Monday 22 February 2010

Holiday Reading: Results

A few days ago, readers, I asked you to cast your votes in a poll between five series of speculative fiction that have lurked on my bookshelves since time immemorial. A week from today, you see, I'm heading off on a wee holiday where I hope to have all the time in the world - or at least all the time in the week - to indulge my love for the genre by finally immersing myself in some of the classic sequences that for one reason or another I've yet to experience.

You can read more about the contenders here, but in lieu of repeating myself, let it suffice to say that each represented a unique facet of speculative fiction; from dark fantasy to nightmarish steampunk to metafictional sci-fi and beyond. I don't doubt that all five of the possible holiday reading fare are worthwhile experiences in their own right, but even a week from now, my time - that terrible master of all we do - will be too short to do justice to every contender. Indecisive to the last, I asked the great and the good amongst the TSS readership to raise their voices in support of one or another.

And it's my pleasure to report that you lot - you lovely lot - responded in force. The results of the holiday reading poll, then, are as follows:

I hardly needed to have generated a pie chart to illustrate how clear a winner we have. The honour goes, of course, to The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, which saw an overwhelming and nearly immediate show of force. To its 10 votes, however, The Deepgate Codex saw a not inconsiderable 8 thanks to a late-game surge of support, easily installing Alan Campbell - a fellow Scots gentleman, wouldn't you know - as the runner-up.

With 3 votes each, The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan and The Braided Path by Chris Wooding are tied for third place, and bringing up the rear - with only a single nod - we have Steph Swainston's Castle books. From the little I've read of them, they deserve better; though the poll doesn't speak to the quality of the various contenders, only the interest of TSS readers in coverage of some series above others.


Isn't this a pickle? Ah, hell with it - I've a whole week to spend reading, so given how close The Deepgate Codex came to overcoming The Malazan Book of the Fallen, I think I'll bend the rules a bit and take the first book of each series on holiday with me. Sound fair?

When I return, then, you can look forward to an update on how my holiday reading quest went, and perhaps even reviews of Scar Night and Gardens of the Moon. Late to the party or no, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about both books.

Here's to having the opportunity to spend a few days reading what I'm sure will be great speculative fiction by the seaside! What more could a guy ask?


  1. Really the only reason i voted for Steven Erikson was your enjoyment. If you like him then you will LOVE him if you don't then chances are you'll hate him.

  2. If you end up hating Erikson then there is something drastically wrong with you. Don't worry, I'm sure there isn't because I am sure you won't!

  3. haha i wish I had gotten here earlier

  4. I can't imagine I'm going to hate the Erikson. I mean, you don't write get yourself a legion of devoted readers and nine bestselling novels without have written something worthwhile. I'm looking forward to the chance to finally dip my toes into the Malazan series.