Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dimitra's List

 So, here's the list compiled from the poll run by Dimitra Fimi, listing folk's favorite fantasy author. On the entirely reasonable grounds that including Tolkien wd dramatically skew the results (as it has in so many past polls of this sort, such as the 1987 LOCUS poll and its later follow-up) he was omitted from the poll. Nevertheless it's striking how this 2020 poll reproduced the basic pattern of Tolkien in a league of his own, Le Guin clearly the most popular non-Tolkien choice, followed by a definite gap before the number three position (in this case Pratchett, the first person knighted for writing fantasy.

My thanks to Dimitra for letting me re-post her findings:

Dimitra's List


171      Le Guin

111      Pratchett


53        CSL

50        Gaiman

45        Hobb

45        Wynne Jones


31        Pullman

28        R. R. Martin

26        Rowling

23        Sanderson


20        Cooper

18        Garner

17        Kay

17        Peake

16        Dunsany

15        Jemisin

15        Jordan

15        McKillip

14        S. Clarke

14        Moorcock


remainder of the top thirty-three: Feist (12), L'Engle (11), Wolfe (10), Eddings (8), Ende (8), Howard (8), Leiber (8), McCaffrey (8), Novik (8), Rothfuss (8), White (8), Gemmell (8), Pierce (8). 


 As for me, I've read all but five of the authors listed, but only four of those named were among the eighteen writers I devoted chapters to in my 'Classics of Fantasy' column --though I wd have included more had the series run longer.

--John R.

--current reading: Woodward's RAGE, Lindsay's DEVIL'S TOR


Paul W said...

I'm struck by the paucity of "sword & sorcery" authors on the list, it certainly would have had far more of those 20 years ago!

John D. Rateliff said...

Yes, sword and sorcery seems to be fading, though the best of it (e.g.Leiber) will stick around, I think.

The TIME list seems to mark a shift towards young adult fiction. Or at least that's my impression; I need to look up the individual titles in the second half of that list to see how they sort out. I also wd like to know more about the date of publication of the books on their list.

By comparison, looking back now at the LOCUS 1987 poll it's remarkable how heavily it's dominated by Tolk-clones.

--John R.