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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  I don't know how i missed this when it was first (2+ / 0-)
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    RiveroftheWest, Brecht

    published but am glad I found it in the R&BLers list.


    I did a study which, while not quite empirical, was surely obsessive. I found 16 different 100 Best Books lists, and I tallied up all the SF/Fantasy Books I found there, and how many lists each title appeared on. Some of the lists were strictly for novels; some were for all-time, and others were for the 20th Century (one was from 1923-2008); some were compiled by individuals or boards, while others were taken from polls of BBC listeners or Waterstones customers; some were British, some American, some worldwide. Not very scientific, but pretty interesting.
    I found especially interesting because it is the kind of thing I do all of the time. Obsessively trying to tease out that pattern or commonality or that answer which explains everything, even those things that need no explanation. The final list you came up with is wonderful. Makes me want to go back and reread them all.
    •  I get pretty wrapped up in my lists and analysis - (1+ / 0-)
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      they're useful tools, or lenses, to examine questions larger than fit comfortably in my attention span.

      I should do some higher level organization. I want to put some ordering into my 1000+ TBR list, and also enter a dozen different "100 Best Books" lists into an excel spreadsheet, so that I can cumulate and extract information.

      Augustus Caesar looked in awe and puzzlement at all that Alexander the Great achieved; and didn't. He wondered how a man could conquer half the world, and not set about putting the whole thing in order. So I think of these two impulses, as we discover the vast world of books: to explore in every direction, uncovering new continents, like Alexander; and to sort what we find, and regulate it into a system we comprehend, like Augustus.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 11:02:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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