British SF&F; Magazine SFX have run a poll of their readers of their 100 favourite SF&F; authors. Can’t be bothered to post the whole thing, so I’ll link to a posting and discussion here on Westeros, where I am occasionally to be found shrilly singing my own praises. As such lists go, and barring a few eyebrow-raisers of the type you always get with public votes, it seems a really good one to my eye. It’s certainly tilted towards the commercial end of the spectrum, as you’d expect from a magazine with a broad base of readers, but there are a few more literary/experimental writers in there. There’s a pretty good mix of fantasy and sci-fi (I was expecting fantasy to be much less represented, on the whole). There’s also a surprisingly strong showing for what you might call classic writers as opposed to recent ones.
But the thing I really wanted to discuss is …
LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! I’M AT 81! WOOOOOOOOOOH! etc.
Very pleased to make it on there at all, in fact, as a pretty new author, especially since it’s an honest-to-goodness broad based, relatively commercial sample. Even if that no-talent-hack George Orwell made it on a whole three places higher than me. I mean what the hell’s he contributed to literature? 1984? However you cut it that’s at least 25 years out of date.
It is a very Brit-o-centric list, as is only proper. I doubt some of the much-loved British writers like Pratchett, Gemmel or Rankin would score so high in a US version, and in terms of newer writers I doubt I’d appear, since I’m still pretty new across the pond, whereas someone like Pat Rothfuss I’m sure would do, since his success there with his first book has been most impressive. It’s surprising, in a sense, that there isn’t an equivalent publication in the states. The closest they’ve got, as far as I can tell is … SFX.
Talking of Brit-o-Centric, you don’t get more honest-to-bloody-goodness British than The Bridlington Free Press, news organ of the Yorkshire sea-side since 1859. How it came about, I couldn’t say, but they have reviewed The First Law trilogy:
“TWISTED, gripping, inventive, gritty and utterly compelling – think of a positive adjective and Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law series deserves it.
It is a feast of brilliantly-developed characters who, despite being a bunch of the most unlikeable creations you could (or rather couldn’t) imagine, the reader can almost grow to like as their personas are peeled away through the three books.”
You guys do know I’m from Lancashire, right? The strange thing is that I was in Bridlington last summer for the wedding of one of my wife’s friends. I actually wrote some of Last Argument of Kings in the loo of the hotel there. Strange coincidences…