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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Results....FINALLY!)

What is the best fantasy book or series written in the last 25 years?

Sings: Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the end of this fucking poll is so delightful. And we've run early rounds like woah. End this throe. End this throe. End this throe.

Don't get me wrong; I love you all. And passion about books–particularly fantasy books–is awesome and not even slightly misplaced. But man, oh man am I ever ready for this poll to be over. This is the best Christmas present ever.

If you recall, we broke this poll up into TWO polls because Pratchett and Gaiman were all over what was to be the finals and looked like they were going to sweep the top results, and by god after a four month build up, I wanted a little tension. So if you want to think of this as the top poll, here you go.

Text results below.

Night Watch- T. Pratchett 435 32.13%
American Gods- N. Gaiman 384 28.36%
Small Gods- T. Pratchett 243 17.95%
Neverwhere- N. Gaiman 205 15.14%
The Graveyard Book- N. Gaiman 87 6.43%

But perhaps no less interesting was the way the "others" shaped out. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire only got to the finals on a technicality and ended up taking third, and the Inheritance Trilogy which kept just barely making the cut off to get to the next round throughout the multiple rounds of the poll ended up crushing two titles that beat it out in the semifinals. Perhaps oddest of all was that while Harry Potter's showing was perfectly respectable, Malazan took and held the lead even though Potter's fandom is legion.

Text results below

Malazan Book of the Fallen series- S. Eriksen 574 25.44%
Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling 501 22.21%
Song of Ice and Fire- G.R.R. Martin 324 14.36%
The Kingkiller Chronicles- P. Rothfuss 312 13.83%
Stormlight Archives- B. Sanderson 204 9.04%
The Inheritance Trilogy- N.K. Jemisin 120 5.32%
Percy Jackson and the Olympians - R. Riordan 113 5.01%
The Abhorson Trilogy- G. Nix 108 4.79%

P.S.- I celebrate a secular version of Christmas that is mostly about eating way too many cookies and passing the same fruitcakes around year after year, but I do enjoy a day or two off, so I'm going to sign off here and meet up with you on the 27th. At that time we'll be doing a handful of year-end posts (thanking donors, last inside scoop emails, tallying the Hall of Fame posts). You won't REALLY be missing any brave new content until Jan 2 if you want to reconnoiter there.

Enjoy some yule log stew or whatever it is you enjoy.


  1. for Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay to be left off this list is a huge mistake. Compared to many of those listed here it is a masterpiece. Sadly ignored...

    1. The list was compiled by reader nominations and we got to THIS poll through half a dozen elimination rounds. I believe GGK was on earlier polls. So I guess others may have a slightly different opinion.