diverse, not simple and it’s complications can lead to some who feel out of place and not fitting in. Some choose to try and stand out from a crowd that looks just like them. Some do so in Brave productive ways and some do so by pointing the finger at all those around him/her in order to make themselves seem more important.

    It’s kinda a PsychoBugFuk Identity Crises.

    I’m not saying there is no validity to your point. everyone with half a brain has at their base a half truth to debate. And I agree with half of your truth. It’s incorporated into what I believe. But people being hypocritical can only drive the eternal stake further into the Heart of Darkness.

    And Yes there are Millions of more words that can be said but if your open minded then you will look at the other half of the truth that I presented.

    I understand David, Truly I do.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Maddog–I think the oddness James references comes from the fact that his comment appeared on the blog, not here. Usually you would respond to it in the same thread in which it appeared. Appearing here, it lacks context and confused many readers (some of whom contacted me about it, worried that we had deleted a comment by James that you must have been responding to).

    That said, this is another iteration of a debate that has played out many times over the past few years. I very much doubt that either of you will change the others mind. Can we just take it as read that you have each made your point, read what the other person has to say, and can now walk away to take up other issues?

    i.e., If you feel the need to have this flamewar on my blog, that’s fine, but I’d really prefer that you didn’t.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Your right, But I am censored off the Tor sight for sprouting the same “IF we are all the same then quite pointing out the differences” Rhetoric that I mouthed here.

    Because I think it’s our only hope at real freedom that we do stop pointing fingers when the finger could just as easily be pointed back at ourselves,(or at least do it in that context) that I respond so passionately.

    In this case I could not put it in the response context it deserved as some anti-censorship people actually believe in it. (and I actually agree with deleting hate speeches) but Open Honest Debate is the issue here.

    But I will respect your wishes and leave it alone.

    P.S. Of course I don’t agree with the list a 100% nor even 50%
    But I do think its Fantastic.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:12 am

    I must make a confession here. I did not bother with any of the 21st Century categories. I voted only for the 20th Century novels and stories, after I spent almost the whole month checking all my items with ISFDB, Wikipedia and other places.

    Also I admit that, except for one item each by Ursula LeGuin and Shirley Jackson, I voted exclusively for male Caucasian writers. I am a middle-aged white man and I chose and voted for the works that seem the most important to me in retrospect rather than the ones I enjoyed the most at the times I had read them. I now wish I had voted for more works by female writers and those of other colors, ethnicities and nationalities. I am not bigoted or chauvanistic, I have not been since I first learned what those words meant. I have lived in environments that must have been bigoted and chauvanistic, where diversity was not encouraged.

    I am willing to criticize myself for presently being a little less well-read and a little more ignorant than I know. I had hoped the other voters would take care of the diversity, but I now see that I have voids to fill and areas to explore.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Spc, think y mssd th hypcrticl prt f ths dscssn.
    Y cnnt sy y’r nt bgtd bt y lft t fr thrs wh pprntly r th bgt y’r nt, t d wht yr prtndng nw tht y shld hv dn s n th frst plc.

    Crs t snds lke yr jst mking ths p fr sm srt of g trp tht nly cd hd cld rlly xpln.

    Th sm bgts vted Td Chng s th vrll Nmbr 1 n th lst, S myb thy r jst bgts whn thy wnt t b bt nt lwys. Gd nd Bd Bgt Syndrm. Yh snds lke t mch thnkng bt wht ls s th brn t d.

    ll y cn d s spk fr yrslf, f y wnt t spk fr thrs nd vt fr fvrts y wsh wr yr fvrt thn ths r sss y mst dl wth n yr wn.

    Bst f Lsts lwys brng t th bst n Ppl. Crtnly r ntrstng!

    By th wy thnk Lcs fns re smrtr thn th vrg br! r s tht Br.

    [Message disemvolweled for being disrespectful and unhelpful.–KKB]

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Maddog–I think the oddness James references comes from the fact that his comment appeared on the blog, not here.

    (This is a clarification) While on Tor I said

    I don’t know which impresses me more; the fact that Locus readers seem to have successfully stuck fairly close to the Dean of Yale’s guidelines for incoming undergrads in the 1930s (“Never admit more than five Jews, take only two Italian Catholics, and take no blacks at all.”) or that the gender balance is so one-sided.

    but here on the Locus site I said about the selection of novels:

    [stats trimmed]

    I am in awe, Locus readers.

    I don’t recall providing an explanation for why the poll came out as it did: I can see how to assess results with the resources I have but I have yet to master a method for remotely determining the unspoken internal states of other people’s minds using only the internet and a PC (and/or Playbook*). I also do not remember running numbers on Locus voters so I have no idea where don’t remember in all the percentages that you went thru the trouble to shove down our throats, the one where it shows the sex/race of the voter. is coming from. Is that information on the voters even available? Perhaps the OP has confused me with someone else.

    * Although I have to admit I did not check App World for “telepathy”. Given what Print to Go turns out to do, I’d just be disappointed even if there was e.g. a Telepathy 2.0 app. Yeah, I do see some hits for telepathy on App World but they’re just books, not a proper mind reading function for my Playbook. I’d even settle for a micro-expression analyzer but RIM doesn’t seem to offer that, either.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:18 am

    I’m the one that should be in Awe, You still refuse to grasp what I and You for that matter have been stating.

    Yes I know you do not have a method for reading a persons Mind, My whole rebuke was just That!!!

