We’re Number Three! We’re Number Three!

…”We”, of course, being Jo Walton and myself, who (as you all must know by now even though I’m only getting around to posting it now) tied for third on the Campbells. We came in just behind Morrow’s The Last Witchfinder in second place, while the lot of us lost to Ben Bova’s Titan, the winner.

It would be technically inaccurate to describe these results as “controversial”; reactions seem pretty consistent wherever you go (here, here, and here, for example). Nobody seems to have a problem with the relative rankings of the runners-up (although I’ve seen more than one regret that Karl’s Sun of Suns didn’t make the cut), but Bova’s win appears to be a source of widespread disgruntlement, and — so far, at least — none of the jurors have gone public with the rationale for their decision. I myself have not read Titan (although I read a lot of Bova’s novels back in high school), so I’m in no position to pass judgment. I am, however, following the discussion with considerable interest.

Anyway, third is a nice Canadian kind of ranking (Jo Walton’s Canadian too, I note); politely accomplished and not the bottom of the heap, but not quite world class. In fact, I’ve been told that Blindsight also came in third for the Locus Award a few weeks back, although I haven’t been able to track that down. Can anyone out there confirm or deny?

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Friday July 13 2007at 10:07 am , filed under fellow liars, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

7 Responses to “We’re Number Three! We’re Number Three!”

  1. The results of the Locus Poll are in the July issue, and for best novel the top five are:

    1. Rainbows End (1746, 267, 86)
    2. Glasshouse (1330, 204, 57)
    3. Blindsight (1121, 169, 67)
    4. Carnival (1054, 158, 59)
    5. Farthing (916, 138, 55)

    The numbers in brackets are, in order, the total score, the number of votes, and the number of first-place votes. The scoring method counts a first-place vote as 8 points, a second-place vote as 7, etc; the idea being that a first-place vote is therefore worth twice as much as a fifth-place vote, not five times as much.

    An interesting wrinkle is that if only the votes from non-Locus subscribers were counted, Blindsight came second rather than third.

  2. Bova, huh? A good writer — I enjoy him — but not in the way I enjoy you and Stross and other relatively new writers. Sounds like the award for “Titan” might be a stand-in for a lifetime achievement award. Too bad.

  3. Niall said…

    The results of the Locus Poll are in the July issue, and for best novel the top five are < snippage >

    Thanks for that, Niall. I’ve evidently grown so used to looking things up online that the idea of actually picking up a real copy of Locus never occurred to me.

    An interesting wrinkle is that if only the votes from non-Locus subscribers were counted, Blindsight came second rather than third.

    Hmmm. Was this a calculation Locus presented, or did you crunch that yourself? And in either case, what would be the rationale for that kind of subcalculation? Are Locus subscribers known for different or more extreme viewpoints than members of the sf-fandom at large?

  4. Mac said…

    Sounds like the award for “Titan” might be a stand-in for a lifetime achievement award. Too bad.

    I heard one person wonder if there might be some kind of health issue leading to the decision, but this was entirely absent any actual data.

  5. First, let me say that SF movies and television are IMO, almost universally inferior to books, whether based on them or not. Having got that out of the way, Blindsight actually seemed to me like it would make a great movie. Seriously, I never say this about most books I like, but I think the characters, the visual concepts/conceits, the plot, all that would port to the big screen in a way that the Solaris remake wished it could have, and in the way I hope Sunshine does.
    Sarasti would be freaking ILL in the hands of a skilled actor, and I’d love to see someone throw millions of dollars and processing cycles at trying to make a convincing scrambler.
    If someone had the dough to do it right and not gut the story, would you be amenable to it?

    Finally, I’d like to thank you for Cunningham’s speech about scrambler ATP use, I used a bunch of it to explain to my improv rock band why we couldn’t go on, to wit: we used up ideas/ATP at too fast of a rate to live forever.

    I eagerly await the coming of your zimboes novel.
    -p (who heard about Blindsight via Sr.Razorsmile)

  6. Hmmm. Was this a calculation Locus presented, or did you crunch that yourself? And in either case, what would be the rationale for that kind of subcalculation?

    Locus did it, and they did it because they got twice as many votes from non-subscribers as subscribers and were interested to see if there were any differences.

    The most dramatic difference was in novellette. Subscribers voted “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman > “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald > “El Regalo” by Peter Beagle and “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” by Cory Doctorow tied; non-subscribers voted “Sysadmins” > “I, Row-Boat” (also Doctorow) > “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter”. And the overall winner was “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth”.

  7. I haven’t read Rainbows End, but I have read Glasshouse and greatly enjoyed it. However, I think Blindsight was a more original and ambitious novel.

    Congrats nevertheless, third place with such a radical novel is a real achievement.