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I'm Number Two...

... for the whole twentieth century!

LOCUS says so, so it must be true. They did their once-every-decade-or-so megapoll for the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of All Time, and A GAME OF THRONES finished in the second place for the Best Fantasy Novel of the twentieth century, behind this guy named Tolkien. Tolkien was third as well, followed by Le Guin and Zelazny. You don't get into more rarified company than that.

(A STORM OF SWORDS and A CLASH OF KINGS showed up on the 20th century poll as well, further down).

I even made the Best Fantasy Novel of the Twenty-FIRST century top five, with A FEAST FOR CROWS in fifth.

((Actually, I tend to think that at least some of the people who voted for A GAME OF THRONES were voting for the entire series. Makes more sense that way. You will note that Tolkien's first place winner was LORD OF THE RINGS... they did not divide his novel into its three component volumes, but mine did get sliced into five separate entries, maybe because its unfinished as of yet.

Anyway... you have to take these kind of polls with a whole shaker of salt, but still, it's cool. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

You can peruse the full results here:


(FWIW, Frank Herbert's DUNE finished first in SF and ENDER'S GAME was second, but my own top three would have been LORD OF LIGHT (Zelazny), THE STARS MY DESTINATION (Bester), and THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (Le Guin).


Joseph Maher
Dec. 24th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
my humble opinion
For what it's worth(little), I'd put you at #1. When I tell my friends as much, they look at me like I'm sacrilegious... until they read your books. It's kind of like saying Led Zeppelin is better than the Beatles(also true)... one followed the other, and obviously you have the benefit of Tolkien as an inspiration just like I have the benefit of your work.

Tolkien was the original encyclopedic type fantasy, which often reads like a history text. Taking nothing away from LOTR, I think it is still a dry read for the average reader. While I've enjoyed the same detailed historical presentation in Ice & Fire, I think there is another element that sets your work apart. The light fantasy & correlation to real historical periods, like the war of the roses, brings the reader into a more familiar and comfortable setting... giving the extraordinary events all the more impact. Furthermore, the point of view chapters are very realistic and relatable. You even understand and empathizes with characters you don't like (I try so hard not to feel for Theon).

Thanks for that inspiration, and for all the entertainment, discussion, and daydreams your work has given us. Thanks also for the Gift chapter last year; it was a very unexpected and gratifying bit of holiday cheer. Congrats on a well deserved honor, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

P.S. Sorry about the Giants, but I did warn you. The flames don't lie.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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