    And me stating you don’t know who and what Sex/Race voted on the poll was Again, My Point Exactly.(in other words since you may not know. Maybe every single one who voted was on the Dean of Yales short list(as you call it) You don’t know and therefore shouldn’t judge those you don’t know.

    Now I tried common sense but your not going to have a open honest debate about this(this I can tell you I telepathically equated) So when you keep looking up how to read peoples minds and want your Palm or your thoughts read(just look me up) Ill do it on the cheap.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Why do some stories have years after them while others do not?

    I’ve been listening my way through the SF anthology radio shows of yore and I happened to encounter Mindwebs’ production of “When It Changed” and SciFi Radio’s production of “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” in that order. Was the Tiptree intended as a reply to the Russ or can it just be read that way?

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    It would be great if someone could compile a set of links to the short fiction winners that are available online.

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Aaron–you’re right, but I’m afraid that I don’t have time to do all the Googling necessary. If anyone want to post links here or send them to me in an email [karen.burnham (at)], I’ll happily update the list above.

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    James — not sure about the lack of dates on some entries, that’s one for Mark. But according to the SF Encyclopedia, “When it Changed” appeared in 1972’s Again, Dangerous Visions, and “Houston, Houston Do you Read?” appeared in 1976’s Aurora: Beyond Equality anthology. So Tiptree may indeed have read the Russ story before writing. (I can’t swear those are the original publication dates, though…)

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks Karen for calling me a troll while letting the Bigot take the high road and probably the last word for calling Locus Fans Racist/Sexist people without knowing who they are.

    I guess that says something itself


  • January 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    A recent John Varley (one of my all-time faves) email pointed me to this Locus survey. I guess I’ve been out of it for a while- I’ve read almost all of the 20th century list, barely any of the 21st. Amazed at the high regard Ted Chiang is held in…I never heard of him! That is now remedied, and I am waiting for “Stories Of Your Life And Others” to arrive from Amazon to see what I’ve missed.
    Looks like Paolo Bacigalupi will have to be looked into, also. Thanks for getting me off my duff and rekindling my interest!

  • January 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Sean — Thanks and you’re welcome! That sort of comment makes it all worth it.

  • January 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Sean – for Bacigalupi, pick up a copy of his collection, “Pump Six and Other Stories” to get a sample of his award-winning short fiction. If you want to dive into a novel get “The Windup Girl”.

    One of my favorite photos is me with Ted Chiang and Paolo Bacigalupi at the Locus Awards a few years back. They were my two favorite short fiction authors at the time and I was thrilled to meet them and get my photo with them.

  • January 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    the first SF book i read was “the runaway robot ” by lester del was my “gateway drug” to SF and i still reread it from time to’d still make a great movie.

  • January 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    So detached am I from contemporary 21st Century SF and Fantasy that, to my knowledge, I’ve never read anything by Ted Chiang. That’s why I confined my voting to the 20th Century categories. Perhaps Ted Chiang is worth a looksee, but I already have so many unread books lying around demanding that I read them…

  • January 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Intriguing, imaginative, well worth a looksee, and I wish I could come up with dazzling concepts like that…but, alas, reminded me overmuch of the things I didn’t like in some SF, say, several much-praised and award-winning works by John Varley. I will check out more by Chiang, though, perrhaps see if I can dig up a copy of “Story of Your Life.”

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  • January 7, 2013 at 5:25 am

    It’s interesting that some works which did very well upon release did not do very well in the all-time polls. I’ll just mention the four most highly awarded (at the time).

    Schrödinger’s Kitten by George Alec Effinger (1988) won the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon and Science Fiction Chronicle Readers and was short-listed for the Locus. Yet it only managed 87th in the all-time poll.

    The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady (1993) won the Stoker, Nebula and Science Fiction Chronicle Readers and was short-listed for the Hugo, Locus and World Fantasy. It came 147th in the all-time poll. I have never managed to find a copy of this story. Now I’m even more curious to read it to see why it hasn’t aged well.

    Rachel in Love by Pat Murphy (1987) won the Locus, Nebula and Sturgeon and was short-listed for the Hugo and Science Fiction Chronicle Readers. It came 61st in the all-time poll.

    …Where Angels Fear to Tread by Allen Steele (1997) won the Hugo, Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle Readers and was short-listed for the Nebula and Sturgeon. It didn’t get a single vote in the all-time poll. I have never managed to find a copy of this story, so ditto as per my comment about Cady’s story above.

  • January 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Mark Short – Use the Internet Speculative Fiction Database ( to look up the publishing history of any story. For stories that aren’t online, you can find magazines or collections that carried them. For instance, “Road Dog” appeared in the 11th edition of the Dozois “Best SF of the Year” collection (1994), and “Nebula Awards 29” (1995). Your friendly local public library probably carries at least one of these collections. If not, “The Night We Buried Road Dog” was the title of a Cady collection that you can get on Amazon or Abe Books for a few dollars.

  • January 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    They left the ball in the readers’ court with short fiction. There’s a link to the short fiction poll results and comment thread, look at the top of the left sidebar. Anyone recommend another forum to discuss the poll and noteworthy stories of the centuries?

    I’m tempet to ask for a do-over of the poll, with a six-month advance notice for preparation time and a three-month window for voting. I think we had not enough voters or time to give anything more than a constrained retrospect. The poll results may go into textbooks and Wikipedia for posterity, and this is one of the first thoughts that occurred to me while preparing my vote.

  • January 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Um….tempet? I meant tempted.

  • Pingback:20 Best Science Fiction Short Stories of the 20th Century | The NerdClave

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