Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The City and the City tops the SF Site's Readers' Choice poll for 2009

The SF Site has revealed the first of two Best-of-2009 lists, this one having been decided by the website's readers.

China Miéville's The City and the City is - for me at least - a rather surprising choice for first place. I say surprising, because online the novel seemed to receive rather mixed reviews, with many readers clamouring for a swift return to his world of Bas Lag. Then again, The City and the City was pitched towards a more mainsteam audience, so perhaps that's made a difference in how it's fared (or alternatively, perhaps not - I doubt any mainstream converts would have voted in the SF Site poll). Still, it's good to see such a hugely important writer get the attention he deserves.

Other fantasy entries on the list include Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold at number three, a good result given that it also received very mixed reviews, and Brandon Sanderson's (and Robert Jordan's) The Gathering Storm at number eight.

The full list can be found here.


Adam Whitehead said...

I was generally positive but not really blown away by THE CITY AND THE CITY on its initial release. In the months since then I've ended up thinking about the book more and more and come to the conclusion it's a bit of a grower.

On that basis, I have no issue with it being anyone's #1 choice, and am looking forward to the squidtastic KRAKEN.

James said...

While I wasn't particularly taken with the book, I'm glad to see that it's clearly had an effect on plenty of readers - Mieville's such an important writer for the genre (his prose blows most other writers out of the water, for a start) - so it's great to see him get some recognition.

Can't wait for Kraken.

Liviu said...

Mieville has all the recognition you want in the sff field and even outside to some extent, so that is not an issue here; I agree with the mixed opinion about City/City - for me it was like a powerful wizard that can build universes, juggling 100 balls in the air; an impressive trick but a trick and one that wears thin soon

As 2009 goes, I do not think there was one sff novel to tower over the field the way Anathem did in 2008 so I have no qualms with City/City making all the best of lists...

Personally I thought that the one sff novel that stood above the rest despite quite a few flaws and a horrible blurb/presentation was Transition by IMB but it took me three reads to fully appreciate it since after the first read I was on edge about deciding if it's closer to genius or to humbug...