My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Poll Results: Best Stand Alone Fantasy Novel

The results are in!

Congratulations to Octavia Butler for her novel Kindred.  It barely squeaked through the earlier rounds, but then in the final round when everyone only got two votes, it suddenly came into its own, eventually even overtaking even the favored, American Gods.  (Not that Gaiman has anything to sniff at as the only author who had two titles make it to the finals--and do quite well at that.)

Everyone had a solid showing, but I was also happy at the spread between the titles.  Most people took their slots by pretty solid margins.  Even in a poll this small, I hate to see a one vote lead.  The tie for second (or third if the tie for first resolved) was also settled definitively.  Gaiman's Neverwhere lost that one to Bradley's Mists of Avalon, but again, showing second and forth as the only author twice represented in the final round is a feat of its own.

We had a long run through this poll since the nomination process had so many ties, but it was awesome to see so many voters chiming in even through the multiple early rounds where we weeded out the poor performers.  I like doing the polls since I always wind up with one or two book suggestions (that do NOT disappoint) and it's something that really seems to get reader involvement going.  Thank you all so much!

I've had some really great suggestions for future polls come in over the last couple of months.  So awesome have they been, that I'm not sure I want to go forward with my original idea of doing a BEST poll for other sub-genres of speculative fiction (horror, alternative history, superhero, utopia/distopia).  I've had both a "Classic" and "Modern" version of the Science Fiction and Fantasy polls suggested (so that newer books wouldn't be up against canonical works and classics wouldn't be up against something that was just made into a movie two years ago (or whatever).  I also had a good idea for a Best Movie Adaptation poll. If you have an opinion on what Writing About Writing's next poll should be (or just one you'd like to see run eventually) please let me know in comments!

Here is the break down by vote.  Thank you!!


  1. I'm happy to see Butler win. She is way underrated, and Gaiman is completely overrated.

    I'd like a poll of "novels with the best character development" poll. There's plenty of novels that might not be the best "whatever" genre but have really great characters in it.

    Either that, or best comedy. I'd like some more comedy books that just cause you to stop in pause because you're giggling too much. I'd like to nominate "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend".


  2. I would like to hear more about your favorite scifi/fantasy books and why (from a writer's perspective) they are so awesome. Or about books that are fantastic for whatever reason which aren't well known (my current favorite authors: Martha Wells and Brandon Sanderson). How does a writer work toward emulating specific type of awesomeness?