Time for my shocked face.
I really need to work on my Ben Stein impression to be able to pull this off. "I am utterly shocked that Hitchhiker's Series won our poll."
Yep, it is with absolute no surprise whatsoever that I let you know about the crushing victory The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series had over the other offering's of 70's/80's/90's science fiction poll. It took the lead in the first five seconds of the poll and never let go. HGttG almost got more votes than the next two titles combined. Absolute devastation.
I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've probably read the series through four or five times and the first book about ten. It deserved to win this poll for being a cultural icon of Science Fiction humor and an absolute triumph of multi-layered irony.
However, the interesting shit in this poll happened from 2nd place down.
One of the things I really like about running these Writing About Writing polls as completely open from nomination through winners is that they steer away from the usual titles you see in "Best Science Fiction" lists. There are a some familiar names, but then you also get writers like Butler, Tepper, and McCaffery who are generally dismissed on such lists. I love that our polls generate voices that aren't completely dominated white males--and moreover they often do quite well. You would never see Octavia Butler beat out Frank Herbert in a typical "Best Sci-Fi" list. Having 100% audience participation results feels more genuine--like this is what science fiction would be if we listened to actual readers instead of a thin group of people (usually themselves white males) who tell us what science fiction ought to be. Even the victory of Hitchhickers's isn't normally a title you see high on a list of Best Science Fiction because it is a comedy and taken less seriously.
I wish more people had voted, but I'm taking it as a sign that breaking up science fiction series into years dampened some of the enthusiasm. We're committed to a modern science fiction series poll (get your brains fired up for the write in portion of that this weekend, by the way) but when I do fantasy series in May, I'll probably just throw them all together, even if it means we end up doing rounds.
Thank you so much to everyone who voted!!!