Another "Best Of" SFF book list, covering the past decade

tachyon

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Hot off the presses (pixels?) a new list for your perusal: The 50 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the Past Decade, per NPR.

I like the list! I think the selection method is clever, and limiting it to the past 10 years gives a picture of the current state of the genre. Given the source (NPR) and the people on the panel, the titles skew toward more literary and less pulpy, but I read all over the spectrum so don't mind.

They describe their method at the bottom of the post "we take your votes (over 16,000 this year) and pare them down to about 250 semifinalists, and then during a truly epic conference call, our panel of expert judges goes through those titles". You can see who's in the judging panel in this earlier article from around the time they did the voting, it's a good group, all big names in the field.

They list series instead of individual books (so there are actually many more than 50 individual titles represented) and also short story collections as well as full novels.

I like that they present the list in thematic sections rather than a numeric ranking. Just well done all around.

I'm going to do the how-many-have-you-read thing:

Read: 23 (for series I count it if I've read at least one of the books in the series)
DNF: 4 (doesn't count DNF's later in a series, where I've completed a previous book)

I thought to do a count of how many of the list are on my TBR pile, there's a few already, but some of these will be sequels and also some I've not seen before and want to look into and consider adding to the TBR pile, so the numbers would just get muddy.

Hopefully food for thought even if you don't like the choices!
 

Elckerlyc

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I counted only 49 books on the list. Of those 49 I have:
Read 15
TBR 4
Not read (yet) 30

Of the 15 novels on this "Best of" list that I read:
Excellent 9
Medium 3
Poor (will not continue the series) 3
 

Rodders

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Read 1
DNF 1
TBR 2.

Maybe I need to look at some new SF To read in the coming months.
 

williamjm

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I've read 25 of them (although not read all of some of those series). Most of those I've read I think deserve to be on the list although there were a few I was a bit indifferent to (although none I thought were bad).
 

The Big Peat

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Maybe I misread the initial ask, but I feel mildly cheesed that after asking for a vote, they then edited the votes. I didn't think I was voting for a shortlist, I thought I was voting for a list. Oh well.
 

Bick

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It may be a fine list, but I've read so few, I couldn't really comment. Two observations on it though:
(1) So many series! It's a bit depressing.
(2) It seems to include all the top selling books for the past decade in the genre, so an alternative title to the piece could almost be, "A list of the SFF books published in the last decade". Is doesn't seem very discriminatory. If they picked their top 6 from these 50, it would be more interesting.

(It also misses off the list several books I've enjoyed a good deal and rate highly, in favour of some that were DNF for me, not that that matters).
 

tachyon

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Oops, can confirm, I just counted and only found 49 as well. Maybe they'll add #50 in when they notice the omission.
They've noticed the omission and the list is now 50.
The book they added was Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. It's on my TBR so my numbers don't change.
 

Elckerlyc

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Excellent.
Book 1 of that series by Rebecca Roanhorse happens to be on my TBR, which makes 5 in total.
Actually, there are alot more books on my TBR, but apparently they're not all of a Top-50 kind.
 

hitmouse

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It may be a fine list, but I've read so few, I couldn't really comment. Two observations on it though:
(1) So many series! It's a bit depressing.
(2) It seems to include all the top selling books for the past decade in the genre, so an alternative title to the piece could almost be, "A list of the SFF books published in the last decade". Is doesn't seem very discriminatory. If they picked their top 6 from these 50, it would be more interesting.

(It also misses off the list several books I've enjoyed a good deal and rate highly, in favour of some that were DNF for me, not that that matters).
The glaring omission for me is Nick Harkaway. But then this sort of list is always going to miss something, and it is better than most of its type.
 

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